Showing posts with label "reviews". Show all posts
Showing posts with label "reviews". Show all posts

Oct 22, 2015

Carl Outlaw, Real Country Fan, Reviews Maddie & Tae "Shut Up & Fish"

Trailer likes these girls for some reason and so do a bunch of other wusses who want to give any singer with real instruments a pass and say their alot closer to real country then other stuff on POPCUNTRY radio. Who cares? Do you want a cookie for not rapping in you're damn song?

I never liked Maddy & Tay, never will. They suck. I don't care if they sang a song making fun of "bros," it was all for the money. They do not deserve any thought. At the end of the day there still shitty pop country. The only chicks singing real country now is NOBODY. Take your Kacey Musgrove and your Ashly Monrow and shove em up your ass with Taylor Swift as far as I'm concerned. They ain't never drove a big rig or worked a tug or plowed a row, so don't talk to me about them bein' country. Loretta Lin was the last real woman country singer cause she raised a mess of kids in a shack and whooped her husband's ass all the time.

Now, lets get into this song. LOL right. As if I'm listening to this. It's called "Shut Up and Fish" so you know its some corny bullshit from the title alone. Brad Paislay called, girls, he wants his career of making dumbass joke songs in to big hits back. Ya'll so-called bloggers and critics just get bent all out of shape over some girls singing with a tiny little drawl and being cute and whatnot. It's a smoke screen and a smoke show. Their hot, nobodies denying that. But that and $1.29 will buy you a Steel Reserve to wash the thought of this crappy song out of you're mind!

It just goes to show you my great taste in country music. I have never heard of Luke Bryan before this month. I don't know what that has to do with this song; theres just a nagging in the back of my brain to say that every day if I have the chance. 

Anyway, somebody call me when Maddey and Taye grab a washboard and a jug and get real. And I don't mean start a jug band, I mean wash my clothes and bring me a drink, LOL. Keep it country!

Sep 9, 2015

Carl Outlaw, Real Country Fan, Reviews Alan Jackson's "Jim and Jack and Hank"

Alan Jackson, are you kidding me? This tall jackass, along with Bored Strait, and Girth Brooks are what destroyed country music! Trailer, if you don't get me some Hank 3 to review soon, I'm gone kick you're ass! Remember when Alan Jackson did that song about 9/11. Stupid. He didn't even have the stones to say that Building 7 was clearly a controlled demolition! I can never respect him for that!

"Jim and Jack and Hank" is the name of this song and those are all things I love, so maybe I'll at least listen to a verse this time. Wait, what the ffff? Is this "Achy Breaky Heart" lmao? Why would you wanna have a song that sounds like the dude who created Miley? This is terrible. "I became a little sad and called up my old dad" this shit is terrible. That's why I only listen to REAL country.

Florida-Georgia Line might suck but at least they don't pretend to be some kind of traditional country singer like this puke. I would spray a full can of mace in Alan's face. His music ain't that much different then Luke Bryan. It's all soft lady stuff for 40 year old suburban dads to pretend they are really country fans.

Your looking at real country.
Country + Rap = Crap. That doesn't really have anything to do with this song, but at least once a day, I feel the need to type that somewhere, usually on a Facebook post about how much Sam Hunt sucks.

 If anybody out their tries to tell you Alan Jackson is good country music and that his new song is better than what's on the radio at least, just tell them "stepping on a dry turd is better than stepping on a wet one, but that don't make it good." This is crap. Him and George Strait and Garth need to apologize to the ghost of Hank Williams. And than, he'd bitch slap them anyway!

Aug 27, 2015

Larry Lee the Primitive Baptist Reviews: Michael Ray - Real Men Love Jesus

This is the same fella who sings about kissing a girl in the morning, right? And that implies that he spent the night with her. And now he's singing "Real Men Love Jesus?" Naw, homey don't play dat!

I'm not saying it's not possible to put your pecker in every floozie that shakes her buttocks on the club floor and still love the Father's Son, but I feel dirty for even having written those words, so clearly something isn't right. Hypocrisy is what's not right. This pretty boy is selling two worlds here.

I mean, nearly every country singer tells us of getting drunk as Toby Brown on Saturday night (Toby Brown is our local drunk), and praying for forgiveness on Sunday morning, but Michael Ray takes it even further. This song says "real men" have to love Jesus, but also "women"… as in more than one. Yes, I believe he is promoting threesomes and intercourse orgies in the very first line of a song purportedly about our Lord and Savior!!! Away from me Satan! Away!!

Later on, this sinner says real men love cold beer. Michael Ray, are you telling me I am not a real man? I do not engage in the imbibing of the Devil's urine! I'm not a man? Do I not have a penis and testicles? Have I not helped create three human beings who have succeeded as human beings at varying levels? I love my wife. I love my dearly departed mama. I can leg press more than Pat Robertson. I'M A MAN!

One final thing I will say about this foul and tricky song. It is a Trojan Horse of sin! Young Christian kids will hear the name Jesus and then think everything else in the song must be okay too. Nothing else in the song is about the Lord! That's like naming a song "Johnny Cash" and then having nothing in the song about Johnny Cash. Who would do that???

This is the most egregious and clever of the Devil's ploys. Michael Ray is a handsome young fellow who will appeal to the ladyfolks and the other young males will think "he is cool, I wish that I could be like Michael Ray and drink beer and stick my wiener in many skanks too!"

One more thing I don't get and must be of dark magical origins. This young man was a child in the 1990s yet he has tattoos that were popular in the 1990s (I know because my wayward 35 year old son has one of these "tribal tatts" on his ankle - he is not permitted to wear shorts in my home anymore). What up with that? Did his parents let him get "inked up" for his 8th birthday?

In closing, I say to thee: Flee from this song, this man, and this evil message! Amen!


Jul 16, 2015

Carl Outlaw, Real Country Fan, Reviews Jerrod Niemann's "Blue Bandana"

Oh you must be joking, Trailer. I don't even know who this is. He looks like a pervert. Oohhh, wait. I do know who this is. This is that dude that sang the song about "riding my donkey donkey to the honky tonky." LMAOOO. This guy could give away all his money, sell his $50,000 truck, get a divorce and a drinking habit, move to a cabin in Louisiana, sing only Hank Sr. covers, and live off the land, and he still would be about as country as a butt implant.

 I read a review of another "song" he did last year and it says it was an EDM dance party song or some shit. Nashville is pretty much just a step or two above ISIS to me by now. Their destroying the foundation built by real Outlaws and REAL country singers. Jared Kneeman is a straight up joke. I won't even listen to this, Trailer. Theyre's not enough money in the world. The ruining of our nation. First they take the music, then they take the flag.

