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Reviews - Page 7

Lady Antebellum
Capitol Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Lady Antebellum, ‘Golden’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

The best moments on Lady Antebellum's fourth album 'Golden' find Charles Kelley or Hillary Scott singing solo, with minimal help from the other on harmonies. There is no shortage of songs that act as features for the two talented vocalists. The evolution of the trio finds them becoming a dual threat super power instead of a two-headed pop-rock-country group.

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Joanna Smith
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Joanna Smith, ‘Girls Are Crazy’ – Song Review

In general, songs that paint an entire group of people with one broad brush stroke don't fare well on country radio, but Joanna Smith is hoping to prove 'em wrong with her new single 'Girls Are Crazy.' The peppy new track is fun and flirty, and a short hop backward for women in country music.

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Tate Stevens
RCA Nashville
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Tate Stevens, ‘Tate Stevens’ – Album Review

The debut effort from Tate Stevens is about as straight-forward of a country album as you'll find. 'Tate Stevens' is an end cap-at-Walmart sort of record that proves the 'X Factor' winner can compete with the big names in Nashville.

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Lee Brice
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Lee Brice, ‘Parking Lot Party’ – Song Review

Songs like Lee Brice's new single 'Parking Lot Party' are easy to dismiss. It doesn't pack near as much punch as 'I Drive Your Truck,' but that's far from his intent. The South Carolina-raised singer is looking to add to the tailgate soundtrack, and at this he's successful. 

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Krystal Keith
Show Dog Universal
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Krystal Keith, ‘Krystal Keith’ – EP Review

Krystal Keith proves she has the talent to make it in Nashville, but a larger sample is needed to distinguish her as her own artist. At her best she's Bonnie Raitt for a new generation -- but at other times her style, pacing and lyrics are too heavily influenced by Toby Keith.

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Willie Nelson
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Willie Nelson, ‘Let’s Face the Music and Dance’ – Album Review

'Let's Face the Music and Dance' is a great place for a young country music fan to meet Willie Nelson. It won't be his most famous, and it won't create any hit singles. This wonderfully consistent effort proves what longtime fans of the legend already know: At 79 years old (80 on April 30), Nelson is still as important and skilled a vocalist as there is in country music. 

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Vote to Determine the Top 10 Videos of the Week in Taste of Country’s Countdown

Can anyone stop Carrie Underwood? 'Two Black Cadillacs' has built a house on top of the ToC Top 10 Video Countdown, but there are more than a few big bad wolves looking to blow it down. New videos from Florida Georgia Line and Taylor Swift enter the voting poll this week, in addition to returning Top-10ers from Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Toby Keith

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Luke Bryan
Capitol Nashville
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Luke Bryan, ‘Crash My Party’ – Song Review

Luke Bryan's new song 'Crash My Party' would fit well on his last album 'Tailgates and Tanlines.' The ballad is a continuation of themes introduced with 'I Don't Want This Night to End' and 'Drunk on You,' two No. 1 hits for the ACM Entertainer of the Year. At first listen, it's difficult to become excited about a song that's so familiar. 

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Brad Paisley
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Brad Paisley, ‘Wheelhouse’ – Album Review

Brad Paisley's 'Wheelhouse' delivers a familiar mix of humor, life lessons and scorching guitar solos, but it does it in a way different from any of the other eight albums the 'Beat This Summer' singer has released. He took his old formula, balled it up, lit it on fire and tossed the ashes in the garbage. The result is a meaty and ambitious project that doesn't always click, but clears new ground when it does.

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Carrie-Underwood
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Carrie Underwood, ‘See You Again’ – Song Review

Carrie Underwood changed directions with the release of 'See You Again' as the fourth single from 'Blown Away.' The ballad is anything but dark and stormy. Instead it's an inspirational reminder that will be especially meaningful to fans who have lost someone close recently. 

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Maggie Rose
MaggieRoseMusic.com
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Maggie Rose, ‘Better’ – Song Review

'Better' is the finest ballad from Maggie Rose's new 'Cut to Impress' album. The singer is creative with her phrasing, and the performance is as raw as anything on the 10-song collection. She is still learning how to be a great storyteller, however, and with more experiences and a few years behind her, the single promises to only get... better.

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Blake Shelton
Warner Music Nashville
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Blake Shelton, ‘Boys ‘Round Here’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

There is comedy in Blake Shelton singing with Pistol Annies, as he does on his new single 'Boys 'Round Here.' One imagines a country Hugh Hefner surrounded by his beauties. In real life, the Annies likely (very likely) don't attend to his every need and agree with him at all costs, but they do on this song, and it's absolutely charming. 

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