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iPod Playlist: Originals And Covers

July 14, 2011 Leeann Ward 19

As I’m sure the rest of you do, I make playlists all the time. Many of them are lists of individual artists, but some of them have a concept.

My latest playlist is of covers. First, I have the original version (or the one that’s famous for being the original) followed by my favorite cover of it. My only rule is that I have to like both versions. So, songs where I like the cover but not the original won’t make the list.

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Retro Single Review: George Strait, “Fool Hearted Memory”

July 14, 2011 Leeann Ward 3

1982 | Peak: #1

Thirty years ago, “Fool Hearted Memory”, the first single from his second album, was George Strait’s first number one single. And for very good reason. Up to that point, Strait demonstrated great potential, but this is the first time that he fires on all cylinders with overwhelming success.

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Single Review: Montgomery Gentry, “Where I Come From”

July 14, 2011 Ben Foster 18

After being in the automatic add club for a good four years, Montgomery Gentry seems to have fallen off country radio’s map lately. Their last big hit was two years ago, and their three most recent singles all missed the Top 20. They’re back now for another attempt at getting back on the radio. “Where I Come From” is the duo’s first single release under their new label home Average Joe’s Entertainment. But it sounds like their new single “Where I Come From” is primarily trying to sound like all the Montgomery Gentry hits that came before it.

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Introducing Ben Foster

July 13, 2011 Ben Foster 15

Country Universe is proud to introduce our newest staff writer, Ben Foster. Ben began his blogging career at his own 1-to-10 Country Music Review, which is essential daily reading for country music afici0nados. We are thrilled to have him on board! – KJC.

Hey, y’all! My name is Ben Foster. I was born a Yankee up in Michigan, near Detroit, and now I currently live in Russellville – a small town located right smack in Middle of Nowhere, Kentucky. Some of the regular readers may already have an idea of who I am, since I’ve been an active comment thread participant for well over a year now.

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Retro Single Review: Tim McGraw, “Indian Outlaw”

July 13, 2011 Ben Foster 10

1994 | Peak: #8

The distinction of being Tim McGraw’s first Top 10 hit could hardly have gone to a more oddball song.

Ever had one of those songs that you used to enjoy when you were younger, but then you kind of… I dunno… grew up and then realized it wasn’t that good? This is one of those songs for me. It’s catchy, to be sure. Tim puts a lot of character and personality into his performance, and the fiddle and tom-tom-driven arrangement is infectious.

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Single Review: Taylor Swift, “Sparks Fly”

July 12, 2011 Jonathan Keefe 22

Written by guest contributor Jonathan Keefe.

Compared to the cultural juggernaut that was Fearless, Taylor Swift’s Speak Now has underperformed at both retail and radio. The set’s fifth single, “Sparks Fly,” could turn things around for Swift, as it’s perhaps the most perfectly constructed single in a career built on tracks that are marvels of pop production and songwriting.

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Summer Single Reviews Round-Up: Luke Bryan, Jake Owen, Jerrod Niemann, Zac Brown Band, Dierks Bentley

July 12, 2011 Tara Seetharam 14

We’re halfway through the summer months, which means we’ve heard the handful of summer-oriented singles played on the radio approximately 17,283 times by now. In keeping with CU’s retro theme, let’s hit the singles we missed upon their initial release (sorry y’all!).

Luke Bryan, “Country Girl (Shake it For Me)”

Written by Luke Bryan & Dallas Davidson

Whereas Jason Aldean would likely have soaked this dance number in aggression, Bryan melts away its sexist edge by layering it with goofiness and playful energy. The result is a shamelessly catchy ditty that makes me want to shake it for the squirrels. Filed under: things I never thought I’d say. Grade: B

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