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Song Reviews

Song Reviews

Dierks Bentley
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
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Dierks Bentley (Feat. Kacey Musgraves), ‘Bourbon in Kentucky’ – Song Review

Dierks Bentley breaks from his longtime producer Brett Beavers to record his new single 'Bourbon in Kentucky.' Sonically, the song is more experimental than anything the Batman and Robin duo put together. Beavers and Bentley's best work shook like a rattlesnake or pierced deep into the veins with a heartbreaking poison capable of inducing painful flashbacks of past relationships. Few have been as successful over the past decade.

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Keith Urban
Larry Busacca, Getty Images
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Keith Urban, ‘Little Bit of Everything’ – Song Review

Perhaps it should be no surprise that after five months spent judging 'American Idol,' Keith Urban has delivered his most pop-friendly single to date in 'Little Bit of Everything.' The talented singer and guitarist uses tricks in production that a less established singer would be skewered for. The result is a delightful summer jam that's short on nutritional content.

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Lauren Alaina
Mercury Nashville
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Lauren Alaina, ‘Barefoot and Buckwild’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Meet the new Lauren Alaina. With just a few weeks of her senior year of high school remaining, the singer introduces a grown-up new look, grown-up style and grown-up attitude with her latest single, 'Barefoot and Buckwild.' It's especially difficult to find songs that fit when you're short on life experience, so the one-time 'American Idol' runner-up wrote her own ...

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Joe Nichols
RedBow Records
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Joe Nichols, ‘Sunny and 75′ – Song Review

Joe Nichols' voice always has a way of putting one in a trance, and his performance on the new single 'Sunny and 75' is no less effective. He's pure country gold, and when he's paired with a great song, there are few surer things in Nashville.

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Lady Antebellum
Capitol Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Lady Antebellum, ‘Golden’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

The best moments on Lady Antebellum's fourth album 'Golden' find Charles Kelley or Hillary Scott singing solo, with minimal help from the other on harmonies. There is no shortage of songs that act as features for the two talented vocalists. The evolution of the trio finds them becoming a dual threat super power instead of a two-headed pop-rock-country group.

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Eric Paslay
EMI Nashville
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Eric Paslay, ‘Friday Night’ – Song Review

Eric Paslay's new single 'Friday Night' genuinely feels like a carefree, summertime Friday night. It's wide-open, catchy and easy to fall in love with, even if it's not exactly crammed full of tangible memories. Paslay puts his stamp on this uptempo pop-country cut. His performance is charming without becoming distracting.

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Joanna Smith
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Joanna Smith, ‘Girls Are Crazy’ – Song Review

In general, songs that paint an entire group of people with one broad brush stroke don't fare well on country radio, but Joanna Smith is hoping to prove 'em wrong with her new single 'Girls Are Crazy.' The peppy new track is fun and flirty, and a short hop backward for women in country music.

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Lee Brice
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Lee Brice, ‘Parking Lot Party’ – Song Review

Songs like Lee Brice's new single 'Parking Lot Party' are easy to dismiss. It doesn't pack near as much punch as 'I Drive Your Truck,' but that's far from his intent. The South Carolina-raised singer is looking to add to the tailgate soundtrack, and at this he's successful. 

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Chris Cagle
YouTube
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Chris Cagle, ‘Dance Baby Dance’ – Song Review

'Dance Baby Dance' is one of the finest songs of Chris Cagle's career -- perhaps his best ballad. A few fathers (and maybe a couple of mothers) will be wiping away tears before the end of the first verse. He hits that sweet spot between familiar and hokey. 

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Brad Paisley
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Brad Paisley, ‘Wheelhouse’ – Album Review

Brad Paisley's 'Wheelhouse' delivers a familiar mix of humor, life lessons and scorching guitar solos, but it does it in a way different from any of the other eight albums the 'Beat This Summer' singer has released. He took his old formula, balled it up, lit it on fire and tossed the ashes in the garbage. The result is a meaty and ambitious project that doesn't always click, but clears new ground when it does.

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Weston Burt
Hit Shop Records
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Weston Burt, ‘Lucky Sometimes’ – Song Review

Newcomer Weston Burt's debut single 'Lucky Sometimes' aims right down the middle and hits the mark. The upbeat, head-over-heels love song is easy to find yourself singing along with before the first spin is complete. Listen again to hear him flex a little vocal muscle in the most subtle ways.

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Blake Shelton
Warner Music Nashville
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Blake Shelton, ‘Boys ‘Round Here’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

There is comedy in Blake Shelton singing with Pistol Annies, as he does on his new single 'Boys 'Round Here.' One imagines a country Hugh Hefner surrounded by his beauties. In real life, the Annies likely (very likely) don't attend to his every need and agree with him at all costs, but they do on this song, and it's absolutely charming. 

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