Category Archives: Single Reviews

Single Review: Old Dominion, “Break Up With Him”

Old Dominion Break Up With Him
“Break Up With Him”
Old Dominion

Written by Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, Whit Sellers, Geoff Sprung and Brad Tursi

Any song that starts with, “Hey, girl! What’s up?” gets off to a bad start right away.

What follows is three minutes of a guy pressuring a girl to dump her boyfriend because he knows that she’d rather be with him, instead.

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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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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: Sunny Sweeney with Will Hoge, “My Bed”

Sunny Sweeney Will Hoge My Bed

“My Bed”
Sunny Sweeney with Will Hoge

Written By Ashley Monroe, Angaleena Presley, and Sunny Sweeney

Both Sunny Sweeney and Will Hoge have flirted briefly with mainstream success: Sweeney cracked the top 10 at radio with “From a Table Away,” while Eli Young Band scored a major hit with their cover of Hoge’s “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” A slow-burning ballad that chronicles the dissolution of a relationship between actual adults, “My Bed” is, unfortunately, too far out-of-step with the culture at country radio for the pair of singer-songwriters to make any new inroads there. But it’s a measured, mature single that deserves a wider audience.

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Single Review: Robert Earl Keen, “Hot Corn, Cold Corn”

Robert earl Keen Happy Prisoner

“Hot Corn, Cold Corn”
Robert Earl Keen

Written By Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs

Robert Earl Keen has spent the past three decades as one of the most venerated singer-songwriters in country music, particularly within the Texas Country community. His latest album, Happy Prisoner, is a departure from Keen not because of his decision to dabble in Bluegrass music— his material has always skewed in a folk-leaning, acoustic direction— but because it’s an entire album of cover songs, and he’s known for his sharply-observed originals. Fortunately, there’s no faulting Keen’s taste in material, and the album’s first single is a cover of “Hot Corn, Cold Corn,” a Flatt & Scruggs tune that has become a Bluegrass standard.

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Single Review: David Fanning, “Doin’ Country Right”

David Fanning Doin' Country Right

“Doin’ Country Right”
David Fanning

Written by Heather Morgan, Josh Osborne, and Jimmy Robbins

Seems safe to bet that the irony of this single’s title is lost on everyone involved in inflicting it upon a genre that keeps finding ever-more horrifying ways to embarrass itself.

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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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