iCF Single Reviews #6 (Week of December 11, 2008)

Wow wow wow.  I’m so neglectful of this blog sometimes lol.  I actually had started writing this post like the day after Christmas, but I never finished it and just kept it as a draft until now (I also erased some comments I made that wouldn’t make sense today lol – I just left the pic of Toby there).  Anyway, I’m here to review some singles I have yet to have voiced my opinion on, so far.  This is based off of the current R & R chart rankings.

10. “Down the Road” – Kenny Chesney & Mac MacAnally:

– Can’t believe I’m saying this, but this song isn’t too bad.  I like the acoustic and simplicity it has and I’m glad Kenny experimented on something kinda different here and introduced us to MacAnally.  Not an incredible song or anything, but gotta give this Jimmy Buffett-wannabe some credit (and credit for ditching the puka necklace – that was getting so old, man).  2.0 out of 5 stars.

12. “Sweet Thing” – Keith Urban:

– I kinda reviewed this in my CMA Awards reaction post, and it was actually favorable.  Urban did a solidly gripping performance of his new single and it stood out.  I would not consider it country at all, but damn, is it catchy.  I think some of the verses’ sound are reminiscent of Rascal Flatts’s (horrific) remake of  “Life Is a Highway”, but Urban is miles better than them (but just as pop, IMO) and the comparison with those songs only lies there.  This single’s chorus, as mentioned in other online reviews, is similar to Urban’s other songs, like “Better Life” and “Somebody Like You”, however it is still pretty fresh.  Surprisingly, I like the “do do do do do“s, and I think a lot of my likeness for the song began with the CMA performance, in which I first heard the song debuted.  Not country at all, but I like it, and bought the Mp3 on Amazon.com (well, I used my Pepsi free points to get it, so I don’t feel so guilty supporting him lol).  4.0 out of 5 stars. Buy here!

13. “God Love Her” – Toby Keith:

– This is actually my first time hearing this (btw, that is a nice pic of Toby above), and I don’t think it’s great or horrible – kind of in the middle.  Definitely a more mainstream-rock/poppier sounding Toby, with a similar feel of “Whiskey Girl”.  It’s catchy, though a little overproduced.  I wouldn’t call myself a Toby fan anymore, by no means (I think that shipped sailed several years ago – he just got annoying).  Nothing special here.  2.0 out of 5 stars.

14. “Cowgirls Don’t Cry” – Brooks & Dunn with Reba McEntire:

– Like I’ve said before: I’m lovin’ that B&D brought back the fiddle to their music! It’s been absent way too long.  This song is classic Brooks & Dunn, like their old stuff in the ’90s and I love it.  Bringing on Reba made it even better (though, I think this new recording sounds too “live” and it was edited in somewhat oddly).  I would comment more, but I’m considering another post on them in the future, so I don’t wanna repeat myself.  Cool music video too! 4.5 out of 5 stars. Buy here!

16. “River of Love” – George Strait:

– Don’t want to say much about this huge disappointment of a single (and a song), especially since Strait is my #1, because it’s just a bad choice of a song to record.  Nice steel guitar but not even the King could get me to like this.  Now, I really see how radio stations will play just about anything from certain people, regardless of the quality, even from some of my favorites.  This is a shipwreck, in my eyes, but of course it will be a top 5.  1.5 out of 5 stars.

18. “It Won’t Be Like This for Long” – Darius Rucker:

– Just a cool neo-traditional-ish song with a carefully-executed chorus and showcases Rucker’s vocals very well.  I like the story and the accompanying steel guitar.  Don’t complain because time moves faster than you think and you’ll miss some of those times when they’re gone.  3.5 out of 5 stars. Buy here!

19. “White Horse” – Taylor Swift:

– This is my second time hearing this song (first time was on Grey’s Anatomy, which my sister was watching and I happened to walk by and caught a quick glimpse of).  I don’t think Taylor is a total lost-cause, but I’d prefer she’d get out of country music, and embrace the pop charts instead.  This one is more folk-ish-sounding and relaxed.  I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I much prefer “Love Story” to this (I’m grown to quite like “Love Story”.  It just drilled into my head and wouldn’t leave. It’s like a tumor that’s embedded itself into my brain and is fatally confusing my ears lol).  That said, I don’t really like this song much and am sick of the whole fairy-tale princess business.  1.0 out of 5 stars.

