Tim McGraw - Better Than I Used to Be
Sammy Kershaw did this song first, and at least slightly better, but a good song is a good song. It fits the singer, the singer performs the song more than adequately and the song has some weight and a memorable melody. That might be a low standard, but given the context of today's country charts, this is a modern classic. And honestly, I can't turn the station if it's on.
Easton Corbin - Lovin' You is Fun
George Strait v. 2.0 delivers yet another earworm. This guy has a great voice and seems to have a great ear for songs. Lyrically, this would be completely cheesy sung by someone else, but it works with Easton. Catchy, melodious and accessible to anyone who'd still be caught dead listening to Top 40 radio. I'm hoping his album tackles some weightier subject matter and songwriting, but I can't deny this is a good tune.
Chris Young - Neon
The best real country song getting airplay nowadays. It's rising verrrrry slowly up the charts. Hopefully it will follow the success of Alan Jackson's "So You Don't Have to Love Me Anymore" and prove just too damn good not to play…. even though country radio secretly wishes songs of this ilk would disappear forever. It's poetic, catchy and sung with all the baritone country soul Chris Young possesses ….and it mentions Johnny Lee. Can't ask for much more than that on the airwaves these days.
Chris Cagle - Got My Country On
I already reviewed this months ago, and hoped it would die a slow death. Unfortunately, here it is in the top 15 and still rising. You know the script by now: trucks, boots, "what I'm made of" sentiment, cowboy hats, Johnny Cash. Bullshit. Chris Cagle has a decent voice and has released some pretty good songs throughout his choppy career, but this isn't one of them. It's a transparent swipe at getting back to relevance, and it's working. Pure, undiluted garbage.
Andy Gibson - Wanna Make You Love Me
I'll make fun of the pretty Andy Gibson at any given chance. "Old people make me cry" is the opening line. 'nuff said. As listing songs go, this is as vague a thread as possible. He lists what certain people and things make him want to do. Seriously. And it's so Lifetime-reality show ready, it's not even funny. I'm a romantic for the most part, and have even been called whipped by friends at times… but this goes beyond the call of duty in pledging love. Give me a break, Andy. This song makes Chuck Wicks sound like Waylon Jennings. Claim your sack back, Andy.
Hunter Hayes - Wanted
Maybe I'm too old, or too far gone from enjoying most pop-country, but this is nearly unlistenable. Maybe it's just that he sounds so much like Gary Levox, you know… Pavlov's dog and all. Some people say there's no denying Hunter Hayes' talent. Is his talent sucking? Just because one is "proficient" at playing instruments and sings in a voice that is pleasing to young girls, that doesn't mean one possesses a universally appreciated skill-set. I'm pretty funny and I do the Photoshop okay, and I can write a decent review at times, but that doesn't mean I'm the most talented blogger in the blogosphere (far from it). Different strokes for different folks and this stroke ain't for me.