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Reviews

Jason Aldean
Broken Bow Records
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Jason Aldean, ’1994′ – Song Review

Jason Aldean's nostalgic trip to a time of mullets and loud, heavily-starched cowboy shirts is a fun novelty on the 'Night Train' album. But if '1994' had a cinematic equivalent from that same year, it'd be 'It's Pat.' Like the movie, the song is cute the first time, and maybe fun when it's late and you're drunk, but after that ... 

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Gary Allan
MCA Nashville
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Gary Allan, ‘Pieces’ – Song Review

If Gary Allan's chart-topper 'Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)' was optimistic, his follow-up single 'Pieces' is downright plucky. The uptempo country-rocker may be the most contented single he's ever released.

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Tim-McGraw
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Album Spotlight: Tim McGraw, ‘Two Lanes of Freedom’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

"Optimism" is the word Tim McGraw uses to describe his new album 'Two Lanes of Freedom,' and despite a garnish of somber ballads and hopeless love stories, the singer is dead on. The project's production creates the buoyant mood that carries each of the 15 songs on the accelerated deluxe version. In fact, one's opinion of 'Two Lanes of Freedom' may rest on production decisions made by McGraw and Byron Gallimore.

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Category: celebrity news, Reviews Tags:
Kenny Chesney
Donald Bowers, Getty Images
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Kenny Chesney, ‘Pirate Flag’ – Song Review

From the first note, one knows the new single from Kenny Chesney's upcoming album is filled with more hope than much of the pensive material on 'Welcome to the Fishbowl.' 'Pirate Flag' opens softly -- with strings and a bouncy mandolin -- before Chesney begins to tell his story. 

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Greg Bates
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Greg Bates, ‘Fill in the Blank’ – Song Review

Greg Bates flashes a mischievous sense of humor in his new single 'Fill in the Blank.' The 'Did It for the Girl' hitmaker is proving to be from the George Strait school of music, but he must have taken a Master Class on Tracy Byrd somewhere along the way.

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Category: Amarillo News, Reviews Tags:
Gary Allan
Facebook
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Album Spotlight: Gary Allan, ‘Set You Free’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

Gary Allan delivers the emotionally rich album his fans expect while stretching his sound in multiple new directions on 'Set You Free,' the singer's ninth studio album and first in three years. The songwriting is strong from the first track to the last, with Allan mixing moments of joy and hope within his familiar anguish.

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Category: Amarillo News, Reviews Tags:
Parmalee
Stoney Creek Records
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Parmalee, ‘Carolina’ – Song Review

"Polished" is not a word one would have used to describe Parmalee after the North Carolina foursome shared their debut single 'Musta Had a Good Time' in 2012, but the rowdy country rockers' follow-up single 'Carolina' is as radio-friendly of a track as you'll find. It's not clear that either style is a perfect fit for the Thomas brothers and their bandmates.

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Category: celebrity news, Reviews Tags:
Lady Antebellum
Capitol Nashville
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Lady Antebellum, ‘Downtown’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Lady Antebellum have never been funkier than on their new single 'Downtown' -- the first from the trio's upcoming fourth studio album. A guitar lick postmarked 1962 steers the song and pushes the band in an exciting new direction.

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Randy Houser
Stoney Creek Records
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Randy Houser, ‘How Country Feels’ – Album Review

Randy Houser comes in from the edges of country music with his third album 'How Country Feels' -- his first on new label Stoney Creek Records. The singer wrote just seven of the project's 15 cuts, but employed many of Nashville's top songwriters to help with the others.

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Jake Owen
RCA Nashville
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Jake Owen, ‘Anywhere With You’ – Song Review

Jake Owen found his niche with songs from the 'Barefoot Blue Jean Night' album, but the unidirectional theme is wearing thin with the arrival of his new single 'Anywhere With You.' There's a thread of spontaneity and nostalgia throughout all of Owen's most recent hits. He is the essence of carefree, which is refreshing... but no longer surprising. 

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Category: celebrity news, Reviews Tags:
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Katie Armiger, ‘Fall Into Me’ – Album Review

Katie Armiger's new album, 'Fall Into Me,' features 14 songs that describe love's highs and lows. It's a rollercoaster ride that at times feels like that line from Taylor Swift's 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,' i.e., "I say 'I hate you,' we break up, you call me, 'I love you.'" Fortunately, Armiger's way with words is more debonair.

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Charlie Worsham
Warner Brothers
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Charlie Worsham, ‘Could It Be’ – Song Review

Charlie Worsham has released his first single, 'Could It Be,' but he's far from a country newcomer. The singer and songwriter has been working up and down Broadway for years, and practically has an entire industry cheering for him. His debut effort takes no chances -- the Mississippi-born, Boston-educated Nashvillian delivers a steady, dependable effort that reminds one of a young Keith Urban.

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