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Category Archive for 'Country'

“There are moments where Single Mothers feels like art therapy as much as music, but this album communicates its pain with intelligence and a gentle touch, and as a singer and lyricist Earle grows with each album; there are more than a few moments of brilliance on this set if you don’t mind sharing a [...]

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“At its core, Bringing Back the Sunshine is a middlebrow makeout record that can double as a fine morning tonic. Nothing here rocks (although the closing ‘Just Gettin’ Started’ tries to work up a full head of steam), nothing is gritty, even the ode to a ‘Good Country Song,’ which isn’t a slice of hardcore [...]

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Trisha Yearwood: Prizefighter

“Yearwood has had more than ten hits — and she’s also had no fewer than five compilations — but the hits here are well chosen (‘She’s in Love with the Boy,’ ‘How Do I Live,’ ‘Wrong Side of Memphis,’ and ‘The Song Remembers When’ are all here), and the new songs are solid enough to [...]

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Garth Brooks: Man Against Machine

“From its beefy arena rock arrangements to its preponderance of power ballads, this is an album constructed from remnants of the golden age of the diamond album, a cross-demographical blockbuster that’s now a bit of accidental narrowcasting. This is for audiences who wish they made country records like they used to — not when Hank, [...]

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Eric Paslay: Eric Paslay

“Paslay isn’t trying to change the world with his songs, but he does want you to remember them without much strain, and if there’s a secret to success in Nashville, that just might be it — keep it simple and catchy. This self-titled debut release doesn’t change the landscape of contemporary country, but it sure [...]

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Florida-Georgia Line: Anything Goes

” Despite the loosey-goosey title, there’s not much left to chance on Anything Goes: it’s designed to consolidate Florida Georgia Line’s success and maybe give them a little bit of cred they never amassed on their debut. Those serious moments, crystallized by the salt-of-the-earth dirgey lead single ‘Dirt,’ are where FGL stumble. Whenever the duo [...]

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Jason Aldean: Old boots, new dirt

“It’s hard not to ascribe some meaning to the title of Old Boots, New Dirt, Jason Aldean’s sixth album. Edging into his second decade as a star, Aldean’s boots are getting a bit worn; he’s no longer an upstart, he’s a veteran who could almost be seen as an institution thanks to his long commercial [...]

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“The new songs are a nice touch, but the real purpose of this set is to offer casual fans a way to get all of Brooks’ best-known hits in one package, and in that regard The Ultimate Hits not only succeeds, it’s long overdue.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Rimes’ decision to play it cool in addition to having a bit of fun makes One Christmas a neat little seasonal treat.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“A quarterback-turned-country songwriter-turned-country star, Sam Hunt never makes apologies for his inherent bro-ness on his 2014 debut Montevallo….Hunt’s ability to fuse his classical construction with modern flair and pass it off as no big thing is what makes his debut something more than just another album from the bro next door.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog [...]

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Taylor Swift: 1989

“When Taylor Swift decides to do something, the girl really knows how to overdo it. So on her fifth album, when she indulges her crush on Eighties synth-pop, she goes full blast….Deeply weird, feverishly emotional, wildly enthusiastic, 1989 sounds exactly like Taylor Swift, even when it sounds like nothing she’s ever tried before.” –Rolling Stone Check Our Catalog

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“Beal continues the eclectic and wild streak he began on his debut, but takes it into more refined, if not completely more accessible zones with Nobody Knows. It’s hard to tell if the album feels angrier and grittier than its predecessor, or if peeling off the layers of lo-fidelity actually reveal an artist more raw and without rules than [...]

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“The third and last of the Pistol Annies to deliver her own solo record, Angaleena Presley operates on a more intimate scale than either Miranda Lambert or Ashley Monroe. Lambert trades on her bravado, Monroe on her savviness, but Presley relies on subtlety on American Middle Class, her long-awaited 2014 solo debut….This is a rich, deceptively relaxed portrait of working-class life in America in 2014 and it will linger [...]

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“Old Crow Medicine Show is one of the preeminent forces in the roots and Americana music world, and it’s easy to see why….Remedy is not just full of happy songs, but of protest songs belted at top speed and on full blast. Old Crow is having fun and playing songs without a thought toward self-importance, [...]

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Jack Clement: For Once and For All

“Legendary characters don’t get much bigger than ‘Cowboy’ Jack Clement. A maverick old-schooler, he worked at Sun Records in the ’50s, recording Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. He later produced everyone from Waylon Jennings to U2 and wrote hits for Charley Pride and Bobby Bare. This new album was the last thing he did before [...]

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Billy Swan: Country Funk II: 1967-1974

“Country funk isn’t a real genre, except retrospectively, being one of those kinds of sounds you can’t really explain but you sure know it when you hear it….Yeah, it’s country, but it’s extra greasy, with pronounced backbeats, and it’s, well, funky somehow. You know it when you hear it….Music is all about cross-pollination. Country and [...]

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“Tim McGraw is an eccentric centrist who can dodge the headlock of country-radio culture….Per usual, the character studies shine brightest. Proof: ‘Sick of Me,’ a self-loathing take-me-back plea – a reminder that, like Bill Clinton, another great Southern centrist, McGraw is best when he’s feeling your pain.” –Rolling Stone Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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Lady Antebellum: 747

“Give Lady Antebellum credit: There’s a consistency to its songs that makes the group as much a manufacturing concern as it is a country act.” –Boston Globe Check Our Catalog

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Kenny Chesney: The Big Revival

“[C]ountry’s number-one beach bum continuously brings a sense of musical energy and emotional urgency his previous easygoing albums have sometimes lacked.” –Rolling Stone Check Our Catalog

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“Moonshine in the Trunk is all gleaming steel, hard edges, sleek rhythms, and power ballads, state-of-the-art modern country that doesn’t dare make a big deal of any of Paisley’s eccentricities outside of his squealing guitar.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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