The consensus builds with the next set of ten singles. While there is still some lesser known singles and artists in the mix, more than half of these entries come from top-selling albums. Of course, radio still didn’t play all of those, either, but record buyers heard them anyway.
Emily West, “Rocks in Your Shoes”
A burst of country-poptimism that manages to sound both sunny and smart. Eat your heart out, “Red Umbrella.” – DM
Sugarland, “Already Gone”
Perhaps leaving takes place in two stages. The heart and mind go first, then the body catches up with them later on. “Already Gone” explores this concept thoroughly, with keen attention to detail. “Pictures, dishes and socks. It’s our whole life down to one box.” Months after my first listen, I still find myself playing that final verse over and over again. – KJC
Reba McEntire and Kenny Chesney or Skip Ewing, “Every Other Weekend”
Two divorced parents contemplate the unfulfilling aftermath of their split and the lingering feelings they have for one another in intimate detail (“First thing in the morning / I turn the T.V. on to make the quiet go away”). Neither Chesney nor co-writer Skip Ewing was able to match McEntire’s combination of technical and interpretive skill, but you don’t get this kind of song everyday. – DM