I’ll be completely honest up front when I say I am not a fan of “Road Less Traveled.” The first time I heard the song I thought wow this sounds exactly like that Meghan Trainor song “All About That Bass.” Only this week did I actually realize the song was co-written by Meghan Trainor and busbee which explains a lot since it’s a pop song. But regardless of the origins of this song in particular, how did Lauren Alaina get to this point and where can her career go moving forward?
Well, Alaina gained national attention on the former singing competition show American Idol where she finished second to another country artist Scotty Mcreery. As many on these singing competition shows have realized over the years, being on or even winning one of these shows really doesn’t mean a whole lot. In fact, many of the competitors often fade off into obscurity and have very little radio success. In the case of Lauren Alaina, she released her debut album way back in 2011 called Wildflower. Not one of the three singles released from that album made it higher than 28 on the charts. Then in 2013 as you might expect Alaina began working on her sophomore album releasing 2 singles to country radio which both failed to gain any traction at radio.
It looked like Alaina’s radio career was in jeopardy despite her only being now 22 until IHeart Radio named Road Less Traveled their next On The Verge pick. For those of you that don’t know, On The Verge essentially guarantee’s that a song will be a big hit because, IHeart affiliate stations will spin the crap out of it. The momentum from On The Verge has continued for Alaina with the song cresting atop the airplay charts this week becoming her first number 1 song.
Lauren Alaina released her sophomore album Road Less Traveled on January 27th and I gave it one listen before making the decision not to review it. I was ultimately turned off by how pop the album was and with so much great music out there to be reviewed I made the decision to devote my time to other works. But that’s not to say there weren’t some good songs on her album, 1 of which is one of the best songs of the year “Same Day Different Bottle.”
So now that “Road Less Traveled” is officially number 1, the next steps for her and her label are crucial to not blowing the momentum that was granted to them. It appears that the choices for single #2 are between “Three,” “Doin’ Fine” and “My Kinda People.” As you all know, radio does not like to give women spins unless their name is Ballerini or Underwood. The next single will give us a pretty clear answer if Alaina has any staying power or if this was just the result of good fortune.