Although Alaina does do the pop game very well, the two main highlights of the EP are the ones that are the most country. "Painting Pillows" is a classic country song. It's a waltz, and the lyrics are absolutely flawless. Alaina and her co-writers Alex Masters and Lindsay Jack Rimes play on how the makeup of a girl flows off when they cry, and they say how they're "painting pillows" with their mascara when they cry it off "All of the hurt / all of the pain / keeps pouring down like black rain." It's a classic breakup song, and Alaina shines so brightly here. There's a touch of blues and R&B influence which lifts the song to higher heights. This is where Alaina belongs, in the country pop ballads. She succeeds at pop music, but there is such a difference in quality between this song, and the others on this EP.
"History" is a song that should have stayed as an NFL jingle, and off her album and EP. It's a pure pop song, and not one that accurately represents her skills as an artist. She's so talented as a songwriter and singer, but this song doesn't properly show off those abilities or set her apart in any way.
Three other songs, which have hopefully been cut for her upcoming album, are songs that truly show her skills. This EP doesn't give her justice, but songs like "Doin' Fine" "Crashing the Boys Club," and "My Kinda People" do. The first song is an emotional song about her parents divorce, that although adopted her new sound, still feels like a song that could have belonged on Wildflower, at least lyric wise. "Crashing the Boys Club" is a song written with Emily Wesiband and Johan Fransson, which follows the same comedic pattern as "Next Boyfriend," which Alaina has discovered she shines at. (Listen to a demo of this song.) And "My Kinda People" is a song that focuses on Alaina's vocals, which are what has brought her to where she is today.
This EP is quite good, and it emphasizes Alaina's ever-growing talent, but it's not country. It's the same issue there was with Kelsea Ballerini's album, and with Thomas Rhett's and Sam Hunt's album. It's mislabeling. Country music does change and evolve, but these songs are for the most part POP songs, with some country instrumentals, but that doesn't change the fact that they are pop. At least when Taylor Swift changed to pop she declared her new album pop. So many artists these days have so much trouble doing that. Lauren Alaina is incredibly talented. Her voice is flawless, and it makes sense that she'd want to expand into the pop genre. This EP is good, but she should have labeled it what it is: pop.
Best tracks: Next Boyfriend, Painting Pillows
Throwaway tracks: History
Overall rating: 3 and a half crowns