Review: Lauren Alaina – “Wildflower”
American Idol Season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina released her debut album, Wildflower, just over a week ago. Coming in at #5 on the charts, I think Lauren’s debut album shows she’s going to be a big star. Look out Carrie Underwood – Lauren Alaina is coming through.
Written by Mallary Hope, Blair Daly and Rachel Proctor, the cd starts off with a song that automatically fits Lauren just from the title – she’s from Georgia! “Georgia Peaches” is a flirty and sassy song, which I can see Lauren killing on tour. She knows how to show sass while performing, which is one reason why this makes a great second single choice for Lauren. The song also name-drops Jason Aldean and it’s a great song to blast and dance to in you car. Just try to be sneaky, so other cars on the freeway don’t point and laugh at your seated-dance skills. That can get awkward.
Any teenager can probably relate to the song “Growing Her Wings.” I’m not a teenager anymore, but I can certainly think back to my teenage days and find parts that fit me to a T. Growing Her Wings was written by Nicolle Gaylon and Nicole Witt, and is a song about a teenage girl whose parents are limiting what she can do at her age. Her dad catches her kissing the neighbor boy and grounds her from dating until she’s 18, her mom says she’s “too young to read” Cosmo magazine, but she reads it anyway behind her closed bedroom door while she’s “growing her wings.” I wasn’t allowed to read Cosmo either. Nor was I allowed to watch MTV. This is a cute and fun song with a catchy beat, which a lot of teens will relate to. We all have to grow our wings and fly away, at some point!
“Tupelo” has a summery feel to it, and is about a trip a boy and girl take together. You’ll find yourself singing this song randomly, as it has a catchy feel to it. The song was written Hillary Lindsey, Steven McEwan and Gordie Sampson. I have to say my favorite lines are “Heart beats a-beatin’ to the radio, kisses sweet as the honey, down in Tupelo, all the way down to Tupelo.” It’s another fun summery song.
“The Middle” is quite possibly one of my favorite songs on the CD. because we can all relate to this one. Time goes by so fast and we often forget to live in the moment. We’re always worrying about that one thing that’s now in the past that we regret, or anxiously awaiting time to pass for something we’re looking forward to in the future. This song says “Take each day and make it last, cause you turn around the future is the past.” Time flies and before you know it, you’ve grown up. “Here and now is all we have, the beginning and the end mean so little, what matters most is what’s in the middle.” Live for the moment and enjoy what’s happening now, because you will never get that time back. I think the message in this song is so important, especially for your people! This song was written by Zac Maloy, Rachel Proctor and David Hodges. I can definitely see the David Hodges influence in this song, as it does somewhat have that Evanescence feel to it. This song could easily cross over into the pop music category, as it’s not overly country like a lot of the other songs on this CD.
I think at this point we all know how important “Like My Mother Does” is to Lauren because her mom essentially is there for everything she does and goes through it all with her. You can definitely see the resemblance between Lauren and her mom, Kristy, not only do they look alike but they also both sing! Written by Nathan Chapman, Liz Rose and Nikki Williams, this song was the first single off Lauren’s debut CD and is still on the charts a week after the CD release.
Clearly the title of Lauren’s CD comes from the song “She’s A Wildflower,” mostly because Lauren has said it’s a song she can really relate to. We all go through those awkward pre-teen years, and this song hits just that. “She was the kind of girl that never quite fit in, holes in her shoes and freckles on her skin.” Everyone just wants to fit in. “Pretty soon her luck is gonna change, she just doesn’t know it yet.” Lauren’s luck sure changed, didn’t it?
“I’m Not One Of Them” is yet another sassy tune Lauren delivers, this time about a boy who thinks he’s all that. He’s the typical cocky boy who thinks he can get anyone he wants because every girl in school wants to date him. Well, not in this song. Sarah Johns, Tom Shapiro and Tony Martin write about a girl who is just the opposite. This girl wants nothing to do with the guy who thinks he’s all that. “You pull up in that jacked-up ride, open the door on the passenger side. There’s a lot of girls who might wanna climb inside, but i’m not one of them.” Lauren sings about the girl who wants more than just a guy who impresses every girl in the school. We all should want that, right?
While “The Locket” is the longest song on the CD, don’t let that distract you from hearing it in full. It’s by far one of the most meaningful songs on the CD, and also likely to make you shed a tear or two. The song, written by Mallary Hope, is about a young girl who is telling the story of her grandparents love for each other. The end of the song will get you, as you learn the Grandmother has Alzheimer’s by the line “And it breaks my heart to see you struggle to remember.” If that doesn’t make you shed a little tear, the very end will when the Granddaughter tells how her Grandmother states that “It’s getting time for me to head on home, She said, that brown-eyed boy is waiting and I don’t want to keep him long, Heaven is calling, and she said, my heart is longing, for the boy inside your locket.”
Eighteen Inches was written by Kelly Lovelace, Ashley Gorley and Carrie Underwood. The song definitely has a Carrie Underwood vibe, it reminds me in a way of “All American Girl” in the way that it tells the story of a young family. In this song, eighteen inches represents the “distance from your head to your heart.” The song is about a young couple in love who gets married but doesn’t have much. They are just scraping to get by and then find out they’re expecting their first child. It’s a song about how falling in love at a young age can make us not make the smartest choices but how we get by with what we have.
“One Of Those Boys” could definitely be a future single as it has a very radio-friendly melody. Lauren sings about a boy who in her eyes is perfect. He likes to fish, go to church on Sunday mornings – and most important of all, he shakes her daddy’s hand. This song has a lot of energy and was written by Anthony Smith, Marla Cannon and Ben Carver.
“Funny Thing About Love” is the only song on the CD that was co-written by Lauren herself. She wrote this one with Luke Laird and Brett James about how she finds a guy she likes, but he doesn’t show that he likes her. By the time the boy admits his feelings for her, it’s too late and she’s off and running onto someone else. I have to say I’m glad that Lauren got a co-write on this CD, as I know sometimes for a debut American Idol that is tough to accomplish.
“Dirt Road Prayer” is another favorite off the CD. It’s a ballad that is a prayer to God. A young girl is praying and asking God to watch over her mother, brother and grandmother. “It doesn’t matter how long it’s been, I can talk to God like he’s my best friend.” In the song, written by Nicolle Galyon and April Geesbreght, the young girl knows that God will always be there for her and asks for guidance with a young boy.
Overall, I think this is an excellent debut CD for Lauren Alaina. There isn’t a bad song on the CD and Lauren’s voice certainly delivers on every song. Not only does Lauren have a great voice, but she’s also got that “happy-go-lucky” personality and both of those things together I think will get her far. Lauren’s fan base is broad from her American Idol experience, but although this CD delivers mostly to the younger audience, the songs are relatable and enjoyable at any age.
DOWNLOAD: The Middle, The Locket, Dirt Road Prayer
RATING: 9 out of 10