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Retro Single Review: Shania Twain, “Any Man of Mine”

July 29, 2011 Ben Foster 16

1995 | Peak: #1

By now, “Any Man of Mine” has become such a familiar Shania classic that it’s easy to take for granted what a bold artistic move it was at the time.

Though feminist viewpoints previously had surfaced in country music at times through the likes of Loretta Lynn and Kitty Wells, they were the exception rather than the rule in 1995. In the early to mid-nineties, it was more common for female artists like Reba to be topping the charts with sad songs that often cast the woman as the victim.



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Retro Single Review: Tim McGraw, “Don’t Take the Girl”

July 29, 2011 Leeann Ward 16

1994 | Peak: #1

After the loud, thumping, controversial nature of “Indian Outlaw”, it’s a good thing that Tim McGraw had another trick in his bag to be found on that second album, which needed to be successful after his debut album, as he has stated, “went wood.” There’s little doubt that the sappy, three act single is what catapulted McGraw’s status to the superstar level that he’s enjoyed since.



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Retro Single Review: George Strait, “Marina Del Rey”

July 27, 2011 Kevin John Coyne 4

1982 | Peak: #6

“Marina Del Rey” was an early attempt by George Strait at recording a pensive and thoughtful ballad.

He wasn’t quite ready for it, yet.   The lyrics are appropriately longing and sentimental for times gone by, but Strait hasn’t yet developed enough as a vocalist to pull off the mature performance required.



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Album Review: Eric Church, Chief

July 24, 2011 Sam Gazdziak 32

Eric Church

Chief

On his new album, Eric Church sings that we need “Some longhaired hippie prophet preaching from the book of Johnny Cash/A sheep among the wolves there standing tall/We need a country music Jesus to come and save us all.”

Bear in mind that he’s singing these lines on an album loaded with distorted vocals and sound effects, guitar solos closer to Three Doors Down than Cash, and a song about Bruce Springsteen.




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Album Review: Blake Shelton, Red River Blue

July 23, 2011 Leeann Ward 16

Blake Shelton

Red River Blue

It’s hard to dispute that Blake Shelton possesses one of the strongest and distinctive male voices in country music today. Likewise, he has proven to be a more than capable interpreter of the songs that he writes and chooses to record. He knows when to sing with soft sensitivity and he knows when to sing loud and hard.