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Single Review: Lady Antebellum, “Compass”

January 17, 2014 Kevin John Coyne 7

Lady Antebellum CompassA lot of country music lovers want to claim Mumford & Sons and Philip Phillips as their own.

There’s a joy, a rootsiness, and killer musicianship in the best records of those acts, despite them not being what we’d traditionally consider country artists. Lady Antebellum has never had much connection to what’s historically been considered country music, either. So it’s not entirely surprising that their path from pure, glossy pop to a more grounded, earthy sound, still takes its cues from the top forty music scene.

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Single Review: Jon Pardi, “Up all Night”

January 17, 2014 Kevin John Coyne 7

Jon Pardi Up all NightStop me if you’ve heard this one.

It’s been a long week, girl. It’s time to let loose. Let’s get together everything we need, and take a dirt road out into the country. Don’t forget your flip-flops, and don’t worry, we’re going to be all alone. Hope there’s a great song on the radio. Maybe a nice sunset, too.

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Single Review: Cole Swindell, “Chillin’ It”

January 16, 2014 Kevin John Coyne 6

Cole Swindell Chillin' ItHere’s the dilemma.

Cole Swindell has turned in an excellent record by many measurable standards. It’s well-paced, he’s got some charisma behind the mic, it’s identifiably country, and intelligently structured. Any song these days that has a clear beginning, middle, and end, and also manages to get it all done in under four minutes, feels like manna from heaven.

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Single Review: Keith Urban, “Cop Car”

January 16, 2014 Kevin John Coyne 14

Keith Urban Cop CarOne hallmark of a great singer is the ability to suspend the listener’s disbelief.

The storyline of “Cop Car” is very far-fetched, one of those Nashville compositions that takes fantastical lengths to try and tell the story of a young couple falling in love. In this case, they’re doing so right after being arrested for trespassing, while in handcuffs in the back seat of a police car.

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Single Review: David Nail, “Whatever She’s Got”

January 15, 2014 Kevin John Coyne 5

David Nail Whatever She's GotIs “Whatever She’s Got” really just David Nail doing whatever he’s got to do to stay in the game?

Nail is one of the most distinctive and substantive new voices to emerge in recent years, especially among the crop of younger male artists. He’s had more false starts than most, going through two labels in eleven years and having moderate to major hits, but not building up enough momentum to string a few together.

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Single Review: Jason Aldean, “When She Says Baby”

January 15, 2014 Kevin John Coyne 6

Jason Aldean When She Says BabyWhen Jason Aldean wraps his voice around compelling material, the results are magical.

But more often than not, Aldean is delivering mediocre material. “When She Says Baby” is a great example of how he can take a pedestrian, paint-by-numbers song and make it a little more interesting.

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Single Review: Brad Paisley, “The Mona Lisa”

January 14, 2014 Kevin John Coyne 12

Brad Paisley The Mona LisaNow this is how you write a love song!

Brad Paisley’s had a lot of hit love songs over the years, many of which I’ve found irritating because they are either blithely condescending (“To the world, you’re nothing, but to me, you’re the world!”) or downright insulting (“I love the little moments where you do something stupid!”)

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