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Album Reviews

Album Reviews

Eric Paslay
UMG Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Eric Paslay, ‘Eric Paslay’

Eric Paslay’s self-titled debut album is a songwriter’s album, but that doesn’t mean the redheaded singer sounds out of place fronting a full, ultra-modern production. Paslay dabbles with several different styles during the 11 tracks on ‘Eric Paslay.’

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Jennifer Nettles
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Jennifer Nettles, ‘That Girl’

Jennifer Nettles' new solo album is a round peg too big for country music’s square hole. Actually, ‘That Girl’ is sort of a zig-zaggy shaped object that doesn’t fit neatly within any genre’s stingy requirements. Jazz, blues, country, big band, Broadway, classic rock … Nettles dabbles.

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Jon Pardi
UMG Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Jon Pardi, ‘Write You a Song’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

Jon Pardi’s debut album ‘Write You a Song’ employs no tricks, gimmicks or novelties to sell a straight-forward brand of country music. The best songs are rowdy, Bakersfield-influenced jams that introduce the California-raised singer as someone whose tour you'll want to follow closely in 2014. Even the love songs come with a sharp edge, something that defines him as an artist.

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Krystal Keith
Jackson Lazuire, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Krystal Keith, ‘Whiskey and Lace’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

A strong voice, proclivity for leaning into life's edges and good decision-making make Krystal Keith's debut album a unique experience in 2013. She's a multi-dimensional female artist, and on 'Whiskey and Lace,' she's able to show all she can do while keeping cohesion.

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Parmalee
Ed Rode / Stoney Creek Records
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Album Spotlight: Parmalee, ‘Feels Like Carolina’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

Parmalee do what they do best on more than half the songs on 'Feel Like Carolina.' This group of reformed rockers compel you to buy a ticket to their live show with songs like 'I'll Bring the Music,' Dance' and especially 'Move.'

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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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