This song did not get placed on The First Time, most likely because it was not written by Ballerini, but by Josh Kerr and Ashlee Hewitt. Ballerini's image is focuses mainly on the fact that she is singer and a songwriter, and having a song not written by her on her album breaks that image. But it's not easy to tell that she did not write this song. One thing lacking on her debut album, besides "Secondhand Smoke" and a couple others, is true emotion shining through the vocals on the tracks. However, on this song, the emotion is so raw, so real. It sounds like it pains her to sing the song, which has such a great effect on the listener. This is one of the best of these songs, and one that Ballerini should definitely consider for her sophomore album.
This is the quintessential country radio break up song. "When I Think About You" is the track that should have replaced "Looking At Stars" on The First Time, because it's the same kind of vibe, but this one manages to not be a female truck song. From the some of the same writers as "Dibs," (Jason Duke and Josh Kerr) "When I Think About You" actually has some feeling behind it, unlike "Stars". It has more guitars than her debut ever had, and is still very country pop, but airs a bit more on the side of country than any of The First Time does.
Written again by the terrific trio, Ballerini, Duke and Kerr, in this song Ballerini speaks of a girl (possibly made up, possibly real) that met a man in high school who she ended up marrying. It's a story of how it's so hard to find love, and Ballerini sings that she's "the rule" in love and the other girl is "the exception." It's a sort of backwards love story, but instead of going through it herself, Ballerini is watching someone else's love story and is jealous of it. This song could have a had real single potential, if it had made The First Time.
Written about the mother of a boyfriend Ballerini once had, this is one of the first truly comical songs to come from her. Maddie & Tae had comedy in "Girl in A Country Song' and "Shut Up and Fish" on Start Here, but Ballerini didn't have any songs that evoked a laugh on her debut. That is not always a bad thing, but this song could have lightened up The First Time and replaced one of the throwaway tracks on the record. But I wouldn't expect this one to show up on a later album though, because of how light in topic it is.
This song does not even compare to that atrocious song by Luke Bryan that plagued radios all over the country a few months ago. This one is much beter, even in its acoustic form. Written by Ballerini and Stephanie Lambring, this song does has a similar idea lyrically to Bryan's hit, and Craig Campbell's song "Outta My Head." This is another song showing off Ballerini's natural lyrical abilities, and despite the fact that it's not the bets track Ballerini has offered, is sure to get stuck in your head after just one listen.
At the time this was written, in 2012, Ballerini declared this her favorite song she's ever written. This is a country/christian hit in the making, and it is the first time we've heard Ballerini venture into the Christian music genre. It is a different side of Ballerini's musicality, and evokes some definite Carrie Underwood comparisons. This never would have fit on The First Time, because it wouldn't have gone with the confident vibe of the album, but if I were Ballerini, I would not toss this one out, because this song is a real gem.
There is a definite possibility that this track could show up on her next album. This song wasn't cut from The First Time, it just wasn't brought to the table in time to make the album. Somewhat similar to "Underage," the closing track on Ballerini's debut, she talks about a man who is still stuck in a high school mentality. This is a more emotive, better crafted, more country song than "Underage" though. Ballerini sings this song beautifully and if it doesn't make her next record, that will be a real shame.