Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Lauren Alaina – Doin’ Fine

I’d say a [6.11] is pretty fine…


Nortey Dowuona: It’s, well… doin’ fine. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Thomas Inskeep: This is co-written by Alaina, Emily Shackleton, and country-pop producer extraordinaire busbee — which is interesting, because lyrically, this is on a Kacey Musgraves record, not quite as complicated and considerably more pop, but still in that pocket. Hell, the opening line is “Daddy got sober/Mama got his best friend” — how Chambers is that? And the chorus’ opener is “I’m doin’ fine enough to know that everybody’s broken,” and for that alone I like this song plenty. Alaina, an Idol alum, is a fine singer and knows just how to bend her voice around these strong lyrics, and busbee (who’s most recently been behind the board for Maren Morris, Keith Urban, and Lady Antebellum) of course knows exactly what to do here for maximum impact. “Doin’ Fine” is actually more than fine.

Crystal Leww: Alaina’s album is uneven with the best stuff (mostly written by busbee) frontloaded into the beginning. However, “Daddy got sober; Momma got his best friend. I’ve cut down crying to every other weekend” is the most punk rock thing I’ve heard all year, and that’s enough to sustain “Doin’ Fine.” 

Katie Gill: Road Less Traveled is not really a good album, but “Doin’ Fine” is easily the best song off it. That chorus easily overpowers the typical sob-story background verses just because of the fact that it’s a chorus in a major country song that explores the complexities of mental health, pointing out the fact that hey, these things are rocky in the first place and sometimes you aren’t great, you’re just “fine.”

Ryo Miyauchi: While RaeLynn took us to the dead center of an aftermath of divorce, Lauren Alaina sets the details aside for the sake of a broader message: everyone’s a little broken. Her reach for universality leaves the story unfinished with a bit too many loose ends, but it writes hell of a redemptive chorus. 

William John: Lauren Alaina is hanging in there, just; “doin’ fine,” “not OK,” “alright.” One senses vulnerability has been cast aside to reach this point of nonchalance, and more interesting would’ve been an exploration of how she found herself at this point of heavily-caveatted solace. Instead, the song is steadfastly blank, with a dime-a-dozen country arrangement and a vocal performance that lacks the required dynamic grunt.

Alfred Soto: The chorus’ perfunctory enthusiasm doesn’t sound right. “For the first time in a while I’m doin’ fine” would sound devastating if the arrangement didn’t go for uplift; let the ironies ring a bit. Nevertheless, Lauren Alaina illuminates the intelligent verses, and boy would it sound terrific elbowing past Billy Currington.

Stephen Eisermann: The lyrics of this story are surprisingly strong for a song with such a pedestrian chorus, but the production does the song a major disservice. It’s loud, unnecessarily poppy, and it drowns out Lauren’s voice. I’m a fan of her voice to an extent, but I don’t think she has the conviction or drive to deliver more vocally difficult songs without sounding nasally and immature. Something about the cry in her voice is very young-sounding, and though that isn’t always a bad thing, it almost sounds too whiny in this song. I wonder how this would’ve sounded in a more capable singer’s hands, with a producer who understood that not all songs need an easy segue into pop remixes.

Josh Langhoff: Alaina reveals the family trauma lurking behind the well-worn coffee hour response — “Doin’ fine, how about yourself?” — and transforms it into a youth group-ready meditation on acknowledging human vulnerability as a vehicle for grace. Banjo and guitar solos impress without overstaying their welcome. So it’s a song about messiness tied up in neat bows. This song doesn’t crack the world open like the family trauma classic “Ode to Billy Joe,” but at least it’s not urging us to just try harder. 

Reader average: [8.5] (2 votes)

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4 Responses to “Lauren Alaina – Doin’ Fine”

  1. aw man, blurbing this song got me curious how her album is but it seems to not getting the best of reviews

  2. fwiw i quite liked her album, but it is a bit plain

  3. Her album is amazing all the way through. How dare anyone say it’s plain. Lauren is one of the most beautiful and talented singers to ever perform. She is right up there with Carrie Underwood! So proud of her !

  4. Sorry

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