Rhett Akins

Album Review: Kristian Bush, Southern Gravity

May 23, 2015 // 3 Comments

Kristian Bush Southern Gravity Although there is already a long list of great albums that have been released this year, Southern Gravity, Kristian Bush’s first solo album apart from Sugarland, just may end up being the most pleasant surprise of 2015. First of all, lets address some of the elephants in the room. Frankly, the biggest surprise of the album is the discovery that Kristian Bush can actually sing. Without the long shadow of the Powerhouse Jennifer Nettles, Bush has a chance to find his literal and figurative voice and it’s a good one. Additionally, whether it was deserved or not, Bush had developed the reputation of being the intense, mysterious half of Sugarland. So, another surprise is that the album is relaxed and accessible and avoids drowning in over thinking or overproduction. With that said, the final surprise is that the album is more country than we had heard Read More

Single Review: Lee Brice, “That Don’t Sound Like You”

May 18, 2015 // 2 Comments

“That Don’t Sound Like You” Lee Brice Written by Rhett Akins, Lee Brice, and Ashley Gorley I really like Lee Brice. He’s got an interesting voice, and his phrasing is always original. It’s like he sneaks up behind his notes and surprises them. “That Don’t Sound Like You” succeeds purely on Brice’s merits as a vocal stylist. The song itself is iffy.

Single Review: Frankie Ballard, “Young & Crazy”

March 8, 2015 // 3 Comments

“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.

Single Review: Reba McEntire, “Going Out Like That”

February 19, 2015 // 5 Comments

“Going Out Like That” Reba McEntire Written by Rhett Akins, Ben Haslip, and Jason Sellers Reba McEntire is one of the genre’s all-time greatest storytellers.  Her best material captures both the strength and vulnerability of the everyday woman, and “Going Out Like That” fits in well with her legacy of songs that are empowering without sacrificing believability. McEntire is also one of the genre’s all-time greatest stylists, and that’s where her new single falls short.  The song is delivered in mostly a monotone, with few of her signature curlicues.   She just never gets out of the starting gate for some reason.  The song doesn’t require it to be effective, but a little more variety would’ve been nice.

Single Review: Thomas Rhett, “Get Me Some of That”

February 11, 2014 // 10 Comments

Thomas Rhett Get Me Some of ThatBetter than it has any right to be.

The mind-numbingly dull lyric has nothing new to offer, with details that sound more like a pitch for an Axe commercial than an actual documentation of a realistic human experience. The band also phones it in, with nothing more distinctive than a Karaoke backing track.

Single Review: Jason Aldean, “When She Says Baby”

January 15, 2014 // 6 Comments

Jason Aldean When She Says BabyWhen Jason Aldean wraps his voice around compelling material, the results are magical.

But more often than not, Aldean is delivering mediocre material. “When She Says Baby” is a great example of how he can take a pedestrian, paint-by-numbers song and make it a little more interesting.

Single Review: Chase Rice, “Ready Set Roll”

December 2, 2013 // 8 Comments

He may have been the runner-up on one of the weakest seasons of Survivor (finishing second to
this strategic powerhouse), but Chase Rice has beaten tough competition from the likes of Jason Aldean’s “1994,” Parmalee’s “Carolina,” Ashton Shepherd’s “This is America,” Blake Shelton’s “Boys Round Here,” Krystal Keith’s “Daddy Dance with Me,” and Luke Bryan’s “That’s My Kind of Night” for the title of 2013’s worst country single.

Album Review: Blake Shelton, Based On a True Story…

April 8, 2013 // 16 Comments

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Blake Shelton
Based On a True Story…

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Bear in mind that Blake Shelton isn’t just another country singer.  He is the reigning Male Vocalist of the Year for both the ACM and CMA Awards, as well as the CMA Entertainer of the Year.  Due to his position as a judge on “The Voice,” he is one of the most recognizable country stars around.  Therefore, his new album Based on a True Story… isn’t just another album release.  It’s an event.  It’s a highly anticipated occasion.  So how does Shelton kick off this record?

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