Tag Archives: Ashley Gorley

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: 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: Frankie Ballard, “Young & Crazy”

frankie ballard young & crazy

“Young & Crazy”
Frankie Ballard

Written by Rhett Akins, Ashley Gorley, and Shane McAnally

“Young & Crazy” is like a used car that’s been refurbished by a crack team of mechanics.   From a distance, it can look brand new, but get a little closer, and you can see it’s been constructed with spare parts.

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Single Review: Billy Currington, “Don’t It”

Billy Currington Don't It

“Don’t It”
Billy Currington

Written by Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley, and Jaren Johnston

We’ve reached a point where Billy Currington can release a “Hey girl, let’s get down tonight” anthem and sound like an elder statesman of country music.

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Single Review: Jason Aldean, “Just Gettin’ Started”

Jason Aldean Just Gettin Started

“Just Gettin’ Started”
Jason Aldean

Written by Rhett Akins, Chris DeStefano, and Ashley Gorley

Competently performed.  Creatively stagnant. Completely unnecessary.

Grade: D

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Single Review: Luke Bryan, “I See You”

Luke Bryan I See You

“I See You”
Luke Bryan

Written by Luke Bryan, Ashley Gorley, and Luke Laird

This is the sound of an artist that’s struggling against the confines of the niche he’s been assigned, but not being willing to give up enough of the trappings to completely break free.

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Single Review: Luke Bryan, “Play it Again”

Luke Bryan Play it AgainTrite an uninspired, “Play it Again” is a Luke Bryan record without any of the  aw-shucks earnestness that can make even his mediocre songs somewhat enjoyable.

Not much more to say than that, other than “songs about songs” are one of my favorite categories of songs, but this isn’t one of the better ones.  There are a lot of great ones, but that’s another post.

Written by Dallas Davidson and Ashley Gorley.

Grade: C-

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaIsVhsqZ4g

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Single Review: Lucy Hale, “You Sound Good to Me”

Lucy_Hale_-_You_Sound_Good_to_MePretty Little Liars actress turned country newcomer Lucy Hale cites Shania Twain and Martina McBride as major musical influences, and to a degree it’s perceptible on her debut single “You Sound Good to Me.” The track begins with a light, airy fiddle hook, and segues into an effervescent uptempo pop-country love song with an atypically sparse production arrangement by country radio standards (murky background vocals aside).

Unfortunately, things go very wrong in one important area – the vocal. Hale’s performance sound constantly strained and often pitch-challenged as she struggles to reach high notes and keep up with the brisk tempo. Worse yet, Hale’s voice rings generic and faceless, lacking any hint of distinctive personality or flair and instead sounding like that of any random karaoke bar patron.

It doesn’t help that the song itself is hardly anything special – standard Music Row radio filler courtesy of three of the industry’s current favorite hired-gun songwriters. There’s none of the distinctive cleverness, spunk or massive pop hooks that marked the best work of Hale’s role models. If such a song is going to work on any level at all, it needs a strong vocal performance to carry it. Without that crucial element, “You Sound Good to Me” quickly sinks like a stone.

Written by Ashley Gorley, Luke Laird and Hillary Lindsey

Grade: C-

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHz9qFCZOvs&list=PL1hdtH2WAGAyA74JjXkpwimtbkC5ORCFf&feature=share

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Single Review: Rascal Flatts, “Rewind”

Rascal Flatts RewindUsing the word rewind in 2014 is a bit dated and quaint, don’t you think?

But it’s better than “re-fall” and “re-fly”, the uses of which nearly derail in the bridge what has been a satisfactory journey so far.  The concept might be old school, but the Rascal Flatts boys are still very much in the present, turning in a nice variation on their trademark harmonies that allow Gary LeVox to let loose a little bit.  He’s not as nasal as he’s been in the past, and when he goes for the power vocals toward the end, he sounds a lot more raw than I can ever remember hearing him.

There’s something slightly melancholy about Rascal Flatts these days.  A major commercial act that was never known for its artistry has begun to fade.  Their relevance is on shaky ground, almost sadly dependent on the whims of radio and consumer interests.  I don’t know why their sound slowly went out of style, any more than I can tell you why they were moving four million units an album at their peak.

But against today’s landscape, there’s something comforting about the way that they’re still doing things.   They may not be at the top of the game, but at least they’re still playing.

Written by Chris DeStefano, Ashley Gorley, and Eric Paslay

Grade: B-

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgSJ96Mz6V8

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Single Review: Darius Rucker, “Radio”

220px-RadioDariusRuckerDarius Rucker celebrates the radio with his current hit, simply titled “Radio.”

It’s tolerable enough, more tastefully produced than your average country radio hit, but it never quite overcomes the fact that its territory is one that other artists have covered much better in the past. (Exhibits A, B, C) The lyrics fail to rise above rote scenes of a nameless, faceless narrator driving down the highway with his nameless, faceless friends, and parking his truck beneath the stars to get cozy with his nameless, faceless girlfriend. The whole of the song is weighed down by a general sense of non-distinction, reflected in its generic one-word title.

Unfortunately, the dynamics aren’t strong enough to compensate. The melody is dull and lifeless, and Rucker’s performance is forgettable. The end result is a song that might not be bad enough to be an immediate station-changer, but nor is there anything here that would inspire me to ‘turn it up, turn it up to 10…’

Written by Darius Rucker, Luke Laird and Ashley Gorley

Grade: C+

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