9 Songs, 31 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Recorded when she was 19, Tiffany Alvord’s sophomore studio album finds the Southern California songstress setting her sights on the sort of Nashville-flavored country-pop that’s harvested from competitive-singing reality shows. With equal parts Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift (and ample helpings of Golden State sunshine), Alvord opens 2012’s My Heart Is with “The Breakdown,” an empowering and uplifting anthem tailored for those whose broken hearts need strength and mending. Where the first song sets the tone with a mature wisdom on how to grow from being dumped, the title track bursts at the seams with teenage energy. She flexes some ballad muscle in “Never Been Better,” an amorous serenade for that guy who rescued Alvord from the antagonist of the album’s opening number. “So Alive” cranks up the electric guitars and rocks out with chugging riffs, melodious leads, and a melody loaded with enough barbed hooks to make it a hit-in-waiting. Conversely, the gently strummed acoustic guitars in “Never Lover Boy” conjure Swift’s early tendency to muse on a first crush.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Recorded when she was 19, Tiffany Alvord’s sophomore studio album finds the Southern California songstress setting her sights on the sort of Nashville-flavored country-pop that’s harvested from competitive-singing reality shows. With equal parts Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift (and ample helpings of Golden State sunshine), Alvord opens 2012’s My Heart Is with “The Breakdown,” an empowering and uplifting anthem tailored for those whose broken hearts need strength and mending. Where the first song sets the tone with a mature wisdom on how to grow from being dumped, the title track bursts at the seams with teenage energy. She flexes some ballad muscle in “Never Been Better,” an amorous serenade for that guy who rescued Alvord from the antagonist of the album’s opening number. “So Alive” cranks up the electric guitars and rocks out with chugging riffs, melodious leads, and a melody loaded with enough barbed hooks to make it a hit-in-waiting. Conversely, the gently strummed acoustic guitars in “Never Lover Boy” conjure Swift’s early tendency to muse on a first crush.

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