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Single Review: “Alright” by Darius Rucker

April 13, 2009

For his third single from his highly successful debut country album, former Hootie front man Darius Rucker cranks it up a notch for a more fun and enjoyable single to bring some flair to his increasingly dominant presence on country radio. “Alright” is in fact and entertainment quality song that covers the concept of having a good life with what you have, not what you don’.

The only real down fall Rucker faces with this song is that it’s nothing new. it’s been heard before many times from some very big names with the same energy that he brings to it. However, there’s something that just seems to stand out about this one. Not only is it one of the more addictive tracks on his album, it’s actually one of the most enjoyable songs out there right now overall. Rucker brings something to the table that helps this song just stand out. Maybe it’s his charm, his experience, maybe his performance quality. Whatever it is “Alright”‘s approach to wanting what you have and caring less for what you don’t, as cliche as it might be, is memorable and almost addictive, meaning people WILL listen.

Although it’s not perfect, “Alright” is a very entertaining and attractive tune to help bring some non-economic based optimism to country radio and help lighten the mood a little bit in its own way. If this is where Darius wants to take country radio with his country music career, “then it’s alright by me”.

Final Say: Favorable

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Album Review: “Wide Open” by Jason Aldean

April 13, 2009

Wide Open cover3 Stars

 

Jason Aldean, the cornerstone of the Broken Bow label, has been  a middle of the road star for the entirety of his career, hitting just enough fame to be considered among the likes of Blake Shelton and Craig Morgan, but far from enough to contend with their superiors.

Unfortunately his third album, Wide Open, probably won’t help him reach that higher level of popularity and success anytime soon. Aldean’s newest project, despite it being another collaboration between him and producer Michael Knox who spearheaded the two previous projects, fails to deliver anything really new for both Jason and country music as a whole. The fact of the matter is that, like his debut album which was much more subtle, Wide Open is filled with carbon copy tracks that have all been done before by both Aldean and other artists, almost to a T.

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Album Review: “Unstoppable” by Rascal Flatts

April 8, 2009

Unstoppable cover3 Stars

 

Rascal Flatts took home another ACM Award for Group of the Year this past Sunday and follow that up with what will, inevitably, be next week’s biggest selling country album. Unlike many other bloggers I actually tend to show preference to the modernist sounds that the Flatts boy embrace, however Unstoppable doesn’t really manage to live up to its name and falls right about middle of the road.

Rascal Flatts love their ballads and their party songs, which makes sense considering their popularity and success as an arena act. However this same formula is not a good way to approach every single album. Their Me & My Gangalbum was four stars absolutely and they lost a lot of steam with their much less enjoyable Still Feels Good. Somewhere in between those two projects lies their newest album, complete with fan made album cover. Unstoppable provides much of the power and entertainment value that made much of the trio’s early work worth the $15-$20 without question. However, in that same sense, it also provides a few of the same faults that have plagued them before as well.

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2009 ACM Award Predictions

April 4, 2009

With the ACM Awards coming up tomorrow night, it’s its time to make my call concerning who could or should take home the big awards tomorrow night. Also, be aware that the three New Artist categories have been combined with the three winning nominees from New Group, male Artist and Female Artist now being up for the official award.

The Video and Collaboration Awards have already been announced, they will not be included in this post however it it worth noting that Brad Paisley and Keith Urban’s duet “Start A Band” won Collaboration and Paisley also took home the award for Video of The Year for “Waitin’ On A Woman”.

ACM 2009: Nominees and Predictions

Entertainer of the Year

  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley
  • George Strait
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Keith Urban

My Pick: Carrie Underwood– Carrie has it all. She has failed to avoid the #1 spot for every song she’s released, she has credited massive sales for both her projects, and she has become potentially the next Shania Twain in terms of longevity and success even joining the Opry this past year. Not only is she the most qualified and the most deserving, but it’s also worth noting that this award is fan voted and she likely has the largest fan base too.

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Single Review: “Believers” by Joe Nichols

April 4, 2009

Joe Nichols is a force often overlooked, but often very present in country music. He has a way of taking a classic country sound and making it work for the masses and taking a ballad that can seem cliche and making it shine. Despite this however, his latest offering falls a little short.

“Believers” is a great concept to be sure, exploring how believing in what you stand for and seeing the light can and often does make you a better person than the bulk of the world, but the lyrical composition lacks real substance to make it work. Every verse explores a different image of a believer, all being great examples, but each story line seems to be cut really short and doesn’t really help the listener believe in these believers like Joe wants them to.

On the flip side, Joe sings the heck out of it. However, despite his soft and meaningful presentation, he contradicts the production of the song and fails to match up to its dramatic and overpowering instrumental. This seems to be a common thread lately, an artist takes a song that has a great concept and promise only to be forced to hold it up on their own. As with the latest singles from Jamie O’Neal and Caitlin and Will, the production and story try to hard to make this a good song when all it really needs is patience and dependence on the artist who is, once again, very able to hold up the song on his own, but he shouldn’t have to.

Final Say: Flawed

Top Groups/Duos: #44 – Riders In The Sky

April 4, 2009

Riders in the Sky appearing at the Ponca Theatre in Ponca City, Oklahoma on September 29, 2007 at a concert commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Gene Autry. From left to right are Joey the Cow Polka King, Woody Paul, Ranger Doug and Too Slim.

 

Members:lead singer/guitarist Ranger Doug(Douglas B. Green), singer/fiddler Woody Paul(Paul Chrisman), singer/bassist Too Slim(Fred LaBour), and Joey the Cowpolka King Joey Miskulin on accordion.

Country music isn’t all about making it big at radio or being popular with everyone over the age of childhood. That’s what has made the Riders In The Sky such a huge part of the genre. As a band, the group built its music not around the expectations and hopes of making themselves a famous band among the older crown, but instead built it’s music around taking country music to a place it has rarely ever been, to children.

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Top 50 Groups/Duos: #45 – Homer And Jethro

April 4, 2009

Members: Henry D. Haynes and Kenneth C. Burns

If anyone is wondering where the concept of the parody really took off, it was with these guys right here. Henry Hayes and Kenneth Burns, aka Homer and Jethro, were famous for their satirical material throughout the 1940s to the 1960s. Now members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, this Grammy winning duo is considered to be one of the most effective acts of the time, adding not only a concept of enjoyment to country music for fans outside the genre, but also a feeling of humor and mutual respect among themselves and those whos material they decided to take on.

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