2016 ACM Awards: Personal Picks & Predictions

April 3, 2016 Kevin John Coyne 17

Tonight’s ACM Awards will be hosted by Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan. Slated performances include a collaboration between Dolly Parton and Katy Perry, and Miranda Lambert joining up with Billy Gibbons and Keith Urban to cover the ZZ Top song, “Tush.”

Country music in 2016, y’all.

Single Review: Chris Young featuring Cassadee Pope, “Think of You”

January 19, 2016 Ben Foster 8

Chris Young’s new duet single portrays a recently broken up man and woman revisiting the stomping grounds they once shared as a couple. The verses are laced with small details that make it easy for the listener to picture the scene. Young notes the “same old bar, same burned out lights,” while asking “Why in the hell does it feel like a different place?”

Country Universe’s Best Albums of 2013, Part Two: #20-#1

December 31, 2013 Kevin John Coyne 9

2013 turned out to be a banner year for new music, full of powerful songwriting, inspired collaborations, and truly cohesive albums that would rank among the best releases in any given year. Many of this year’s top twenty would’ve ranked much higher in other years, and many of us writers couldn’t even include all the works we deeply enjoyed this year on our personal lists, making our collective list worthy of the heartiest endorsement we could ever give.

Here’s to a great 2013, and a greedy wish that 2014 will be just as wonderful on the music front. As always, share your thoughts and personal favorites in the comments.

Charlie Worsham Rubberband

#20
Rubberband
Charlie Worsham

Individual rankings: #7 – Tara; #12 – Leeann

Like Chris Young two years ago, Worsham’s voice is a commodity that instantly elevates the new artist to an orbit above the male radio regulars. His is warm and cleanly expressive, lending itself best to songs that nurture his upper register, like the jaunty “Want Me Too,” haunting “Someone Like You” or those invigorating opening bars of “Could It Be.” If only life imitated “Nashville” and its fictional stars’ uncomplicated brand of pop country, Worsham might just be the next Luke Bryan and “Rubberband” –the album’s finely produced, genre-bending title track– his next big hit. – Tara Seetharam

Recommended Tracks: “Rubberband,” “Someone Like You,” “Young to See,” “Could it Be”

Single Review: Chris Young, "Aw Naw"

May 11, 2013 Kevin John Coyne 8

Chris Young Aw NawIt’s hard not to root for Chris Young. He can really sing and his music would sound identifiably country if it was released twenty years ago, making it sound like Hank Williams in comparison to what’s passing for it these days.

CU's Top Singles of 2012

December 29, 2012 Ben Foster 47

2012Something you probably already know about us here at Country Universe:  We love country music.  A lot.  While truly great country music has become scarce on country radio, we are fortunate to live in an age in which modern technology has made great music more accessible than ever, regardless of whether Top 40 radio dares touch it.

At the close of each year we separate the grain from the chaff, and share the music we discovered over the past year that made us glad that we stuck with our genre of choice.  We at Country Universe have put our heads together to create the following lists of favorite singles and albums of 2012.

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