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Luke Bryan, Cassadee Pope, David Nail
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Top 40 Country Songs – January 2014

A number of new faces are working to top the first Top 40 Country Songs list of 2014, but January's No. 1 goes to a man who has been there before. 'Drink a Beer' by Luke Bryan is among the highest-charting, best-selling songs in country music right now. It will be a career-type song for a man who could almost make a hits CD full of his powerful ballads. 

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Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood
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Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, ‘The Call’ [Listen]

The live version of 'The Call' from Garth Brooks' 'Live at the Wynn' performance is his first single since 2008. It's a duet with his wife Trisha Yearwood, but their happy marriage doesn't stand in the way of a heartbreaking performance.

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Charle Worsham
Warner Music Nashville
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Charlie Worsham, ‘Want Me Too’ [Listen]

Charlie Worsham comes across as a normal guy you want to root for. He’s polite, like someone you’d be happy to have your daughter bring home for dinner, and his deferential manner is reflected in the best songs on ‘Rubberband,’ including ‘Want Me Too,’ his new single.

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Joel Crouse
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Joel Crouse, ‘Why God Made Love Songs’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Joel Crouse proves that his first single wasn’t just beginner's luck with his follow-up, ‘Why God Made Love Songs.’ The debut stalled on the country charts, but left a good impression with country music fans. In this new track, Crouse continues to show a professionalism beyond his 21 years without losing his youthful exuberance.

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Chris Young, Brantley Gilbert
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New Songs on the Radio – December 2013

The year won't end with a whisper. New songs on the radio for December 2013 include first releases from Brantley Gilbert and Jamie Lynn Spears' new albums and the next releases from Chris Young, Blake Shelton and Keith Urban. It will be a big month, even if it's a short month as the music industry shuts down for the holidays. 

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Blake Shelton
Warner Music Nashville
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Blake Shelton, ‘Doin’ What She Likes’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Blake Shelton's love songs may be a good barometer of his marriage to Miranda Lambert. If they ever lose sincerity or that special sense that he's focused on his bride, fans will know something has gone horribly wrong. Things were clearly going very right when he recorded 'Doin' What She Likes,' the fourth single from 'Based on a True Story.'

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Keith Urban
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Keith Urban, ‘Cop Car’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Keith Urban's 'Fuse' album is full of creative risks that fall back on strong songwriting and unique perspective. A song about falling in love in the back of a police car? That's never been done before. In 'Cop Car,' the superstar finds a way to make his narrative relatable to even the most law-abiding romantic.

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Brantley Gilbert
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Brantley Gilbert, ‘Bottoms Up’ [Listen]

Country bad boy Brantley Gilbert finds that sweet spot between rowdy and romantic with his new single 'Bottoms Up,' the first from his upcoming sophomore album for Valory Music Co. Mid-tempo or 'rock-lite' is how one could describe this track, but the word "chill" best illustrates the mood the Georgian was going for.

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Chris Young
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Chris Young, ‘Who I Am With You’ [Listen]

Chris Young's second single from the 'A.M.' album is similar to 'Aw Naw' in that it takes something he's done well across his first three studio albums and turns up the volume. 'Who I Am With You' is a big, soaring love ballad. It's a stark contrast to more intimate lovers from previous records.

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Taylor Swift
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Taylor Swift’s ‘Mean’ Covered by Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba [Listen]


Taylor Swift celebrated her 24th birthday yesterday (Dec. 13) and while we're sure her friends, family and fans showered the beloved singer with presents of all sorts, a fellow musician gave her a gift that keeps on giving and one that she directly inspired.

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