Aug 8, 2018
Jul 31, 2018
Mar 29, 2017
Aug 7, 2015
Sep 6, 2010
Aug 30, 2010
A summary of this month's comp: the big stars generally disappointed with lackluster releases. There are a few gems from big names and a couple from the never-heard-of-ems. The rest is mostly middling. Click the links for a full listen or sample of the song.
Snap Judgments - Promo Only Country Radio September
Josh Gracin - Cover Girl
2010's version of Sammy Kershaw's "She Don't Know She's Beautiful," except minus the charm. Cliché by every measure. Soft rock with guitars. Josh: "shake what your mama gave you" "sundress" etc. Me: "puke"
James Wesley - Real
Timely, if only because reality shows are still inexplicably popular, "Real" contrasts television's version of reality to the average American's reality. Besides leaning a little too hard on the gimmick (mentioning shows by name), this is a catchy (if sounding like it came from the 90's), memorable song with some definite hit potential.
Kenny Chesney - Boys of Fall
Scru u h8ers. Ur jus jelious. Seriously though, I like this song a lot, at risk of my snarky blogger and alt-country lover credibility.
Craig Campbell - Family Man
Another tune reminiscent of 90's country, "Family Man" is either cloying or heartfelt, probably depending upon your experience with the subject matter of the song... and your level of cynicism I suppose. Surprisingly, this jackass jerk of a blogger likes it. Feels honest.
Mark Chesnutt - Lovin' Her Was Easier
Mark's Waylon (Bare) cover is warm, but fairly unremarkable. That said, an adequate Waylon cover by Mark Chesnutt is better than the best Taylor Swift tune.
Miranda Lambert - Only Prettier
Hard to give a snap judgment of a song I've been listening to for months. Miranda's latest single is snappy, witty and full of attitude. This should solidify her spot on Nashville's A-List without sacrificing any "real country" cred.
Burns & Poe - How Long is Long Enough
This may mark the end of the Burns & Poe experiment. This is the musical equivalent of a sigh. Or a yawn.
Jessie James - Boys in the Summer
Kinda late, eh? This reminds me of Laura Bell Bundy's "Giddy On Up" from a few months back. Very catchy, danceable, not that country, and entirely girl-centric. As a pop song, I'd probably give this a B-. As a country release, it's a:
Blake Wise - Cornfields
Wise has a good voice, but this is a pretty unremarkable song, especially for an introductory (?) single. It's basically "Small Town USA" relocated to Iowa... with a much droopier tune.
Hell no. Make it go away! I hated the pop version, so adding little steel or banjo is like putting a cowboy hat on a cow turd. You know, Train's debut CD was actually really good. Since then, it hasn't been all downhill, it's been all valley.
Joe Nichols - The Shape I'm In
Another song I've heard before now and I was hoping he'd put out as a single. I <3>3>
Williams Riley - Sweet September
It's rare, but sometimes a song can mix overdone lyrics and an "I've heard that somewhere before" melody with a little "it" factor and come out with something much better than the sum of its parts. This song is proof. I should hate this but...
Johnny Bulford - Don't Make Me Love You
A fairly catchy country tune, but JB's voice just isn't built for radio stardom if this is his best effort.
George Strait - The Breath You Take
I don't dislike this quite as much as most reviewers have, but it's far from up to par for King George. For me it boils down to: the melody of the verses sounds like a funeral dirge while the chorus is bumper-sticker inspiration nuggets with swelling lovey-doveyness. Somehow, the chorus I don't mind so much - the verses are awful. As a whole, it's a very difficult listen.
Brantley Gilbert - My Kind of Crazy
Brantley doesn't have the most powerful set of pipes, but it's a likable rasp. My Kind of Crazy is not the most memorable of songs on the first couple listens but I could see it growing on me.
Chris Young - Voices
I liked it well enough the first time it was released as a single and still do. I think Chris needs to vary the subject matter of his future singles to show the less serious side of his persona, but this is good enough to get him another top 10.
Darius Rucker - Come Back Song
Darius is going the opposite direction I'd hoped he would take. Resting on your laurels, Hootie? This tune is an earworm, but it's not something Darius should be proud to have his powerful instrument of a voice ever grace.
Reba - Turn on the Radio
Child please. Reba Reba Reba... c'mon girl... you're better than this. This song will definitely cause me to do the opposite of your bidding. Wow, the superstars on this comp have really turned in some crap-nuggets.
John Rich - Country Done Come to Town
Paging Big Kenneth. The other half of your duo needs your help ASAP. John's dishwater thin voice does nothing to elevate this cliché-ridden tune, which could stand a good shot of attitude to make it anywhere near hit-worthy.
Todd O'Neill - Somethin' With Some Attitude
In stark contrast to John Rich's trite number, Todd kicks this fairly "been there, heard that" song in the ass with his crackin' vocals. While I don't love the song, I'm looking forward to hearing more from this guy. Cool voice.