If you haven’t been living under a rock these past few years and have any contact with any girls ages 10 to 20, you probably have heard of Pretty Little Liars, ABC Family’s hit phenomenon show that everyone is always talking about, with that elusive “A” character. If you need a refresher, it’s a teen-girl show that has pretty much captured America by storm, and features four girl actresses. All the actresses have a different look and feel, yet each one as beloved as the next. Obviously, they all have their own separate lives outside of filming a television show, and for Lucy Hale, the actress that plays Aria Montgomery, that outside life is a country music career.
This is quite a jump, and really, it doesn’t make all that much sense to me. Absolutely none of her lifestyle exudes country. At all. If I had to guess which of the four actresses would make a run for their money in singing, she would probably be my last guess. It simply does not fit. And I have said before how much I detest those whose careers are floundering and they try to be a duo star. Both singing and acting, and sometimes modeling, writing, and dancing are thrown in there as well. So with all my prejudices and expectations to be let down, here is what I found.
When Lucy Hale premiered her first single off her album Road Between, the track chosen was “You Sound Good To Me,” and I was pleasantly surprised. I watched her sing it live on one of the countless talk shows she did to promote her album, and she can sing. And well, too. She held her own on stage and although she struggled through some of the verses, she did well in the choruses, and her stage presence is good. It is clear she is comfortable on stage, and in this case, that helps her tremendously.
At times, she sounds auto-tuned and very, very pop country, heavy on the pop, light on the country, but nonetheless, she pulls it off. The songs that falter a little are “Nervous Girls” and “That’s What I Call Crazy.” She sounds like she is trying to hard to strain her voice to prove she is country, rendering the auto-tuning necessary to complete certain tracks and make them sound consistent with the rest of the album.
Levels of country are added when guest stars sing with Hale. The more seasoned country stars and voices elevate certain tracks above others. It is not Hale’s fault that these songs are better, it is simply experience, and she will get there. She does have the capability to be great, she simply needs to fine-tune her sound to become more distinct and find exactly what she wants to sound like. She pulls off country with help, and because of the help, those songs are stronger. My personal favorites on the album are her first single “You Sound Good To Me,” “Red Dress,” featuring Joe Nichols, and “Loved.” All the songs are sung with heart and I give her an A for effort, just not complete execution. The more she sings and writes, I feel confident the stronger her music will grow, but for her first album, I am by all means impressed. Not as many people are as famous when they first release an album and have to grow to that fame, so their initial music is under less scrutiny. For a girl in the eye of the world, and her fan base being young adult girls, I would say she did an excellent job and pleased everyone all around. She is simply not a hardcore country artist, and unfortunately, probably never will be.
Written by Alaina Stevenson