First, the skinny on Ralph. This Toronto bred musician is a trained vocalist who was inspired by the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Prince, David Bowie and The Temptations. Writing and recording as Ralph since 2015, the progression into her debut album has been a growth of sorts. Starting off with singles, releasing a self-titled EP in 2017, and then releasing her debut, A Good Girl, album in September of 2018 via 604 Records.
The album’s cover art is what caught my attention on iTunes while I was browsing the new releases section; one of my favorite things to do on Friday mornings. I knew nothing about Ralph, but in need of new music I pressed +ADD on Apple Music and downloaded the album, not giving it a listen until later that night.
Frankly, I was pleasantly surprised. The quality of the music is not only great, but impressive. Listening to the album, it was refreshing to hear proper song structures throughout. Verses, bridges, full choruses are featured in every song. Let’s pause here and understand what a commodity a full chorus is in pop music these days. No spoken word choruses, no repeat choruses; actual choruses. Ralph provided an album full of complete songs.
Gliding through deep grooves, slinky beats, and modern production, the album opens with For Yourself. The song probes the listener to decide if they are living for themselves, providing for themselves, not needing the social constructs we’ve grown to desire.
The first single, Long Distance Lover is a playful and sexy jaunt about a relationship that lives in distance and cellular phones. Ralph is over her phone and want some face-to-face time. “If you wanna make the distance simple we could just meet up in the middle”, she suggests.
The album continues with playful pop tunes like Gimme, Tables Have Turned, and Weather. Take note: more than half the album at this point is good and engaging. Not one dud. After Bedroom Eyes, the album begins to slow down with the tropical September Fades. Dark Clouds describes the understanding of a lover who is facing some internal struggles; Ralph wants to be the antidote. The album closes with two features that keep the low-key vibe rolling through to the very end.
A Good Girl is a little front-loaded, which could be a blessing and a curse. A Good Girl completely draws you in. Was I able to check out by the end of the album, yes. Honestly, I was so impressed by the first 7 tracks that the last three caught me by surprise. Perhaps the track list should’ve been studied and paced more evenly in order to keep the energy and momentum even throughout the album.
Ralph is currently gearing up to support two acts while touring what seems to be all of Canada. Her hustle does not go unnoticed. Ralph’s Good Girl is a great listen for a Friday night session, late-night vibing with a lover, or just some relaxation when hanging at home.
I recommend and suggest you listen.