Lauren Alaina

Wildflower

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AllMusic Review by

Coming in second to the dopey Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina is cut from the same country cloth as the winner of American Idol 10. Like McCreery, Alaina hails from the south and is perhaps a little bit too young to have lived everything she sings, but unlike McCreery, Alaina doesn’t have a preternaturally aged voice. Scotty’s baritone suggests he’s seen things he hasn’t, but Lauren still has a girlish twang to her voice, which lends her a greater bit of vulnerability, something that comes in handy on her quickly recorded and released debut, Wildflower. It also helps that Alaina is nowhere near as smarmy as McCreery, who always seems to regard his passable talents as exceptional. Alaina is earnest, pouring her heart into generic celebrations of the New South, name-dropping Alan Jackson and Jason Aldean, diesel trucks, John Deeres, Sunday mornings, a mother’s love, country boys in blue jeans and T-shirts, everything outside of sweet tea that makes small southern towns great. Byron Gallimore, who previously produced Sugarland and Faith Hill, gives Wildflower an appealing gloss that helps disguise the ordinariness of the material along with any of Alaina's shortcomings, and that slickness serves Wildflower well, making it a much more enjoyable piece of product than McCreery's Clear as Day.

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