Lucy Hale Takes The Appealing 'Road Between': Track-By-Track Review

Album Review

"Pretty Little Liars" star Lucy Hale is more than just another actor trying to crossover into the music world. She's been singing most of her life, and before she started spending most of her days on sets, she placed in the top 5 of a one-and-done "American Idol" spinoff show called "American Juniors" at the age of 14.

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Her 11-song debut album "Road Between" is filled with powerful, catchy choruses and moments that display Hale's voice in many different ways. "A lot of people don't know Lucy the person," she recently told Billboard. "They just know me from characters I played. I think after listening to the album, they'll have a clearer idea of the kind of girl I am. It's really real." "Road Between" covers a lot of familiar country-ground, where relationships are at the core of most songs -- but above all, it sounds honest and wholesome. Here's a track-by-track breakdown of Lucy Hale's music debut.

1. "You Sound Good to Me"

Lucy Hale opens her debut album with an upbeat, positive guitar number that immediately shows off her the best part of "Road Between": her voice. We learn that the object of her affection sounds "like a melody" as Hale introduces her audience to the simple pop-country sound she favors.

2. "From the Backseat": This tune is one of the more nostalgic numbers of "Road Between," and is a great example of Hale's storytelling prowess. At first, the song sounds a bit R-rated, as she confesses she's "learning to love from the backseat," but if anything, it's a trip down simpler times in the country.

3. "Nervous Girls"

Hale told Billboard this is one of her favorite songs, saying it's about knowing "it's okay not to be okay." It's a redemptive ballad that shows Hale hasn't become out of touch surrounded by so much Hollywood glamor she's been engulfed in during her day job on "Pretty Little Liars."

4. "Red Dress" (Featuring Joe Nichols): "Road Between" is certainly a showcase for Hale's singing, but "Red Dress," a classic-sounding country duet, makes room to showcase Joe Nichols. His deep voice pairs well with hers, and it's one of the more purely romantic moments on the album.

5. "Goodbye Gone": "Goodbye Gone" is Hale's attempt at a country-rock, quasi-revenge anthem in the vein of Carrie Underwood or Miranda Lambert, where she's getting even via stealing her ex's Trans Am. In this case, getting over cheaters might not be Hale's strong suit.

6. "Kiss Me"

Like a lot of pop-country artists, Hale likes to focus on relationship perils, and "Kiss Me" features on of her best lines, as she confesses "Don't you know I want you with me and it ain't just cause I'm tipsy."

7. "Road Between": The title track is a tender power ballad about breaking down, being in the "middle of the madness" and finding yourself. Like "Nervous Girls," it's a guitar-driven song about empowerment.

8. "Lie a Little Better": At times Hale sounds a bit like Shania Twain, and this song channels the country icon in fine form. It's a pounding, giddy guitar number that pits the words and music as opposites -- despite the fun, spunky arrangement, it's really about playing coy around someone you want, and failing at it.

9. "That's What I Call Crazy": Hale's songs don't feature many tales of debauchery, but this tune delves a bit into the drinking and cursing -- in a playful, harmless way, of course. The song was co-written by Kacey Musgraves and sounds ready-made for country radio.

10. "Love Tonight": As the album winds down, it's clear that Hale loves singing about love -- but on "Love Tonight," she's exploring that time-honored tradition of ill-advised hook-ups. It's an amusing, funky song about a quick fling, fleeting moments and bad decisions.

11. "Just Another Song": "Road Between" ends with a number Hale co-wrote, and it's one of the album's best. "Just Another Song" starts off as a simple-sounding folk tune about how life is great when the dishes are done, but opens up into one of the more personal moments of the record, with gorgeous orchestration in the background as Hale wrestles through getting over someone. It's proof she's more than just a "Pretty Little Liar," and potentially our next big country obsession.


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