iCF Single Reviews #3 (Week of July 6, 2008)

I don’t want to overwhelm you with too many posts, because this massive amount of posting within days is not the norm around here lol, but I just felt like writing tonight. Just felt inspired by other blogs that I read today. Blogging can be very…therapeutic and admit it: it’s pretty fun (just like in real life, I like to express my opinion when I feel like it). O.K. Here’s Numero Tres… and just like last time, the numbers I chose are kinda odd, but I’m going to pick up where I left off last time: #17 and go to #36 (since that’s my lucky number ;) ). I’m getting my chart rankings from Radio & Records‘ site once again, though it is last weeks’ chart I’m using since they have yet to post the latest, but it doesn’t matter. On with the show…

17. “Learning How to Bend” – Gary Allan:

– When Gary started coming out with more rock/pop-sounding material, I was a bit weary. I did love his remake of “Best I Ever Had”, but I missed his more countrier stuff. With his new album, Living Hard, and its first single, “Watching Airplanes”, I initially didn’t like that song. I grew to love it because of the video and its footage of my Colorado’s Red Rocks and now I’m loving it. With this new one, it sounds good, and keeps with the heavy rock sound with strings and such, but I’m not feeling it totally. The chorus, especially, feels too much like the previous single. I don’t consider it “country”, but otherwise, overall, it’s not a bad tune. I wish Gary all the best (btw, does it bother anybody else when people misspell his last name into “AllEn”? I guess I’m nitpicky lol). 3.5 out of 5 stars. Buy here!

18. “Holler Back” – The Lost Trailers:

– I read a review somewhere a while back that mentioned that the idea of the song came from Gwen Stefani’s pop hit, “Hollaback Girl”, and that was interesting. I think this uptempo is somewhat catchy but for the most part, just sounds “B-A-N-A-N-A-S” and kinda annoying like the pop song (funny side note: coincidentally No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” is on the radio right now as I’m writing this haha). Hopefully, The Lost Trailers have more offer than this, and can distinguish themselves from the other groups with similar names (too many of them!). 2.5 out of 5 stars.

19. “Every Day” – Rascal Flatts:

– Yeah… already reviewed that one last time. Still… 1.5 out of 5 stars.

20. “Do You Believe Me Now?” – Jimmy Wayne:

– I’ve come across this single several times on the radio and seriously thought I was listening to a rock station or something. The song could totally be played there with its heavy use of loud electric guitar and drums, even with it’s slight mandolin usage. Sounds like something Rob Thomas would release, which is not particularly bad because he’s a good singer, but does it belong on country radio? I really like Jimmy’s voice a lot and will forgive him for it, and the song alone is pretty good, so I’ll let it slide. 3.5 out of 5 stars. Buy here!

21. “That Song In My Head” – Julianne Hough:

– The beginning of this song reminds me Jo Dee Messina’s current single lol (I like to make a lot of connections, you see. And Jo Dee’s tune will be reviewed later on in the post). I think the song is alright. The voice is Kellie Pickler-ish (which is not good in my books) but I won’t hold that against her because Hough’s voice is better (she’s also very easy on the eyes). I do understand how it is to have a song stuck in your head all day: even bad ones do, and that’s when it drives you crazy. I like this dancer/singer’s effort but this is not a song I’d want stuck in my head: it’s too ehhh for me. 2 out of 5 stars.

22. “Troubadour – George Strait:

As anyone should know by now, I love George’s music (he’s my #1), but his current single fails to impress me. Even when I first heard it, I thought it was O.K. and even Vince Gill’s harmony wasn’t enough to change that. I dunno… I like what the lyrics say but something about it doesn’t grab me. I wish they didn’t release it as a single, but I may change my mind if I hear it enough and I like it more. I really hope the next single is his duet with Patty Loveless, “House of Cash”! (Oh btw, I also wish George would write more… he said he isn’t motivated, but his older songwriting work was good, especially the greatness of “I Don’t Want to Talk It Over, Anymore” from his box set.) 3 out of 5 stars.

23. “I Can Sleep When I’m Dead” – Jason Michael Carroll:

– Very catchy country uptempo single and I’m lovin’ it. I admit, his long hair still bothers me, but his good voice makes up for it. I didn’t really like his last single, “Living Our Love Song” because of the video and the annoying “fair tale princess” line, but it was O.K., otherwise lol. JMC is on a good track if he continues down the line with this type of material. 4.5 out of 5 stars. Buy here!

24. “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” – Darius Rucker:

– After hearing this song, I gotta say welcome to country music, Mr. Rucker. Looks like a lot of people like this debut single from the Hootie & the Blowfish vocalist, and that makes me happy because it shows a change in the country world that a black artist can be successful these days and have a hit, if they release a quality single. His Hootie fame may have contributed to his initial airplay, but the song is very well put together. Darius’s voice is unique and distinguishable and the fiddle and steel guitar are placed in just the right parts and are pleasing to the ears. 4.5 out of 5 stars. Buy here!

25. “Country Man” – Luke Bryan:

– From the guy who brought us the irresistibly catchy anthem, “All My Friends Say”, and the great, “We Rode In Trucks”, we have another anthem. I gotta say, I much prefer the previous singles to this one. I really like Luke’s songwriting and his voice is very distinctive, but I’m not totally digging this one and don’t know why. I think it’s probably because it’s been done so many times with all these redneck-proud tunes that have been coming out more and more these past years. There’s nothing wrong with it, because I can relate to a good amount of the lyrics, but it becomes overkill after so many tunes like it. I like that it’s really country, though I’m not too crazy about the bluesy sound to it, for some reason. 3 out of 5 stars.

