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Song Reviews

Song Reviews - Page 4

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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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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Henningsens
Arista Nashville
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The Henningsens, ‘American Beautiful’ – Song Review

As the country group category continues to run over with talent, it will become more and more difficult for newcomers to claim an original style. The Henningsens don't have to worry about this. The father-dauther-son trio's new song 'American Beautiful' is a fresh breath of cool country air that doesn't stray too far from the proven. It's song that could work in the same way 'Hip to My Heart' worked for the Band Perry in 2009, as more of an introduction to a talented trio than a hit in the making. 

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Miranda Lambert
Mark Davis, Getty Images
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Miranda Lambert, ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’ – Song Review

Dark and volatile are this year's black in country music, and Miranda Lambert reminds fans she is still the lead diva of danger with a new single called 'Mama's Broken Heart.' Her performance is every bit as enjoyably unstable as previous hits like 'Kerosene' and 'Gunpowder and Lead.' When she's mercurial, she's magic. 

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Darius Rucker
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
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Darius Rucker, ‘Wagon Wheel’ – Song Review

On 'Wagon Wheel,' Darius Rucker brings his signature sense of urgency to a modern classic that has been living just beneath the surface of mainstream success for nearly a decade. Old Crow Medicine Show turned the song into a gold single. Rucker's version -- although more polished than the original -- will have equal success in a fraction of the eight years it took OCMS.

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Easton Corbin
Merucry Nashville
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Easton Corbin, ‘All Over the Road’ – Song Review

It didn't take much -- maybe just a pinch or a skosh -- but the spice added to Easton Corbin's new song 'All Over the Road' will leave fans and followers looking at him a bit differently. It's wholesome enough to be mother-approved, but saucy enough to leave daughters interested.

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Tim McGraw
Jason Kempin, Getty Images
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Tim McGraw, ‘Mary and Joseph’ – Song Review

Tim McGraw could make a pretty strong Christmas album if he chose to do so. His new release 'Mary and Joseph' is a creative -- but not too creative -- interpretation of the story of Jesus' birth. McGraw tells it like he's told the best stories of his two decade-long career, with a sweet reverence for the struggles his characters are living through.

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LeAnn Rimes
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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LeAnn Rimes, ‘Borrowed’ – Song Review

LeAnn Rimes might be making some of the best music of her life, but songs like her new single 'Borrowed' won't help her threadbare tie to radio. The first single from her upcoming 'Spitfire' album tells the story of the early days of her romance with Eddie Cibrian. A more caustic subject may not exist.

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Toby Keith
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Toby Keith, ‘Hope on the Rocks’ – Song Review

The title track to Toby Keith's 'Hope on the Rocks' album shows the singer's genuine understanding of the nuanced relationships between bartenders and their regulars. But it's not just barkeeps that will relate to the ballad. Servers, liquor store clerks, the dry cleaner, radio DJs... anyone who provides a service and a set of open ears will appreciate his story.

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