Country Music Reviews


Just As I Am, BMLG/Republic Nashville (Brantley Gilbert) The long-awaited album “Just as I Am” was released on May 19th. The third album from Brantley Gilbert has already set a high standard for other country competing artists by charting at No.1 on the US Country Charts. To elaborate, “Just as I Am” has sold 211,000 units and puts the singer's third disc tailing behind Coldplay's "Ghost Stories, (via CountryStandardTime).

The album features the lead single “Bottoms Up” which also reached No.1 on the US Country Charts. The track is an ideal drinking song with an upbeat melody and catchy lyrics. During the first verse, his vocals are calm, smooth and composed, until the rising chorus kicks in with intense country-rock instrumentals.

Unforgettable tracks include “17 again”, “Lights of My Hometown” and “My Baby’s Guns N’ Roses”. “17 Again” reminisces his innocent teenage years and sparks memories of his first love. The storyteller aspect of the album especially emerges within this song and draws listeners into the whirlwind of emotions that are associated with a summer romance. “Lights of My Hometown” is a particular personal track in the form of a mini narrative. The guitar solo entwined with his gravely voice make an ideal combination to close your eyes and drift away. Finally, “My Baby’s Guns N’ Roses” is a semi-ballad with several cliché lyrics of shooting whiskey and backseat, fast country lanes. Nevertheless, the track is filled with metaphorical phrases which are witty, smart and, most of all, catchy which sidelines the cliché portion of the track.


Rewind, BMLG/Republic Nashville (Rascal Flatts) Rascal Flatts ninth album titled “Rewind,” released on May 13th by Big Machine Records, shows that ‘the country-pop trio takes a much-needed step forward. “Punching up arrangements with rock energy ("Payback") and synth-pop flourishes ("Honeysuckle Lazy"), the band undergoes a contemporary country makeover’ (via AP News)

“Rewind” marks the eighth no.1 hit for the Rascal Flatts, and tells about a night so good he wishes he could “rewind” it. Rascal Flatts, “Payback” shows off the bands fun side singing about a good lookin’ girl trying to get her “sway back” after her and her man break up. Anyone at the bar would be happy to be this girls “payback” to show her ex what he is missing.

The band slows it down with their third song on the album with, “I Have Never Been to Memphis.” This ballad tells of a love that takes a native Californian packing his bags and moving across the country to Memphis for a girl he is crazy about.

The fifth song on the album “Powerful Stuff,” is titled perfectly because that is exactly what this song is. “Powerful Stuff” tells about a love that is so powerful that it “burns like a fire, it cuts a river deep, and it kicks like a gun.”“Aftermath,” the ninth song on the album, take a turn and instead of singing about a fun love they sing about a love that is broken and shattered. “Like gravel to skin, the hurt has set in
and all that's left of my heart, are pieces and parts.”


Mud Digger Volume 5, Average Joes Ent. (Various Artists) “Mud Digger 5”, the fifth album release for the top selling “Mud Digger” compilation released May 19th, 2014. These artists introduce an intense sound not often heard in the country scene, rap country with a hint of dub step. This type of music may take an acquired taste but nonetheless it’s upbeat and catchy.Although most of these artists have a different sound they sing about what most country boys do…girls, trucks, and booze.

“Mud Digger 5 includes never-released songs by country star Colt Ford, The Lacs, Bubba Sparxxx and Rehab’s Danny Boone featuring Lenny Cooper. Also highlighted on the disc are two brand new remixes for the popular songs “Country Folks” by Bubba Sparxxx f/Colt Ford, JJ Lawhorn and I4NI and “Smoke Stack” by The LACS f/Cap Bailey” (Via Average Joes Entertainment)

“Truck Step” by Colt Ford, talks about jackin’ up trucks and going muddin’ with all his boys. “Country Folks,” by Bubba Sparxxx feat. Colt Ford, JJ Lawhorn & I4NI sings about all the great things about the country. Such as country fried foods, dirt roads, and dirt in their cuticles. Life like this might not seem like much to everyone else but to us country folks it’s “beautiful” which proves his point that there ain’t nothing like “his folks baby.” Its strong fiddle sound and fun drum beat makes this song worth listening.


Spring Break 6 ... Like We Aint Never, Capitol/EMI (Luke Bryan) Luke Bryan’s newest spring break EP “Spring Break 6…Like We Ain’t Ever” features six fun songs that will leave you ready for spring break and a good time. Co-writing all six songs, he explains “The songs for this project came together so fast. I feel like year after year we get a little bit better at writing for this.” He explained how it all originally started as a way to get new music out to the fans when he is in-between studio projects.

“Night One” tells the story of meeting a girl on the last day of spring break and how they “would have had one hell of a time if I met you on night one.”

“The Sand I Brought To The Beach” refers to losing the girl he came with, but not really caring because it’s spring break. “Here’s to me doin’ whatever the hell I want.”

“Are You Leaving With Him” is being interested in a girl who has been chatting up some other guy all night and wondering who’s she’s going to end her night with.

Each song, no matter what element or story of spring break they refer to, are all feel good party songs. Luke explains “…with these new songs, I would be proud to put them on any album we release.”


Write You a Song, UMG (Jon Pardi)
Country newcomer, Jon Pardi, is releasing his debut album WRITE YOU A SONG. The Capitol Records Nashville singer was behind Top 20 single “Up All Night” and the Top 25 Tune “Missin’ You Crazy.” In addition to these top hits, WRITE YOU A SONG consists of nine other tracks that will captivate listeners.

Co-writing 10 of the 11 tracks, Pardi’s debut album feels personal with songs telling stories about life, love, and music. This album has a pure country sound that both old and new fans of the genre would appreciate. There is a good combination of rowdy, party songs and songs that have a more relaxed vibe.

“Love You From Here” combines the beautiful sound of the violin with excellent lyrics and a great beat to provide a love song that everyone can enjoy. “Happens All The Time” follows a similar theme with telling the story of a man who’s got his eyes on a stranger and wants her to take a chance: “you just might fall in love."

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