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Category Archive for 'Contemporary Country'

Dierks Bentley: Riser

“For a decade, every single Dierks Bentley release placed at least in Billboard’s Country Top 20, usually making it to the Top Ten….[I]t’s a sturdy, often absorbing record from a singer who is determined to be in it for the long haul.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Tyler Farr may indeed be Redneck Crazy on his 2013 debut for Columbia Nashville, but his definition of redneck doesn’t quite belong to the backwoods. Farr may not be a grinning, unrepentant bro the way that Luke Bryan and his ilk are, but he’s not far removed, not with his arsenal of songs about beer, [...]

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“Just in case the title of The Outsiders doesn’t give away the game, Eric Church takes pains to strike a defiant stance throughout his fourth album, underscoring his status as a genuine Nashville Rebel….Church has made the conscious decision to try a little bit of everything in his quest to be a savior to both [...]

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“Nearly eight years after Rosanne Cash last released a set of original songs, 2014′s The River & the Thread finds her in a reflective mood….[S]he’s learned to make every word and every note count, and this album confirms once again that she’s matured into a singular artist with the talent and the vision to make [...]

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“Prior to the 2013 release of 12 Stories, Brandy Clark was known primarily as a songwriter, and a good one too….In her songs, Clark is tuneful and defiant, happily celebrating the virtues of weed and rebellion, but Clark never comes across as a redneck….Perhaps she’s too subtle to be a stadium-filling superstar, but the superb [...]

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“Parmalee is a tight-knit band consisting of brothers… and childhood friend… all of whom grew up together near Greenville, North Carolina, and what they play is rock, full of big drums and slashing, fuzzy electric guitar runs, overlaid with country vocals and themes, a hybrid that both contemporary country and rock/pop stations are undoubtedly happy [...]

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“Bryan sneakily incorporates all manners of modern sounds — not enough to distract but enough to make an impression, particularly in how the rhythms suggest pop and dance, how Bryan’s flow can mimic hip-hop without rapping, and those little Auto-Tune flourishes pop up throughout — which also doesn’t make the singer seem particularly country, but [...]

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“As a whole, this set is more diverse than either of its predecessors and at least as consistent….As evidenced by this first volume from season two, Nashville is a series that keeps on giving, both on and off the screen.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Florida Georgia Line… broke onto the contemporary country scene in the spring of 2012 with the infectious summer single ‘Cruise,’ a song that blended cruising country back roads and farm towns with ragged drums and layers of rock guitar….The duo seems poised for stardom going into the second decade of the 21st century, a time [...]

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“As a duets album comprised entirely of female partners, To All the Girls is… driven by superstar guest power but the intimate, relaxed feel is reminiscent of Let’s Face the Music and Dance. Such a quiet, comfortable setting is welcoming to a wide variety of partners, ranging from living legends Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Mavis Staples, and Emmylou Harris to more [...]

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“Jackson’s foray into bluegrass seems easy and natural, as if he’d been playing it all along. Contemporary country stations might not play it, but Jackson is unconcerned. He’s earned the right to drop out of the rat race and do whatever he wants to do, and for now, that means bluegrass.” –All Music Guide. Check [...]

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“See You Tonight works, partially due to the Rogers-shepherded collection of cheerful country-pop but also due to the malleability of McCreery’s dude-next-door persona. That his surroundings are lighter and brighter than before only accentuates how McCreery’s happy to be here, so he’s happy to sing songs that will keep him here.” –All Music Guide Check [...]

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“In concert, Church is brawnier than he is in the studio….It may not convey some of the subtleties and shading of Church’s music, but this is an easy way to mainline the neo-outlaw singer at his hardest.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Keith Urban: Fuse

“Fuse, Keith Urban’s first album in three years, delivers a slicker, more sophisticated version of his solitary demo recording process as a radical sounding change in direction. Throughout, he melds drum machines, synths and samplers with his guitars, banjos, mandolins and voice….Urban manages to fashion it all into a (mostly) working whole and maintain his [...]

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“[I]t shines, capturing Rimes at her best as a pure country singer, a neo-rockabilly filly, a savvy crossover pop artist, and an understated troubadour who knows how to camouflage her emotions underneath it all….[A]ll the music on Spitfire resonates, every song suggesting an avenue Rimes could pursue the next time out.” –All Music Guide Check [...]

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“Annie Up doesn’t have the rhythm of a relationship, it has the relationship of life, the mess of family, new loves, and exes that hang around. In this context, the camaraderie of the Pistol Annies cuts deep — they’re a gang, encouraging the other two not to talk about Tina, praising sobriety, realizing life goes [...]

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“Here, Court Yard Hounds embrace freedom to be something different than the Dixie Chicks, which also means they’re not quite identifying as contemporary country, either….Amelita is, at its heart, an adult pop album and it’s a gorgeous one at that: it glides by easily but it digs deep.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“By no means is he returning to familiar territory here; he’s stepping far outside his ‘Southern Comfort Zone,’ as Paisley puts it on the record’s first single….[W]hen Paisley does pull it all together… the results are so good they wind up proving his point that more country singers should step outside their wheelhouse.” –All Music [...]

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“[T]he first Precious Memories sounded old and dusty, as authentic as a small-town church, but this second volume is stark and bright, sounding as contemporary as the day it was recorded….[T]his is a reverent, resonant spiritual album distinguished by its sweet sincerity.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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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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