Single Reviews: June 18, 2005

The new Rodney Crowell single is by far the best of the bunch this week. It might be the best single of the year so far.

AARON LINES “It Takes A Man” (BNA)
Once again, he surprises me. This record about a surprise pregnancy is thankfully subtle and restrained; bonus points for not saying definitively whether or not he sticks around.

AARON TIPPIN “Come Friday” (Lyric Street)
He’s always been one of my favorite male vocalists – instantly recognizable from the first line he sings. These working-man anthems are what he does best.

ALISON KRAUSS & UNION STATION “Goodbye Is All We Have” (Rounder)
Not the best of the potential singles off of Lonely Runs Both Ways, but still a good listen. Her voice soars on this one.

CARRIE UNDERWOOD “Inside Your Heaven” (Arista)
I believe Simon was right, and that she will be the biggest-selling American Idol winner ever. Her voice is unbelievable, and perfectly suited for country music. She can sell even a trite love song like this; once she gets great material for her voice, she’ll be unstoppable.

COWBOY TROY & SARAH BUXTON “If You Don’t Wanna Love Me” (Warner Bros.)
I can’t believe what a great record this is. Buxton’s voice interacts perfectly with the lyric and Troy’s rap, if that’s what you can call it. He’s calling this hick-hop, but the roots of those old spoken country records are surfacing more prominently than any hip-hop roots here.

JESSICA ANDREWS “Summer Girl” (DreamWorks)
She’s developing into a fine artist. This is very well-written, and captures being in your early twenties pretty well. Any record where a girls says “boys, don’t get more than your hopes up” is worth a listen.

JO DEE MESSINA “Delicious Surprise (I Believe It)” (Curb)
I’m a bit disappointed that Curb went with this as the second single instead of the stellar “Where Were You”, but on its own merits, this is a catchy and motivating little record.

KEVIN FOWLER “Don’t Touch My Willie” (Equity)
I think even Willie Nelson himself would have to be very, very high to find this funny; I’m assuming the crowd that’s laughing along already was.

LEANN RIMES “Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way” (Curb)
What a heartbreaking song; possibly the best thing she’s ever recorded.

LISA BROKOP “Big Picture” (Asylum/Curb)
Soccer moms rejoice – you have an anthem.

RODNEY CROWELL “Dancin’ Circles ‘Round The Sun (Epictetus Speaks)” (DMZ)
Mind-blowingly good – a good fifteen or twenty life lessons in under five minutes. A genius walks among us.

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