Shane McAnally

Single Review: Kacey Musgraves, “Dime Store Cowgirl”

August 10, 2015 // 10 Comments

“Dime Store Cowgirl” Kacey Musgraves Written by Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, and Kacey Musgraves Despite a slew of industry awards and sales figures that dwarf those of male artists who receive ten times the airplay, Kacey Musgraves has yet to connect with country radio. Plenty of thinkpieces have been logged about #SaladGate, Musgraves’ social mores, and the disconnections between critical favor, sales, and radio’s callout research, but there are increasing murmurs that it is Musgraves’ refusal to play politics with the powers-that-be at radio that has kept all but one of her singles (“Merry Go Round,” her debut single and lone top 10 hit) from missing the top 20. This is hardly a new phenomenon, and it is, unfortunately, indicative of contemporary gender politics both within and beyond country music that Musgraves might be penalized for not behaving in the ways that a woman is expected to behave. That context Read More

Single Review: Miranda Lambert with Little Big Town, “Smokin’ and Drinkin'”

July 21, 2015 // 7 Comments

“Smokin’ and Drinkin’” Miranda Lambert with Little Big Town Written by Natalie Hemby, Luke Laird, and Shane McAnally Despite its title, Miranda Lambert’s “Smokin’ And Drinkin’” is not a rousing drinking party anthem. Instead, it is a quiet, wistful look back at the past. With vocal support from Little Big Town, Lambert sounds like their lead, though modest, singer as they wax nostalgic about how “smokin’ and drinkin’ gets you thinkin’ about the one that got away.”

Single Review: Keith Urban, “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16”

June 23, 2015 // 5 Comments

“John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” Keith Urban Written by Ross Copperman, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne A Keith Urban record has a natural floor.  Things can only go south so much. He’s got a great voice, he’s an incredible guitar player, and he’s got enough presence on record that it doesn’t really matter what’s going on around him.  He never loses control of the proceedings.

Single Review: Jake Owen, “Real Life”

June 9, 2015 // 5 Comments

“Real Life” Jake Owen Written by Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne Everclear is one of the few pop bands that I liked in the late 90s/early 2000s. While a lot of their music sounded similar, their grooves were addictive and their tunes were memorable (“A.M. Radio”, Anyone?). As a result of enjoying Everclear, I’ll admit that I actually guiltily enjoy Jake Owen’s “Real Life.”

2015 ACM Awards: Country Universe Viewer’s Guide

April 19, 2015 // 14 Comments

The fiftieth annual Academy of Country Music Awards air tonight, and Country Universe has you covered!  Here’s a rundown of all of the major categories, along with some commentary from our writers about who should win, who will, and what the nominations as a whole say about the current state of country music. Share your thoughts about this year’s show in the comments, and check back for a list of winners when it’s all said and done. Update: Join the CU crew on Twitter (@CountryUniverse) during the show to share your thoughts as things unfold! Entertainer of the Year Should Win: Jason Aldean Garth Brooks – Jonathan Luke Bryan – Sam Florida-Georgia Line Miranda Lambert – Ben, Kevin Will Win: Jason Aldean Garth Brooks Luke Bryan Florida Georgia Line Miranda Lambert – Jonathan, Ben, Sam, Kevin BF: I think Lambert is due, but I could get on board with a Read More

Single Review: Kacey Musgraves, “Biscuits”

March 9, 2015 // 16 Comments

“Biscuits” Kacey Musgraves Written by Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, and Kacey Musgraves If you’re already a fan of Kacey Musgraves, you’ve heard most of this before. “Biscuits” combines elements of “Follow Your Arrow” and “The Trailer Song”, advocating being yourself and minding your own business.   Even the arrangement is a souped-up take on “Arrow”, with more of a beat and quite a few more instrumental flourishes.

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: Dierks Bentley, “Say You Do”

March 2, 2015 // 12 Comments

“Say You Do” Dierks Bentley Written by Shane McAnally, Matt Ramsey, and Trevor Rosen Dierks Bentley’s at the top of his game right now. “Say You Do” demonstrates why. It’s subtle, it’s smart, and it’s self-aware. It’s the type of record that only works with some real life experience to back it up.

Single Review: Chase Rice, “Gonna Wanna Tonight”

February 25, 2015 // 7 Comments

“Gonna Wanna Tonight” Chase Rice Written by Shane McAnally, Jon Nite, and Jimmy Robbins Here’s what I don’t understand. Let’s put all of the clichés to the side for a minute.   Going out, drinking, fishing dock, pretty red lips, yada yada yada.  They’re all here, as uninteresting as ever.

Single Review: Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter, “Wild Child”

February 22, 2015 // 5 Comments

“Wild Child” Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter Written by Kenny Chesney, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne No, it isn’t as strong as “You and Tequila.” Let’s get that out of the way right now, because expecting that lightning to strike twice will make it easy to miss the subtle beauty of “Wild Child”, Chesney’s new collaboration with Grace Potter. Potter’s harmonies provide the perfect lift to Chesney’s understated and grounded vocal performance, allowing for the two singers to mirror the two characters of the song: a free-spirited woman who follows the wind and the man who is along for the ride.

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