Reading the lyrics, this song seems to be about some skank who likes to go to music festivals. That's it. Thair is literally nothing else to the song. I'm guessing its a rap breakdown before the last chorus. Damn damn damn, George Jones would burn a CD of this song, then run over it with his mower. How can you people even take this crap seriously? I'd rather run barefoot with scissors at the running of the bulls then even here 10 seconds of this. I bet it sounds like Bon Jovi and Lady Gaga farting through an autotuner.

This so called country is more like CRAP. If you give this toolsatchel ninety-nine cents for this travesty against Hank Williams' soul, you'd be better off eating 99 pennies. The poop you'd have later would feel better then listening to this! One of the last lines says "I got a beat up van;" well, I wish he'd just get beat up.

Jun 12, 2015

Carl Outlaw, Real Country Fan, Reviews Luke Bryan "Kick the Dust Up"

You know I ain't going to listen to this shit. I could review it with my eyes closed - it's the same old hair metal EDM country rap nonsense as everything he puts out. Some people say Luke Bryan used to be good, but I know that's not true because he's always been played on country radio. Therefore, he sucks. If you don't write you're own music, record it in your garage, and play it for 7 people at some crappy bar on Thursday nights, your not really country. Sorry, somebody had to say it. Top 40 country is nothing what it used to be.

I'll read the lyrics and review those, but even that might make me puke everywhere, lol. At first he's singing (or rapping, probably!) about farmers. If I was a farmer, I would put my boot so far up Luke's pansy ass, he'd be tasting steel toe when he eats his Greek yogurt every day. Later on he says he's "burning up a back roads song"… yeah, probably listening to Rupaul or Iggy Ass-ail-ya, or himself. He probably never even heard of Jerry Reed! Each to thier own I guess!

Oh dear God, what is this rhyming 'up' with 'up' shit? I bet it took 15 dudes with goatees and backwards flat-brim hats jerking off in an office to come up with this crap. If Hank Sr. could hear this mess these pretty boys have made out of his beloved country music, he would mix pills and liquor again!

Later on, Puke Bryant sings about drinking a jar of "clear." Yeah right! If he even took a whiff of some real moonshine, he'd pass out like a little girl. Anyone every plays Luke what ever her name is in my truck, I'll set it on fire with them in it and roll it into a culvert. I would literally comment murder, it's that damn bad!

So, in summery, you would be better off neutering yourself then listening to "Kick the Dust Up."

May 27, 2015

This Guy Reviews Luke Bryan's "Kick the Dust Up"

Awwww yeah! From the fist moment Luke says "kick the dust up" you know your in for a helluva ride and that its going to be one kicking country good time! After he says that, than theres a banjo playing and it's like a "whoa is this a blue grass song?" moment! For all his haters this should be the moment that finally end the doubt if Luke is a real country singer forever! Luke Brian write this song himself and its country and real so your wrong if you think he's not country! Now, I'm gone get feel a sophical hear, but mini people say Luke is just for girls be cause he wares tight genes and shakes his ass and sings about girls a lot, but I'm hear to tell you that the things he sing about resignates with me and my boys. Every weekend we do the same stuff what he sings about like light bonn fires, float a keg, tell girls to shake it, tell girls to back there thing up, fill are cups up, and that sort of thing, so to say he's not authennic is really a bunch of bullshit in my book.

When this song really kicks in and kicks ass, he's singing bout tractors and Z71's dawg. We turn this corn feel into a party! Hell yea! Tear it up up! I like that little high hat tap tap tap tap after the chorus. Then he sing about a jar full of clear. Hell yea! You know what he's talking about their if your really country, lol. Luke said he new this song was good be cause his little boys singed along to it and I'm thinking his kids are really smart be cause this song is like for older people to party too!

The only thang I don't like about this song is wear it has a gitar playing something sound like what i here when I go in the gas station the Indian guy owns to buy Zig Zags. It makes me think I smell patch-oooli and Im like craving that sticky icky you know what I'm saying lol.

But other then that, this song pretty much is legendary and makes Luke Brine even more a big star than he was before. So, if you asked me, You should buy it or steel it from one of those ring tone sites. It's that damn good son!

May 5, 2015

Carl Outlaw, Real Country Fan, Reviews ZBB "Loving You Easy"

Zac Brown sucks. If he was playing in my neighbor's yard, I'd call the cops and say they're was some sort of unauthorized "men who love farm animals" protest rally going on and that they were disturbing the peace with there bullshit and to especially taser the fat, bald guy wearing a ski hat in May. WTF. You know when theirs 14 guys in a band, theyre over-compensating for something. I've never even listened too one single note this "band" played. There not even talented enough to shine Hank 3's balls.

This song is probably terrible. I'm not going to soil my ears by wasting one second on this 'pop cuntry' garbage. If theyre's more than 4 people in a band and 2 of those aren't steel guitarists, I don't want to here that crap. This nugget is called "Loving You Easy," and that's enough for you to know that Johnny Paycheck wouldn't have warbled a note of it. He didn't love dem hoes, lol. If you're out their making songs for teenage girls, than you should at least be man enough to admit your just in it for the money. I heard Zac is making dance music now too. Next he'll be shaking his booty like Fluke Bryan.

Don't insult are good taste with this crap, Trailer. Don't make me review stuff like this when thare's so many good real-ass country bands out there that need a little help getting noticed. Take this new band from North Carolina, Buck Snort and the Stump-jumpers, for instance. They have a fiddle player, 3 steel guitarists, a jug blower, a washboard strummer, and a singer who makes Sturgill Simpson sound like a Nashvile sparkly-pants wearing pretty boy. Let Zac Brown's fat ass feed his own self. Don't buy this song, anybody. Keep it country!


Zac Brown Band - Loving You Easy
(listen to song here)

Mar 25, 2015

Larry Lee the Primitive Baptist Reviews: Chase Rice - Ride

Chase Rice - Ride

Apparently this corrupt song, "Ride" by Chase Rice, is quite popular on the satellite radio. Now I don't know what a satellite radio is, but I do know that I prefer my Oldsmobile stereo if this is the type of vulgar cow-pucky they play on that new fangled thing. This is by far the most spiritually depraved musical selection I've ever listened to. I once had to throw away a box of "Negroes With Attitudes" and "Two Live Crue" cassettes my son had hidden under his bed, but I didn't lay ear upon that evil, and my son didn't walk straight for a month after I did not spare the rod upon his backside.

