Author Archives: Kevin John Coyne

Single Review: Toby Keith, “35 MPH Town”

Toby Keith 35 MPH Town

“35 MPH Town”
Toby Keith

Written by Toby Keith and Bobby Pinson

Toby Keith revisits one of his most successful ongoing themes – life in a dying small town.

In this case, he lays the blames the pending death on a lack of religion and strict discipline in the lives of today’s youth.

It’s a different approach for him, as usually he talks about the collapse of economic opportunity leading to the downfall of small town America.    That’s lingering under the surface, of course, but not his primary focus here.

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Single Review: Thompson Square, “Trans Am”

Thompson Square Trans Am

“Trans Am”
Thompson Square

Written by Nathan Chapman, Blair Daly, Kiefer Thompson, and Shawna Thompson

Dude really loves his car.  Like, the way Sam Winchester loves his car.

“Trans Am” has a lot of energy and it’s a credit to Thompson Square that they don’t get lost in the shuffle of a very busy production.

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Daily Top Five: First Favorites

kenny-rogers-gamblerToday, we kick off a new feature: Daily Top Five.  Every day, one of our writers will post their top five picks for a given category, and invite readers to share their own lists in the comments.   This idea was ripped off from inspired by the film Top Five.

Since this is the first entry, today’s topic is First Favorites – your top five songs that got you into country music.

For me:

  1. John Anderson, “Straight Tequila Night”
  2. Reba McEntire, “For My Broken Heart”
  3. Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler”
  4. Pam Tillis, “Maybe it Was Memphis”
  5. Dwight Yoakam, “It Only Hurts When I Cry”

What’s your top five?

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Single Review: George Strait, “Let it Go”

George Strait Let it Go

“Let it Go”
George Strait

Written by Keith Gattis, Bubba Strait, and George Strait

George Strait is country music’s Frank Sinatra.

What he does looks effortless and spawns countless imitators, but none of them can actually replicate what makes him special.

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Single Review: Thomas Rhett, “Crash and Burn”

Thomas Rhett Crash and Burn

“Crash and Burn”
Thomas Rhett

Written by Jesse Frasure and Chris Stapleton

Thomas Rhett’s new single has backup vocals blatantly ripped off from the Sam Cooke classic,  “Chain Gang.”

I repeat:  Thomas Rhett’s new single has backup vocals blatantly ripped off from the Sam Cooke classic,  “Chain Gang.”

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Single Review: Joe Nichols, “Hard to Be Cool”

Joe Nichols Hard to Be Cool

“Hard to Be Cool”
Joe Nichols

Written by Rob Hatch and Jason Sellers

I’m always rooting for Joe Nichols. He’s got a smooth twang, two qualities that usually don’t go together.  He’s made some solid music over the years, too.

What gets him in trouble is his strange tendency toward songs that walk the line between clever and corny. He seems to be drawn to songs that come up with an interesting concept, but never get around to building a compelling song around it.

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Single Review: Terri Clark, “I Cheated on You”

Terri Clark Some Songs

“I Cheated on You”
Terri Clark

Written by Brent Anderson, Brandy Clark, and Forrest Whitehead

“I Cheated on You” is likely to be the best country single of 2015 that barely gets heard south of the Canadian border.

Terri Clark’s latest single is perfectly structured, has an edge that can come only with maturity, and tells such an obvious country cheating tale that it’s amazing that it’s never been told this way before.

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Single Review: Blake Shelton, “Sangria”

Blake Shelton Sangria

“Sangria”
Blake Shelton

Written by J.T. Harding, Josh Osborne, and Trevor Rosen

This is Shelton’s best single an a good long while.

It’s smooth and seductive, without sounding overly coy or even the least bit tacky. The Sangria angle is used well both literally and figuratively, and the lyrics are creative enough that they don’t run the concept into the ground.

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Single Review: Jason Aldean, “Tonight Looks Good on You”

Jason Aldean Tonight Looks Good On You

“Tonight Looks Good on You”
Jason Aldean

Written by Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson, and Ashley Gorley

Great artists start trends, and when everybody else is catching up to what they started, they’ve already moved on to something fresh.

Jason Aldean is not a great artist.

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19 Comments

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Single Review: Dustin Lynch, “Hell of a Night”

Dustin Lynch Hell of  a NIght

“Hell of a Night”
Dustin Lynch

Written by Jaron Boyer, Zach Crowell, and Adam Sanders

I’m starting to believe that the “bro-country” movement doesn’t even exist, and it’s really just an attempt to ascribe meaning to a trend as old as Music City itself: lazy songwriting.

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