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Album Reviews

Album Reviews - Page 4

Sara Evans
Sony Music Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Sara Evans, ‘Slow Me Down’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

A much more confident Sara Evans emerges on the 11 songs that make up ‘Slow Me Down,’ her new studio album. From top to bottom this project is a blast of energy. Even the ballads pop with new life an exuberance.

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Luke Bryan
Jared C. Tilton, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Luke Bryan, ‘Spring Break 6 … Like We Ain’t Ever’

Luke Bryan’s sixth spring break EP isn’t so much a party album as it is a project for short-term lovers. Bryan explores the romantic side of spring break during ‘Like We Ain’t Ever.’ In many ways it’s an extension of the songs on ‘Crash My Party.’

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Eli Young Band
Republic Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Eli Young Band, ’10,000 Towns’

The Eli Young Band set out to make their best album ever, and many fans will agree they succeeded. ’10,000 Towns’ is a very even project, with no letdowns or skip-ahead tracks and the best moments spread throughout.

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David Nail
UMG Nashville
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Album Spotlight: David Nail, ‘I’m a Fire’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

David Nail does heavy heartbreak as well as anyone except maybe Gary Allan, so fans may have had reason to cringe when he said 'I'm a Fire' would be a more upbeat collection of songs. Upbeat? Definitely. Fluffy? No way. 

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Dierks Bentley
UMG Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Dierks Bentley, ‘Riser’

The sonic differences between ‘Riser’ and Dierks Bentley’s five previous studio albums (excluding ‘Up on the Ridge’) are subtle, but important. The Arizona-raised singer drops the rumbling, rambling, Bakersfield-inspired licks that made up many of his biggest hits and adds great lyrical depth.

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Cole Swindell
Warner Music Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Cole Swindell, ‘Cole Swindell’

Cole Swindell set out to make a well-rounded album that tells his story, and he succeeded. The 12 tracks on ‘Cole Swindell’ tread along familiar country themes, but don’t run ruts into any one in particular. It’s surprisingly easy to find yourself halfway through the album a second time without noticing.

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Eric Church
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: Eric Church ‘The Outsiders’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

There may not be another 'Springsteen' on Eric Church's new album 'The Outsiders,' but one of the best tracks from the eclectic, aggressive, 12-song project shares a title with the something the Boss is known for.

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Frankie Ballard
Facebook
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Album Spotlight: Frankie Ballard, ‘Sunshine & Whiskey’

Frankie Ballard is a man of his influences. His new album ‘Sunshine & Whiskey’ is distinctively midwestern, from the blue-collar themes and the gravel in his bluesy delivery, to the artists he’ll be compared to.

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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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