Anyway, this tune… It is purely about the lust of the flesh. At my age, I'm not even tempted by like of the flesh, so that's already a strike against "Ride." In the first verse, Mr. Rice sings "Whisper dirty secrets while I'm pulling on your hair." It seems to me that she might be yelling dirty words because her scalp is in pain, but that's just me. I'm not affiliated with this sort of 60 shades of grey trash this generation seems to be infatuated with. The naughtiest my wife and I ever got was the time "The Clapper" accidentally turned the lamp on while we were engaged in marital coitus.

Later on this purveyor of satanic infidelity sings "kiss your body from the tip top all the way down to your feet." If this means what I think it means, Mr. Rice may have placed his mouth upon this lady-friend's baby factory! What sickness is this?? The female body is to be honored and cherished, not dripped with candle wax and masticated upon. Get behind me Satan! And I don't mean for homosexual activities!

This is only a small sampling of the odious pursuits explored in this heinous song. Other bits of discourtesy to our Lord that are mentioned or referred to are: non-missionary position sex, drinking, contact with breasts, smoking the wacky tobacco, and possible thrusting. These things are not even smiled upon inside the bounds of holy matrimony, much less within the desperate throes of a one-night-stand or fruitless explorations of a long-term courtship. Sex is reserved for honeymoons, procreation, and wedding anniversaries. Songs like this just make it sound wet, tiring, and shameful. Depart from me, Chase Rice!


Mar 20, 2015

Carl Outlaw, Real Country Fan, Reviews New Tim McGraw

Welcome Carl Outlaw, real country fan, to FTM as a new reviewer to replace the soon-to-be grad Brittany Fant. Carl fancies himself a country purist and I fancy him, uh, pretty much a jackass. NSFW.

Tim McGraw - Diamond Rings and Old Barstools

 Really? Really? Tim McGraw is my first review for Farce the Music? Haha. This dude is so fake, he makes the Kardashians look like the Hatfields. How'd he get Faith Hill? I mean, she sucks at singing country, but I'd like to feel her "breathe" if you know what I mean.

This yuppie wouldn't know country music if it bit him in his anorexic ass. This is the same guy who sang "Truck Yeah" in case you forgot. He got down on his bony knees and said "whatever you want Mr. Borshitta!" Waylon never sang about trucks and that's all I need to know. Hank Sr. is rolling in his grave like a rotisserie chicken every time Tampon McGraw opens his stupid mouth.

Tim uses autotune all the time and he hasn't written any of his songs so you know he's a punk ass. Anybody who doesn't write they're own songs by themselves in a dark room while drinking bourbon and crying isn't really country. Pop country is neither pop nor country, it's just bullshit.

 I actually didn't even listen to this song because Tim McGraw is a douchebag and I know anything that comes out of his mouth is crap. Actually, I don't even know who he is and I've never heard any of his "songs" if that's what you could call them. I would pay like $500 to punch him in his Hollywood plastic surgery, plastic hat wearing face.

Go lick some balls, Timmy.

Disclaimer: This is a satirical piece by a fictional lout who thinks he is the arbiter of which music is actually country. Much like myself, minus the lout part.

Sep 29, 2011

Snap Judgments: Promo Only Country Radio September '11

Promo Only Country Radio September 2011
(click the titles to hear the songs)

George Strait – Here for A Good Time 2:57
A solid single from ol' King George. It incorporates partying and a little philosophy with relative ease. It also exudes all the charm Strait is known for. Nothing earth-shattering but a strong tune.

Brett Eldredge – It Ain’t Gotta Be Love 3:04
What a voice. As long as this guy selects/writes good songs, he's going to be good for the genre. This is a catchy track. Mid-tempo rocker about a one night stand ...or one weekend stand, anyway. I'd rather hear this than most of what's on the radio these days.

Montgomery Gentry – Where I Come from 3:20
Same song, new verses. Stock Montgomery Gentry tune. Thankfully, that at least means some twang, steel guitar and some of the trappings of what country should sound like. Of course that also means rocking and strutting. "Where I Come From" is pretty much "My Town Part 2." Not bad and it'll probably get them back on the radio but really.... can't we get some new freaking subject matter on the radio?

Sawyer Brown – Smokin’ Hot Wife 3:10
I smell cheese before this even starts. It sounds like a Bellamy Brothers song right off the bat, which I would prefer. Hmm, no this isn't good. It reminds me of some other song that I can't recall at the moment, but I'm pretty sure it's a direct rip-off of that song. This is worse than bad Buffett, and that's saying something.

Robin Meade – Dirty Laundry 4:17
I'm not expecting much from the CNN news caster... and oh shit, it's a cover of Don Henley. This is awful. Not as spectacularly bad as that Chenoweth chick's foray into country, but it's in that league. Make it stop. Robin, stick to your day job.

Danny Gokey – Second Hand Heart 3:42
Go away, Danny. I'm as tired of looking at you as I am Jared at Subway. Holy crap, this sounds JUST like Dave Matthews Band's "Crash" at the beginning. Unfortunately, it gets worse from there. Lots of shout-singing. I don't like it. Go away, Danny.

Keith Urban – Long Hot Summer (Venti Mix) 4:31
Ooh, venti mix. Does that mean we get to hear lots of Keith shredding at the end? His timing is way off... hell, summer's even over here in the deep south. Keith's in his usual groove here... driving tune with a little banjo plucking in the background. Female friendly, anthemic. His schtick. Not memorable.

Craig Morgan – This Ole Boy 3:20
Craig probably stole this one from Blake Shelton. Sounds just like one of his sure-shot mindless hits. Okay, I suppose but I'm bored with this. Morgan better pray this catches on. He's teetering on the edge of being relegated to the Country Tailgate Tour with some 90's hat acts if he doesn't get a hit soon.

Taylor Swift – Sparks Fly 4:19
Well, it sounds like a Taylor Swift song. Ms. Swift is most certainly NOT like a box of chocolates. She certainly knows how to craft a vaguely country pop tune that's sweet on the ears. Nothing more, nothing less. The gals 12-25 will love it.

Blake Shelton – God Gave Me You 3:47
The least country song Shelton's ever put out (maybe aside from "Home?"). It's a fairly catchy power ballad, but it's also pretty standard fare aimed at the soccer mom demographic. It's a radio programmer's wet dream.

Rock riff. Attitude. Testosterone. The gates are open, y'all. The Aldean copycats are lined up from here to Athens and Nashville's herding them in. No thank you.

Alan Jackson – Long Way to Go 3:39
I want to like this a lot more than I actually do. It's not bad, mind you, but it sounds like too many AJ songs that came before it. Still, you can't complain too much about "Long Way to Go" filling up airspace that might otherwise be dedicated to some up and coming pop country poser.

