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Album Reviews

Album Reviews - Page 5

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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Scotty McCreery
Mercury Records
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Album Spotlight: Scotty McCreery, ‘See You Tonight’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

"Dynamic" could be a one-word review of Scotty McCreery's sophomore album, 'See You Tonight.' The 20-year-old's follow-up to his post-'American Idol' debut leans into life's exciting edges. The songwriting and production -- especially the production -- are sharp, but most exciting is the new sides of this singer fans see for the very first time.

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Cassadee Pope
Republic Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Cassadee Pope, ‘Frame by Frame’

Cassadee Pope's debut album 'Frame by Frame' is a young woman's record. She refers to "boys" and "girls" and sings of things like her parents' divorce and falling in love in the front seat of an old car. The production straddles both pop and country, using phasers and Gwen Stefani-inspired stomps alongside fiddle and acoustic guitar. It's a mix that will be unique on country radio.

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