Author Archives: Kevin John Coyne

Single Review: Thomas Rhett, “Make Me Wanna”

Thomas Rhett Make Me Wanna

“Make Me Wanna”
Thomas Rhett

Written by Bart Butler, Larry McCoy, and Thomas Rhett

“Make Me Wanna” is what country music might have sounded like in the nineties if the new traditionalist movement never happened.

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Single Review: A Thousand Horses, “Smoke”

A Thousand Horses Smoke

“Smoke”
A Thousand Horses

Written by Ross Copperman, Michael Hobby, and Jon Nite

Your tolerance for this song will be completely dependent on your tolerance for a woman being compared to nicotine addiction.

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7 Comments

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Single Review: Brantley Gilbert, “One Hell of an Amen”

Brantley Gilbert One Hell of an Amen

“One Hell of an Amen”
Brantley Gilbert

Written by Brian Davis, Mike Dekle, and Brantley Gilbert

I actually feel kind of bad for Brantley Gilbert.  His heart is totally in the right place.   But the execution is absolutely horrendous.

Attempting to tackle two different tragedies in one song – a fallen soldier and death by cancer – and fails to stumble upon any truth in either individual situation, let alone a compelling connection between the two.

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Single Review: Chase Rice, “Gonna Wanna Tonight”

Chase Rice Gonna Wanna Tonight

“Gonna Wanna Tonight”
Chase Rice

Written by Shane McAnally, Jon Nite, and Jimmy Robbins

Here’s what I don’t understand.

Let’s put all of the clichés to the side for a minute.   Going out, drinking, fishing dock, pretty red lips, yada yada yada.  They’re all here, as uninteresting as ever.

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Single Review: Jana Kramer, “I Got the Boy”

Jana Kramer I Got the Boy

“I Got the Boy”
Jana Kramer

Written by Connie Harrington, Tim Nichols, and Jamie Lynn Spears

The sentiment is quite poignant.   “I got the boy. She got the man.”   A high school sweetheart reminisces as she sees her boyfriend from back then has gotten married.

The writers establish some wonderful specifics in the verses that help to bring the characters to life.  But the chorus is bland both lyrically and melodically, so the payoff from the buildup isn’t there.

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Single Review: Dwight Yoakam, “Second Hand Heart”

Dwight Yoakam Second Hand Heart

“Second Hand Heart”
Dwight Yoakam

Written by Dwight Yoakam

Easily his strongest single since “The Back of Your Hand”,  Dwight Yoakam is at his best on his new release, “Second Hand Heart.”

Returning to the weathered heartache territory that he does better than anyone else, “Second Hand Heart” captivates from its opening line: “She said, ‘When I trusted love, I dreamed in color, too.'”   Eight words out of her mouth and she’s a fully realized character, the mirror image of Yoakam’s protagonist, who recognizes a kindred spirit underneath all of that weariness on the surface.

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Single Review: Luke Bryan, “I See You”

Luke Bryan I See You

“I See You”
Luke Bryan

Written by Luke Bryan, Ashley Gorley, and Luke Laird

This is the sound of an artist that’s struggling against the confines of the niche he’s been assigned, but not being willing to give up enough of the trappings to completely break free.

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Single Review: Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe, “Lonely Tonight”

Blake Shelton Ashley Monroe Lonely Tonight

“Lonely Tonight”
Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe

Written by Brent Anderson and Ryan Hurd

It’s billed as a duet, but it’s about as much as an equal pairing as Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle back in the day.  Monroe essentially plays a harmony role, singing an answer line from time to time.

Not the best use of her talent, though it seems the only way to get her on the radio is in a feature spot, which is better than nothing.   “Lonely Tonight” is a decent spin on the classic “just one more night” theme.

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Single Review: Kip Moore, “I’m to Blame”

Kip Moore I'm to Blame
“I’m to Blame”
Kip Moore

Written by Westin Davis, Kip Moore, and Justin Weaver

When Kip Moore puts on the outlaw boots, they actually fit just right.   He’s not posing.  He’s not playing a character.  He’s singing his truth, and he can get done singing that truth in two minutes and seventeen seconds.

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Single Review: Zac Brown Band, “Homegrown”

Zac Brown Band Homegrown
“Homegrown”
Zac Brown Band

Written by Zac Brown, Wyatt Durrette, and Niko Moon

Zac Brown Band has been doing so many variations on the same handful of themes – relaxing, drinking, digging your hometown – that each new release has to mix thing up a bit to justify its existence.

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