21. “Last Call” – Lee Ann Womack:

– I don’t need to comment on this since I’ve already done it in other reviews, but I gotta plead to country radio to not let this one slide away:  Bring some country back to the table! – Don’t shut Womack down just because the lights are getting dimmer now in your tiny little brains. 5.0 out of 5 stars. Buy here!

22. “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You” – Jake Owen:

– Pretty bluesy, but just boring. His vocals are decent.  I think that freakin’ “Yee Haw” song infinitely turned me off his music. 1.5 out of 5 stars.

23. “That’s a Man” – Jack Ingram:

– First time I heard this, I thought the lyrics were too clichéd (they still are, let’s be honest), dealing with families and soldiers and stuff, like other people have sung about before.  I was sorta disappointed since I’m a big fan of Jack’s and was expecting better, and this was very so-so with me.  I’ve grown to like it more since I’ve listened to all the lyrics.  It isn’t necessarily like “Measure of a Man” (which is still a million times better), and I like the verses about the single mother and the deadbeat dad and the good father who is a man, and takes care of his family.  I can relate with that because my father is the former and therefore, doesn’t fit the definition of a “man”.  My mom had to take over both roles for me and my sister, and it was/is tough for her. God Bless.  I am definitely looking forward to the upcoming J.I. album.  3.0 out of 5 stars.

24. “More Like Her” – Miranda Lambert:

– I talked about this in the CMA thread, and I really enjoy the song.  Her vocals made me think of Mindy Smith, for some reason.  Think it’s the whole acoustic-heaviness and the hurt in the vocals that goes with it.  Great choice for a single and makes me like Miranda more (I prefer her more stripped-down side).  Applause!  4.0 out of 5 stars. Buy here!

25. “Ride” – Martina McBride:

– Talked about clichéd… you know, I’m really trying to like this song, and I guess it depends on my mood if I wanna listen to it.  I’m still an overall big fan of Martina’s, but its gets hard with songs like this.  I appreciate her optimism, but I just see teenage girls singing-along to this overdone, “touch-the-sky” anthem.  I just don’t connect to it, even if it speaks to both genders, and yes, life is a roller coaster ride (it really is, just like Martina’s choice of singles these days… there’s highs and lows).  I still love her but this is really mediocre.  My optimism: I still am anticipating new McBride music! (and I could do without the “McbRIDE” kind). 2.5 out of 5 stars.

26. “Everything Is Fine” – Josh Turner:

– I don’t think Josh could ever release a “bad” single.  This one has a backwoods country-feel to it with its banjo and fiddle and lyrics.  It’s a fun tune to listen to while taking a walk to the bank (which is what I did last year when I was in college lol).  3.5 out of 5 stars. Buy here!

27. “It’s America” – Rodney Atkins:

– Can’t believe I’m listening to this.  Well, at least it sounds slightly better than his CMA performance.  I just hope no one uses this in their commercial or anything.  It almost seems like anyone who likes this song would be the same type of person who would cry about people criticizing the current-and-soon-to-be-former President (ok, maybe not all, but a fair amount, I’m sure :p ).  1.5 out 5 stars.

28. “I Will” – Jimmy Wayne:

– It seems like this one is a hit-or-miss with country fans online.  It is really really pop.  I really love it, though.  There’s just something so captivating about it.  The chorus is so catchy and while the music is overproduced with big drums and loud electric guitar, it is pleasing to the ears.  Even more so, Jimmy’s vocals are amazing here, I think.  Like I said, not country (even with the steel), but it’s great. 5.0 out of 5 stars. Buy here!

29. “She’s So California” – Gary Allan:

– Immediate pull this one has.  It has a strong alternative country-ness to it, brought on by the production, the phrasing, and everything.  Don’t know how to describe it.  It’s just not the typical Nashville song.  While it is very alluring, with that drown of the steel, it can get a little old after some listens.  On a side-note, I really love California a lot, but the girls can drive you crazy haha (and not in a good way, so up the wall).  4.0 out of 5 stars. Buy here!

30. “Always the Love Songs” – Eli Young Band:

– I don’t know these guys too well, and this is my first listen to this song.  I am really likin’ it a lot.  There’s a natural pull to it and I’m not going to complain.  Pretty mainstream in production with a lack of much country instrumentation, although I wouldn’t strike that against this.  I approve. 3.5 out of 4 stars. Buy here!

I would like to keep going, but I think I did a fair amount of reviewing for tonight lol.  Until later.

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