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Reviews

Blake Shelton
Warner Nashville
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Blake Shelton, ‘Mine Would Be You’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Does anyone in country music sing heartbreak quite like Blake Shelton? 'Mine Would Be You,' the third single from 'Based on a True Story ...' adds to a strong collection of Shelton tracks that will rip your heart out if you don't try to protect yourself. The turn in the last verse is devastating.

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Bush Hawg
RCA Nashville
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Bush Hawg, ‘Crushin” – Song Review

On 'Crushin',' the debut single from newcomers Bush Hawg, one can't hear the "blend of backwoods, blue collars, bar fights and bibles" they describe themselves as in their artist bio. The mid-tempo love song is a generic first-timer effort that relies on a big hook instead on lyrical depth or distinctive attitude.

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Gwen Sebastian
Flying Island Entertainment
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Gwen Sebastian, ‘Suitcase’ – Song Review

Gwen Sebastian has grown as an artist since she was a part of Team Blake on 'The Voice' in 2012. Her new single 'Suitcase' shows new confidence and vocal power, without sacrificing her unique punctuation and delivery. Her pain is palpable.

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Darius Rucker
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
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Darius Rucker, ‘Radio’ – Song Review

Darius Rucker's new single 'Radio' is a perfect song for summer. The uptempo tribute to young love, open roads and, of course, the radio is familiar and easy to fall for, especially when powered by Rucker's unequaled exuberance. 

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Uncle Kracker
UncleKracker.com
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Uncle Kracker, ‘Blue Skies’ – Song Review

Uncle Kracker has been singing the virtues of life's simple pleasures since the mid-2000s, and his new single 'Blue Skies' falls obediently in line. It's a feel-good, mid-tempo, country-rock song that, despite its similarity to everything else he's released to country radio over the last half-decade, feels pretty dang good. 

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Craig Morgan
Sara Kauss, Getty Images
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Craig Morgan, ‘Wake Up Loving You’ – Song Review

Craig Morgan says he thinks his new single 'Wake Up Lovin' You' is going to be the biggest of his career. The soaring ballad is the singer's first love song to be released as a single since George W. Bush was in office. His vocal performance will cause even his longtime fans to do a double take. 

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Tim McGraw
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
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Tim McGraw, ‘Southern Girl’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Tim McGraw's latest album 'Two Lanes of Freedom' is full of songs that should live long after their run up the charts. The latest is 'Southern Girl,' a too-easy-to-fall-for tribute to American women born where the weather's hot nine months a year.

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LoCash Cowboys
Paul Brasil for Taste of Country
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LoCash Cowboys, ‘LoCash Cowboys’ – Album Review

The LoCash Cowboys' career has been a series of stops and starts -- until now. With the release of their self-titled debut album, Chris Lucas and Preston Brust finally get to show fans all sides of their personality. Ballads like 'Best Seat in the House' and the previously released 'Keep in Mind' soften the image that songs like 'C-O-U-N-T-R-Y' and 'Here Comes Summer' helped build.

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Trace Adkins
Theo Wargo, Getty Images
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Trace Adkins (Feat. Colbie Caillat), ‘Watch the World End’ – Song Review

There's an intentional darkness that lingers over Trace Adkins' new single 'Watch the World End,' a duet with pop singer Colbie Caillat. It's an effective love song that also succeeds in painting a vivid picture of the apocalypse.

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Taylor Swift
Big Machine Records
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Taylor Swift, ‘Red’ – Song Review

Taylor Swift has released three singles to pop radio since releasing her last country single, but her country fans can rest easy knowing that they get all the best songs from the 'Red' album. The title track marks the superstar's first country offering since 'Begin Again,' a track released before the album was even available.  

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Thomspon Square
Stoney Creek Records
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Thompson Square, ‘Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About’ – Song Review

It's back to basics for Thompson Square. The duo's new single 'Everything I Shouldn't Be Thinking About' is a no-tricks, easy-to-embrace love song that finds the married couple having a conversation as comfortable as, "What's for dinner?"

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Love and Theft
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Love and Theft, ‘If You Ever Get Lonely’ – Song Review

'If You Ever Get Lonely,' the new single from Love and Theft, makes vanilla taste like chili powder. The song was previously recorded by former Bad English singer John Waite, and Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson do little to put their individual marks on the story or production. 

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