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Reviews - Page 8

Tate Stevens
RCA Nashville
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Tate Stevens, ‘Tate Stevens’ – Album Review

The debut effort from Tate Stevens is about as straight-forward of a country album as you'll find. 'Tate Stevens' is an end cap-at-Walmart sort of record that proves the 'X Factor' winner can compete with the big names in Nashville.

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Granger Smith
Granger Smith
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Granger Smith, ‘Dirt Road Driveway’ – Album Review

If you look back over Granger Smith's early album covers, you'll find that he presented himself as a hat act. Sonically he's come a long way since those efforts, with his latest album 'Dirt Road Driveway' falling squarely in the singer-songwriter sub-genre of country music. It's an album that would sound best at a coffee house, not a honky tonk. 

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Lee Brice
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Lee Brice, ‘Parking Lot Party’ – Song Review

Songs like Lee Brice's new single 'Parking Lot Party' are easy to dismiss. It doesn't pack near as much punch as 'I Drive Your Truck,' but that's far from his intent. The South Carolina-raised singer is looking to add to the tailgate soundtrack, and at this he's successful. 

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Krystal Keith
Show Dog Universal
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Krystal Keith, ‘Krystal Keith’ – EP Review

Krystal Keith proves she has the talent to make it in Nashville, but a larger sample is needed to distinguish her as her own artist. At her best she's Bonnie Raitt for a new generation -- but at other times her style, pacing and lyrics are too heavily influenced by Toby Keith.

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Randy Rogers Band
Angela Weiss, Getty Images
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Randy Rogers Band, ‘Fuzzy’ – Song Review

The Randy Rogers Band go for broke on their new single 'Fuzzy' from an upcoming album called 'Trouble.' This story of a wild night out is what 'The Hangover' would sound like if written by a country band.

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Willie Nelson
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Willie Nelson, ‘Let’s Face the Music and Dance’ – Album Review

'Let's Face the Music and Dance' is a great place for a young country music fan to meet Willie Nelson. It won't be his most famous, and it won't create any hit singles. This wonderfully consistent effort proves what longtime fans of the legend already know: At 79 years old (80 on April 30), Nelson is still as important and skilled a vocalist as there is in country music. 

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Vote to Determine the Top 10 Videos of the Week in Taste of Country’s Countdown

Can anyone stop Carrie Underwood? 'Two Black Cadillacs' has built a house on top of the ToC Top 10 Video Countdown, but there are more than a few big bad wolves looking to blow it down. New videos from Florida Georgia Line and Taylor Swift enter the voting poll this week, in addition to returning Top-10ers from Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Toby Keith

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Chris Cagle
YouTube
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Chris Cagle, ‘Dance Baby Dance’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

'Dance Baby Dance' is one of the finest songs of Chris Cagle's career -- perhaps his best ballad. A few fathers (and maybe a couple of mothers) will be wiping away tears before the end of the first verse. He hits that sweet spot between familiar and hokey. 

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Marc Leishman Masters round 1
Andrew Redington/Getty Images
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Buzzer Beaters: First Day of the Masters, Harang Goes to Seattle and More

Today's top sports stories:

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Luke Bryan
Capitol Nashville
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Luke Bryan, ‘Crash My Party’ – Song Review

Luke Bryan's new song 'Crash My Party' would fit well on his last album 'Tailgates and Tanlines.' The ballad is a continuation of themes introduced with 'I Don't Want This Night to End' and 'Drunk on You,' two No. 1 hits for the ACM Entertainer of the Year. At first listen, it's difficult to become excited about a song that's so familiar. 

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Scotty McCreery
Mercury Nashville
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Scotty McCreery, ‘See You Tonight’ – Song Review

Scotty McCreery makes his songwriting debut on 'See You Tonight,' a mid-tempo love song that finds the 19-year-old not settling for a phone call or some distant "I love you" from the girl who holds his heart. It's the start of a new chapter for McCreery -- one that's much more important than his last. 

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Brad Paisley
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Brad Paisley, ‘Wheelhouse’ – Album Review

Brad Paisley's 'Wheelhouse' delivers a familiar mix of humor, life lessons and scorching guitar solos, but it does it in a way different from any of the other eight albums the 'Beat This Summer' singer has released. He took his old formula, balled it up, lit it on fire and tossed the ashes in the garbage. The result is a meaty and ambitious project that doesn't always click, but clears new ground when it does.

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