Lauren Alaina: ‘UNLOCKED’ – EP Review

Lauren Alaina releases her new EP, UNLOCKED, out now, June 9th, on all streaming platforms. Listen to the brand new EP below.

While Lauren Alaina has consistently released music since landing the runner up spot on American Idol back in 2010, the Georgia native promises to be her most authentic self yet on her new EP, out now. With the release of Unlocked, produced by super-hitmaker Joey Moi, Alaina marks her debut project with Big Loud Records.

Featuring songs co-written by the likes of Josh Osborne, Cole Swindell, Zach Crowell, Parker Welling, and more, the six song project features some of Alaina’s most personal music to date. “It’s been 13 years since we first met, and until a couple of years ago, I don’t know that I ever slowed down for more than a day or two at a time. I spent more time with the people that matter most to me – my family, my fiancé, my friends – during that period than I had in years,” she reveals in a statement. “This music comes from my heart and my hometown. I am who I am because of where and who I come from, and I’m more me today than I’ve ever been. I can’t wait to unlock this next chapter with you.”

On the follow up to 2021’s Sitting Pretty On Top Of The World, Alaina finds herself dealing with a breakup, moving on, attempting to be the bigger person, and looking inward. Her first offering comes in the form of “A Walk in the Bar,” which serves as the EP’s first single and first track. Here, she offers a piece of anthemic country pop that perfectly pairs twangy instrumentation with clever lyrics. For Alaina, moving on isn’t a walk in the park, but instead “A Walk in the Bar,” both literally and figuratively.

“Thicc as Thieves” pairs Alaina with Lainey Wilson on the tongue-in-cheek ode to their curvaceous figures that samples Luke Bryan’s classic “Country Girl (Shake It For Me).” On the up-tempo duet, the pair trade verses on what is bound to be a surefire hit.

“We’re thicker than our accents // Thicker than our hair // Thicker than the Georgia and Louisiana air // Thicker than molasses from the patches to the seams // Stealing hearts is in our jeans // Us southern girls // We’re thicc as thieves // We’re thicc as thieves”

Both “Smaller Than this Town” and “Hangovers” find the singer moving on from a broken relationship, lamenting “Smaller the town, bigger the heartbreak.” Meanwhile, on “Hangovers,” Alaina explores the more raspy side of her voice, a juxtaposition of breezy music mixed with downtrodden lyrics. Here, she wishes that heartache was more like a hangover, easier to get over. 

Likewise, she’s moving on on “Like Her,” which finds her liking someone she was determined to hate. It’s an uber-relatable which finds her admitting, “If it weren’t for you, hell we’d be friends.”

Alaina slows things down on “Don’t Judge a Woman,” which is an immediate standout and poignant moment on the album, a necessary reminder not to judge a book by its cover or a “woman by her man.”

“Maybe he’s a phase // Maybe he’s a rebound // Might’ve been the one or a one night stand // Maybe he’s a nice guy but only on the inside // And she’s tried to leave him but maybe she can’t // You ain’t in the heels she’s walking in // So don’t judge a book by its cover or a woman by her man.”

The Grand Ole Opry member took to social media to share “My heart is completely Unlocked with this new project,” promising that “this is just the beginning.”If the EP is any indication of what is still to come, we can’t wait.

UNLOCKED Track List:
  1. A Walk In The Bar (Lauren Alaina, Casey Brown, Lydia Vaughan, Parker Welling)
  2. Hangovers (John Byron, Greylan James, Josh Osborne, Matt Roy)
  3. Don’t Judge A Woman (Autumn McEntire, Joybeth Taylor, Sarah Allison Turner)
  4. Smaller The Town (Zach Crowell, Joel Hutsell, Cole Swindell, Hunter Phelps)
  5. Like Her (Trannie Anderson, Joe Fox, Emily Landis, Ella Langley)
  6. Thicc As Thieves (feat. Lainey Wilson) (Lauren Alaina, Rocky Block, Luke Bryan, Dallas Davidson, Jacob Durrett, Parker Welling)

Lauren Alaina’s new EP, UNLOCKED is out now on all streaming platforms.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Lauren Alaina releases.

Lauren Alaina will be hitting the road with Pentatonix this summer, with a stop at New Jersey’s PNC Bank Arts Center on August 20.

To keep up with Lauren Alaina, follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

UNLOCKED is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.