“I’m Comin’ Over” Chris Young Written by Corey Crowder, Josh Hoge, and Chris Young He’s still got a great voice, and that’s still giving him the confidence to keep the production flourishes in check. So “I’m Comin’ Over” is identifiably country and not unpleasant to listen to. That’s already enough to be in the upper tier of country radio singles in 2015.
“Love is Your Name” Steven Tyler” Written by Lindsey Lee and Eric Paslay When word came out that Tyler was releasing a country album, the first thing that came to mind — at least in my mind — was “cash grab.” After all, rock & roll is more endangered than the rhinoceros, and pop has become the playground for young hip-hop and EDM influenced singers. Where else is the 67-year-old frontman of Aerosmith going to get played on the radio?
“Buy Me a Boat” Chris Janson Written by Chris DuBois and Chris Janson It’s about time that Eric Church’s sound started showing up on other people’s records. Chris Janson’s “Buy Me a Boat” is lyrically something you would’ve expected from Alan Jackson back in the day. He’d have done it with a goofy smile. Janson does it with the same amount of twang, but it sounds like he’s grimacing instead of grinning.
“Traveller” Chris Stapleton Written by Chris Stapleton With all of the lamenting that many of us do regarding mainstream country music, those of us who are practical are aware of the conflict of knowing that the songs that we would choose to be played on radio must at least maintain a balance of quality songwriting and sounding country while still being accessible to a mainstream audience, which is what much of nineties country music did so well.
“Loving You Easy” Zac Brown Band Written by Al Anderson, Zac Brown, and Niko Moon Zac Brown Band’s groove was in danger of becoming a rut, and their new album, Jekyll + Hyde, is their game attempt to expand their sound. You know, mix it up a bit. I almost feel guilty for faulting them for “Loving You Easy.” They’re really trying to do something new.
“Run Away With You” Big & Rich Written by Michael Ray and John Rich One thing’s for sure about Big & Rich: They’re pros at what they do. They’ve correctly assessed the general sound and lyrical themes that brought them their biggest radio success, and “Run Away With You” is a competent attempt to recreate what worked.