BRICE LONG “It’s Only Monday” (Columbia)
Another new artist. The song is solid, but the production is anemic.
BROOKS & DUNN “Play Something Country” (Arista)
When the hook is Ronnie Dunn howling like a dog, you know you’re in trouble. And another thing – Alan Jackson, George Strait, Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban are all name-dropped, but the only female country singer the songwriters can picture a honky-tonking woman listening to is Patsy Cline?
KENNY CHESNEY “Keg In The Closet” (BNA)
The CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year only seems to record two types of songs – drinking anthems, and nostalgic longings for the days of youth. This one is both, reminiscing about getting drunk in college. This is basically “Young” all over again.
MARK CHESNUTT “A Hard Secret To Keep” (Vivaton)
Wow, what a killer cheating song. I miss this guy.
NEAL McCOY “Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On” (903 Music)
But I don’t miss this guy.
MONTGOMERY GENTRY “Something To Be Proud Of” (Columbia)
Warmed-over, second-rate John Mellencamp.
RANDY ROGERS BAND “Tonight’s Not The Night” (Smith)
He does a reasonable imitation of Gary Allan, but with less distinction and slighter material.
SARA EVANS “A Real Fine Place To Start” (RCA)
Evans follows in the footsteps of Keith Urban and the Dixie Chicks by finding great material on obscure Radney Foster albums. She sings the hell out of it.
STEVE AZAR “Doin’ It Right” (Mercury)
This is a song about redemption after living life the wrong way for so long. You’d never know by the colorless vocal – he sounds like the worst thing he’s done is eaten salad with the wrong fork.
TIM MCGRAW “Do You Want Fries With That” (Curb)
TOBY KEITH “As Good As I Once Was” (Mercury)
Does anybody believe, unless they knew the size of his bank account, that two hot twins would approach Toby in a crowded bar and request a threesome? And this song is an attempt at humility on his part.