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Uncle Kracker
UncleKracker.com
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Uncle Kracker, ‘Blue Skies’ – Song Review

Uncle Kracker has been singing the virtues of life's simple pleasures since the mid-2000s, and his new single 'Blue Skies' falls obediently in line. It's a feel-good, mid-tempo, country-rock song that, despite its similarity to everything else he's released to country radio over the last half-decade, feels pretty dang good. 

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Henningsens
Jason Kempin, Getty Images
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The Henningsens, ‘I Miss You’ – Song Review

'I Miss You,' the second single from country newcomers the Henningsens, starts off open for interpretation, before revealing itself as a longing-for-lost-love song. The ballad rests on Clara Henningsen's vocal performance.

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Aaron Lewis
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Aaron Lewis, ‘Granddaddy’s Gun’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Aaron Lewis's new single 'Granddaddy's Gun' should easily become the biggest country hit of his career. The third release from 'The Road' album speaks to an audience that's increasingly being told to quiet down. While the song has appeared on more than one album in recent years, it's Lewis who truly does it justice. 

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Tim McGraw
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Tim McGraw, ‘Southern Girl’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Tim McGraw's latest album 'Two Lanes of Freedom' is full of songs that should live long after their run up the charts. The latest is 'Southern Girl,' a too-easy-to-fall-for tribute to American women born where the weather's hot nine months a year.

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Craig Morgan
Sara Kauss, Getty Images
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Craig Morgan, ‘Wake Up Loving You’ – Song Review

Craig Morgan says he thinks his new single 'Wake Up Lovin' You' is going to be the biggest of his career. The soaring ballad is the singer's first love song to be released as a single since George W. Bush was in office. His vocal performance will cause even his longtime fans to do a double take. 

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Toby Keith
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Toby Keith, ‘Drinks After Work’ – Song Review

Some believe the R&B-influenced country sound of the '70s and '80s is poised to make a big comeback, and recent releases from Trace Adkins and Joe Nichols are evidence of that. Toby Keith's new song 'Drinks After Work' jumps the flashback needle, however. He's a bit ahead of his time in being behind the times.

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Trace Adkins
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Trace Adkins (Feat. Colbie Caillat), ‘Watch the World End’ – Song Review

There's an intentional darkness that lingers over Trace Adkins' new single 'Watch the World End,' a duet with pop singer Colbie Caillat. It's an effective love song that also succeeds in painting a vivid picture of the apocalypse.

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Thomspon Square
Stoney Creek Records
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Thompson Square, ‘Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About’ – Song Review

It's back to basics for Thompson Square. The duo's new single 'Everything I Shouldn't Be Thinking About' is a no-tricks, easy-to-embrace love song that finds the married couple having a conversation as comfortable as, "What's for dinner?"

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Taylor Swift
Big Machine Records
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Taylor Swift, ‘Red’ – Song Review

Taylor Swift has released three singles to pop radio since releasing her last country single, but her country fans can rest easy knowing that they get all the best songs from the 'Red' album. The title track marks the superstar's first country offering since 'Begin Again,' a track released before the album was even available.  

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Jason Aldean
Broken Bow Records
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Jason Aldean, ‘Night Train’ – Song Review

Back country roads are becoming crowded this summer, with Jason Aldean's 'Night Train' the latest to take a girl and a fifth of something to a secret spot. The title track from this singer's most recent album stands out above many of the rest, however. It's a rare Aldean vocal showcase that uses a train to put a slightly different spin on this story.

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Leann Rimes
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Album Spotlight: LeAnn Rimes, ‘Spitfire’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

During 'I Do Now,' a song from LeAnn Rimes' new 'Spitfire' album, the singer name-checks the Dixie Chicks. The track is a feel-good, take-my-life-back kinda song nestled between much more moody and emotional fare. The similarities between the two acts were never so apparent until she says it.

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Dierks Bentley
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
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Dierks Bentley (Feat. Kacey Musgraves), ‘Bourbon in Kentucky’ – Song Review

Dierks Bentley breaks from his longtime producer Brett Beavers to record his new single 'Bourbon in Kentucky.' Sonically, the song is more experimental than anything the Batman and Robin duo put together. Beavers and Bentley's best work shook like a rattlesnake or pierced deep into the veins with a heartbreaking poison capable of inducing painful flashbacks of past relationships. Few have been as successful over the past decade.

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