Lauren Alaina, 'Wildflower'
Kids dominated “American Idol” this year, led by a pair of Southern teenagers: winner Scotty McCreery and this brassy-voiced, 16-year-old runner-up. Alaina’s debut album is pretty much what you’d expect from the girl who auditioned with a Faith Hill song: an appealing but ultimately safe collection of slick, modern country-pop anthems, larded with clichés about family values, big city dreams, rural romance and zippy choruses with just enough steel guitar to land on country radio. Alaina over-sings lead single “Like My Mother Does” like she’s still trying to impress the judges, but for the most part, she does a respectable job with what is unfortunately not A-game material from some of Nashville’s A-list songwriters. –AH
Official website: http://www.laurenalainaofficial.com/