Billy Ray Cyrus – Runway Lights 3:40
If BRC had chosen some better songs throughout his career, he could have been a lot more than a punch line. He's got a strong, distinctive voice that deserves good material. This is a military-related tune, but for the most part, it doesn't dip too far into the flag-waving of most songs of this ilk. It's personal and relateable. It's also got a heavy Springsteen vibe. Not bad.

Martina McBride – I’m Gonna Love You Through It 3:44
Yay, another cancer song. Well, this is country music after all. Martina sounds good here, though kinda Leann Rimes-esque in spots. Hmm, just remembered October is breast cancer awareness month. That's a great cause but the calculated release time rubs me wrong. The overwroughtness also.

Ashton Shepherd – Where Country Grows 3:11
I love Ashton's voice and the fact that she's very traditional sounding. However, I can't be a hypocrite here. This is YET ANOTHER COUNTRY LISTING SONG. Sigh.

Steel Magnolia – Without You 3:26
Did this accidentally get put on here when it was actually intended for the Adult Contemporary promo only disc? I half expect Sting or Train to come on next. This is pleasant enough, I suppose but just not what I want out of country radio. This group lacks excitement.

Jeff Bridges – What A Little Bit of Love Can Do 3:35
This sounds different than the crap he's put out lately. Oh... Jeff Bridges.. not Jeff Bates. My bad. Catchy, bouncy, cool song. I love this but it's pointless sending it out to radio. Nashville likes glitter not gruffness.

Johnny Patton – Save the Jukebox 2:58
Ooh, this is a throwback. Sounds like a cross between Johnny Paycheck and Billy Joe Shaver. You could tell me it was recorded in the 70's and I'd believe you. Good stuff! No chance at radio, but we can dream.

David Adam Byrnes – She Only Wanted Flowers 3:47
Sounds like something from the 90's from the start. That's a good thing. Good voice, cool harmonies with another male voice. I dig this. Guys like this and Justin Haigh give me hope. Thumbs up.

Jim Quick – Down South
Delbert McClinton-esque. It's pretty catchy, but way too standard bar band fare to ever make it to the radio. Production is a weak suit here too.

Aug 14, 2011

Snap Judgments: Promo Only Country Radio August '11

In this edition of Promo Only Country Radio, it has finally happened. There's almost nothing here that actually qualifies as country, in my book. There's pop, there's hair metal-esque power balladry, there's rap. We've already reached the mono-genre that Triggerman at Saving Country Music talks about all the time. Sad, but true.

Click song titles to listen.

Hard to listen to any of her songs without bias now. Sure, she's no Chris Brown, but her name still carries some baggage. This is an inspirational pop tune, a la what she used to put out a lot (huh huh huh - you said "put out a lot") after "Blue." She's in fine voice here. It's not a bad song, probably good enough to return Leann to the upper realms of the charts. Not something I plan to listen to again, but it won't make me change radio stations.

I like his voice. First time I've actually heard it. This is a power ballad. Poison with a twang. I like it in a guilty pleasure sort of way but I can't, in good conscience, give a really high rating to a non-country song released as a country song.

Steve's settled into this groove of earnest songs that don't have much spark, but do carry plenty of honesty. This is a non-flag-waving tune about a soldier returning from, presumably, the Middle East, and hoping to ease back into real life. It's very strong lyrically. There's an unspoken fear underlying the narrative that maybe his family doesn't need him as much as he needs them right now and that's heartbreaking. Good stuff, maybe a little too down-tempo to be a big hit but who knows?

More pop country. Not grabbing me at all. Yawn. Bouncy and uplifting I guess, but I wasn't paying much attention. That's what country radio is counting on!

I've heard this song many times, so this isn't a snap judgment. Cost of Livin' is an awesome song, far and away the best commercial country single of 2011, possibly the best in recent years. If you don't like it, I don't like you. If it doesn't reach the top 5, I'm done with country radio, other than making fun of it. This is a signature song of our times.

A double-entendre stretched into a 3 minute country song. It is country, so there's that going for it. Going down, rod in her hand, pretty pink bobbers... yeah this is about fishing. Quite honestly, this is as dirty as anything 2 Live Crew ever put out... and your kids will be singing along to it. Disconcerting in my book. Kinda catchy but I can't get behind this at all.

Yep, still the worst thing I've heard in recent memory. Insert humorous comparison to feces here: _____ See this review.

This has a different feel to it, more organic than most of what's on the radio. It reminds me a little of "Lover, Lover" a little, but more uptempo. If country must stray from its roots, I suppose this is an acceptable road to take.

You want to know why there are hardly any females on the country charts? Because EVERYTHING new that comes out sounds just like this. Girls, quit following... we need some leaders.

Idol's runner-up delivers a "mama" song much better than Idol alum superstar Carrie Underwood's recent one. Surprisingly, this is one of the few country-sounding songs on this collection. I think I hear fiddles somewhere in there. Good voice. Solid debut.

Speaking of Carrie... here's her latest, a soap opera-ready power ballad with former-neo-traditionalist Brad Paisley that ain't bad but ain't much. Huge hit that'll be all but forgotten a year from now.

It's sad when I was actually looking forward to this song to break up the monotony. Ugh. Not good. Colt still can't rap. The vocals are so strangely processed that it barely sounds like Craig Morgan singing the hook. Colt still can't rap. Did I already say that? This is the hick hop version of one of Eminem's songs about his daughter. Positives: nice message, country instrumentals. Negatives: everything else.

Taking a cue from Chris Young, Jerrod re-releases a single he already put out. In fact, I already reviewed it on one of these Promo Only write-ups. Happily, it has grown on me since the last time I reviewed it. Sadly, it's still not anything special.

I like Scotty's voice and the fact that he says he plans to "stay country," blending Conway and Merle into his modern sound gives me hope for him and the genre as a whole. However, his first one out of the gate is too cheesy for me to even listen to, much less enjoy. The fact that the hook is an unintended double-entendre for wang size is just embarrassing. 10 years ago, you'd have been labeled a perv for interpretting it that way but these days... with even news websites using dirty double-meaning headlines.. you have to be cognizant of every possible meaning, intended or not.

Already tanked, and for good reason. While I have a guilty desire for B&R to come back with something as shamefully catchy as "Ride a Horse," it's not looking likely. This is a lunk-headed piece of crap. Not clever, not catchy, not anything. I thought John Rich was a big time songwriter. You're only as good as your last hit. He's gonna be auctioning off Mt. Richmore bottle by bottle in no time at this rate. This is garbage.

