Tag Archives: Sugarland

Daily Top Five: Least Essential Albums

Dolly Parton RainbowWe’ve all got ’em.

What are the five albums from artist you love that you try to pretend didn’t happen? (Or at least just don’t copy over to your iPod)

Here’s my list:

  1. Sugarland, The Incredible Machine
  2. Tim McGraw, Emotional Traffic
  3. Trisha Yearwood, Where Your Road Leads
  4. Dolly Parton, Rainbow
  5. Randy Travis, Full Circle

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Album Review: Kristian Bush, Southern Gravity

Kristian Bush Southern Gravity

Kristian Bush
Southern Gravity

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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 from Sugarland in quite some time.

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Daily Top Five: Going Solo

WynonnaKristian Bush of Sugarland released his debut solo album this year, and the buzz on it has been good.

Good enough, in fact, to inspire its own Daily Top Five!

What are your favorite solo singles by artists famous for being in a duo or group?

For my list, I stuck to singles from their first solo projects, but feel free to break that rule!

  1. Radney Foster, “Nobody Wins”  (Foster & Lloyd)
  2. Wynonna, “She is His Only Need” (The Judds)
  3. Larry Stewart, “Alright Already”  (Restless Heart)
  4. Ronnie Dunn, “Bleed Red” (Brooks & Dunn)
  5. Heidi Newfield, “What am I Waiting For?” (Trick Pony)

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Daily Top Five: Tear Jerkers

Lori McKenna LorraineFrom reader Kuzco, today’s Top Five is songs that made you cry.

Here are my Top Five Tear Jerkers:

  1. Lori McKenna, “Still Down Here”
  2. Alan Jackson, “Blue Ridge Mountain Song”
  3. Collin Raye, “Love, Me”
  4. Reba McEntire, “If I Had Only Known”
  5. Sugarland, “Very Last Country Song”

 

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Daily Top Five: Songs with “Gone” in the Title

Tim McGraw Can't Be Really GoneFrom reader and longtime commenter bob:

Top Five Songs with “Gone” in the Title.

Here’s my list:

  1. “Long Time Gone” – Dixie Chicks
  2. “You’re Gone” – Diamond Rio
  3. “Already Gone” – Sugarland
  4. “Consider Me Gone” – Reba McEntire
  5. “Can’t Be Really Gone” – Tim McGraw

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Daily Five: Least Favorites from Your Favorites

We’ve been way too upbeat lately with our Daily Fives!  Today, we’re asking a different question about your favorite artists.

What are the five albums from artists you usually love that really disappointed you?  The ones that are lucky to have a handful of tracks that are still on your iPod, or made you think twice before you bought the album that followed?

Here’s My Top Five:

  1. Mary Chapin Carpenter, A Place in the World
  2. Sugarland, The Incredible Machine
  3. Trisha Yearwood, Where Your Road Leads
  4. Todd Snider, Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables
  5. Lori McKenna, Numbered Doors

What’s your top five?

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2015 ACM Awards: Country Universe Viewer’s Guide

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!

Garth Brooks 3Entertainer 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 win for Brooks, whose comeback tour certainly warrants recognition. Those are about the only two possible victories I could swallow.

SG: This is fan-voted, so it really comes down to who can most mobilize their fan base. I give Miranda the nod, simply because she and her husband can both rally the troops. As to who deserves it, it’s hard to deny the impact that Luke Bryan has had on country music, love him or loathe him. He also seems like a fair entertainer, whether it’s shimmying around the stage or falling off them.

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2014 CMA Nominations

This year’s CMA nominees are the best in years, with multiple nominations for Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, and Brandy Clark.  Country radio may still be shunning women, but their embrace by CMA voters suggests that the industry knows who is really leading the way in the genre these days.

George Strait ACMEntertainer of the Year

  • Luke Bryan
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Blake Shelton
  • George Strait
  • Keith Urban

Who’s In:  Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban

Who’s Out: Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift

George Strait, a surprise winner last year, is nominated again in a year that includes his record-shattering final concert.   Miranda Lambert’s domination of this year’s nominations extends to the big category, where she competes for the first time since 2010.

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Single Review: Kristian Bush, “Trailer Hitch”

Kristian Bush Trailer Hitch

“Trailer Hitch”
Kristian Bush

Written by Brandon Bush, Kristian Bush, and Tim Owen

It’s not entirely without precedent.  When Diana Ross left the Supremes, their first single without her did better than her first solo release.  Ringo Starr managed to score two #1 pop hits before John Lennon reached the top as a solo act.  Peter Gabriel was supposed to be the indispensable talent of Genesis, but they did better when they gave Phil Collins the mic.  Even country acts like Highway 101 and Restless Heart have seen the same phenomenon occur.

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Single Review: Florida Georgia Line, “Stay”

Florida Georgia Line StayWhile I waiting for the YouTube video to load, they played a 30-second commercial for the Duck Dynasty Christmas album, which apparently has the reality show stars singing Christmas standards while ducks quack along with them.  It sounded better than “Stay.”

Cheap shot? Perhaps. The truth is, I’ve avoided writing about Florida Georgia Line as much as possible, as I can’t remember an act I felt so tremendously indifferent to.  Ten years ago, I’d be angry about their prominence, but mainstream country music has lowered its standards so much at this point that it seems totally normal that a song written and sung this poorly could be a big hit by an award show dominating act.

The reigning CMA Vocal Duo of the Year have covered a mediocre track from a little known rock band called Black Stone Cherry*, and now it’s their latest single. I believe it’s already a hit.  This is the new normal.  Have fun.

Written by Black Stone Cherry and Joey Moi

Grade: D

*Artists with better songs called “Stay” that could’ve been covered instead include: David BowieAlison KraussLisa Loeb, Pink Floyd, Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko, Shakespear’s Sister, Sugarland, U2, and Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs. Just to name a few.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_igmjEB560

 

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