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Category Archive for 'Contemporary Country'

“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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“[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 façade 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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