Category Archives: Single Reviews

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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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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Single Review: Kelsea Ballerini, “Love Me Like You Mean It”

Kelsea Ballerini Love me Like You Mean It

“Love Me Like You Mean It”
Kelsea Ballerini

Written by Kelsea Ballerini, Lance Carpenter, Josh Kerr, and Forest Glen Whitehead

This sounds like a demo recording for a Taylor Swift album that will never be recorded.

Credit to Kelsea Ballerini for co-writing her single and for not getting vocally lost in the shuffle of a fairly busy production.   I suppose there’s some promise underneath all of the proceedings here, and there’s nothing inherently awful about any of it.

But it takes a special kind of narcissistic charm to pull off a laundry list of requests for a potential beau, and she has neither the outsize personality or outsize list of demands to pull this off.  It would’ve worked better if she’d gone the vulnerable angle instead of the “I mean business” one, which she simply doesn’t have the assertiveness to convincingly convey.

It’s so milquetoast that it’s more like “Take it or Leave it” than “Love Me Like You Mean It.”

Grade: C-

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Single Review: Gary Allan, “Hangover Tonight”

Gary Allan Hangover Tonight

“Hangover Tonight”
Gary Allan

Written by Gary Allan, Cary Barlowe, Jesse Frasure, and Chris Stapleton

With its play on the word “hangover” and its playful production, Allan’s latest single has a happy and silly vibe with an infectious swampy groove. “Hangover Tonight” is carefree and treads the old topic of partying, but it still stands above and apart from the loud raucous party anthems of his mainstream peers.

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Single Review: Michael Ray, “Kiss You in the Morning”

Michael Ray Kiss You in the Morning

“Kiss You in the Morning”
Michael Ray

Written by Larry Michael White and Justin Tyler Wilson

Launching a new artist with this generic a single does a tremendous disservice to their budding career.

“Kiss You in the Morning” sounds exactly like everything else on the radio. It covers the most well-trodden lyrical ground in today’s country music. Ray’s a decent enough singer and the production is controlled, so it’s not memorable for being bad. Trouble is, it’s not really memorable at all.

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Single Review: Lady Antebellum, “Long Stretch of Love”

Lady Antebellum Long Stretch of Lonesome

“Long Stretch of Love”
Lady Antebellum

Written by David Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley, and Hillary Scott

A woefully anemic rocker.

Lady Antebellum have never exactly been known for over-the-top emoting, but this might be the most listless I’ve ever heard the band.

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Single Review: Florida Georgia Line, “Sippin’ on Fire”

Florida Georgia Line Sippin on Fire

“Sippin’ on Fire”
Florida Georgia Line

Written by Rodney Clawson, Matt Dragstrem, and Cole Taylor

There isn’t much logic in hoping for a successful act to abandon the formula that has gotten them where they are today.   Why fix what their fans don’t even care is broken?

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Single Review: Luke Bryan, “Games”

Luke Bryan Spring Break Checkin' Out

“Games”
Luke Bryan

Written by Luke Bryan and Ashley Gorley

Luke Bryan’s latest (and apparently final) Spring Break compilation is being promoted with the new single, “Games.”   Thematically, it doesn’t connect much to the Spring Break concept, unless you just assume the events in question are taking place at some beach-adjacent house party.

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Single Review: Kacey Musgraves, “Biscuits”

Kacey Musgraves Biscuits

“Biscuits”
Kacey Musgraves

Written by Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, and Kacey Musgraves

If you’re already a fan of Kacey Musgraves, you’ve heard most of this before.

“Biscuits” combines elements of “Follow Your Arrow” and “The Trailer Song”, advocating being yourself and minding your own business.   Even the arrangement is a souped-up take on “Arrow”, with more of a beat and quite a few more instrumental flourishes.

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