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song review

song review

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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Pat Green
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Pat Green, ‘Even the Losers’ – Song Review

Pat Green's cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' 'Even the Losers' sets a great example for artists considering the inclusion of a cover track on their new album. The Texas country singer delivers a passionate performance of a lyric that is not his own -- but it sure feels like it. 

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Lucky Ned Pepper
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Lucky Ned Pepper, ‘I Remember the Music’ – Song Review

Former Smokin' Armadillos singer Rick Russell and guitarist Josh Graham have remained close enough to cut new music as Lucky Ned Pepper, a duo named after the villain in 'True Grit.' Their first single, 'I Remember the Music,' is catchy and polished, but likely not the breakthrough song they're hoping for.

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Curtis Grimes
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Curtis Grimes, ‘Smile’ – Song Review

It's been 15 months since Curtis Grimes was eliminated from 'The Voice.' The Team Cee Lo singer has been playing live around Texas and the southeast while honing his songwriting chops. Country music was something of a plan B for the Texan, and while he shows pure talent, his new single 'Smile' proves there is still work to be done. 

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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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Faith Hill
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Faith Hill, ‘American Heart’ – Song Review

Faith Hill has a new album finished, but it seems fans won't get to hear it until a single sticks. 'American Heart' is at least the third new song fans nationwide have heard -- including 'Come Home' and the title track, 'Illusion,' played during the 'CMA Music Festival' special on ABC. Like the others, it's a thick production made accessible by the wonder of Hill's voice. 

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Kacey Musgraves
Facebook
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Kacey Musgraves, ‘Merry Go Round’ – Song Review

The story goes like this: Texas teen auditions for 'Nashville Star,' doesn't win but uses the experience as motivation to sharpen her pen so that she can release her own melodic country music years later. The result strikes deep; right to the bone. It's uncomfortably close to reality for millions of Americans without offering much hope. Sound familiar? 

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Gary Allan
Jason Smith, Getty Images
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Gary Allan, ‘Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)’ – Song Review

Gary Allan tries on optimism with his new single 'Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain),' and surprisingly, it fits. The master of melancholy may be turning over a new leaf with his upcoming album. This song is borderline inspirational. 

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Capitol Nashville
Capitol Nashville
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Darius Rucker, ‘True Believers’ – Song Review

Darius Rucker takes a simple story of two lovers who defy odds and skeptics and places it gently on a cloud in the stratosphere — a place few others can reach. ‘True Believers’ begins as a mild and unremarkable pop-country song before clever production and Rucker’s unforgettable voice find one soaring in the euphoria. 

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RCA Nashville
RCA Nashville
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Joanna Smith, ‘We Can’t Be Friends’ – Song Review

If Joanna Smith‘s new single ‘We Can’t Be Friends’ was released 30 years ago, we might call it a classic in 2012. Since the singer is relatively new, however (the sexy single ‘Georgia Mud’ barely cracked the chart in 2011 ), we’ll restrain ourselves from over-selling this portrait of caged yearning. Smith is the perfect voice to tell the story.

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EMI Nashville
EMI Nashville
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Alan Jackson, ‘You Go Your Way’ – Song Review

On ‘You Go Your Way,’ Alan Jackson finds himself heartbroken… again. That’s three radio singles in a row that focus on the wrong end of love, but not all with convincing pathos. 

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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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