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Album Reviews

Album Reviews

David Nail Album Review
Terry Wyatt, Getty Images
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ToC Critic’s Pick: David Nail, ‘Fighter’

You won’t find much fluff on David Nail’s Fighter album. In fact, lack of levity is about all a country fan can complain about on the singer’s personal fourth studio album.

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LoCash-FP
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Album Spotlight: LoCash, ‘The Fighters’

Few albums reflect an artist’s identity quite like LoCash’s The Fighters, an 11-song project heavy with love songs, underdog stories and left of center arrangements.

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Jon Pardi New Album
Mike Coppola, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Jon Pardi, ‘California Sunrise’

There’s a certain tempo that Jon Pardi works best in on California Sunrise. It’s a mellow stampede that leaves room for his personal storytelling and naturally rowdy inclinations. The best songs on the singer’s sophomore album reside there.

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Frankie Ballard
Larry Busacca, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Frankie Ballard, ‘El Rio’

Frankie Ballard absolutely accomplishes what he set out to do with El Rio, his third studio album.

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Brandy Clark Album
Warner Music Nashville
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ToC Critic’s Pick: Brandy Clark, ‘Big Day in a Small Town’

Great albums include great songs, and Brandy Clark’s Big Day in a Small Town is fat with them. The singer’s songwriting relationship with Shane McAnnally is among country’s most delightful pairings. They’re simply working on another level.

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Cassadee Pope Summer Review
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Cassadee Pope, ‘Summer’ EP

Cassadee Pope’s Summer EP is a short sampler of a larger project. The four songs don’t form a cohesive artistic statement as much as they speak to the overwhelming optimism that’s becoming the trademark of her sound.

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Maren Morris Album
Rick Kern, Getty Images
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ToC Critic’s Pick: Maren Morris, ‘Hero’

Strong songwriting carries Maren Morris’ Hero album, an 11 song project that epitomizes a sub-genre of the Nashville country sound. It’s East Nashville cool, with subtle hooks and digs replacing obvious overtures.

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Dierks Bentley
Mark Davis, Getty Images
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ToC Critic’s Pick: Dierks Bentley, ‘Black’

Dierks Bentley's Black album relies on a few candles to light an otherwise dark-as-night project. Few albums have been so appropriately named.

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Blake Shelton If I'm Honest Album
Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Blake Shelton, ‘If I’m Honest’

Blake Shelton is a gifted storyteller, but the best songs on If I’m Honest reveal his own scars.

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Sammy Arriaga Mixtape
Latium Records
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Album Spotlight: Sammy Arriaga, ‘Banjos ‘n’ Bongos Acoustic Mixtape’

Sammy Arriaga’s Banjos 'n' Bongos EP is what a warm holiday sounds like.

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