Lauren Alaina is country music hot property right now. Following her second album, ‘Road Less Traveled’, released in 2017, Alaina has barely left public consciousness, hitting TV screens on Dancing with the Stars, and clocking up duets alongside some of the biggest names in country music including Chris Young and Jon Pardi. And on Friday 6 March Alaina’s new EP, ‘Getting Good’, finally landed.
It’s been a long time coming. One of the tracks – ‘Ladies’ in the ‘90’s’ – we first heard as long ago as October 2018, and two of the other tracks – ‘Getting Good’ and ‘The Other Side’ – are already firm fan favourites. But thankfully, this EP still has enough surprise left in the bag.
It’s a looking glass into the many sides to Lauren Alaina. From the Georgia home-grown girl, to the ‘90s influenced pop chick, to the Sunday church singer. It spans the genres in lyrical content as well as musical and is a statement that you can’t box in a feisty voice.
‘In My Veins’ is the opening track with Alaina stamping her roots on the EP: “You can take the girl right out of the country/ But the country stays, running in my veins”. It’s a bit of country song cliché, but it is a declaration that whatever comes next this is what’s at her core – Alaina is country in life as well as song.
Getting Good is a reflection that, “I’m thinking once I learn to soak up every moment/ I’ll realise my life’s already good.” It’s a sweet but sobering reminder that we should appreciate what we have today. It’s the only track on the album not co-written by Alaina, but instead this is the work of Emily Weisband who also leant her hand to ‘Country In Me’ on this EP, and seems to be one of the writers helping to shape Alaina’s musical direction.
‘Somebody Else’s Problem’ has an upbeat, summer feel. Alaina cheekily sings about getting a boyfriend upgrade so the current one can be someone else’s problem. The distinctly pop sound of this track provides balance to the album in amongst the presence of other genres.
‘Ladies in the ‘90s’ punches with a heavy dose of girl power. You can’t help but smile at the thought of Alaina the little girl who is a, “Diva in the living room/ Mama’s heels on after school/ Learning all my moves on MTV.” And this is an upbeat celebration of all the female artists that have influenced Alaina: “They weren’t afraid to make a statement/ That’s what I call entertainment/ All those women paved the way for me.” The track is ripe for a game of ‘90s musical bingo, packed full of references to iconic songs from the decade.
‘Country in Me’ is a love song to a country beau. There’s a bluesy swing to the melody, with a feel similar to Keith Urban’s ‘Blue Ain’t Your Color’. It suits the huskier undertones in Alaina’s voice.
‘The Other Side’ is the most starkly emotional song on the EP. With gospel vibes, the track has an uplifting joy as Alaina sings: “Don’t you cry for me, ‘cause I’m in God’s glory/ and I can see his face, it’s amazing.” It’s a deeper, mature message, and reflects the religious side to Alaina that she has spoken about previously.
There’s an obvious question though – why stop at an EP? Where’s the rest of the album? There’s surely enough Alaina fans out there who would devour another six tracks. Perhaps this is because the EP format is growing and it seems inevitable with the modern day transient skip-a-track approach to music listening, that the EP is on the increase. However, Alaina herself has alluded to a third album on the way, and with a tour that currently includes this new music, it makes sense to release an early EP.
So we’ll hang tight for more Alaina music, and in the meantime listen to this EP over and over again, singing ‘Ladies in the ‘90’s’ into our hairbrushes.
- In My Veins (Lauren Alaina, Cary Barlowe, Hillary Lindsey, Jesse Frasure)
- Getting Good (Emily Weisband)
- Somebody Else’s Problem (Lauren Alaina, Jesse Frasure, Geoff Warburton)
- Ladies In The ‘90s (Lauren Alaina, Jesse Frasure, Amy Wadge)
- Country In Me (Lauren Alaina, David Garcia, Emily Weisband)
- The Other Side (Lauren Alaina, Zach Kale, Jon Nite)