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Must Have List – October 2011

Carrie Underwood, Scotty McCreery, Julianne Hough
Frederick M. Brown/Jason Merritt, Getty Images

October is a big month for album releases (and, therefore, must have items) as country stars want to be sure they've got something on store shelves in time for Christmas. Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina have the most high-profile releases, but Toby Keith and Hunter Hayes also have new music for sale this month.

New music in stores also means new music on the radio, and a number of great singles and country videos make October's list of must haves. One could argue, however, that the hottest new style doesn't have anything to do with music. Carrie Underwood proved that change can be a very good thing during the recent iHeartRadio Music Festival, debuting a new hairdo that makes a strong push for No. 1.


10

Toby Keith's 'Clancy's Tavern' Album

 
 

Toby Keith's new single, 'Made in America,' brings the singer back to the patriotic style represented in some of his most well-known hits. While it's unlikely the entire album will be packed with as much pro-America sentiment as 'Shock'n Y'all' was, it's good to see the singer returning to the girl he brought to the dance. Keith's most recent releases have included some artistic deviations from what fans had become familiar with, and while we don't expect 'Clancy's Tavern' to be without new expressions, we're encouraged by the direction of 'Made In America.'

 
9

Lee Brice's 'Woman Like You'

 
 

While it's only been a year since Brice released his debut album, many of those songs were written as far back as 2005. A lot has changed for the 'Love Like Crazy' singer, and he shows a new patience and maturity on this softer love song. Somehow George Strait missed this one, but Brice should have no trouble making it his next hit.

 
8

All the Woman I Am Tour Tickets

 
 

This tour is the ultimate girls night out. Reba McEntire, the Band Perry, Eden's Edge and Steel Magnolia hit the road for 24 shows throughout October and November. That's a lot of girl power, and a lot of great music, including Steel Magnolia's most recent song, 'Bulletproof.' The video for that barely missed the list of must haves this month.

 
7

Country-Related Halloween Costume

 
 

No, you can't go dressed as the Geico Caveman again this year. The best Halloween costumes make light of a sensitive (but not too sensitive) subject, or offer near perfect recreations of a celebrity. There's likely to be a dozen Lady Gagas or Scotty McCreerys at your Halloween party, so think outside the box. A few country artists figured it out last year, but some (sorry Lady Antebellum) may have swung and missed.

 
6

Rodney Atkins' 'Take a Back Road' Video

 
 

Some trivia about Atkins' latest video: The singer was not harnessed in for many shots atop the bridge and the water tower, and that bridge was condemned to traffic. The 'Going Through Hell' singer is back with a carefree hit and a new album on October 4. This video serves as a refreshing splash in the face during an exhausting work day.

 
5

Julianne Hough in 'Footloose'

 
 

The remake of the 1984 classic hits theaters on October 14. Finally, after seemingly months of previews, we get to see how hot Hough and actor Kenny Wormald really get on screen. If the new movie can't compete with the original, the soundtrack will certainly pick up the slack. It features songs by Hunter Hayes, Big and Rich, the Zac Brown Band and Blake Shelton, who nails the theme song.

 
4

Lauren Alaina's 'Tupelo'

 
 

An argument could be made that the 'American Idol' runner-up did a better job picking songs that fit her than her not-boyfriend Scotty McCreery. While a number of songs from 'Wildflower' are age appropriate, it's 'Tupelo' that shows fans a soulful side the singer hasn't had much chance to put on display. Vivid lyrics ride along on this piano-driven country-blues rocker. For a moment, Alaina sounds like British soul singer Joss Stone.

 
3

Brad Paisley's 'Camouflage'

 
 

It's the most fun we've had with a Brad Paisley song since 'Ticks.' What country boy/girl can resist lyrics like "You can blend it in the country / You can stand out in the fashion world / Be invisible to a white tail / Irresistible to a redneck girl / Camouflage, camouflage / Oh you’re my favorite color, camouflage”? After a streak of heartfelt and heavy singles, it's nice to see Paisley back to his mischievous ways.

 
2

Carrie Underwood's New Hairstyle

 
 

She's bringing back the bangs. Early reviews have been pretty mixed, but opinions about Underwood's new 'do have certainly been passionate. She certainly wasn't in need of makeover, but it's nice to know that she won't be letting her self go now that she's settled into marriage with Mike Fisher.

 
1

Scotty McCreery's 'Clear as Day' Album

 
 

Few albums in 2011 have been more hyped up than the 'American Idol' winner's debut. 'Clear as Day' hits stores on October 4, featuring his first two singles, a song from Keith Urban,and two songs that McCreery says make his mama cry. The title track is one to fast forward to first, but make sure you've got a box of Kleenex nearby.

 

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