With singing credentials from being a part of that failed attempt at creating kiddie American Idol stars and the third installment of the A Cinderella Story series (which focused on singing), it should’ve been obvious for Lucy Hale to go in a pop direction for her debut album. Instead she chose country, and while it wasn’t necessarily the worst decision, there is an overly cheesy Hannah Montana-like feel to her first single “You Sound Good to Me”. Maybe she’s trying to target her tween-y bopper fans who rush to their television sets to watch her on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars.
“You Sound Good to Me” is the typical country-pop track that has an overabundance of cheesy, honkytonk banjo, guitars and light drumming as well appropriately timed hand claps and over-the-top gospel-like choruses in the background. It’s pretty obvious that Hale is trying a little too hard to make her name as a country starlet purely based on the instrumentation of the song itself. The music actually sounds really similar to how Hunter Hayes styles his tracks (but it works a little better for him than Hale).
The lyrics don’t really help in making the track any better either. Cutesy descriptions like comparing the full moon to a spotlight and stating that everything her man says “got a real nice ring to it.” Plus, the chorus contains every possible country music cliche you can think of but with a total lack of personality. Lines like “it’s like ‘amen’ from the back of the choir/sweet hum of freedom underneath the tires/kicked back sittin’ by a cracklin’ fire/strumming them guitar strings” paired with the music just reinforces the truth that she is trying way too hard to be a country bumpkin.
While Hale has a relatively decent voice that has more depth than Taylor Swift‘s high-pitched, nasally chops, she should probably just stick to her day job as an actress. The lyrics lack originality. The stereotypical instrumentation drowns out her somewhat boring vocals. She pretty much sounds like a country knockoff of her doppelganger Selena Gomez (who just so happens to be on the same label and also has a knack of creating lyrically cheesy pop tracks). “You Sound Good to Me” isn’t necessarily the worst song ever created, but it does lack a certain star quality to it and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is quickly forgotten.