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song review

song review

Lauren Alaina
Mercury Nashville
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Lauren Alaina, ‘Barefoot and Buckwild’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Meet the new Lauren Alaina. With just a few weeks of her senior year of high school remaining, the singer introduces a grown-up new look, grown-up style and grown-up attitude with her latest single, 'Barefoot and Buckwild.' It's especially difficult to find songs that fit when you're short on life experience, so the one-time 'American Idol' runner-up wrote her own ...

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Lady Antebellum
Jennifer Graylock, Getty Images
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Lady Antebellum, ‘Goodbye Town’ – Song Review

Charles Kelley's desperation turns to anger by the end of 'Goodbye Town,' the second single from Lady Antebellum's new 'Golden' album. The song finds the trio working their bread and butter: heartbreak and a yearning for love lost. Sonically, this song forges ahead with fresh production, but it's not quite as exciting as the lead single, 'Downtown.'

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Jana Kramer
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Jana Kramer, ‘I Hope It Rains’ – Song Review

'I Hope It Rains' makes three heartbreaks in three singles for Jana Kramer. The new track from her self-titled debut album is more fun than the bittersweet 'Why Ya Wanna' and catchier than her Top 30 hit 'Whiskey.' The singer finds that sweet spot between revenge and psycho and works the vocals into a potential hit.

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Eric Paslay
EMI Nashville
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Eric Paslay, ‘Friday Night’ – Song Review

Eric Paslay's new single 'Friday Night' genuinely feels like a carefree, summertime Friday night. It's wide-open, catchy and easy to fall in love with, even if it's not exactly crammed full of tangible memories. Paslay puts his stamp on this uptempo pop-country cut. His performance is charming without becoming distracting.

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Thomas Rhett
Valory Music Co.
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Thomas Rhett, ‘It Goes Like This’ – Song Review

'It Goes Like This' is the safest of the three singles Thomas Rhett has released, but he sacrifices nothing in sharp songwriting in his effort to land a hit on country radio. The charismatic songwriter is a natural storyteller, and his lyrics bounce to life with each verse and chorus. 

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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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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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Randy Rogers Band
Angela Weiss, Getty Images
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Randy Rogers Band, ‘Fuzzy’ – Song Review

The Randy Rogers Band go for broke on their new single 'Fuzzy' from an upcoming album called 'Trouble.' This story of a wild night out is what 'The Hangover' would sound like if written by a country band.

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Chris Cagle
YouTube
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Chris Cagle, ‘Dance Baby Dance’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

'Dance Baby Dance' is one of the finest songs of Chris Cagle's career -- perhaps his best ballad. A few fathers (and maybe a couple of mothers) will be wiping away tears before the end of the first verse. He hits that sweet spot between familiar and hokey. 

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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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Scotty McCreery
Mercury Nashville
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Scotty McCreery, ‘See You Tonight’ – Song Review

Scotty McCreery makes his songwriting debut on 'See You Tonight,' a mid-tempo love song that finds the 19-year-old not settling for a phone call or some distant "I love you" from the girl who holds his heart. It's the start of a new chapter for McCreery -- one that's much more important than his last. 

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Hunter Hayes
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Hunter Hayes, ‘I Want Crazy’ – Song Review

In his new song 'I Want Crazy.' Hunter Hayes doesn't soar like Ronnie Dunn or croon like Chris Young. His vocal performance is an exercise in diction -- and memory. Simply put, he packs a ton of words into a tight space without straining or slurring one idea into another. It's not easy. 

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