Recently, Whitley submitted two tracks from this collection to Sirius XM The Highway, a country station known for playing music by new artists. She submitted "Goodbye," the first single off this EP, and "Slow Dance." Out of these two tracks, the former is the superior one. "Goodbye" is very Cassadee Pope-esqe, with the country roots, but definite pop/rock influence. Also like Pope, Whitley's vocals in this track are outstanding. Her voice, while emotional, is also very fierce, fitting for the angry track. Whitley commented that the "‘Goodbye’ is a song about letting go of toxic people and finding happiness within yourself." She pulls off this message, but still keeps it powerful and endearing, and not too sorrowful. She takes the angry route, which is no doubt a good decision. The latter track, actually the one Whitley and her fans are trying to get played on The Highway currently, is a decent track, but no where close to "Goodbye" in originality and fire. Taking a more commercial approach to country music, "Slow Dance" depicts a night between two lovers, complete with the cliches of "it don't matter as long as you're with me" and "in the middle of nowhere somewhere." Whitley looses her spark with this track, but she still outshines many songs of county radio today with the mandolin solo, and her completely unique vocals. This song does deserve to be on The Highway because if it is successful, which it is bound to be, based on the format of the song, it gives more room for Whitley to show her real talent, and that she's more than another wannabe. She's unique.
The EP closes on a highlight, "Leave Me Breathless." The slowest song in the collection, this track is a captivating mix between Carrie Underwood and Avril Lavigne circa 2002. The country roots shine through, but Whitley's extra sweetness and grit is reminiscent of the old Lavigne hit, "I'm With You." Whitley's voice in this song is more vulnerable than seen in the other tracks on this EP. It's a change from the powerful vocals of "Goodbye," and a welcome change. People, including me, say that the best tracks are the angry, sad, and overly emotional ones. But sometimes the sweet songs are a relief and a nice break from the rest of the powerful, but tortured songs. Whitley finishes this introduction on a different note, a happier note, as if this is the beginning of a new relationship after the break up in "Goodbye."
It is so easy for young singers like Whitley to fall into the trap of overproduced pop/country in order to try to get some recognition in the industry. The only artists who really haven't done that who have been moderately successful recently have been Mickey Guyton and Cam. Whitley should stick to the more rocky stuff, because there can only be one Kelsea Ballerini, and she doesn't want to be a copycat. This collection of songs is solid. In tracks like "Goodbye" and "Leave Me Breathless," it is obvious that Whitley has quite a lot of talent, and a definite future in either country or pop/rock music.
Best tracks: Goodbye, Leave Me Breathless
Throwaway tracks: Someone Like You
Overall rating: 4 crowns