As a whole, this album has many similarities to Carrie Underwood's debut, Some Hearts. The album is mostly written by other people, with one cowrite hidden in there. The record varies between uptempo inspiring songs, badass country girl songs, and sweet ballads. Carrie Underwood actually cowrites a song on this record, adding to the Underwood-esque feel of it. "Eighteen Inches" was originally written by Underwood, Ashley Gorely, and Kelley Lovelace for one of Underwood's albums. For some reason, it was passed off and Underwood encouraged Alaina to record it. This song is good mostly because of the hook, "Cause there ain't no greater distance, than the eighteen inches from your head to your heart." This is such a true statement. I might be guilty of actually measuring my head to my heart to see how true it really is, but that's besides the point. For young people, that distance is so big, and Alaina portrays that message beautifully.
The other two singles released from the album are "Georgia Peaches" and "Like My Mother Does." The former is a sassy Georgia-loving ballad, that has some redeeming qualities, but doesn't stand out on this record. The music video is amazing, though! The latter stands out a bit more. When I hear this song, I automatically think of "Song for Dad" by Keith Urban, which is definitely a good thing. This song has a beautiful message, but was not the best choice for a debut single. It doesn't have Alaina's typical spunk, although does show off her vocals very effectively.
The only real low point on this record is "Growing Her Wings." Although I do love the Dixie Chicks reference, having another song like "She's a Wildflower" can be a bit overkill, especially when one is so much better than the other. The old school country production on this track is cool, but better lyrics would improve the track.
Finally, my absolutely favorite song on the record: "The Locket". This song is the epitome of a country song. It tells a story that has a beginning, middle and ending. It is a love song. It has beautiful traditional country production with fiddles. Alaina's vocals are incredible. Mallary Hope wrote this song, and I am in awe of her songwriting ability based on this song. Alaina was able to communicate the message of the song so perfectly, making it seem as if she wrote it herself. Hope and Alaina should work together again. Please.
Alaina is a true country talent. She hasn't released an album since this one, but I am optimistic she will release something soon. I look forward to that day.
Best tracks: Eighteen Inches, She's a Wildflower, The Locket
Throwaway Tracks: Growing Her Wings
Overall Rating: 4 crowns