Album Review: Katie Dobbins – ‘She is Free’

Katie Dobbins

She Is Free

* * * * *

Boston based contemporary folk and new country singer Katie Dobbins released her debut album, She is Free back in May. The album emerged from an epiphany that the life she was living, complete with a salaried job, wasn’t satisfying her soul. It was just the last couple of years that she was able to fully embrace her musical muse and embark on the journey cumulating with this album.

She is Free opens with her debut single, the autobiographical “Something To Be Found.” Dobbins chronicles her journey, from the college student with two degrees to the twenty-five-year-old re-engaging with her inner child:

Will this road take me where I want to go
Where that is I have to say I really don’t know
I’m driving now, hoping somewhere there’s something to be found
Everything in me says I gotta get out

Get out and get back to her, to that little girl
She’s stares at me in photographs
Shining eyes, delirious
Begging me to come back home

“Post-It Notes” is a beautifully romantic mid-tempo ballad, about a guy declaring his love with a declaration tacked to the fridge. “More Love” is a battle-cry calling for compassion, whether it’s the man whose bike was hit by an elderly gentleman, parents dropping their kids off at school or soldiers on the battlefield:

This world needs more love
And it starts with you and it starts with me
There’s no telling what this world would be
If every single hand was outstretched wide
What do we miss just being passerby’s
We need more love

The jazzy “Bring On The Fire” is an anthem for anyone who needs to push out of their comfort zone and stand in their own sun, gets burned and get on with living life. “Beautiful” is a steel-laced ballad about love, with Dobbins singing about the guy who encourages her to follow her passions with simple words and gestures that define their intimate relationship. The heartbreaking “Marry You” tells a different story, one in which Dobbins envisions how incredible it would be to marry the guy if life didn’t intervene:

You and I are writing different stories
You’re the hero, baby I’m some girl with a dream
I can’t be the one to take your glory
You can’t be the one to write this chapter for me

Closing track “Puzzles” is a perfectly written empowerment anthem saying we as humans are whole and not puzzle pieces that need to be put together. Dobbins is saying we’re perfectly imperfect and that’s more than okay.

“Daddy’s Song” is one of the more personal lyrics on the album. It finds Dobbins sharing her story of encouragement as she ventured to Nashville to follow her dreams. Piano ballad “Cards on a Tuesday (Nana’s Song)” follows suit and offers a gorgeous tribute to her grandmother, her inspiration, the woman Dobbins hopes to be as she ventures through this world.

Dobbins says She is Free “is a collection of songs I created over time, and its release signifies my own personal freedom from any insecurities or fears I have held about myself or my music up to this point. The songs on the album pay tribute to certain people in my life who have empowered me along the way, and also tell stories of various real and imagined characters pursuing love and freedom.”

The time and attention Dobbins put forth when making this album shows in the nine songs, which give insight into her life and her journey back to music. I thoroughly enjoyed taking this voyage with her, whether it was empowering, heartwarming or even heartbreaking.

I highly recommend checking out this album. For further information on Katie Dobbins, you can visit her website or find her on Bandcamp.

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