On "Comin' Up From the Underground," Bonagura begins the record by establishing herself as one-of-a-kind in country music. "I'm a little bit hippy, little rock and roll. Got a free spirit with a deep soul," she sings, off the bat marking herself as a outsider. She even mentions her friend 'Ruby' (most likely talking about bandmate Ruby Stewart). The song could be an anthem for underdogs, but in this sense, it seems like Bonagura is speaking of the songwriters-turned-artists movement happening in Nashville right now: with the songwriters who have been writing in the shadows for so many years finally getting the recognition they deserve.
"Rebel" is the best song on the album, and it also just received a brand new music video. The song again, defines Bonagura, but this time as a saint and a sinner, and "a human trying to figure out this place we call earth," and "a believer trying to figure out who [she] is." It's piano based, and you won't find a more relatable, or frankly, human song in any genre.
"Crying" is a song of rebellion, speaking of the pain of music-making. "I'm just a part of the machine, it's rough, trying to live a dream," she sings. This song echoes the sentiment of another songwriter-turned-singer Caitlyn Smith, who on "This Town Is Killing Me," sings of how Nashville knocks her down all of the time, but she can't leave because she's chasing her dream, and she needs to prove them wrong. This song has a more of a desperate feel than Smith's, and Bonagura captures the pain and heartbreak of being a songwriter in this crazy music business.
The ninth song on the record is one of the most interesting, titled "Who I Want the World To See." In a year like 2016, when the media has been filled with hate and negativity, this song is incredibly timely. Bonagura asks herself if she is putting out the best version of herself in this song, prompting the listener to question themselves, and their life. These kind of simple songs are the best songs, encouraging people to look at themselves and evaluate their life.
Road Less Traveled is exactly what Nashville needs. Bonagura quietly alludes to the problems in Nashville through an acoustic record that doesn't have any gloss on it. This record is a protest record, but a subtle one. It points out Nashville's flaws in a dignified way, that works much better than any critic or musician screaming about songs that aren't country. It's the exact opposite from most of the country music being released. That's what makes it so great: not just that it's different, but by being different, it's making a difference.
Best tracks: Rebel, Crying, Heavy on My Mind, Who I Want the World To See
Throwaway tracks: none
Overall rating: 5 crowns