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Reviews - Page 10

Katie Armiger
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Katie Armiger, ‘Playin’ With Fire’ – Song Review

Katie Armiger continues to show off her feisty side on her new single 'Playin With Fire,' a bluesy, rebellious cut from the 'Fall Into Me' album. Her message should hit the sweet spot for teens or young 20-somethings full of angst and with little patience for the sage advice of an elder. 

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Justin Moore
Gerardo Mora, Getty Images
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Justin Moore, ‘Point at You’ – Song Review

Justin Moore's lead single from his third studio album is a familiar combination of all of his best songs. It's the well-meaning bad boy in 'How I Got to Be This Way' meeting the soft and sensitive lover in ''Til My Last Day.' Fans familiar with Moore's previous two studio albums can find a few more tracks 'Point at You' resembles.

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Drake White
MCA Nashville
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Drake White, ‘The Simple Life’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Songs like Drake White's 'The Simple Life' end up inspiring scores of new singer-songwriters to bring their talents to Nashville. White makes it look so easy, singing about familiar pleasures we all know and usually under-appreciate. 

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Ashley Monroe
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Ashley Monroe, ‘Like a Rose’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

No one does anguish quite like Ashley Monroe. On her new album, 'Like a Rose,' the singer redefines bittersweet for a country music audience that is still very much learning her name. Her sorrow comes sprinkled with just a teaspoon of sugar when she's at her best. One finds hope in the face of tragedy and bad circumstance, which is at times inspiring.

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Sheryl Crow
Warner Music Nashville
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Sheryl Crow, ‘Easy’ – Song Review

Sheryl Crow's new country single 'Easy' is as advertised. It's easy to be seduced by Crow's carefree warmth and laid-back style. It's easy to overlook the effective songwriting, and it's easy to fall into her story again and again.

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Brad Paisley
Joe Raedle, Getty Images
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Brad Paisley, ‘Beat This Summer’ – Song Review

Brad Paisley wasn't joking when he said he was working to push himself places never gone before on his upcoming album, 'Wheelhouse.' The second single, 'Beat This Summer,' is a double-take sort of record in that after it begins, you do a double-take toward your stereo or computer to try to make sense of what's going on. 

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The Band Perry
Jason Kempin, Getty Images
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The Band Perry, ‘Done’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Not since their debut effort has the Band Perry released a song as fun as 'Done,' the second single from the trio's upcoming sophomore album 'Pioneer.' It's a track that makes the hair on your arms stand straight up as you pound along to the beat.

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Tim McGraw
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Tim McGraw (Feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban), ‘Highway Don’t Care’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

While Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift's vocals on 'Highway Don't Care' would be enough to make the song a hit and one of the best of 2013, it's Keith Urban's guitar that makes the track one of the best collaborations of the decade -- maybe even ever. Each artist brings his or her best effort to the song from McGraw's 'Two Lanes of Freedom' album. It's a sterling example of what can happen when artists are left to be artists, without the handcuffs of music business politics. 

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Randy Houser
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Randy Houser, ‘Runnin’ Outta Moonlight’ – Song Review

Much like he does on the lead single from 'How Country Feels,' Randy Houser forces you to smile on 'Runnin' Outta Moonlight.' His vocal performance demands attention and offers a pleasing reward in a story of two lovers enjoying a date in the country.

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Jason Aldean
Broken Bow Records
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Jason Aldean, ’1994′ – Song Review

Jason Aldean's nostalgic trip to a time of mullets and loud, heavily-starched cowboy shirts is a fun novelty on the 'Night Train' album. But if '1994' had a cinematic equivalent from that same year, it'd be 'It's Pat.' Like the movie, the song is cute the first time, and maybe fun when it's late and you're drunk, but after that ... 

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Tate Stevens
RCA Nashville
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Tate Stevens, ‘Power of a Love Song’ – Song Review

'X Factor' winner Tate Stevens plays it safe with his debut country single. 'Power of a Love Song' is a soaring ballad that showcases his vocal talents -- Stevens is a truly fine vocalist -- but prevents him from revealing the slightest bit of personality to those who didn't watch the Fox television show. 

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Gary Allan
MCA Nashville
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Gary Allan, ‘Pieces’ – Song Review

If Gary Allan's chart-topper 'Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)' was optimistic, his follow-up single 'Pieces' is downright plucky. The uptempo country-rocker may be the most contented single he's ever released.

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