26. “Waitin’ On a Woman” – Brad Paisley:

– I’ve actually never listened to the full song until right now, and I’m liking it a lot so far. Definitely one of his better singles recently, and I love how he can make a great contemporary neo-traditional song. This is no exception: with his classic guitar-playing signature in the song and that alluring steel solo at the end. Good good stuff. I just might have to add it to my music collection. 4.5 out of 5 stars. Buy here!

27. “Come On Over” – Jessica Simpson:

– Simpson really surprised me with this one. I was already willing to write her off before I even heard the song but it’s actually a good tune, and it looks like a lot of listeners felt the same way I did/do. The traditional-sounding steel guitar parts (and I know some people will be offended by this lol because I kinda am too, but I’ll say it anyway) remind me of a Waylon Jennings production. Saying that, however, the song gets tiresome after repeated listenings and I’m not quite ready to accept her to our music genre. I don’t really buy her reasons for entering the country market: “I’m from Texas and it’s always been my roots”-kinda stuff because it seems like she’s only “gone country” for money and because pop music “just ain’t on the rally”, like Alan Jackson sings about in his song. I’ll give her credit for the song, though. 3.5 out of 5 stars. Buy here!

28. “Johnny & June” – Heidi Newfield:

– I liked Heidi. When she was part of Trick Pony. I really, really don’t care for this song. It doesn’t seem like she’s means what she’s singing. Just sounds like somebody “cashing on in” on their names to sell a song. They need a better tribute than this, like the song I mentioned in the Strait song review up above. This just doesn’t work for me. 1.5 out of 5 stars.

29. “Life In a Northern Town” – Sugarland, Little Big Town, and Jake Owen:

– I prefer the Dream Academy original (and even that, I can leave). As much as I like LBT, their harmonizing doesn’t save this remake. And as you might know, I’m not a fan of Sugarland, so I attribute their involvement as one of the main reasons I just don’t it. 1.5 out of 5 stars.

30. “All I Ever Wanted” – Chuck Wicks:

– I heard this first on XM Radio in my vehicle after I took a run, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. Much, much better than “Stealin’ Cinderella” (which wasn’t horrible, but nothing impressive). Despite Wicks sharing the same producer that Rascal Flatts uses, the production on this is nice (though yeah, overproduced). I still might change the channel if I hear it come on, but it’s tolerable and catchy. 3.5 out of 5 stars. Buy here!

31. “Relentless” – Jason Aldean:

– I like Jason. His voice reminds somewhat of Tracy Lawrence. Not a bad song, but not as a good as his previous work. I could see myself liking it more after hearing it more. I wouldn’t buy it though. 3 out of 5 stars.

32. “You Can Let Go” – Crystal Shawanda:

– So glad to see this song is climbing again. I almost thought it stalled, like so many other great songs country radio lets fall through the cracks. This is one of the best debut singles from an artist I’ve ever heard and it’s so cool that she’s Native American too. She’s got a distinctive, female-Gary-Allan type voice and it cracks at just the right times when she narrates this sad, but hopeful song about a daughter and her father. The message has been done before, but I think it’s even more cleverly accomplished here than before and it’s more emotional and believable. I may be biased, but I hope it hits #1. 5 out of 5 stars. Buy here!

33. “Love Remembers” – Craig Morgan:

– I’ve lost interest in Craig a lot over the years. He seems like he tries too hard sometimes and his music has a consistency of corniness spread throughout. Listening to this song, it does have nice vocals and I’m liking it. A bit overdone, and nothing memorable, and the background vocals at the end are annoying, but it’s better than some of his other singles. 3 out of 5 stars.

34. “I’m Done” – Jo Dee Messina:

– I like Jo Dee a lot, and want her to be big again, and I enjoyed “Biker Chick”. The music in this is very reminiscent of The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back”. Don’t know if that was deliberate or not. Kind of cool. I sorta like the song and it’s got some good Jo Dee attitude. 3 out of 5 stars.

35. “Bob That Head” – Rascal Flatts:

– O.K. I will try to give this a fair review… umm, since I like banjos, the banjo in the beginning isn’t too bad. Now to the matter: the lyrics. Wtf wrote this? Like I said before, they’re nasty and it’s just such a dumb song. No offense to any Flatt fans, or maybe there should be, but I don’t see what they see in these guys and trash like this makes it hard for me to take their opinions seriously. I’d like to see them perform this at the CMA’s, just to see the reaction they get and the forced fake smiles and applause they’ll get from their peers lol. Just a bad song. 0 out of 5 stars.

36. “In Color” – Jamey Johnson:

– I think Jamey’s finally got himself a hit for himself with this one. His vocals are decent and the chorus has got some nice power going on with it. Kinda boring, though. 3 out of 5 stars.

Whoo! Oh man, that took quite a while to do! Didn’t know it would take that long to get through these all. I need to get to bed lol. Next time, I’m sticking to 10-15 songs. I’ll do the tags later tomorrow.



  1. This is much easier than listening to the radio. You hit on some of the songs I’ve failed to review, and now I’m glad that I skipped them!

  2. Haha, no problem. I try to be as honest as I can be, and I really enjoy writing on the blog regularly, now.

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