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Reviews

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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Craig Morgan
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Craig Morgan, ‘More Trucks Than Cars’ – Song Review

From the very first notes of Craig Morgan's new single 'More Trucks Than Cars,' you'll know you're in for a no tricks, no twists country song from the man who's made a living painting a scenic picture of rural America. The song is as genuine as any Morgan has released. It's only muted by his own strong catalog of (other) farm boy hits. 

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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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Brad Paisley
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Brad Paisley, ‘Southern Comfort Zone’ – Song Review

Brad Paisley's new single 'Southern Comfort Zone' is another socially important song, joining previous hits like 'Welcome to the Future' and 'This Is Country Music.' The singer's voice carries more weight in 2012 than it did in 2008 or 2004, and one senses that he's aware of his influence. This song recorded by someone like Hank Williams Jr. or Toby Keith would be labeled as pretentious or preachy, but Paisley's understated delivery (combined with a lovable personality) allows him to pack the punch he's been working toward.

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Billy Ray Cyrus
Blue Cadillac Music
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Billy Ray Cyrus, ‘Change My Mind’ – Song Review

It's difficult to keep up with Billy Ray Cyrus. The singer clearly has the chops and energy to record relevant country music, but with every new album comes a new direction -- and perhaps a new haircut. 'Change My Mind,' the title track from his new album (in stores this October), finds the singer playing the bad boy, as a storm of edgy banjo and electric guitar playing swirls around him. 

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BBC America
BBC America
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The ‘Doctor’ is In — 10 Things To Check Out This Week

Summer is winding down, but there are still plenty of great movies, TV shows, games and more to fill your brain hole! Allow us to point you to this week’s best new entertainment and pop culture releases. Here are 10 Things To Check Out This Week:

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Sidewalk Records
Sidewalk Records
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Heidi Newfield, ‘Why’d You Have to Be So Good’ – Song Review

A solo album every four or five years leaves Heidi Newfield sounding like a new woman with each lead single. Much like ‘Johnny and June’ in 2008, the former lead singer of Trick Pony throws every ounce of herself into ‘Why’d You Have to Be So Good,’ a heartbreakingly wonderful ballad. 

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Big Machine Records
Big Machine Records
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Taylor Swift, ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ – Song Review

Men and women will be divided on ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,’ Taylor Swift‘s new single. On one (woman’s) hand, it’s an empowering breakup song that slams the door on every no-good loser who’s come crawling back with apologies and “I love yous” (and maybe flowers or a sack of White Castle hamburgers) at all hours of the night. From the male perspective: “Get over it.”

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Facebook
Facebook
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The Lost Trailers, ‘American Beauty’ – Song Review

The new single from the Lost Trailers continues down a singer-songwriter path the now-duo began to cut with ‘Underdog’ in 2011. While once a party band, their new sound is more Jason Mraz than Jason Aldean. The change fits. 

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Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures
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‘Total Recall,’ Doug Stanhope and ‘Skyfall’ — 10 Things To Check Out This Week

We’re feeling positive today, so we decided to chuck the bad stuff and focus on ten awesome things to check out this week in the world of entertainment and pop culture. We’re headed for a week full of good comedy, fun reality shows (yeah, really) and gratuitous shots of Kate Beckinsale’s breasts. Enjoy!

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Category: Reviews
Valory Music Co.
Valory Music Co.
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Brantley Gilbert, ‘Kick It in the Sticks’ – Song Review

It’s difficult to overstate how important ‘Kick It in the Sticks’ is to Brantley Gilbert‘s career and the direction of country music. It’s a line drawn in the red Georgia clay — after two releases that held back — to allow those not previously familiar with the Jefferson-born singer to get acquainted with his pacing and style. This is his ‘Free Bird,’ in that it’s the first song fans and critics will mention in association with this talented artist. 

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Frank Micelotta, Getty Images
Frank Micelotta, Getty Images
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Chris Cagle, ‘Let There Be Cowgirls’ – Song Review

With singles from his new album ‘Back in the Saddle,’ Chris Cagle is successfully reinventing himself as a country bad boy. ‘Let There Be Cowgirls’ picks up the loud and rowdy that dropped ‘Got My Country On’ in the Top 20. The spirit of this rock-country jam gets one past a clunky melody. 

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