Alana Springsteen – TWENTY SOMETHING: Messing It Up EP

Columbia Records

Release Date: March 24th 2023

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

Alana Springsteen– TWENTY SOMETHING: Messing It Up EP (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  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 (feat. Mitchell Tenpenny)
  5. Tennessee Is Mine
  6. Shoulder To Cry On

Ever since 2019 and our ever-on-going blog series (which we’re still in the middle of!), I’ve been branching out and listening to music that I wouldn’t normally in the past. And I’ve found that ‘mainstream’ music, which was marketed to me as ‘bad’ and ‘evil’, actually isn’t. These people who are singing songs for the mainstream media, are just people, and ordinary people like you and me. Country music is the genre (apart from CCM), which I have been most hard-hit by in a good away, and I’ve found that I’ve resonated greatly with artists like Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett, Shania Twain, Lindsay Ell, Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, Runaway June, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, Lady A, Tenille Townes, Tenille Arts, Maddie & Tae, Mickey Guyton, Walker Hayes, Carly Pearce, Lauren Alaina, Gabby Barrett and even Taylor Swift. Even though I’m not American, it is these artists above who have helped place this genre in a special place in my heart. And as we’ve reviewed country albums over the years and seem God move in ways beyond imagination and comprehension with these artists, and as we’ve seen God be praised and given the glory in the marketplace; here we are in 2023 with another ‘new-ish’ artist and her heartfelt, honest, inspiring, vulnerable, and poignant music. Alana Springsteen (no relation to Bruce! Go figure… do we really believe they’re not related somehow? Is Bruce a long-lost uncle or something like that?) has released her brand-new EP TWENTY SOMETHING: Messing It Up (the first in 3 EP’s resulting in her full-length debut album releasing soon!). And boy, let me tell you, Alana’s release in super deep and meaningful, and inspiring to the max as well.

The past two years have been so eye-opening. I’ve been on this journey of really getting to know myself, and your 20s can be an emotional rollercoaster. There’s a lot of things that happen. You’re taking chances, really getting to know yourself for the first time. And I’ve just been writing my way through it.

So far I’ve messed it up most when it comes to matters of the heart, falling for the wrong guys, missing red flags. There’s times when I’m making mistakes and feeling like I’m doing everything wrong and not trusting my gut. And then I have periods where I’m figuring things out, and hopefully all of that leads to moments where you’re just getting it right and you’re living in the moment.

[for the lead single “You Don’t Deserve A Country Song”], I just had this perspective of, ‘You know what? I’m not going to let this person take any more than they’ve already taken from me.’ I would say Messing It Up is from a more self-aware, mature place, even to the point of recognizing my own part in those relationships ending. It takes two people a lot of times to get things wrong and it’s on both sides, and I’m coming face to face with that.

It’s hard for a name to be the only thing people see when they judge you. But Alana faces this every day, yet in this release (and I’m sure with other releases!), she lets the music do the talking. Usually with country albums and songs, we are treated with a slew of vulnerable and thought-provoking tracks, and it’s no different with Alana’s music. Opening track “You Don’t Deserve A Country Song” is a stick-em-up, no-holds-barred melody directed to her ex, with Alana reiterating that he doesn’t deserve a country song written about him when he doesn’t hold a place in her heart at the moment. Usually in country songs, there’s a trope around that there’s a song written about an ex where the persona is yearning for their previous relationship and that they’re still not over their ex. But in this song, Alana reminds us that some relationships just end and there is no yearning and there is no ‘getting over’ the other person. Sometimes people drift apart, and there’s no reason to sing a song about a person, simply because you don’t love them anymore. it’s a catchy, powerful melody, and Alana’s vocals are impressive and extremely captivating. Following on from the highly radio-friendly EP opener, is the emotional and heartbreaking “If You Love Me Now”; and as Alana sings from the point of view of someone unwilling to commit to any relationship for whatever reason, we are presented with an honest portrayal of sadness and melancholy, as the song is about someone warning their significant other that they ultimately can’t give them want in the long run.

The rest of the EP speaks about a myriad of issues, as Alana navigates her way through her 20’s and through life while ‘messing it up’ along the way, as evidenced by the EP title. “Caught Up To Me” is a ballad highlighting mental health and the feelings when you’ve finally acknowledged that the end of a relationship was partially your own fault because of reasons and situations that may have been in your control; while “Goodbye Looks Good On You”, sung with Mitchell Tenpenny, is a stirring and moving melody where Alana champions amicable breakups over messy breakups. “Tennessee Is Mine”, a hard-hitting ballad, speaks about the persona entering into a relationship and telling the other person that a certain state of America means something to them and that they are at home in that state, and that the other person should play by their rules while in that state (or maybe it’s an allegory for treating women right in general?); while the EP ends with “Shoulder To Cry On”, where Alana outlines that she needs a shoulder to cry on when finding out that her ex has moved on with someone else.

Part two is also just getting to know myself. And a lot of these songs still, to this day when I listen, make me a little uncomfortable. But I actually think that’s a good thing because your 20s can be messy, but this is the part of life that makes me stronger.

I’m a single white male, so Alana Springsteen’s music shouldn’t resonate with me that much. But it does! Who would’ve thought. But anyway, Alana’s vocals are crazy awesome, and you all need to listen to this EP so that you can get into the mind of a 20-something year old and into the mind of someone from this generation. TWENTY SOMETHING: Messing It Up reminds us that it’s ok to fail at things when you are young (or at any age, actually!), because you can then get back up and start again. Alana has a brilliant career ahead of her, and I can’t wait to hear what is next. Well done, Alana, you deserve all the praise and then some more!

3 songs to listen to: You Don’t Deserve A Country Song, Goodbye Looks Good On You, Tennessee Is Mine

Score: 4.5/5

RIYL: Lindsay Ell, Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, Runaway June, Little Big Town

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *