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Category Archive for 'Country'

Sturgill Simpson: High Top Mountain

“From its first notes, chock-full of piercing steel guitar and a pronounced Waylon Jennings boom-chick beat, there’s no doubt Sturgill Simpson’s debut follows his intention to make ‘the purest, most uncompromising, hard country album anyone has made in 30 years.’….If you’re partial to old-school country, Sturgill Simpson is a newcomer worth keeping an eye on.” [...]

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“Chesney never sounds like he’s trying too hard but, the thing of it is, he wrote all but three of the songs here, so this represents a considerable uptick in effort from its predecessor. That effort pays off: this feels fuller, richer than any Chesney album in recent memory, but it’s also unhurried and light, [...]

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Hunter Hayes: Encore

“What’s most striking overall is the instrumentation along with the overall feel of the album. Drums are prominent, giving the songs a fuller sound, and Hunter’s virtuosity on both acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and other instruments is tastefully dispersed throughout.” –Country Weekly Check Our Catalog

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“[I]t reflects his newfound popularity via its reliance on rocking rhythms, woolly mammoth hooks, red state swagger, and pristine power ballads… [F]ew other country albums of 2012-2013 are as unabashedly of the moment as this… [T]he very sense that more is more is essential to the appeal of Based on a True Story…: every song [...]

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Della Mae: This World Oft Can Be

“This is traditional American music, not just a bluegrass session. It’s a combination of tradition and eclecticism, which has become the signature sound for the all-female band who refuse to be pigeonholed.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Termed a ‘Southern gothic musical,’ Ghost Brothers of Darkland County was scripted by novelist Stephen King with the music coming from maverick heartland rocker John Mellencamp, a collaboration a bit left-field for both artists. This set includes Mellencamp’s songs interspersed with key dialogue from King’s libretto….They… may well be among the best Mellencamp has ever [...]

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“[T]here’s a swagger that underpins much of Pioneer, the second album from family country-pop trio the Band Perry…. Kimberly Perry’s fiercely committed vocals give Pioneer a character it otherwise works overtime to avoid and, for as good as the by-the-books ballads and rocking country are, the moments when the façade slips a bit make this [...]

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Lady Antebellum: Golden

“Lady Antebellum rolls out their fourth studio album, ‘Golden.’ After striking a heavier tone on their last album, ‘Own The Night,’ the Capitol Nashville trio includes several more up tempo numbers on the new set…. However, any Lady A disc has to contain at least a couple of heartbreaking ballads, and they don’t disappoint here.” [...]

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“Harry Connick, Jr.’s 2013 studio album Every Man Should Know finds the New Orleans native delving into a handful of original songs that touch upon country, pop, and R&B, with only a few jazz-oriented cuts in the mix…. Ultimately, Every Man Should Know is a record with something for every Connick fan.” –All Music Guide [...]

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“For those who don’t already know, the actors in the series actually perform the songs assigned them. The music is selected, directed, and often produced and performed by T-Bone Burnett and his ace studio band…. Like the second half of the first season in this series, this volume has plenty to offer fans of the [...]

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“Richey’s characters on Thorn in My Heart inspire strong empathetic ties with listeners via simple, beautiful melodies and lyrical accuracy by turns poetic and accessible. It is yet another in a string of excellent releases by her, but it’s also something more. It integrates everywhere Richey’s been yet inhabits a terrain completely of her own [...]

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“Martin and Brickell are no accidental tourists. This is a sweet-sounding album with subtle depths, not really bluegrass, but a precisely gentle folk album that grows more graceful and revealing with each listen.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Monroe is enamored with tradition, pushing fiddles to the foreground and sometimes succumbing to the smoky sway of a slow dance at a dancehall, but she’s not a retro-singer, she’s a modern girl hauling old ways into the present. This blend of contemporary attitudes and classic sounds is insinuating and addictive, particularly because at nine [...]

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“Kacey Musgraves could easily be contemporary country’s next big thing. She’s a sharp, detailed songwriter with a little bit of an edge… Musgraves has a sense of humor, too, and all of these traits add up to make Same Trailer Different Park more than a collection of songs just aiming for the country charts.” –All [...]

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“Jennings truly came into his own on Family Man, but on The Other Life, he pushes the boundaries further, offering some of the finest songs he’s written to date. He fully realizes here what he’s been attempting all along. Box these sounds whichever way you want to, but they are all Shooter Jennings, and as [...]

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“The whole album accumulates in a powerful, meditative way, and its themes are less about drinking and trying to forget the past than they are about making peace with the past and trying to remember it and use it as a spark and a springboard to the future. Honky Tonk is country facing forward informed [...]

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“This album, In Time, is…a further step away from anything resembling a mainstream country release, incorporating not only the Tex-Mex and Cuban influences the band was known for, but also the rhythms of polkas, tangos, and all manner of approaches, making them closer to a band like Los Lobos than to Tim McGraw or Jason [...]

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“Luke Bryan’s Spring Break…Here to Party is a soundtrack for a rollicking, rowdy spring break… [T]his is just breezy fun, a collection of cheerful drinking songs that never threaten to careen out of control.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Despite its wide range of material and experimentation, this is the pop record McGraw has always wanted to make. He packs in a little of everything here… [A] solid and ambitious recording.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Kris Kristofferson: Feeling Mortal

“Most of these songs aren’t new — Kristofferson says he writes very little now — but they are unheard, making their recorded debut here. It makes one wonder just how many other gems he has in a desk drawer or on some dusty cassette tape. Based on the soul-satisfying evidence of Feeling Mortal, one can [...]

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