ALAN JACKSON “USA Today” (Arista)
Not exactly Alan at his best, but entertaining enough.
AMBER DOTSON “I Ain’t Your Mama” (Capitol)
A funny little post-honeymoon reflection.
BLAKE SHELTON “Nobody But Me” (Warner Bros.)
Uh-oh. I’m starting to like Blake Shelton. Don’t tell anybody.
DWIGHT YOAKAM “Blame The Vain” (New West)
It’s a Dwight Yoakam single. Is it redundant to say that it’s better than just about anything else out there?
KEITH ANDERSON “XXL” (Arista)
Basically, he’s saying that real women don’t like short guys. I have no idea if that’s true, but if my height didn’t start with a 6, I might feel a little uncomfortable listening to this.
PATTY LOVELESS “Keep Your Distance” (Epic)
A future hall-of-famer, she continues to record what I can best describe as “progressive traditional country music.” I love this single, and I can’t wait to hear the rest of her new album.
MARTINA McBRIDE “Rose Garden” (RCA)
Glorified Karaoke. I’d be more impressed if her “country classics” album didn’t just cover the big hits, and actually demonstrated a deeper knowledge of the genre. Why couldn’t she cover “The Rib” or “Fujiyama Mama”? Show some cajones, little lady.
MICHAEL AFRICK “Heaven’s A Small Town” (Independent)
No it’s not.
REBA McENTIRE “You’re Gonna Be” (MCA)
There’s this heartbreaking song about a man putting his wife in a nursing home called “Moving Oleta.” It’s the best thing Reba has recorded in years, and it could have really touched a lot of people. Of course, it’s on her Room To Breathe album, and instead of pulling another single, MCA has decided to put together a #1 Hits collection for the holiday sales rush, so we have to listen to this song about how mommy knows her newborn baby is going to save the world or something. What a wasted opportunity.