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Category Archive for 'Contemporary Country'

“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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“Number One Hits does serve up all the high points from McGraw’s career, and hints at his range, making this the best overview of his work yet assembled.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Highlights include British vocal powerhouse Adele (“Rolling in the Deep”), dubstep newcomer Skrillex (“Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”), bearded hard rockers Foo Fighters (“Walk”), country-pop giants Taylor Swift (“Siren”) and Lady Antebellum (“Just a Kiss”), indie folk hitmakers Bon Iver (“Holocene”) and Mumford & Sons (“The Cave”), and stadium rock veterans Coldplay (“Paradise”).” –All Music [...]

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“Vince Gill received one of the greatest gifts of his professional life when he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011. One listen to Guitar Slinger, his first record in five years, makes it easy to comprehend why: he has carried the genre forward to embrace the rest of popular music [...]

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“Like prime Parton, the 12 songs here remain unfailingly upbeat while Lindi warbles about often woefully downbeat subjects, usually involving her love-life…keepers of country’s tragi-comic flame will clasp Lindi firmly to their bosoms.” –BBC Music Check Our Catalog

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“Miranda Lambert struck gold with her third album, Revolution, which sent two songs to the top of the country charts. Four the Record looks to continue her winning streak, mixing sassy country-pop with a handful of rustic, bluegrass-influenced songs.”–All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Sometime around 2005 Sara Evans took a turn toward the dark. [On "Stronger"] It’s made even more pungent by Ms. Evans’s singing, which is as sweet as it comes. Her voice is even keeled, not rough at the edges or squeezed tight in order to hit big notes. Every syllable sounds calm and considered…as her [...]

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Check Our Catalog “Any song that evokes laughter, tears, and soul-searching can be considered a success. Lori McKenna has been successful for a long time, but her latest release, Lorraine, out today, is a real high-water mark for the Stoughton singer-songwriter, featuring 13 perfectly crafted gems of observational insight.” –The Boston Globe

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Check Our Catalog “He’s anchored in the breezy, beachside frat-country that’s been in vogue ever since Kenny Chesney’s Jimmy Buffett tribute took the world by storm at the turn of the millennium. One of the best mainstream country-pop records of 2010: tuneful, hooky, friendly, funny, and bright, the kind of album made for long, hot, [...]

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Check Our Catalog “Reba McEntire has scored more hits than any country female in history, having passed Dolly Parton two years ago. She has conquered it all from the Opry to Broadway, but she’s not ready to chill on the back porch just yet. This is her 34th studio disc and one of her best [...]

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Check Our Catalog “Get Closer may be 34 minutes long, but it uses its time wisely…some of Urban’s sharpest open-highway tunes and bedroom ballads.” –All Music Guide

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