Saturday, 12 July 2014

Album Review: Lucy Hale 'Road Between'


















Hello once more blogosphere! It has come to my attention that awesome actress Lucy Hale (Aria from the epic 'Pretty Little Liars') has finally taken to the charts and released her first album entitled 'Road Between'. To say I'm excited would be an understatement. If you're an avid PLL fan like I am, then you may remember Aria singing a little excerpt from a song way back in season 1 episode 9. Of course, being the music enthusiast that I am, I instantly latched onto this tiny clip and started incessantly googling miss Hale. Turns out, back in the day, Lucy was in a show which was basically a cross between a kids version of 'American Idol' and 'Young Talent Time', entitled 'American Juniors' (which I may or may not have youtubed in my spare time). So of course, when I found out she was releasing an album, I started geeking out all over the place. Now, the time has come and my album review is in. Did Lucy's country album live up to my expectations? You'll just have to continue reading.

Before we get things started, here's the entire track list:

1. You Sound Good to Me
2. From the Backseat
3. Nervous Girls
4. Red Dress
5. Goodbye Gone
6. Kiss Me
7. Road Between
8. Lie a Little Better
9. That's What I Call Crazy
10. Love Tonight
11. Just Another Song

Stay tuned for my track by track run down of each of the songs.

1. You Sound Good To Me


Luckily, we all got a chance to get familiar with this one before the official release of the album, seeing as it's been available on iTunes as a single since January. As far as country goes, I wouldn't necessarily call myself the biggest fan, however there's no denying that this is an awesome song. It's just super catchy, and Lucy manages to capture the essence of the country genre without feeling the need to adopt an artificial twang (which I personally find most of the time to be extremely annoying). It's fun, it suits her voice well, and most importantly, it sounds good to me (see what I did there?). Overall, I would label this track a massive success.

2. From the Backseat


For the second track, Lucy decided to slow it down a bit with this county ballad. I have to say, I'm most definitely a fan of this one. Not only is the song itself awesome, but it manages to tell a story throughout (and not in a cheesy Taylor Swift way). The tone is nostalgic almost, and I find that this register sits with Lucy's voice really well. And luckily, as with the first song, I found that there weren't any overwhelmingly cliché country flourishes, which is always a positive.

3. Nervous Girls


This is probably one of my favourite songs on the album, purely due to the awesomeness of the melody. By now, some of you probably know that one of my pet peeves is annoying, monotone music, which we unfortunately seem to be forced to listen to in abundance circa 2014, however this song is nothing of the sort. It's such a pretty ballad, and demonstrates that despite Lucy's PLL induced fame, she hasn't become estranged from her normality. As I say, it really is a super great song, so I suggest you all get to downloading it immediately. In the words of Raven . . .












4. Red Dress feat. Joe Nichols


Who doesn't love a good country duet that doesn't involve T-Swizzle? I know I do, that is of course if they all sound like this. Despite this being Lucy's album, Joe pretty much takes the lead with this track, and although I've never heard of him, he really does a marvellous job. Apparently, after some extensive googling, it seems that this guy's actually a famous country singer, and I can see why. He has a bit of twang going on, however it doesn't feel forced or unnatural. And although it had some romantic elements in terms of lyricism, it wasn't awkwardly lovey-dovey at any point (so theres no need to whip out your turtles). Their voices also luckily went together really nicely, which is always a necessity when it comes to duets. As a whole, this is one good quality song. 

5. Goodbye Gone


In my opinion, this song is just pure awesomeness. It had a darker tone than the rest of the song, and took on a vengeful theme. What could be better than an angsty song that sounds as if it's mash-up between the works of Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson? Seriously though, I really enjoyed this track. I have to say, I think we've got another contender for my favourite song on the album. If any of you are close personal friends of Taylor Swift, please call her up right now and let her know that this is how you right a song about an ex. I never thought I'd use a One Direction gif to describe anything ever, but I really have no choice with this one. 











6. Kiss Me


You can't have a proper country album without a track totally revolving around relationship perils, and for 'Road Between', this is it. This song takes on a bit more of a pop feel, which was nice in order to shake things up a bit. It's just your quintessential, lovelorn ballad done well. It may not be my favourite song on the album, however that doesn't mean it isn't good. For those of you who are into music like that, this will just be your dream come true. 

7. Road Between


The title track of the album, I can tell you now, doesn't disappoint. It's quite similar to 'Nervous Girls' in some ways, as its really pretty melody is the predominant reason for my fondness of it. Out of all the songs on the album, I feel that this is one of the tracks that best showcases Lucy's voice. If you're a fan of the power ballad (which let's face it, who isn't?), then this is a great pick for you. It also happens to have a strong message of empowerment, which can only be uplifting. Overall, a really strong track. 

8. Lie a Little Better


This song is most definitely my jam. From the title, you'd think that it would sound super down and depressing, however this is not the case by any stretch of the imagination. It's fun, it's upbeat, and could even be described as boppy. Just listening to this song induces excitement, and it is certainly one of the most enjoyable tracks to listen to on the album. Despite its optimistic demeanour, the song is actually telling the tale of failed attempts at love, who would've thought? And given the title, perhaps it's a little nod to Pretty Little Liars? One can dream.

9. That's What I Call Crazy


Possibly the most playful track on the album, this song delves into matters of drinking and cursing - although of course, this is all totally done in a harmless manner. Co-written by Kacey Musgraves, this is probably the most mainstream country song on the album. Is that a bad thing? Luckily it isn't, because as always, Lucy puts her own spin on it. It's catchy, it's easy to sing along to, doesn't that sound like the recipe for a perfect, radio-worthy single? I think yes. 












10. Love Tonight


The first thing I noticed about this song was its awesome beat. Seriously, I may be focussing too much on the irrelevant details, but the beat driving the song at the beginning just got me so excited, that I couldn't help but love the rest. While quite a few tracks on the album tend to revolve around romance, this one appropriates that notion, choosing to focus in on some il-advised decisions when it comes to love. The track seems to poke fun at traditional romanticised country ballads, acting as an amusing single to wind down the album. Plus, it just so happens to be super catchy and great to listen to.

11.  Just Another Song 


Officially the last track on the album, this track is one of the best songs 'Road Between' has to offer. Co-written by Miss Hale herself, what begins as a rather traditional, guitar driven folk song reaches a whole other level once some extreme orchestration gets going. It's got a super pretty melody, and is a perfect example of a strong, awesome ballad. The track is definitely a worthy album-closer and holds its own in this awesome line-up of songs, proving that it's not just another song (get it?). 

So that's officially the end of my little album review. Do I recommend you purchase this song on iTunes ASAP? Absolutely. How else could I sum up this album you ask? I think this gif pretty much says it all. 










I'm aware that I've Taylor Swift bashed a lot in this post, but she's just so awful I couldn't resist. But just forget about untalented, annoying, whiney, faux-country artists like her and focus on the awesomeness of this album (which I highly suggest you get right away). Now go get downloading! Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx

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