Today is not your day, Shania. Boring. Nearly unlistenable inspirational dreck. I didn't expect anything remotely sounding like Tanya Tucker out of Ms. Twain, but this is ridiculous. Apparently Mutt Lange was the mad puppet-master behind Shania's success, because if this is any indication of what we might hear from her from this point on, she's done.

What more is there to say? I've run this song into the ground and still no one gave a shit. It hit number one like I knew it would. I'm done here.

Jul 13, 2011

Snap Judgments: Promo Only Country Radio July '11

The summer doldrums don't get any help from this heap of mediocrity. It's probably the most lifeless collection I've heard yet, though there is a gem in the slop.

Click titles to listen.

I'm guessing this isn't the actual first song on the promo disc. Mine's just out of order. This is one of those D-list rockabilly-roots things they throw in every now and then... It's kinda catchy, but D-list doesn't just grade the starpower of the artist. You won't hear this on the radio. It's a dance club track.

Hey guys. How's it going? Haven't heard from you in a bit, but you're back... yay(?) Their vocals are a lot smoother than you might expect from looking at their photos. For a band still seeking a break-through single, I'd think something a little harder hitting might be in order. This is okay, but it's just not weighty enough, even for a light-hearted pop-country tune, to grab any significant airplay. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

I love hearing Darius get into a meaty "she done left me" song. Unfortunately, this isn't very meaty. It's not bad but the chorus just doesn't have enough heft to stick with me for long. Songs like this just make me wonder why he couldn't have brought the Blowfish along for the ride. They sound as country as most of what's on the radio now anyway, and they would lend some gravity to the heartbreak of this song. Anyway, this isn't bad, but (insert stock comment here:) a vocalist of Darius' caliber deserves better songs.

That name makes me think of the Evil Dead movies. Sorry. The song... ahhh shit. Eric Church lite. This is one more laundry list of things the singer believes in. Absolutely nothing new here. I got nothin'. Bible, belt, yes sir, yes ma'am, hand shakes, Jesus, soldiers, moms, dads.... you know the routine. I still believe in all that stuff too, but I also believe that this song is unquestionably bad. Almost bad enough to turn me into a liberal just for spite.

Young Hunter apparently looks to Gary "The Voice" Levox as a role model and vocal idol. He sounds just like a younger version of the girthy balladeer. The song also wouldn't sound out of place on a Rascal Flatts album. Not terrible, nowhere near good. Please tell me the next generation of "country" singers won't count Rascal Flatts as an influence. Please tell me that. Please.

Brad Paisley ft. Alabama - Old Alabama
Not sure why this song is on the collection as it has already had its run up the charts and subsequent decline in lieu of the new Carrie duet. Anyway, I like this song better than I should. It's very catchy and more clever than most have given it credit for.

This is the best single Josh has released to country radio to date. That's not saying a lot really. The verses are pretty dull, but the chorus is damn good. Nothing groundbreaking, but I can see myself getting this stuck in my head.

Burns & Poe - Second Chance
How symbolic. This duo is also on their second chance... album-wise. This is probably their 400th single in the last 2 years though. I'm shocked they're still around. Burns sounds like a poor man's Don Henley on this track, but Poe sounds pretty solid. It's an understated song with some nice harmonies. It sounds different than most of what's on the radio, and in a lot of ways that's a good thing.

Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter - You and Tequila
Kenny Chesney's best single in years. It might even be good enough to find its way onto the playlists of country radio-weary music snobs... uh, like myself. Simple and beautiful. Keep doing this, Kenny. It works.

Just like their previous hit "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?," "I Got You" is a sugary confection of a pop-rock-country song with elementary lyrics. I'm not against simplistic lyrics as long as they aren't a stumbling-block to my enjoyment of the song. Unfortunately, they are this time... again.

Hmm. A bizarre, jazzy novelty ode to the titular hair-don't. I just really don't even know what to say about it, honestly. Interesting and odd. Not radio bound.

At least the record company knows how to cherry-pick the best singles off the dreadful Machine album. This is a pop song. A pop anthem even. This wouldn't have sounded out of place on the Celine Dion and Sting populated airwaves of 90's adult-contemporary. Can't say I care much for the song, or Jennifer Nettles' odd vocal affectionations on the song, but it sounds like a hit.

Joe Nichols - Take It Off
I'm hoping this isn't another "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off." Well, so far it's not.. but obviously some clothes are being shed somewhere in this tune. This is a summer anthem... released a little late in the game. Yep, the clothes came off. Predictable, but decent and Joe's voice doesn't hurt the song, as usual.

Another single from the iCarly sidekick. Another Carrie Underwood-lite tune. It's weighty subject matter for someone of her age. She handles it pretty well, but the song just has too many lyrical hiccups (plasama screen?) and too much philosophical jackassery for me to enjoy this. Nah.

Is this the sequel to Luke Bryan's "Do I"? It's a typical "women will dig it" vehicle for a male country singer with a strong voice. It's not particularly memorable, but Wesley does have good pipes. Hopefully his future releases will have a little more individuality to them.

Zac Brown Band ft. Jimmy Buffett
Another tune I like more than I should. Sure, it's just another summer get-away-from-it-all anthem, but it's catchy as all get out (however catchy that is), and some of the lyrical wordplay is more clever than your typical song of this ilk. I dig it.

Another soap opera anthem. They're so good with melodies and harmony that I can't help but like this at least a little. It's epic and arena-ready and nowhere near country... at all: no steel, no fiddle, no twang, but it's still a catchy song. I wish it wasn't on country radio, but Lady A crafts a nice pop tune.

Banjo. Fiddle. This starts with promise. Then comes the mention of cut off jeans and it all goes to hell. Tattoos... he loves it, a SECOND MENTION of cut off jeans. Kill me, again. The title is unmemorable and the song does nothing to help. I don't want to hear this ever again. I'd throw up in my mouth, but that's too cliche.

Not bad. It feels like they didn't "bring it" as much as they should have. The song needs a little more contrast and more vigor, especially in the chorus. It's all a little too meh.

Jun 7, 2011

Paul Thorn Concert Review

I wrote this for American Noise a month or so ago, but since that site is currently indisposed, I thought I'd go ahead and post it here.

Paul Thorn - Beale Street Music Festival

Paul Thorn and his band played an early Saturday afternoon set at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, but that didn't stop him from putting on an entertaining and spirited show for his appreciative crowd. Amidst intermittent showers and with a backdrop of a flood-bound Mississippi River, Thorn sang crowd favorites and selections from his recent critically acclaimed Pimps and Preachers album.

