Last year’s American Idol winner Maddie Poppe just released her new album, “Whirlwind”! So, as any true fans would do, we are sitting down to listen to it track-by-track.
Here are the audio recordings and our reviews for each song on “Whirlwind.”
“Not Losing You”
In her Instagram stories, Maddie has mentioned that this is one of her favorite tracks from the album. And it’s easy to see why! Her voice sounds amazing on this song. I especially like the run she does at the end of the chorus. The lyrics are great too, pleading for her love who she is afraid of losing. But at the same time, she is determined to make it work. She is strong and resilient but also vulnerable. Plus, who doesn’t love a key change? This song really has it all.
“First Aid Kit”
I remember being obsessed with this song as soon as it came out. And it’s been stuck in my head many, many times since. It’s about a loved one being able to help her when she’s hurting. This is definitely a cute love song with the catchiest tune. The bridge is what absolutely sold me on the song. The guitar riff below her voice, which continues to climb higher and higher, is peak Maddie.
“Nothing Good Comes Out of California”
Living in California, I read this title and had to laugh. She’s not wrong! But the song is a great narrative about her life in California as compared to Iowa. Maddie has gone through a lot of growth and craziness in the past year, but she’s stayed true to who she is. That’s exactly what this song is about! And the theme of her album. And the reason why it’s called “Whirlwind” in the first place. This is the perfect extension of that (and just a catchy tune)!
This is exactly what I wanted from a Maddie Poppe album. Indie, singer-songwriter music that shows off what Maddie can do. The song highlights her vocals without being too much, which tends to happen with talent show winners. It becomes less about the music and feeling and more about the vocal showcase. But that is definitely not the case here! Maddie is playing to her strengths and I am loving every second of this one.
“Made You Miss”
When this song first came out, I wasn’t sure about it to be honest. But it’s really grown on me and honestly one of my favorites on the album. Of all the songs, it’s probably the most pop-y track but it’s a banger. There’s really no other way to describe it. And, as is the case with the rest of the album, she is still showing off how impressive her voice is. I think that’s what I love about it. She can do a more “mainstream”-feeling song, but her passion and personality aren’t lost.
“Take It Out on You”
I love this song for the beat and how it moves along. It’s got a little old school R&B to it, which I did not expect to hear from Maddie Poppe. But ZERO complaints here! Her vocals are still at the forefront though, piercing through the background music. And the lyrics talking about how we take out our frustration on the ones we love the most hit you right in the feels. We’ve definitely all been there.
The intro to this song reminds me of an Apple commercial or quirky reality show theme music, but that’s not a bad thing! Hopefully the song isn’t about her boyfriend, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, though. “You’ve got more skeletons than a graveyard.” YIKES! But the lyrics have a sweet message about loving someone despite their past. And the fun, bouncy instrumental makes it a bop. The melody is really nice and catchy too.
“Postcard from Me”
This song is about how Maddie’s happy with where she is and she wishes she could write a postcard to her younger self saying it would all work out. Her “wildest dreams” have literally come true. The second verse about her boyfriend Caleb was SO SWEET too! Her storytelling throughout this entire album is impressive. She is singing from the heart and that’s why it comes off as being so genuine. Plus, it’s just good songwriting so that helps.
This is a catchy little tune! The lyrics are about all the “little things” that remind Maddie of a loved one. Another song about Caleb? It’s definitely possible. But the melody on this song is what stands out most to me here. I love how the rest of the instruments drop out for the piano and her voice in the chorus. Maddie is at her best when her voice can just shine through. This song gives her plenty of those moments!
What a way to close an album! The guitar riffs are wonderful on this song, especially with Maddie’s smooth vocals on top. It’s got a chill vibe with lyrics about being bummed out. If I’m getting that correctly. The song isn’t even very optimistic that the next day will be any better, but it’s real and reassuring. Either way, this song totally gives me cruising down the freeway in my convertible feels. Not that I have a convertible but you get the idea.