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Reviews - Page 7

Chris Stapleton
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Chris Stapleton, ‘What Are You Listening To?’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Chris Stapleton's debut single as a solo artist isn't timeless, but it's from a time that's poised to make a resurgence in the next few years. 'What Are You Listening To?' is what you'd get if Marvin Gaye came back to life and moved to Nashville. The singer's pedigree keeps it country, however.

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Trace Adkins
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Trace Adkins (Feat. Colbie Caillat), ‘Watch the World End’ – Song Review

There's an intentional darkness that lingers over Trace Adkins' new single 'Watch the World End,' a duet with pop singer Colbie Caillat. It's an effective love song that also succeeds in painting a vivid picture of the apocalypse.

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Brandon Jenkins
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Brandon Jenkins ‘Tattoo Tears’ – Song Review

Brandon Jenkins may be best known for his edgy, occasionally expletive-laden songs, but if that's all you know about the Red Dirt legend, you're missing out on a lot of what makes Jenkins an all-time great singer/songwriter. From his latest CD, 'Through the Fire', Brandon shows off a deep, emotional side with his single, 'Tattoo Tears'.

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Taylor Swift
Big Machine Records
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Taylor Swift, ‘Red’ – Song Review

Taylor Swift has released three singles to pop radio since releasing her last country single, but her country fans can rest easy knowing that they get all the best songs from the 'Red' album. The title track marks the superstar's first country offering since 'Begin Again,' a track released before the album was even available.  

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Eli Young Band
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Eli Young Band, ‘Drunk Last Night’ – Song Review

Eli Young Band's new single 'Drunk Last Night' is a subtle, but important, departure from songs on the 'Life at Best' album. The track shuffles along at a slightly faster tempo than 'Crazy Girl' or 'Even if It Breaks Your Heart,' but the chorus and production breathe new life into the band's sound. 

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Morgan Frazier
Curb Nashville
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Morgan Frazier, ‘Yellow Brick Road’ – Song Review

Morgan Frazier plays Dorothy to the men she comes upon in her major label debut single 'Yellow Brick Road,' but she's hardly the shy, nervous character from the famous narrative. The 'Wizard of Oz' metaphor that drives this rocker is a clever way for the 19-year-old to get noticed, but the power of her voice is what will ultimately impress country music fans.

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Jason Aldean
Broken Bow Records
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Jason Aldean, ‘Night Train’ – Song Review

Back country roads are becoming crowded this summer, with Jason Aldean's 'Night Train' the latest to take a girl and a fifth of something to a secret spot. The title track from this singer's most recent album stands out above many of the rest, however. It's a rare Aldean vocal showcase that uses a train to put a slightly different spin on this story.

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Leann Rimes
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Album Spotlight: LeAnn Rimes, ‘Spitfire’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

During 'I Do Now,' a song from LeAnn Rimes' new 'Spitfire' album, the singer name-checks the Dixie Chicks. The track is a feel-good, take-my-life-back kinda song nestled between much more moody and emotional fare. The similarities between the two acts were never so apparent until she says it.

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Josh Ward
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Josh Ward Looks to Repeat the Success of ‘Sent Me You’ With His New Single, ‘Promises’ – Song Review

After reaching a new level of success with his hit single 'Sent Me You', Mongomery, Texas native Josh Ward is faced with the tall order of following up a chart-topping record. He'll take a crack at it with a very different song from the sweet, honest ballad:  a rocking honky tonk country tune called 'Promises'.

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Dustin Lynch
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Dustin Lynch, ‘Wild in Your Smile’ – Song Review

'Wild in Your Smile,' Dustin Lynch's third single from his self-titled debut album, is another vocal showcase for the 28-year-old Tennessee native. The song is a fan favorite, one many liked for the followup to 'She Cranks My Tractor.' As Lynch hashes out a familiar story, his confidence is both reliable and charming.

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Dierks Bentley
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Dierks Bentley (Feat. Kacey Musgraves), ‘Bourbon in Kentucky’ – Song Review

Dierks Bentley breaks from his longtime producer Brett Beavers to record his new single 'Bourbon in Kentucky.' Sonically, the song is more experimental than anything the Batman and Robin duo put together. Beavers and Bentley's best work shook like a rattlesnake or pierced deep into the veins with a heartbreaking poison capable of inducing painful flashbacks of past relationships. Few have been as successful over the past decade.

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Jaida Dryer
Streamsound Records
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Jaida Dreyer, ‘Half Broke Horses’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

'Half Broke Horses' is a song many songwriters would be afraid to record. Jaida Dreyer's single is rooted in difficult memories. There's no mistaking the pain in her twang as she tells the story -- and it is a wonderful story. The problem with recording such songs is they often turn out brilliantly, and fans want to hear you sing them again... and again... and again. Blake Shelton knows this -- it's why his wife Miranda Lambert cut 'Over You' instead of him.

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