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Category Archive for 'Contemporary Country'

“[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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“[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 fa├žade slips a bit make this [...]

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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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“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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“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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“A country music maverick, [Rodney Crowell]‘s written some great songs, been a top-line country star with videos and the whole enchilada, was married to Rosanne Cash for over a dozen years, and has collaborated with Emmylou Harris and countless others as a songwriter, musician, and producer….[T]he songs on Kin are smart, literary, lyrical, full of [...]

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“It’s a remarkably wide range and it’s effortlessly eclectic, with the Dixie Chicks bringing it all together with their attitude and understated musicality — as debuts go (and this does count as a debut), they rarely get better than this.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“T-Bone Burnett is Nashville‘s music producer. He enlisted some of Music City’s finest songwriters and the help of longtime friend Buddy Miller to co-produce (and perform on) most of the songs here. The end result is a collection that provides a compelling argument that contemporary country music doesn’t need to divorce itself from its history… [...]

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“Change My Mind strikes precisely the right blend of grit and glitz, a record that’s clean and mean but still kicks. Having Cyrus sound so comfortable in his skin at such a late stage is a bit unexpected, but Change My Mind benefits from his veteran skills; he never pushes too hard, he just settles [...]

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“[I]f her 2012 album Red intends to do anything, it’s to prove Taylor is a genuine superstar, the kind who transcends genre, the kind who can be referred to by a single name. …Red barely winks at country, and it’s a better album for it. It is, as all pop albums should be, recognizable primarily [...]

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“As a rule, tribute recordings are a mixed bag; they tend to be well-intentioned yet fall short of the mark musically. Jamey Johnson’s Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran is a risky offering because it’s his follow-up to 2010′s Grammy-nominated, gold-selling Guitar Song. …Living for a Song is not so much to [...]

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“Two years after The Reason Why, Little Big Town returned in 2012 with Tornado, their fifth album and, justifiably, perhaps their poppiest yet. …Little Big Town open up their sound, once again emphasizing harmonies and melodies. …Forget the limiting rubric of country-pop: this is one of the best mainstream pop albums of 2012.” –All Music [...]

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“[T]his is steeped in the thick twang that’s been at the heart of Yoakam’s music since the start, but he’s attempting more sounds and styles here…This is an album where one song in no way predicts what comes next…Yoakam has surprised by digging deeper into every one of his obsessions, creating a record that captures [...]

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“Over the years, Jackson has perfected that smooth easy touch and here, on a record devoted to new songs written in the classic tradition…he is a master of understatement in both his delivery and construction, the songs slowly seeping into your marrow. It’s an album only an old pro could make and it’s one of [...]

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“An everyday feel-good record, the kind that generates moments of warmth when heard fleetingly on the radio, at the grocery store, in a doctor’s office, at work, or even at home.”–All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Willie Nelson: Heroes

“An appealingly misshapen collection of classics, contemporaries, and originals. Heroes kind of winds up summarizing all that’s good and bad about Willie as he approaches his 80th birthday: he’s open to everything but has no innate editor, so he whiffs as often as he connects, but when he does connect, it’s a wonder to behold…and [...]

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