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Album Reviews

Album Reviews - Page 2

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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Jennifer Nettles Playing With Fire Album
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Jennifer Nettles, ‘Playing With Fire’

Jennifer Nettles' Playing With Fire is an uncompromising working woman's album that the rest of her fans will enjoy from a safe distance.

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Urban Ripcord Cover Photo
Capitol Nashville
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ToC Critic’s Pick: Keith Urban, ‘Ripcord’

Keith Urban’s new Ripcord album is pure country cardio. The thumping, rhythmic collection of songs will make you sweat. Even the ballads come full of energy and urgency

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Cole Swindell Album
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Cole Swindell, ‘You Should Be Here’

Cole Swindell gets his heart broken — or at least wounded — on many songs from You Should Be Here, his second studio album.

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