I Should’ve Known, the debut album from teen artist Amelia Scalies, is a reflection on past experiences and complicated relationships. Scalies expertly pivots between various genres with comfort and control. Whether she is reeling from a bad break-up or reminiscing on the passing of a loved one, Amelia Scalies approaches every topic with wisdom and deference.
Amelia Scalies opens this album with a pair of pop-punk tracks. With “Bottom of the Ocean,” Scalies uses her powerful vocals to explore the heavy feeling of loneliness. She compares her self to a ghost, that isn’t seen by the person that she needs most. “Small Talk Friends” will connect with anyone who has ever felt like they didn’t fit into the unspoken social structure of high school. Later in the album, Scalies turns her angst towards herself with the powerhouse title-track “I Should’ve Known.”
Contrastingly, songs like “Rose Blossom” and “Phoenix” are lovely in their minimalist composition. Scalies shows heart and vulnerability as she meditates on lessons learned. In the country influenced song “Rise,” Scalies gains strength throughout each verse until she sings, “So now at midnight/In the pitch black/I’m finally seeing clear.” The wide reach of country music is further explored with the plucky, upbeat song “Macey Brown (Green-Eyed Girl)” and the retrospective track “What I Should’ve Said.”
The album reaches its climax with a faithful cover of My Chemical Romance’s powerful anthem “Welcome to the Black Parade” followed by Scalies triumphant ode to the bullied “Don’t Let Them Win,” in which she presents creative ways for underdogs to show their strength. I Should’ve Known is a complex album from a versatile artist that is wise beyond her years. Amelia Scalies’ distinct voice and strong songwriting skills are impressive for any artist, let alone an artist that is still in high school.