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Album Reviews

Album Reviews

Luke Bryan
Capitol Nashville
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Luke Bryan, ‘Crash My Party’ – Album Review

Luke Bryan plays it safe on 'Crash My Party,' his new album and the follow-up to the tremendously successful 'Tailgates and Tanlines.' With the exception of the infusion of hip-hop on two songs, there is little to differentiate the two projects.

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Darius Rucker
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
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Darius Rucker, ‘True Believers’ – Album Review

Darius Rucker sings with more energy than a nuclear power plant, but his new album 'True Believers' is safer than solar power. He captures the spirit of his live show -- one of the best in the business -- on each of the 12 tracks, but one yearns for for something unique and unexpected. 

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Trace-Akdins
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Album Spotlight: Trace Adkins, ‘Love Will …’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

The idea behind Trace Adkins' new album 'Love Will ...' makes so much sense you almost wonder why he hadn't done it sooner. This collection of love songs is as obvious as the tagless T-shirt, yet for years we went without both.

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Granger Smith
Granger Smith
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Granger Smith, ‘Dirt Road Driveway’ – Album Review

If you look back over Granger Smith's early album covers, you'll find that he presented himself as a hat act. Sonically he's come a long way since those efforts, with his latest album 'Dirt Road Driveway' falling squarely in the singer-songwriter sub-genre of country music. It's an album that would sound best at a coffee house, not a honky tonk. 

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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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Taylor Swift
Big Machine Records
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Taylor Swift, ‘Red’ – Album Review

Taylor Swift's new album, 'Red,' doesn't provide much to quiet the haters who will forever accuse her of being "too pop." It's inaccurate to say she leans that way on most of the 16 new songs. That tower in Pisa leans. Swift is in a pike position diving toward sugary waters. 

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Atlantic/Home Grown/Bigger PIcture
Atlantic/Home Grown/Bigger PIcture
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Zac Brown Band, ‘Uncaged’ – Album Review

On paper, ‘Uncaged’ should not work as an album, let alone a country music album. The new release from Zac Brown Band redefines “something for everybody.” Country, reggae, bedroom R&B… Brown and his ever-growing motley crew stretch the Nashville sound further than any other artist. If they weren’t so talented, this project would fall apart long before the title-track.

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MCA Nashville
MCA Nashville
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Josh Turner, ‘Punching Bag’ – Album Review

Josh Turner‘s booming bass voice has never sounded better than on songs from his fifth studio album ‘Punching Bag,’ in stores June 12. However, it’s not enough to lift many of the tracks past mediocre.

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