I think this is where I'm required by law to describe Paul as a former professional boxer from Tupelo, MS turned singer/songwriter whose dad is a preacher. These facts aren't required to qualify the strength of Thorn's music, but they certainly inform every aspect of his artistry.

First of all he thanked the adoring fans for braving the elements before stating his sincere awe at opening for rock n' roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis. Humility that real is not a trait shared by many artists of Paul's talent.

Leading off with "You're Not the Only One," Thorn and band confidently strode through a set that infused rock, country, folk and funny, keeping the audience fully enthralled for the full hour and a half of allotted time.

Before performing "Time Changes Everything," Paul gave us a nugget of the homespun humor that he's so known for. The gist of the comment was that women have it easy because they can get a man regardless of their employment status. Unfortunately, "Men, if you're broke and ugly, you're out of luck."

Later on he informed us that he didn't hold much ill will from previous break-ups and that if he saw his ex on the side of the road with a flat, he'd happily wave when he drove by. This led into my favorite tune of his, "Love Scar," the tale of a prematurely purchased tattoo with the near-perfect chorus: "He said If I could be a tear rolling down your cheek and die on your lips, my life would be complete/The words that he said really hit her in the heart, so now she's walkin' round with a love scar."

The remainder of the show included sing-alongs like "Rise Up," "I Have a Good Day" and "I Don't Like Half the Folks I Love," with Paul and his musicians sounding soulful and tight in the late-spring warmth and the wafting scent of barbecue.

"I knew this thing was getting big today when John Mellencamp's wardrobe person ironed my shirt… man, we're blowing up!" joked Paul, mid-set, coming off like a drawling, less-verbose Todd Snider.

A couple songs later, and several songs abridged of what the crowd would have preferred, Thorn and company ended the set with a rollicking, soul-reviving take on "Mission Temple Fireworks Stand," leaving us all wanting more.

Even before my first time seeing him live, there wasn't another singer I'd rather share a song, a beer and a conversation with than Paul Thorn and he lived up to that expectation and then some.

Set List:
You're Not the Only One
Weeds in the Roses
Are You With Me?
Time Changes Everything
Love Scar
Living in Sin
Rise Up
Pimps and Preachers
That's Life
I Have a Good Day
A Lot of Good Reasons
I Don't Like Half the Folks I Love
Lovers' Vacation
Mission Temple Fireworks Stand

May 30, 2011

Snap Judgments: Promo Only Country Radio June 2011

Snap Judgments: Promo Only Country Radio June 2011

Extremely mixed bag this time out. Lots of good, lots of garbage, interspersed with the usual middle of the road. (Click song titles to listen)

Blake Shelton - Honey Bee
My first thought is "phoning it in." This is a catchy song, but it's such an easy release… no risk involved whatsoever. Sure Blake sounds good and the song is catchy, but there's not much "there" there. It's cheerful, radio-friendly and requires little attention. On top of that, it's mostly just a list of things that go together as a comparison to a relationship. Not bad, but at this point, I expect a lot more from Blake - at least as the first single from a new album anyway.

Trace Adkins - Just Fishin'
Following his usual pattern of "crap song-good song-crap song-good song," Trace delivers another strong release. It's well-intentioned and follows through on that message with a solid delivery. Trace just kills these "family is everything" songs. Good stuff.

Not good at all. Luke was poised to jump to the A-list… and probably still is, commercially, but this is just a bad, bad song. I like Luke and think he's got a ton of potential in the neo-traditional realm, but this is a flat-out laughable track. On the bright side, it's ripe for plenty of comedy material.

Stealing Angels - Paper Heart
Nice melody, fairly memorable song. Vocals are a little thin, but this isn't too bad overall.

Brantley Gilbert - Country Must Be Country Wide
Disclaimer: I'm not a fan of this guy (or any of his compadres, but we'll get into that later). I think he's just Jason Aldean redux, and this song does nothing to refute that opinion. Lots of name-dropping, lots of rock riffs, lots of attitude. Nothing more. Some of his slower songs I've heard prove him to be more than a one-trick pony, but this isn't very good.

Dierks Bentley - Am I the Only One
Another big talent kinda phoning it in, but at least this one's more fun. Just another light-hearted summer country partyin' song, but Dierks sounds into it enough to make me take notice. It's also populated with interesting details and characters, so it stands out to some degree.

Jason Aldean - Dirt Road Anthem
I told you he'd release this. I never had a doubt. 90% of my brain hates this so bad. It's a rap song, for those of you not in the know. He sings the chorus, but it's a rap song. And he drinks and drives in it. Not a very responsible message. Confession: 10% of my brain thinks this is very catchy and nearly a guilty pleasure. The 90% wins, however.

Jaron and the Long Road to Love - It's a Good Thing
Jaron has been trying in vain to repeat the success of his '10 hit, uh, whatever it was called - that spiteful one about flower pots falling on his ex's head. This is like his 4th single since then, to no avail. It's not country, piano pop really. Jaron sounds good though. Way catchier than anything Jimmy Wayne's put out lately. Still, not a hit. Just not substantial enough for repeated play.

Shouldn't that be "When Love Gets Aholta You" for the country market? This isn't bad, but feels a little thin. The melody just doesn't have enough highs and lows to keep my interest. Reba sounds great, as always, but this tune isn't up to her level. It sounds like a hit though.

Way better than I expected. It's a simple pop-rock summer anthem, but it's a helluva earworm. I should probably hate this but I don't… it just has a certain "it" factor I can't explain. Big hit.

Billy Currington - Love Done Gone
As happy of a sad song as you're gonna hear, "Love Done Gone" would be craptacular at the hands of a lesser vocalist, but Billy is not a lesser vocalist. The opening "babadabadaba's" nearly turned me off in the first place, but I stood strong and Billy hit a homerun with this release. I have a soft spot for bittersweet tunes like this. It's poppy, catchy and well-performed. A winning single.

Margaret Durante - Maybe Tonight
Meh. Not catchy, not that well sung. Nothing to see here.

Rodney Atkins - Take a Back Road
Looks like my predictions that Rodney's 15 minutes were up were incorrect. He milked that last album with the sh*tty "Farmer's Daughter" tack-on-hit into some staying power, and follows that up with a surprisingly good new single. It follows his usual schtick, but without any of the shockingly embarrassing lyrics he usually drops in. There's a name-drop, but it's on-point with the song's theme, so no negative points for it. Unsurprisingly, a tractor is mentioned. I think he has a one-tractor-mention-per-song quota in his contract. Anyway, not a bad song at all.

