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Blake Shelton
Warner Music Nashville
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Blake Shelton, ‘Boys ‘Round Here’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

There is comedy in Blake Shelton singing with Pistol Annies, as he does on his new single 'Boys 'Round Here.' One imagines a country Hugh Hefner surrounded by his beauties. In real life, the Annies likely (very likely) don't attend to his every need and agree with him at all costs, but they do on this song, and it's absolutely charming. 

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Blake-Shelton
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Album Spotlight: Blake Shelton, ‘Based on a True Story …’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

Women who already think Blake Shelton singing is the sexiest thing since Johnny Castle pulled Baby from the corner may want to take the rest of the week off. The best moments on 'Based on a True Story ...' sizzle, and not in that ironic "bow-chicka-wow-wow" sort of way that's occasionally implied with this singer's sense of humor. Songs like 'Mine Would Be You' are safe to put on any red wine and candles soundtrack. Guys, you can thank Shelton via his Twitter account, if you'd like.

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Kacey Musgraves
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Kacey Musgraves, ‘Blowin’ Smoke’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

The magic of many of the songs on Kacey Musgraves' debut album -- including her new single 'Blowin' Smoke' -- is in the little details. 'Merry Go 'Round' thrived in efficient specificity. The follow-up is equally effective in its portrayal of a life waiting tables.

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Wynonna
Erika Goldring, Getty Images
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Wynonna, ‘Something You Can’t Live Without’ – Song Review

It takes a few listens to absorb the new sound Wynonna reveals on her new single 'Something You Can't Live Without.' The singer and 'Dancing With the Stars' competitor hasn't had a hit song in a decade, but comparing this to music from the 'What the World Needs Now Is Love' album would be like comparing Kelly Clarkson now to her 2003 self, but flip-flopped.

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Casey James
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Casey James, ‘The Good Life’ – Song Review

Casey James' third single from his self-titled debut album is a pleasing three minutes and five seconds, but the toe-tapper is easy to forget. 'The Good Life' lacks the emotional hook that the best carefree country expressions posses.

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Shooter Jennings
Sean Gardner, Getty Images
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Shooter Jennings, ‘The Other Life’ – Album Review

Fans of early albums from Shooter Jennings will appreciate the singer's return to center on 'The Other Life,' his sixth studio album, available for purchase as of March 12. Still far from mainstream, the collection of songs isn't quite as experimental as projects that followed 'Put the "O" Back in Country.'

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Justin Moore
Gerardo Mora, Getty Images
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Justin Moore, ‘Point at You’ – Song Review

Justin Moore's lead single from his third studio album is a familiar combination of all of his best songs. It's the well-meaning bad boy in 'How I Got to Be This Way' meeting the soft and sensitive lover in ''Til My Last Day.' Fans familiar with Moore's previous two studio albums can find a few more tracks 'Point at You' resembles.

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Sheryl Crow
Warner Music Nashville
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Sheryl Crow, ‘Easy’ – Song Review

Sheryl Crow's new country single 'Easy' is as advertised. It's easy to be seduced by Crow's carefree warmth and laid-back style. It's easy to overlook the effective songwriting, and it's easy to fall into her story again and again.

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The Band Perry
Jason Kempin, Getty Images
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The Band Perry, ‘Done’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Not since their debut effort has the Band Perry released a song as fun as 'Done,' the second single from the trio's upcoming sophomore album 'Pioneer.' It's a track that makes the hair on your arms stand straight up as you pound along to the beat.

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Brad Paisley
Joe Raedle, Getty Images
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Brad Paisley, ‘Beat This Summer’ – Song Review

Brad Paisley wasn't joking when he said he was working to push himself places never gone before on his upcoming album, 'Wheelhouse.' The second single, 'Beat This Summer,' is a double-take sort of record in that after it begins, you do a double-take toward your stereo or computer to try to make sense of what's going on. 

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Tim McGraw
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Tim McGraw (Feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban), ‘Highway Don’t Care’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

While Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift's vocals on 'Highway Don't Care' would be enough to make the song a hit and one of the best of 2013, it's Keith Urban's guitar that makes the track one of the best collaborations of the decade -- maybe even ever. Each artist brings his or her best effort to the song from McGraw's 'Two Lanes of Freedom' album. It's a sterling example of what can happen when artists are left to be artists, without the handcuffs of music business politics. 

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snobar-girl
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SnoBar Alcoholic Ice Cream Has a Full Cocktail in Every Serving

For anyone who has ever sat down to a hot fudge sundae and thought, "You know, this is really delicious, but I really wish it could get me drunk," we give you SnoBar, the new alcohol-infused ice cream and ice pops with a full shot in every serving.

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Category: Food, Reviews Tags:

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