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Reviews - Page 7

Leann Rimes
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: LeAnn Rimes, ‘Spitfire’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

During 'I Do Now,' a song from LeAnn Rimes' new 'Spitfire' album, the singer name-checks the Dixie Chicks. The track is a feel-good, take-my-life-back kinda song nestled between much more moody and emotional fare. The similarities between the two acts were never so apparent until she says it.

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Kenny Chesney
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Kenny Chesney, ‘When I See This Bar’ – Song Review

Kenny Chesney's new single 'When I See This Bar' will draw comparisons to many a John Mellencamp song, and with good reason. The acoustic-electric mix sounds like something the Cougar may have cut years ago. There's an anthemic feel to his story of small (island) town life. But most importantly, the lyrics feel as genuine and honest as the rocker's best-known hits.

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Dustin Lynch
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Dustin Lynch, ‘Wild in Your Smile’ – Song Review

'Wild in Your Smile,' Dustin Lynch's third single from his self-titled debut album, is another vocal showcase for the 28-year-old Tennessee native. The song is a fan favorite, one many liked for the followup to 'She Cranks My Tractor.' As Lynch hashes out a familiar story, his confidence is both reliable and charming.

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Dierks Bentley
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
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Dierks Bentley (Feat. Kacey Musgraves), ‘Bourbon in Kentucky’ – Song Review

Dierks Bentley breaks from his longtime producer Brett Beavers to record his new single 'Bourbon in Kentucky.' Sonically, the song is more experimental than anything the Batman and Robin duo put together. Beavers and Bentley's best work shook like a rattlesnake or pierced deep into the veins with a heartbreaking poison capable of inducing painful flashbacks of past relationships. Few have been as successful over the past decade.

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Jaida Dryer
Streamsound Records
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Jaida Dreyer, ‘Half Broke Horses’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

'Half Broke Horses' is a song many songwriters would be afraid to record. Jaida Dreyer's single is rooted in difficult memories. There's no mistaking the pain in her twang as she tells the story -- and it is a wonderful story. The problem with recording such songs is they often turn out brilliantly, and fans want to hear you sing them again... and again... and again. Blake Shelton knows this -- it's why his wife Miranda Lambert cut 'Over You' instead of him.

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Darius Rucker
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Darius Rucker, ‘True Believers’ – Album Review

Darius Rucker sings with more energy than a nuclear power plant, but his new album 'True Believers' is safer than solar power. He captures the spirit of his live show -- one of the best in the business -- on each of the 12 tracks, but one yearns for for something unique and unexpected. 

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Lone Bellow
Descendant Records
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The Lone Bellow, ‘Bleeding Out’ – Song Review

In 'Bleeding Out,' Zach Williams of the Lone Bellow sings with an urgency nearly unmatched in country music. Strip away an arrangement that builds to anthemic levels and you're still left with an unforgettably passionate performance.

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Cassadee Pope
Republic Nashville
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Cassadee Pope, ‘Wasting All These Tears’ – Song Review

Cassadee Pope didn't rush to release her debut single 'Wasting All These Tears' as so many reality show winners do. It's been six months since she won Season 3 of 'The Voice,' and the singer seems to have made the most of the time, as the track is a polished and unique semi-country arrangement. 

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David Nail
MCA Nashville
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David Nail, ‘Whatever She’s Got’ – Song Review

'Whatever She's Got' represents a new sound -- and new look -- for David Nail. The 'Let It Rain' singer previously relied on a strong voice and bittersweet lyrics to work songs up the charts. The new track is pop-friendly and not nearly as deep.

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Kree Harrison
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
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Kree Harrison, ‘All Cried Out’ – Song Review

They say specificity is the soul of narrative, which would mean Kree Harrison's first post-'Idol' single 'All Cried Out' lacks soul, or narrative. The ballad is a showcase for her vocal range and power, but it's never made clear why the Texan is so bummed.

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