Articles by Kevin John Coyne

Album Review: Kacey Musgraves, Pageant Material

September 29, 2015 // 8 Comments

It isn’t easy to follow up a universally praised debut album, especially when you don’t have the novelty of the new in your corner. Sometimes what sounds so fresh is just by the virtue of being the first time your voice has been heard. The second time around, you can only rely on the strength of your material. Being different is no longer enough.

Single Review: The Band Perry, “Live Forever”

August 27, 2015 // 16 Comments

The review contrasting “Live Forever” with “If I Die Young” writes itself. Vulnerable sincerity versus bombastic arrogance. Mortality versus immortality. Acoustic country versus amped up rock. By every measurable standard, “Live Forever” is the polar opposite of “If I Die Young.”

Single Review: Carrie Underwood, “Smoke Break”

August 21, 2015 // 23 Comments

“Smoke Break” is a remarkably good attempt at a working class anthem. It’s so stylistically different from the “rah rah, let’s party this weekend” approach that has made drinking synonymous with adolescent behavior in modern country music.

Daily Top Five: Carrie Underwood Singles and Tracks

August 21, 2015 // 21 Comments

I’ve been at this whole Country Universe thing for eleven years now, and one of the early highlights of my time doing this was the arrival of Carrie Underwood. She was so, so good on American Idol, but it didn’t quite prepare me for how much I would love hearing her do original material.

Daily Top Five: Kinda Hits

August 20, 2015 // 16 Comments

Seems as good a topic as any for the day of the week known as Throwback Thursday.

While listening to a Pam Tillis hits playlist, “It’s Lonely Out There” came up early, just after some of her biggest hits and before a few other big hits.

Daily Top Five: Autobiographical Songs

August 10, 2015 // 16 Comments

Jonathan posted an excellent review of “Dime Store Cowgirl” today, which is an autobiographical song by Kacey Musgraves. Today’s top five asks you to share your favorite autobiographical country songs, the ones where the artist/writer tells their own story in song. There are so many of these I like, from Johnny Cash’s “Five Feet High and Rising” to Carlene Carter’s “Me and the Wildwood Rose,” but while making my list, I realized I couldn’t pick just one Dolly Parton song. So my top five is just songs by her. But please feel free to mix up the artists on your own list! Here’s My Top Five: Dolly Parton, “Just Because I’m a Woman” Dolly Parton, “In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)” Dolly Parton, “Coat of Many Colors” Dolly Parton, “Shattered Image” Dolly Parton, “Backwoods Barbie”  

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