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Reviews - Page 9

Jason Aldean
Broken Bow Records

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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Tim-McGraw

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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Photo by Elie Smith
Photo by Elie Smith

Brantley Gilbert Concert at the Independence Events Center [REVIEW]

I'm a huge Brantley Gilbert fan. So when the opportunity came up to see him again in concert I jumped at the chance. The concert was last Thursday (Jan. 31) at the Independence Events Center.

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Getty Images
Getty Images

Behka’s Super Bowl Review for Dummies

Kids, I am not a sporty person. I just don't have much of the competitive drive. So I don't really care who wins or loses, and therefore I find I can't root for somebody in sports.  I don't know what it is, but it's just not there for me.

Now having said that, I did watch the football game this week. My ever patient boyfriend sat next to me and attempted to explain things here and there. He did his best to answer my questions ("Is that a camera robot?  Why did that one guy throw a yellow thing? Why do they keep losing their helmets?"). So here's what I've gleaned from the four or so hours of time I spent watching it with him.

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Kenny Chesney
Donald Bowers, Getty Images

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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Parmalee
Stoney Creek Records

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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Jake Owen
RCA Nashville

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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Eric Church
EMI Nashville

Eric Church, ‘Like Jesus Does’ – Song Review

Eric Church has released his most devoted love song from 'Chief' as the album's fifth single. 'Like Jesus Does' reveals the singer's vulnerabilities in a way none of his previous ballads have done. Like 'Springsteen,' reference is made to famous classic rock standards, giving the song some familiarity even before a first listen is finished. 

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Billy Ray Cyrus
Slaven Vlasic, Getty Images

Billy Ray Cyrus, ‘Hillbilly Heart’ – Song Review

Billy Ray Cyrus evokes sounds of the Mississippi Delta with his new single 'Hillbilly Heart.' The song leans against a big, bad, foot-stompin' guitar lick before the singer reveals his best blues voice. The result is ugly ... in a good way. 

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Kip Moore
MCA Nasvhille

Kip Moore, ‘Hey Pretty Girl’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

'Hey Pretty Girl' is the signature track from Kip Moore's remarkable 'Up All Night' album. The singer slows down the tempo and proves himself to be one of the most emotionally complete artists in the genre.

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