Lauren Alaina - Getting Over Him
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Getting Over Him (Mercury Nashville, 2020)

Lauren Alaina

Reviewed by Jeff Lincoln

Lauren Alaina made her national name on American Idol (placing second to Scotty McCreery). But she really seems best fitted for "The X Factor." There's something elusively compelling in how the Georgian's positive, eager attitude shines through, even in small doses. It was on full display when she appeared in a 2020 Thanksgiving halftime concert for the NFL. Alaina was only on stage a minute at most. But she elevated the duet with Kane Brown with those high-octane octaves, then left for him to finish up his set. She pulled a similar trick on a Hardy track, "One Beer" – Hardy's vocals are the entrée, and Alaina's the special sauce.

This release has Alaina's voice as the main entree on the menu. That's a good thing with a pop/country belter like "Run" to kick things off. It's hard to beat that soaring highlight with just five other songs, but "Bar Back" comes close. It's a cute midtempo about divvying up things in a breakup like a couple's favorite honky tonk. Alaina proves she plays well with others by contributing to the writing on every track (always smart to loop in Hillary Lindsey).

"If I was a Beer" brings in some girl-power swagger that comes across a little toothless - Maren Morris probably could have script-doctored this tune, but it's serviceable. Jon Pardi's not wasted helping out on the title track, which turns the guitars up to 11. Things expectedly get a little less rowdy with the closing two tunes – "Seen You In Your Hometown" doesn't seem to fully gel. But "What Do you Think of" puts some pretty gospel chords into a sad look back at a love gone wrong. Lukas Graham ably sings co-lead, and it works well as a tradeoff between two sides of the mirror.

Alaina has a diva's voice, but she wields it well. The listener won't find flashy runs that feel forced here – it has some great singing choices, and even at a brisk 20 minutes or so, the collection still satisfies. Alaina once again makes a big impression in a small set.

(Note if you're shopping for this item: the current mania with EPs in country music is starting to get confusing. Alaina had a similarly-titled, but distinct EP, "Getting Good" released six months apart).

CDs by Lauren Alaina

Sitting Pretty On Top Of The World, 2021 Getting Over Him, 2020 Getting Good, 2020 Road Less Traveled, 2017 Wildflower, 2011

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