Today, we combine a classic feature with our latest one. What are your Top Five Track Recommendations? They don’t have to be that recent, but should be something that wasn’t a single. Here are my Top Five: Reba McEntire, “She Got Drunk Last Night” Punch Brothers, “Magnet” Tim McGraw, “Overrated” Nickel Creek, “You Don’t Know What’s Going On” Rodney Crowell, “God I’m Missing You”
Today’s Daily Top Five asks you to pick the five albums you would use to make a case for country music to the unconverted listener. Here are the five albums I would lend/rip/share in a .zip to someone willing to give country music a chance: Dixie Chicks, Home Tim McGraw, Live Like You Were Dying Reba McEntire, For My Broken Heart Alan Jackson, A Lot About Livin’ (and a Little ‘Bout Love) Shania Twain, The Woman in Me What are your Top Five Country Convert Albums?
Again, we play catch up with a daily double top five, and this one focuses on cover songs. So many great songs have been re-recorded over time. Sometimes the new versions are so good that you discover something new about the original. Other times, the new takes are so bad that you just wish they’d left well enough alone. So today we ask: What do you think are the best and the worst cover songs? For my five best, I’m picking versions that I enjoyed so much more than the originals that I rarely listen to the first versions anymore. But you don’t have to do that! Original artists are in parentheses after each pick. Five Best Cover Songs Emmylou Harris, “The Boxer” (Simon & Garfunkel) Johnny Cash, “Why Me Lord” (Kris Kristofferson) Reba McEntire, “Sweet Music Man” (Kenny Rogers) Alison Krauss, “Ghost in This House” (Shenandoah) Dwight Yoakam, “Wichita Read More
Reba McEntire Love Somebody This is the strongest album Reba McEntire has released in more than twenty years. Listening to Love Somebody is hearing a legend of the genre rediscover her own voice. She’s always been an excellent singer, but after making her name as both a heartbreak queen and the common folk’s Everywoman, she had tremendous difficulty navigating the post-Shania Twain landscape of female empowerment anthems.
Actively writing single reviews again has me also looking at the radio charts again. What a bleak landscape of interchangeable singers and songs! I can’t remember things ever being this generic and bland. We flirted with it back in the Kellie Coffey days, but the bottom didn’t fall out. Today, is there even a bottom? An old friend of mine listened to country radio for the first time in presumably years and asked, “Am I crazy, or is everyone getting drunk on country radio?” He’s not crazy. What can we do to fix this? Today’s Top Five asks: What five songs would you immediately put in heavy rotation on country radio? They can already be singles, or could be unreleased songs that you think should be singles, but they should be current enough to be featured on an artist’s most recent album. Here’s my top five: Old Crow Medicine Show, Read More
Following up on yesterday’s post, Reba McEntire is the other legend that streeted a new album last week. As good a time as any to ask: What are your five favorite Reba McEntire albums and tracks? Here are my picks: Albums For My Broken Heart Rumor Has it What if it’s You Whoever’s in New England My Kind of Country Tracks The Fear of Being Alone If I Had Only Known The Greatest Man I Never Knew Fallin’ Out of Love Consider Me Gone
Today’s a fairly big release day for long time country music fans, as two legends release sets today: Reba McEntire, who returns after five years with Love Somebody, and Dwight Yoakam, who is back with Second Hand Heart, which is only his second album of new material in the last ten years. We’ve already review the lead Reba single and lead Dwight single. We’ll have reviews up of both albums at a later date, but they influenced today’s Daily Top Five: What are your most recent purchases? I’m still an albums guy, so I’m going to list my most recent five albums purchased, but feel free to list tracks instead, if you’re more the a la carte type. My five most recent (country) album purchases are: Shelby Lynne, Temptation Shania Twain, Still the One: Live From Vegas Rhiannon Giddens, Tomorrow is My Turn Punch Brothers, The Phosphorescent Blues Jason Isbell, Read More
Today, we kick off a new feature: Daily Top Five. Every day, one of our writers will post their top five picks for a given category, and invite readers to share their own lists in the comments. This idea was ripped off from inspired by the film Top Five. Since this is the first entry, today’s topic is First Favorites – your top five songs that got you into country music. For me: John Anderson, “Straight Tequila Night” Reba McEntire, “For My Broken Heart” Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler” Pam Tillis, “Maybe it Was Memphis” Dwight Yoakam, “It Only Hurts When I Cry” What’s your top five?
“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.
“I Got the Boy” Jana Kramer Written by Connie Harrington, Tim Nichols, and Jamie Lynn Spears The sentiment is quite poignant. “I got the boy. She got the man.” A high school sweetheart reminisces as she sees her boyfriend from back then has gotten married. The writers establish some wonderful specifics in the verses that help to bring the characters to life. But the chorus is bland both lyrically and melodically, so the payoff from the buildup isn’t there.