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Reviews

Tate Stevens
RCA Nashville
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Tate Stevens, ‘Power of a Love Song’ – Song Review

'X Factor' winner Tate Stevens plays it safe with his debut country single. 'Power of a Love Song' is a soaring ballad that showcases his vocal talents -- Stevens is a truly fine vocalist -- but prevents him from revealing the slightest bit of personality to those who didn't watch the Fox television show. 

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Gary Allan
MCA Nashville
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Gary Allan, ‘Pieces’ – Song Review

If Gary Allan's chart-topper 'Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)' was optimistic, his follow-up single 'Pieces' is downright plucky. The uptempo country-rocker may be the most contented single he's ever released.

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(Photos by Astrid Stawiarz & Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
(Photos by Astrid Stawiarz & Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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Critic Rex Reed Slams Melissa McCarthy’s Movie and Weight

According to Wikipedia, Film criticism is "the analysis and evaluation of films, individually and collectively. In general, this can be divided into journalistic criticism that appears regularly in newspapers, and other popular, mass-media outlets and academic criticism by film scholars that is informed by film theory and published in journals."  But one critic seems to believe that includes attacking the film's

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Kenny Chesney
Donald Bowers, Getty Images
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Kenny Chesney, ‘Pirate Flag’ – Song Review

From the first note, one knows the new single from Kenny Chesney's upcoming album is filled with more hope than much of the pensive material on 'Welcome to the Fishbowl.' 'Pirate Flag' opens softly -- with strings and a bouncy mandolin -- before Chesney begins to tell his story. 

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Greg Bates
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Greg Bates, ‘Fill in the Blank’ – Song Review

Greg Bates flashes a mischievous sense of humor in his new single 'Fill in the Blank.' The 'Did It for the Girl' hitmaker is proving to be from the George Strait school of music, but he must have taken a Master Class on Tracy Byrd somewhere along the way.

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Parmalee
Stoney Creek Records
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Parmalee, ‘Carolina’ – Song Review

"Polished" is not a word one would have used to describe Parmalee after the North Carolina foursome shared their debut single 'Musta Had a Good Time' in 2012, but the rowdy country rockers' follow-up single 'Carolina' is as radio-friendly of a track as you'll find. It's not clear that either style is a perfect fit for the Thomas brothers and their bandmates.

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Lady Antebellum
Capitol Nashville
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Lady Antebellum, ‘Downtown’ – Song Review

Lady Antebellum have never been funkier than on their new single 'Downtown' -- the first from the trio's upcoming fourth studio album. A guitar lick postmarked 1962 steers the song and pushes the band in an exciting new direction.

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Randy Houser
Stoney Creek Records
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Randy Houser, ‘How Country Feels’ – Album Review

Randy Houser comes in from the edges of country music with his third album 'How Country Feels' -- his first on new label Stoney Creek Records. The singer wrote just seven of the project's 15 cuts, but employed many of Nashville's top songwriters to help with the others.

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Jake Owen
RCA Nashville
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Jake Owen, ‘Anywhere With You’ – Song Review

Jake Owen found his niche with songs from the 'Barefoot Blue Jean Night' album, but the unidirectional theme is wearing thin with the arrival of his new single 'Anywhere With You.' There's a thread of spontaneity and nostalgia throughout all of Owen's most recent hits. He is the essence of carefree, which is refreshing... but no longer surprising. 

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Billy Ray Cyrus
Slaven Vlasic, Getty Images
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Billy Ray Cyrus, ‘Hillbilly Heart’ – Song Review

Billy Ray Cyrus evokes sounds of the Mississippi Delta with his new single 'Hillbilly Heart.' The song leans against a big, bad, foot-stompin' guitar lick before the singer reveals his best blues voice. The result is ugly ... in a good way. 

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Charlie Worsham
Warner Brothers
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Charlie Worsham, ‘Could It Be’ – Song Review

Charlie Worsham has released his first single, 'Could It Be,' but he's far from a country newcomer. The singer and songwriter has been working up and down Broadway for years, and practically has an entire industry cheering for him. His debut effort takes no chances -- the Mississippi-born, Boston-educated Nashvillian delivers a steady, dependable effort that reminds one of a young Keith Urban.

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Kristen Kelly
Arista Nashville
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Kristen Kelly, ‘He Loves to Make Me Cry’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

After listening to Kristen Kelly's new single 'He Loves to Make Me Cry,' one can be forgiven for trolling the internet to find out who first recorded it. The soulful ballad has a classic feel, meaning it surely must have come from another era... right? 

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