It’s been quite the ride for Lauren Alaina. Now 22 years old at the time of Road Less Traveled’s release, the album is far from a sophomore slump though I’m sure she’d have loved to have seen the album released more than nearly 6 years after her debut album hit stores. Instead of focusing on the kinds of youthful songs that made up her debut Wildflower, the dozen songs on Road Less Traveled showcase a lot of growth in content with songs that run the gamut from inspirational tunes like the hit title track to sassy songs like preview track “Next Boyfriend” to songs about alcoholism (“Same Day Different Bottle”) and divorce (“Doin’ Fine”) and growing up in a very visible way (“Three”).
One of the most gifted singers to ever come out of American Idol, the Georgia native Alaina feels much more comfortable here as a vocalist and as a person in general. “My Kinda People” is a jam ready for radio while the strong ballads like “Pretty,” “Think Outside The Boy” and “Painting Pillows” are wisdom-filled tunes about living in life and growing up. There’s a bit of the wisdom shared from Taylor Swift’s earlier records and even some of RaeLynn’s songs and that’s a great thing. They’re all empowering while emotive, fun and funky productions like “Crashin’ The Boys Club” and “Queen Of Hearts” feel ready to make Lauren a household name while the Ballads will make her a superstar.