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Reviews - Page 10

Jason Aldean
Broken Bow Records
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Jason Aldean, ‘Night Train’ – Album Review

If four or five songs from Jason Aldean's new 'Night Train' album reach No. 1, does that mean it's indisputably a great country music record? This seems likely to happen -- the hits are there and Aldean is red hot right now -- yet from top to bottom, the singer's fifth project leaves one wanting some magic never felt before.

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Brantley Gilbert
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Brantley Gilbert, ‘More Than Miles’ – Song Review

Fans will learn more about Brantley Gilbert in a song than during any radio or newspaper interview. The singer pours the emotions of what (and who) he left behind to chase country music dreams into his new single 'More Than Miles,' available only on the deluxe edition of his 'Halfway to Heaven' album.

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Hunter Hayes
Atlantic Records
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Hunter Hayes, ‘Somebody’s Heartbreak’ – Song Review

What's remarkable about Hunter Hayes's three singles -- including his newest, 'Somebody's Heartbreak' -- is the consistency. There is nothing amateur about this country newcomer. All three fly flat along a bar raised high above the reach of many Nashville singers, both young and old.

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Pat Green
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Pat Green, ‘Even the Losers’ – Song Review

Pat Green's cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' 'Even the Losers' sets a great example for artists considering the inclusion of a cover track on their new album. The Texas country singer delivers a passionate performance of a lyric that is not his own -- but it sure feels like it. 

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Montgomery Gentry
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Montgomery Gentry, ‘I’ll Keep the Kids’ – Song Review

Vulnerability is not Montgomery Gentry's specialty. Country music's toughest duo aim to be the good guy in 'I'll Keep the Kids,' but in the context of their personal lives, the divorce ballad tastes like sour grapes. 

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Blake Shelton
Warner Nashville
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Blake Shelton, ‘Cheers, It’s Christmas’ – Album Review

Blake Shelton sets a high bar for 2012 holiday albums with 'Cheers, It's Christmas,' his new collection of originals and classics. The singer with the sharpest tongue in Nashville doesn't seem like a natural fit to reminisce of yuletide fun, but he's supported by a strong stable of backup singers and collaborative partners on this offering.

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Dwight Yoakam
Katy Winn, Getty Images
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Dwight Yoakam, ’3 Pears’ – Album Review

There are few joys in country music quite like listening to Dwight Yoakam sing. The legend's voice is strong enough to build a town around, yet he shows vulnerability in the smallest -- but most important -- ways. It's the little upticks at the end of his phrases, or the uncomfortable grit in dire ballads that invite fans to happily drown in his sorrow. '3 Pears' is an album long overdue. Yoakam proves that he would really have to try to make a bad album. 

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Josh Turner
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
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Josh Turner, ‘Find Me a Baby’ – Song Review

Call it hokey if you want, but try not to smile while listening to Josh Turner's new song 'Find Me a Baby.' The second single from 'Punching Bag' is more fun than anything of his since 'Why Don't We Just Dance' from 2009. Turner exemplifies everything one hopes marriage will be.

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Jerrod Niemann
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Jerrod Niemann, ‘Free the Music’ – Album Review

An album cover has never represented the music it protects better than Jerrod Niemann's 'Free the Music' artwork. The 'Shinin' on Me' singer's sophomore project is a busy collection of instruments and themes that take some effort to sort through and enjoy.

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Chris Young
RCA Nashville
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Chris Young, ‘I Can Take It From There’ – Song Review

Chris Young darkens his stamp as country music's most reliable romancer with his new single 'I Can Take It From There.' The uptempo lover is reminiscent of 'Gettin' You Home,' but not quite that sexy.

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Jake Owen
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images
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Jake Owen, ‘Endless Summer’ – Album Review

The very nature of the EP lends itself more to an artist's most faithful supporters than middling fans looking for an entry point into a new style or sound. Jake Owen's 'Endless Summer' EP allows his warm weather party with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw to last a little longer, but like summer love, the four songs will be little more than memories by the first yellow leaves of fall. 

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Clay Walker
Curb / Sidewalk Records
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Clay Walker, ‘Jesse James’ – Song Review

Fans of Clay Walker know him as a lot of great things, but 'outlaw' is not one of them. It's a fair question for people to ask if his new single, 'Jesse James,' is sung with tongue loosely planted in cheek. One leans towards yes after checking out the cover art. The hat is a little big, the pants a little too pressed. He's a cowboy if cowboys shopped at Banana Republic.

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