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Album Reviews

Album Reviews

Jake Owen
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Jake Owen, ‘Days of Gold’

Only one song on 'Days of Gold,' Jake Owen's fourth studio album, matches the energy of the red-hot title track. There's variety to be found on this long-anticipated release, but the themes Owen explores are the same as those he's covered on previous albums.

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Danielle Bradbery
Rob Kim, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Danielle Bradbery, ‘Danielle Bradbery’

Danielle Bradbery's self-titled debut album is packed with innocent love songs aimed at a younger audience. The collection doesn't offer many surprises -- instead, the Texas teen does what she does best. Her most dedicated fans will be delighted by this debut.

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Will Hoge
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Will Hoge, ‘Never Give In’

Will Hoge approaches each of the 11 songs on his 'Never Give In' album with an urgency not common in mainstream country music. Something more than simple passion is driving him -- it's an unrelenting need to share his stories and experiences.

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Lady Antebellum
Robin Marchant, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Lady Antebellum, ‘Golden (Deluxe Edition)’

The deluxe edition of 'Golden,' Lady Antebellum's fourth studio album, includes three previously unreleased songs plus three acoustic versions of well-known hits. All six fit within the context of the original 12 tracks. 'Golden' is still the most organic album the trio has released to date.

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Kellie Pickler
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Kellie Pickler, ‘The Woman I Am’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

Kellie Pickler's 'The Woman I Am' album is full of hope, optimism and forgiveness. These aren't words one could hang upon any of her previous releases; time (and a loving marriage) seems to have healed old wounds. The result is like that first breath of clean air after three enjoyable hours spent in the sweaty pit of a concert arena.

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Julie Roberts
Sun Records
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Album Spotlight: Julie Roberts, ‘Good Wine and Bad Decisions’

Julie Roberts has one of the more captivating country voices of the last 10 years. At times on her new album 'Good Wine and Bad Decisions,' she pulls you in like a blue-eyed, blonde-haired Venus flytrap. The painful songs are every bit as satisfying as the more sensual moments.

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Thomas Rhett
Valory Music Co.
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Album Spotlight: Thomas Rhett, ‘It Goes Like This’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

'Make Me Wanna' isn't representative of Thomas Rhett's entire debut album, but it may be the project's signature track. 'It Goes Like This' offers one surprise after another -- a stunning accomplishment considering a quarter of the songs are already well-known radio hits.

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Toby Keith
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Toby Keith, ‘Drinks After Work’

The opening track on Toby Keith's 'Drinks After Work' album sets the tone for a mostly hard-rockin' ride that's full of attitude. Sure, that describes many of the singer's best songs, but as a producer, he makes subtle changes to give this collection of songs its own space.

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Chase Rice
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Chase Rice, ‘Ready Set Roll’

Chase Rice's new EP comes dripping with testosterone. The first six songs (of seven if you purchase a physical copy) are loud, rowdy party anthems that feature the star as the next to merge hip-hop and country music. Colt Ford makes a guest appearance on one particularly rowdy cut called 'Party Up.'

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Willie Nelson
Jackson Lazuire, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Willie Nelson, ‘To All the Girls’

Willie Nelson's scratchy tenor and familiar guitar are the two constants on his new album of duets called 'To All the Girls.' The project is an enormous collection of female talent -- mostly country, but some not, most well-known, but a few still relatively unheard of. There's a pleasing variety, yet none steer too far from what Nelson has released in the last half-decade.

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