Single Reviews

Single Review: The Band Perry, “Live Forever”

August 27, 2015 // 12 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: Ashley Monroe, “The Blade”

August 26, 2015 // 12 Comments

“The Blade” sets a new standard for breakup songs.

The title track from Ashley Monroe’s terrific new album is built around a brilliant metaphor.

Singing as the jilted lover, Monroe tells her ex, “You caught it by the handle/ And I caught it by the blade.”

Single Review: Carrie Underwood, “Smoke Break”

August 21, 2015 // 20 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.

Single Review: Kacey Musgraves, “Dime Store Cowgirl”

August 10, 2015 // 10 Comments

“Dime Store Cowgirl” Kacey Musgraves Written by Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, and Kacey Musgraves Despite a slew of industry awards and sales figures that dwarf those of male artists who receive ten times the airplay, Kacey Musgraves has yet to connect with country radio. Plenty of thinkpieces have been logged about #SaladGate, Musgraves’ social mores, and the disconnections between critical favor, sales, and radio’s callout research, but there are increasing murmurs that it is Musgraves’ refusal to play politics with the powers-that-be at radio that has kept all but one of her singles (“Merry Go Round,” her debut single and lone top 10 hit) from missing the top 20. This is hardly a new phenomenon, and it is, unfortunately, indicative of contemporary gender politics both within and beyond country music that Musgraves might be penalized for not behaving in the ways that a woman is expected to behave. That context Read More

Single Review: Luke Bryan, “Strip it Down”

August 8, 2015 // 14 Comments

“Strip it Down” Luke Bryan Written by Luke Bryan, Ross Copperman and Jon Nite How many ways are there to say that a song doesn’t sound remotely country? I wish I knew of a few more, because I’ve been having to make this most common criticism for so long now that I feel like there is no new or creative way to say it anymore.

Single Review: James Otto, “Somewhere Tonight”

August 3, 2015 // 6 Comments

“Somewhere Tonight” James Otto Written by Patrick Russell Davis, Corey Crowder and James Slater James Otto’s name and voice will likely be familiar to anyone who was listening to country radio in the latter half of 2007, but hearing his new single “Somewhere Tonight”, one wouldn’t even know that it was the same artist who once rode the airwaves with the soulful, organic “Just Got Started Lovin’ You.”

Single Review: Ronnie Dunn, “Ain’t No Trucks in Texas”

August 3, 2015 // 2 Comments

“Ain’t No Trucks in Texas” Ronnie Dunn Written by Tony Martin, Wendell Mobley and Neil Thrasher With Texas as its central point, Dunn takes a pass at expressing his indifference toward an ex by using anti-factual details of common Texas tropes. “There ain’t no trucks in Texas/ No football in the south.”, all of which illustrates that, in fact, he is not indifferent to the break up after all.

Single Review: Blake Shelton, “Gonna”

July 31, 2015 // 1 Comment

“Gonna” Blake Shelton Written by Luke Laird and Craig Wiseman “Gonna” is a mix of the old and the more recent Blake Shelton. It has shades of his current music trends, but also calls back to his more relaxed country beginnings. First, it seems that it couldn’t be a Blake Shelton song these days if there wasn’t at least a little EDM influence thrown in. Fortunately, it only starts there and then moves away fairly quickly, which allows the song to become a pleasant pop country ear worm.

Single Review: Jason Isbell, “24 Frames”

July 29, 2015 // 8 Comments

  “24 Frames” Jason Isbell Written by Jason Isbell “You thought God was an architect. Now you know. He’s something like a pipe bomb ready to blow.” If that line isn’t enough to have you itching to hear the new Jason Isbell single, “24 Frames,” then you might as well skip the rest of this review.

1 2 3 113