Single Reviews: December 2, 2006

All apologies for the site going quiet, but blogging couldn’t compete with Wii-ing. Here’s a long overdue rundown of recent singles.

AARON TIPPIN, “He Believed”

Nice, heartfelt ode to a father that could’ve devolved into the umpteenth country single about believing in God, but the kicker is that most of all, “he believed in me.” Could’ve done without the backing singers, but Tippin’s still a forceful, distinctive singer and he never loses control of the record. Good stuff.

ALISON KRAUSS & JOHN WAITE, “Missing You”

I’m disappointed that this amazing song sounds like it was recorded over the original 80’s backing track. Krauss should re-cut this solo in her own style; it would be timeless.

BILLY CURRINGTON, “Good Directions”

I absolutely love the production, no frills with a touch of Western swing. I dismissed the most recent Trace Adkins single as unbelievable with its theme of city girl falling for country boy, but Currington revisits the same theme with humility and realism and it works well.

BLAINE LARSEN, “Spoken Like a Man”

I’m starting to like this guy. Again, a humble, plain-spoken record. Some of these new artists are reminding me what I liked about country music in the first place.

BLAKE SHELTON, “Don’t Make Me”

Wow, another great song. Interesting twist on who makes who leave.

BROOKS & DUNN, “Hillbilly Deluxe”

They’re too old to be doing songs like this, and they’ve already done about a million of them in the last fifteen years.

CLAY WALKER, ” ‘Fore She Was Mama”

Mama was a biker, pot-smoking hippie before she popped out some kids. Funny as hell. Bonus points for rhyming “mama” with “tijuana.”

CODY McCARVER, “Red Flag”

Another new guy. Clever song. Smart enough to let the listener connect the dots.

DANIELLE PECK, ” Isn’t That Everything”

Fairly typical “money isn’t everything” country song. Pleasant enough, but nothing new.

DIERKS BENTLEY, “Long Trip Alone”

I think this is his best single so far. Could make for a gloriously unconventional wedding song.

EMERSON DRIVE, “Moments”

Heartbreakingly beautiful.

GARY ALLAN, “A Feelin’ Like That”

It’s a good thing this is such a frickin’ awesome song, because I’m pissed they’re launching another Gary Allan album after only two singles from Tough All Over.

KEITH URBAN, “Stupid Boy”

His best since “You’ll Think of Me.” He’s just getting stronger with time. This is a killer song and destined to be a smash.

MARTINA McBRIDE, “Anyway”

I like the lyrics, borrowed as they are, but I’m tired of this “big message anthem” production. There are other ways to show intensity than loud string sections and overwrought vocals. If she’d stuck to the subtle approach she uses in the verses on the chorus, it would’ve been a classic.

JOSH TURNER, “Me and God”

Shouldn’t it be “God and I”? Oh, well. Sounds like a good song for Sunday school kids.

GRETCHEN WILSON with JOHN RICH, “Come to Bed”

I like this a lot. More songs like this and I’m back in her corner.

MIRANDA LAMBERT, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”

It’s like she threw “Before He Cheats” and her own “Kerosene” into a blender. I can see this being a hit but it’s a little ridiculous.

SARAH BUXTON, “Innocence”

Beautifully sung. She’s got a wonderful voice. Too bad the song is a blatant rewrite of “Strawberry Wine”, just taking the bridge from that song and making a chorus out of it.

RODNEY ATKINS, “Watching You”

Another very funny song and refreshingly honest about parenthood.

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