By Holly Smith
This EP may well be an accurate reflection of a large portion of your twenties. But for Alana’s sake, let's hope she got to experience some of the hedonism too - and that we get to hear more about it next time.
1. you don't deserve a country song
2. if you love me now
3. caught up to me
4. goodbye looks good on you (ft. Mitchell Tenpenny)
5. tennessee is mine
6. shoulder to cry on
Can there be too many songs about heartbreak? Arguably, no. Careers have, and continue to be, made by them. In country music in particular there is no theme more universal. And yet, is following up releases History of Breaking Up (Part One) and History of Breaking Up (Part Two), with another record of break-up songs the best showcase of your evident talent? Possibly not.
It’s frustrating, given that Alana Springsteen clearly has a pen for rich lyrical detail and an engaging vocal style, both of which are present on her new EP Twenty Something: Messing It Up.
'If You Love Me Now', the EP’s highlight, has a racing, road trip, heartland rock feel (though, to note, Alana is of no relation to The Boss), and agonisingly self-reflective lyrics like “You’ll think I’m the one / And when it’s all said and done / You’ll burn a hole in your boots running after me”.
“Take the California sun and take all those Georgia pines / All I’m asking for is one, you’ve got all the other 49”, she sings on 'Tennessee is Mine'. The way she softens the “a”s of “car” and “want” into “o”s on the meta 'You Don’t Deserve A Country Song' has a delivery surprisingly reminiscent of bands like Blink 182 or Sum 41 in the 00s.
There is nothing wrong with any of the songs on this record. In fact, the use of clever metaphors - whether that’s her tendency to end relationships like a getaway car on 'Caught Up To Me', or not knowing if it’s you or the car that’s having the breakdown on 'Shoulder To Cry On' (hard shoulder...get it?) - leaves you wondering what more of her experience of being a twenty-something messing it up Alana has yet to share with us.
In its dramatic and moody production, this EP may well be an accurate reflection of a large portion of your twenties. But for Alana’s sake, let's hope she got to experience some of the hedonism too - and that we get to hear more about it next time.
Twenty Something: Messing Up is out now via Columbia Records.