No Picture

CU's Top Singles of 2012

December 29, 2012 Ben Foster 47

2012Something you probably already know about us here at Country Universe:  We love country music.  A lot.  While truly great country music has become scarce on country radio, we are fortunate to live in an age in which modern technology has made great music more accessible than ever, regardless of whether Top 40 radio dares touch it.

At the close of each year we separate the grain from the chaff, and share the music we discovered over the past year that made us glad that we stuck with our genre of choice.  We at Country Universe have put our heads together to create the following lists of favorite singles and albums of 2012.

No Picture

Merry Christmas: A Christmas Card Playlist

December 24, 2012 Leeann Ward 0

I know that we’d love to send each of you a Christmas card from us, but since we can’t, here is a playlist of Christmas songs to enjoy as a stand-in, which is probably better than any card we could send anyway.

These songs are hand-picked by me as songs that I find particularly relaxing, yet still entertaining, during the chaos of the Christmas season. I hope you enjoy.

No Picture

Single Review: LeAnn Rimes, “What Have I Done”

December 12, 2012 Dan Milliken 25

Long lost in the torrent of tabloids, lost in the fickle four-lady shuffle of country radio, is the truth that LeAnn Rimes – whatever her choices, relevance – is an exceptional country artist. An artist who hit her commercial peak early, but whose creative peak is still sloping up with each passing year, as her natural talent imbibes the wisdom and weather of age. The chipper tween who Patsy-parroted through “Blue” was charming, but nowhere near as compelling as the guarded optimist of “What I Cannot Change.” And even she, in turn, sounds a little simplistic compared to the woman we now encounter in “What Have I Done.”

No Picture

2013 Grammy Nominations

December 6, 2012 Ben Foster 10

The Grammy season is upon us. In some ways each year is different, and yet in some ways each year is the same. Some nods we see coming from a mile away (“Just Somebody That I Used to Know” for Record of the Year – Called it!), some come as pleasant surprises (Finally some recognition for “Cost of Livin'”!), and of course there are some records that sell well enough to score nominations even though they stink (Take your pick).

No Picture

Concert Review: Carrie Underwood with Hunter Hayes

December 3, 2012 Kevin John Coyne 10

Carrie Underwood with Hunter Hayes
The Blown Away Tour
Prudential Center
Newark, NJ
December 1, 2012

There’s a desirable sweet spot in every big performer’s career where they finally have a large number of hits to fill out a two-hour show, a compelling enough current album to sustain audience interest between the hits, and the appropriate level of earned confidence to take some bold risks in staging and presentation.

Carrie Underwood just hit that sweet spot.

1 2 3 27