Jason Michael Carroll - Numbers
Cracker Barrel's newest employee delivers his first single for that label here, to not-so-great results. JMC's got a killer baritone, but he sounds way too stilted and karaoke-ish here. Also, the "numbers" theme gets tired out within the first two lines and it doesn't quit. This sounds like a too-clever lyric written by a lyric-critique message board regular (i.e. something I'd have written 5-6 years ago), and just isn't up to snuff with the market. Overkill in the thematic department too. Rewrite.

Randy Houser - In God's Time
Devastatingly good. Repeating myself: in the hands of a lesser vocalist, this might be overwrought and come off as way too schlocky… but Randy is not a lesser vocalist. In fact, he has, bar-none, the best voice in modern country music and he just kills in this song. If you don't listen to this with the ear of a jaded, better-taste-than-thou music snob, it's a near masterpiece. Here's hoping this guy finally gets his due.

Love this chick and this is my favorite track off her recent EP. It's kinda throwback in its theme - sounds very 90's in that aspect - but it's modern sounding. She's in great voice and this is a very solid tune. I'm so tired of happyhappyjoyjoy radio - we need more songs like this on Clearchannel.

John Rich - For the Kids (warning: this vid's a tearjerker)
You know me - I want this guy to be FTM fodder for years to come - but he seems to possibly be maturing in more ways than one. His Celebrity Apprentice appearance actually had me rooting for him - on the show and in his life, that he'll overcome the reputation he's lived down to for years. Honestly, this is not a song I'll listen to multiple times, but for what it is (an anthem for the St. Jude's Childrens Hospital), it's excellent. John sounds better than he usually does on slower songs, and this isn't bad overall. I'll average out my personal feelings and my critical perspective and give this a:

Danielle Car - Pretty Please
Thin, poorly produced. Catchy though. Pretty good mix of country and rock with a little attitude mixed in. The lyrics are middling, but in parts, memorable. That all adds up to a:

Apr 26, 2011

Snap Judgments: Promo Only Country Radio May 2011

May means nearly summer, and you know what that means. Country music puts on its flip-flops and cutoffs and gets into recycling (themes and sounds). And let me level with you: I'm finding it harder and harder to trifle with this bullsh*t month after month. I hope you appreciate the depths of despair, tedium and annoyance I go through to bring this review to you semi-monthly. The more I do it, the further I feel my mind slipping into some black pit of insanity. No "A's" and no "F's" this go round, just a lot of mediocrity. Here we go! (click the song titles to listen)

Steve Azar - Hard Road
Steve continues on his laid back bluesy path, banking on the success of the similar sounding "Sunshine" for this to be his new groove. I love the fact that he's gone with a more organic sound that compliments his true upbringing. It's not your everyday Clearchannel material and for that, Steve deserves kudos. All that said, this is not overly engaging, and the nonsensical "ahhooof" sounds he makes repeatedly on this track border on water torture.

Walker Hayes - Why Wait for Summer?
I know, right? Why wait for Summer to start pissing me off with summer songs? Listen: Being a gainfully employed 36 year old living in the deep south, I hate summer. It's hot as Rosie O'Donnell's armpit so I sweat a lot and my car wants to overheat every day and I don't get off work, I have to mow weekly and gas prices rise, and …well, you get the point. I'll stop ranting. This song is about having fun, despite it not actually being summer. They plan to fool the general country-music-buying-public into singing along from May through July because it has the word "summer" in it. Who knows if it will work? I'm not the target demographic. All I know is I don't want to hear this anymore.

Martina McBride - Teenage Daughters
…in which she admits drinking and being old. Not old, necessarily, but older than either Reba or her boobs would ever confess being. This is a catchy pop-country tune that tackles the difficulties of parenthood and sentimentalism towards the teen years in one heartfelt swoop. Pretty good tune.

Frankie Ballard - A Buncha Girls
Take last year's summer misfires, throw in a few different key words, please the female demographic and here's your result. Blah.

Ashley Gearing - Five More Minutes
Carrie Underwood redux. In fact, I thought it was her at first. Good voice, but she needs to find her own personality. The vocals, the theme, the pop-country arrangement…down to the letter, this is Carrie 2.

Sunny, easy-rolling country-pop. There's an obvious concerted attempt to sound more country for the guy-girl group this time out… fiddle, acoustics, even some steel, but the song itself is lacking. There's very little substance, nor is there much of a lyrical hook. Their harmonies are supposed to pull up the slack, but it's not happening.

Greg Templeton - I Could Be the One
I could be the one to fall asleep listening to this. His voice is reminiscent of Dierks Bentley's, but this tune is reminiscent of every other potboiler I've ever heard on one of these comps. Dull as a butter knife.

Bradley Gaskin - Mr. Bartender
Travis Tritt reincarnated. What? Oh. I just haven't seen him around. Well, uh… he sounds a lot like Travis. Decent neo-traditional song. It's probably too drink-centric to be a big hit though.

The Janedear Girls - Shotgun Girls
Another summer song. Surprised? I guess it's catchy. Lovely harmonies... or whatever. Willie and Merle just got mentioned. Somebody put a steel toe boot into my backside. There are two songs that mention "dashboard drumming" on this compilation. Just FYI. Make it stop.

Heidi Newfield - Stay Up Late
Here's the latest track from former Trick Pony lead singer, Heidi Newfield. She doesn't want to go out on the town, she just wants to stay home and listen to Darius Rucker's "Alright" and drink wine and eat spaghetti and do it all night. You know? This is honestly better than most of the rest of stuff on this promo. It's got a Bonnie Raitt feel to it. The hook is nice (go to bed early and stay up late). What the heck…

River Road - Good Things
Surprise, surprise… another decent song. It's a story song about a couple who marries early, births early and yada yada. Another decent hook (sometimes good things come to those who can't wait). It's got a laid back 90s feel to it. Nothing new, but it stands above most of this drivel.

Little Big Town - The Reason Why
I'd like to know the reason why I keep downloading these things. I actually don't hate Little Big Town, but this sounds like Gloriana, who I do hate. High school vocal choir schlock. Of course the vocals and harmonies are spot on, but that's eye shadow on a goat (lipstick on a pig was too easy).

Kenny Chesney - Live a Little
Kenny's got enough goodwill built up among fans and radio to throw out a true clunker now and then. Here it is, in its "perfect for mom to roll down the windows and sing along to while taking kids to baseball and ballet" glory (?). (s)Hit-bound for sure. (Update - It's already hit #1... so why's it on the May comp???)

