Roundtable Reviews

Round Table Album Review: Brandy Clark, 12 Stories

October 22, 2013 // 3 Comments

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Brandy Clark
12 Stories

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Our Brandy Clark coverage continues with a round table review of her hotly anticipated debut album, which is out this today.

She teased us earlier this year with “Stripes,” which I proudly awarded a solid A in my review of the song, calling it “a clever and original, not to mention humorous, twist on a tried-and-true country music theme.” It was more than enough to whet our appetites for the album to follow, which ended up going so far as to supersede expectations.

Round Table Album Review: LeAnn Rimes, Spitfire

June 26, 2013 // 12 Comments

As you may have noticed, the Country Universe staff loves to find ways to participate in joint writing projects. So, while it won’t be the exclusive way that we review albums, we thought we would give a new, more collaborative album review format a try. As an offshoot of our Round Table Single Reviews, which could become repetitive when we all agreed on a particular track, we are test-driving Round Table Album Reviews, which will give us all a chance to weigh in on different tracks and aspects of a single album. With this format, even if we all generally positively (or negatively) agree on an album, as happens to be the case here, we still have room for a variety of perspectives.

Spitfire

LeAnn Rimes
Spitfire

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CU Roundtable Review: Taylor Swift, “Ours”

December 10, 2011 // 27 Comments

Written by Taylor Swift

Listen: Ours

Ben Foster:

With the sixth single from Speak Now (which only appears on the deluxe edition), Swift goes for a raw understated style in both production and vocal, and it suits her quite well. Though regularly criticized for weak vocals, particularly in a live setting, “Ours” is an instance in which Swift is able to work with her vocal imperfections instead of against them. She turns in a disarmingly compelling performance, such that even the technical imperfections serve to enhance the emotional qualities of the song, as opposed to being a serious liability as in times past. The treatment allows Swift’s natural authenticity and sincerity instead to be the focus of attention.

CU Roundtable Review: The Band Perry, “All Your Life”

August 25, 2011 // 9 Comments

Listen:

All My Life

Leeann Ward:

As wrong as it may be, the consistently gorgeous arrangements and Kimberly Perry’s compelling vocals almost make up for the lyrical deficiencies found on The Band Perry’s debut album. As it has been with all their singles so far, The Band Perry’s story of style being greater than substance continues with this promising group’s latest single as well.

CU Roundtable Review: Martina McBride, “I’m Gonna Love You Through It”

August 3, 2011 // 12 Comments

Written by Ben Hayslip, Sonya Isaacs, and Jimmy Yeary

Leeann Ward:

After changing record labels and subsequently releasing the refreshingly sassy “Teenage Daughters”, not to mention interviews that hinted that she hadn’t been completely happy with the direction that her music had taken in recent years, it seemed that blessedly gone might be the days of overwrought, cloying power ballads with generic productions for Martina McBride. The release of “I’m Gonna Love You Through It”, however, laid that hope to rest for those of us who had tired of such songs a zillion Martina songs ago