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Album Reviews

Album Reviews

Billy Currington
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Album Spotlight: Billy Currington, ‘We Are Tonight’

Billy Currington adds a pinch of rock, two tablespoons of R&B and a heavy dose of soul to his new 'We Are Tonight' album. The result is a project that tastes different, but remains true to a sound he's cultivated over the last decade.

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Justin Moore
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Album Spotlight: Justin Moore, ‘Off the Beaten Path’

The songwriting is sharper and Justin Moore's focus more clear on his new album 'Off the Beaten Path.' It's an album that will definitively brand the 'Point at You' singer as a traditionalist, but that's not to say he plays it entirely safe. 

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Chris Young
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Album Spotlight: Chris Young, ‘A.M.’

For all the talk of a rowdier set of songs, Chris Young's 'A.M.' is still built upon concepts introduced during 'Neon' and 'The Man I Want to Be.' The guitars get a workout on 'Aw Naw' and one or two others, but no one is going to call Young country's next rocker.

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Keith Urban
EMI Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Keith Urban, ‘Fuse’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

'Fuse' is a fine title for Keith Urban's seventh studio album, but 'Short Fuse' might be even better. There's very little to burn before one gets to the heart of this explosion of energy set to a modern country beat. The collection of 13 songs is the singer's least traditional offering to date, but few will complain about that.

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Sheryl Crow
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Album Spotlight: Sheryl Crow, ‘Feels Like Home’

Sheryl Crow didn't need to change much to fit in with Nashville's top female vocalists, and on the best songs from her 'Feels Like Home' album, she didn't. An easy (no pun intended), direct delivery serves the "newcomer" well.

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Charlie Worsham
Warner Music Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Charlie Worsham, ‘Rubberband’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

Charlie Worsham's debut album is about as splashy as a summer drought -- but that's not his style. The Mississippi-born instrumentalist puts his schooling to work on 'Rubberband,' an album that will compete for the best debut effort of 2013.

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Luke Bryan
Capitol Nashville
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Luke Bryan, ‘Crash My Party’ – Album Review

Luke Bryan plays it safe on 'Crash My Party,' his new album and the follow-up to the tremendously successful 'Tailgates and Tanlines.' With the exception of the infusion of hip-hop on two songs, there is little to differentiate the two projects.

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Vince Gill Paul Franklin
MCA Nashville
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Vince Gill and Paul Franklin, ‘Bakersfield’ – Album Review

It's almost unfair to call 'Bakersfield' a Vince Gill and Paul Franklin album, because there are so many other skilled musicians who add an important solo, fill or backbeat to the 10-song project. Often when so much talent fills a room, egos bump like elephants at feeding time. But there's space for everyone on this project.

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Civil Wars
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Album Spotlight: The Civil Wars, ‘The Civil Wars’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

The great mystery that sews intrigue at the root of 'The Civil Wars' is how two people who clearly don't get along can pretend with such conviction. The second album from this duo isn't tainted by disdain, contempt or ambivalence that hardens one's heart. In fact, it's more emotional than their Grammy-winning debut album. So clearly they're either brilliant actors, or they're in love.

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Brett Eldredge
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Brett Eldredge, ‘Bring You Back’ – Album Review

Buying a full album from a new artist is something like a trust fall. Typically you've heard one or two songs, leaving nine or 10 question marks. Breathe easy putting down cash for 'Bring You Back,' the debut from Brett Eldredge. The Paris, Ill.-born singer will catch you.

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