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album review

album review

Hunter Hayes
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Hunter Hayes, ‘Storyline’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

The beauty of Hunter Hayes’ new ‘Storyline’ album is in what it’s lacking. There’s few if any lyrical hooks to find yourself tweezing out days later. The production is appropriate, and at times heavy. But the arrangements are never protecting a weak lyric or uninspired vocal performance.

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Krystal Keith
Jackson Lazuire, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Krystal Keith, ‘Whiskey and Lace’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

A strong voice, proclivity for leaning into life's edges and good decision-making make Krystal Keith's debut album a unique experience in 2013. She's a multi-dimensional female artist, and on 'Whiskey and Lace,' she's able to show all she can do while keeping cohesion.

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Parmalee
Ed Rode / Stoney Creek Records
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Album Spotlight: Parmalee, ‘Feels Like Carolina’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

Parmalee do what they do best on more than half the songs on 'Feel Like Carolina.' This group of reformed rockers compel you to buy a ticket to their live show with songs like 'I'll Bring the Music,' Dance' and especially 'Move.'

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Danielle Bradbery
Rob Kim, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Danielle Bradbery, ‘Danielle Bradbery’

Danielle Bradbery's self-titled debut album is packed with innocent love songs aimed at a younger audience. The collection doesn't offer many surprises -- instead, the Texas teen does what she does best. Her most dedicated fans will be delighted by this debut.

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Lady Antebellum
Robin Marchant, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Lady Antebellum, ‘Golden (Deluxe Edition)’

The deluxe edition of 'Golden,' Lady Antebellum's fourth studio album, includes three previously unreleased songs plus three acoustic versions of well-known hits. All six fit within the context of the original 12 tracks. 'Golden' is still the most organic album the trio has released to date.

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Julie Roberts
Sun Records
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Album Spotlight: Julie Roberts, ‘Good Wine and Bad Decisions’

Julie Roberts has one of the more captivating country voices of the last 10 years. At times on her new album 'Good Wine and Bad Decisions,' she pulls you in like a blue-eyed, blonde-haired Venus flytrap. The painful songs are every bit as satisfying as the more sensual moments.

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Scotty McCreery
Mercury Records
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Album Spotlight: Scotty McCreery, ‘See You Tonight’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

"Dynamic" could be a one-word review of Scotty McCreery's sophomore album, 'See You Tonight.' The 20-year-old's follow-up to his post-'American Idol' debut leans into life's exciting edges. The songwriting and production -- especially the production -- are sharp, but most exciting is the new sides of this singer fans see for the very first time.

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Joe Nichols
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Joe Nichols, ‘Crickets’

'Crickets' is a fine way to describe Joe Nichols' new album. The singer aims for a relax-on-the-riverbank vibe with many of the mid-tempo cuts on this project. The album begins and ends with crickets ( literally), and in between it offers a fairly level ride.

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Justin Moore
Slaven Vlasic, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Justin Moore, ‘Off the Beaten Path’

The songwriting is sharper and Justin Moore's focus more clear on his new album 'Off the Beaten Path.' It's an album that will definitively brand the 'Point at You' singer as a traditionalist, but that's not to say he plays it entirely safe. 

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Billy Currington
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Billy Currington, ‘We Are Tonight’

Billy Currington adds a pinch of rock, two tablespoons of R&B and a heavy dose of soul to his new 'We Are Tonight' album. The result is a project that tastes different, but remains true to a sound he's cultivated over the last decade.

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Charlie Worsham
Warner Music Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Charlie Worsham, ‘Rubberband’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

Charlie Worsham's debut album is about as splashy as a summer drought -- but that's not his style. The Mississippi-born instrumentalist puts his schooling to work on 'Rubberband,' an album that will compete for the best debut effort of 2013.

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

Luke Bryan plays it safe on 'Crash My Party,' his new album and the follow-up to the tremendously successful 'Tailgates and Tanlines.' With the exception of the infusion of hip-hop on two songs, there is little to differentiate the two projects.

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