Tim McGraw & Gwyneth Paltrow - Me and Tennessee
I use up way too many derogatory terms and put-downs in these Promo Only reviews. They're bound and determined to run me out of snark, one month at a time. Gwyn's voice isn't that bad really. This song's pretty freakin' annoying though. The refrain of "together we're singing, forever we're singing" is nails on a chalkboard bad. I'll just go back to an old favorite retort: This sucks.

Billy Ray Cyrus reincar…. never mind. He sounds a lot like the king of mullets for sure though. I think some of my blogging compadres dig this. Not sure I do. MOR country rock. Background music.

Eden's Edge - Amen
Snap judgment before it starts, based on their name: girl/guy vocal choral group. Ooh, nice vocals. A little twang even. Not much soul once the chorus hits. Note to singers: if you ask for an "amen," you gotta have a little grit in your voice like you just ate collard greens. A lot of potential in this group and the song… but sadly unrealized. I was wrong with my pre-judgment, it's a girl group… and lead vocalist girl needs to hit a few blues dives before singing her next song with gospel overtones. Too honky for this honky.

Solemn opening. Wow, there's actually some melody in the chorus. It's pretty moving to the part of my soul that hasn't grown dark yet. They remind me of Emerson Drive a little. Strings now. This is the part where tears are supposed to well up in the corners of my hazel blue eyes. Nope, didn't happen. Not a bad song overall. Pop country with a little more heart than I'm used to from that sub-genre.

Johnny Patton - Phone in Heaven
Bringing up the rear…good morning Jesus, can I talk to mama? This guy sounds a little like The Possum. The arrangement even sounds like 80's Jones with a little more slickness. Stone country for the Taylor Swift generation. He doesn't have the chops of George (who does?), but if he did, and he cut loose a little more on the chorus, this might garner a higher grade than…

Mar 28, 2011

Snap Judgments: Promo Only Country Radio April

Click the song titles to listen.

Bridgette Tatum - Hillbilly Rockstar
Huh? I was expecting a chick. Holy sh*t, according to the Google, it is a chick! She sounds more manly than Bryan White or Gary LeVox could ever hope to. This sounds like the Lost Trailers under a new name or something. Hillbilly Rockstar is in the vein of "Holler Back" and "She's Country" with the modern rock production and some nods to something more urban. It's kinda catchy and I'm guessing by the placement at the head of this comp, that somebody's putting a lot of promotional cash behind this band. That doesn't make it a good song. Seriously though, I'm gonna have to see some nude pics or medical documentation regarding this person's sex before I believe they are female. (kidding, but still...)

Chris Young - Tomorrow
Chris strikes while the iron is hot with another winning single. It's early to say so, but he's something of a modern Keith Whitley, albeit with less of the stone country sound. It's a song you'll swear you've heard a million times before, but Chris invigorates it with his killer vocals and confidence. I love it. If you're wondering who's going to fill the shoes of Alan Jackson or George Strait, look no further. I don't have "man crushes" but if I did...

Toby Keith - Somewhere Else
Toby has been on a steady slide to Nashville's B-list… not that he cares. He hasn't hit the top of the charts in who knows when, but this song might change that. This is an earworm of a loser anthem. Toby actually sounds like he's having fun for a change (though I thought he sounded enthused on Trailerhood, which underperformed). Good stuff.

Colt Ford - Country Thang
Already reviewed this. Won't listen again.

Keith Urban - Without You
Downtempo and earnest. Not exciting me though. Good enough for background music and selling ads though.

Jody Booth - Gold Digger
Perversely, I was hoping this was a cover of Kanye West's "Gold Digger." I wanted to see how he tackled the troublesome "-igger" rhyme. It's not. It's not bad though. Jody's got a rich, 90's country sounding voice and a lot of potential. I don't think the lackluster chorus does the verses or his voice much justice, but overall…decent.

Gretchen Wilson - I'd Love to Be Your Last
Simple, heartfelt and beautiful. If this isn't Gretchen's comeback hit, she won't have one.

The Doobie Brothers - World Gone Crazy
For a supposed foray into country, this sounds way too much like what used to be called soft rock. Oh, right…. still, this is cheesy as hell. Too much so even for country radio. Some 50-something guy on P90X dating a girl his daughter's age and driving a Miata somewhere will love this… but not me.

She's got a nice voice and it's a sexy song, but the chorus seems half-hearted and the production is too pop for my preferences. Not all that memorable.

Eli Young Band - Crazy Girl
Texas country dolled up for Nashville. Sounds like a hit to me. Also sounds like something that doesn't excite me in the least, but I guess I won't change the station if it comes on.

Ronnie Dunn - Bleed Red
Meh. Nice sentiment and Ronnie's voice is always great, but aside from the cool plunking piano notes, the tune is a bore. (*follow up - it's growing on me)

Eric Church - Homeboy
I'm at a loss on this one. This should be the moment for Eric to capitalize on his recent successes with something that knocks it out of the park and vaults him onto the A-list. Instead, it's an awkwardly conceived take on a brother who's slipped into rebellion and hip-hop culture. It is catchy though, and the theme will resonate with a lot of listeners.

This may be a tired theme, reflecting on those who have passed on, but it's a genuinely affecting song much in the way Jamey Johnson's "In Color" was. Snapshots and details, rather than rote Hallmark card prose, give this real emotion and Moore's performance is pretty strong. I love to pick on Justin, but I can't do it this time out.

This begins our portion of the Promo album in which I've never heard of any of these people. There's an obvious political pecking order to these things, with the superstars and handpicked up-and-comers leading the way. The B, C and D-listers always round out the collections. Tonja has a good enough vocal performance here, but the song is dull and won't be getting much Clearchannel airplay.

Levi Hart - Borderline Crazy
No. Clever title, but that's all this has to offer. They don't even use that cute wordplay to craft a memorable hook. Bad 90's country come to town.

River Road - Something I Can Wrap My Arms Around
This is catchy and pretty well written. Sounds like a cross between Restless Heart and some 90's hat act. Not bad, but the band sounds canned and flat.

D.J. Miller - Whatever it Takes
This begins the portion of the review where I get slackjawed and sleepy because of the general mediocrity of the songs. DJ sounds good, but this is nothing new by any stretch of the imagination. A middling "proclaiming my love" ballad that drew my first yawn.

Brice Beaird - Old Rock Church
James Tayloresque. "esque" might be an understatement. Is this James using a fake name? Good lyrics, nice change of pace, but I'm not a huge JT fan. Still, bonus points for not sounding like 1997 rehashed. Very nicely shot video too!


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