Album Review: Yola – ‘Walk Through Fire’

The short version: Through compelling performances and stellar songs, Yola’s ‘Walk Through Fire’ is incredibly easy to like. Favorite tracks: “Lonely The Night,” “Ride Out In The Country,” “Faraway Look,” “Rock Me Gently,” “Still Gone” Least favorite track: “Walk Through Fire” Rating: 8/10 The long version: While it’s not uncommon to hear artists adopt retro… Read More Album Review: Yola – ‘Walk Through Fire’

Collaborative Album Review: Ryan Bingham – ‘American Love Song’ w/ Nathan Kanuch

The short version: For something different, I collaborated with Nathan Kanuch of Shore2Shore Country for a review of Ryan Bingham’s latest album! Zack: So I think to start this, we should give our personal history with Ryan Bingham’s music up to this point. Nathan: Sounds good. So I first noticed Bingham’s music, like most people,… Read More Collaborative Album Review: Ryan Bingham – ‘American Love Song’ w/ Nathan Kanuch

Album Review: Robert Ellis – ‘Texas Piano Man’

The short version: Robert Ellis pivots into piano-pop for one of his lightest, most accessible albums to date. Favorite tracks: “Father,” “Lullaby,” “Let Me In,” “Passive Aggressive” Least favorite track: “Fucking Crazy” Rating: 7/10 The long version: Being predictable isn’t always necessarily a bad thing. For as bold of a move Robert Ellis’ Texas Piano… Read More Album Review: Robert Ellis – ‘Texas Piano Man’

Album Review: Florida Georgia Line – ‘Can’t Say I Ain’t Country’

The short version: If Florida Georgia Line had left the marketing, pandering, and machismo out of their music, ‘Can’t Say I Ain’t Country’ might have actually been decent. Favorite tracks: “Speed Of Love,” “Simple,” “Colorado” Least favorite track: “Swerve” and all of the skits Rating: 4/10 The long version: Florida Georgia Line aren’t going away… Read More Album Review: Florida Georgia Line – ‘Can’t Say I Ain’t Country’

Album Review: Charles Wesley Godwin – ‘Seneca’

The short version: There’s a refined boldness to Charles Wesley Godwin’s debut album, ‘Seneca,’ that suggests he’ll be around for a lot longer, if not the next big thing. In other words, ‘Seneca’ is an early contender for one of 2019’s best albums. Favorite tracks: “(Windmill) Keep On Turning,” “Seneca Creek,” “Hardwood Floors,” “Here In… Read More Album Review: Charles Wesley Godwin – ‘Seneca’

Album Review: Hayes Carll – ‘What It Is’

The short version: Hayes Carll’s ‘What It Is’ doesn’t have a poor foundation, but it suffers from a lack of expansion and poor execution. Favorite tracks: “Be There,” “Beautiful Thing,” “Times Like These,” “Fragile Men” Least favorite track: “Jesus and Elvis” Rating: 5/10 The long version: Life’s messy, and sometimes the art we hear reflects… Read More Album Review: Hayes Carll – ‘What It Is’

Song Review: George Strait – “Every Little Honky Tonk Bar”

The short version: George Strait’s “Every Little Honky Tonk Bar” feels like a familiar friend to his catalog, for better or worse.  Writers: George Strait, Bubba Strait and Dean Dillon Rating: 6/10 The long version: It may be hard to know exactly what George Strait is up to these days, but at the very least,… Read More Song Review: George Strait – “Every Little Honky Tonk Bar”

Song Review: Chris Janson – “Good Vibes”

The short version: Despite some good intentions, “Good Vibes” comes across as lazy rather than fun. Writers: Chris Janson, Ashley Gorley, Zach Crowell Rating: 5/10 The long version: If you’re a fan of consistency, Chris Janson may not be the artist for you. Granted, it’s not like the strategy has failed him yet. For every… Read More Song Review: Chris Janson – “Good Vibes”

Pop Goes The Country Vol. 5: Red Foley – “Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy” (1950)

Pop Goes The Country is an ongoing feature where I explore country music’s biggest crossover hits. If you were to read any country music history book, you’d find a lot of parallels between the end of World War II and country music’s growth as a genre. Freed from wartime restraints, Americans were now looking for… Read More Pop Goes The Country Vol. 5: Red Foley – “Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy” (1950)

Album Review: Joshua Ray Walker – ‘Wish You Were Here’

The short version: While there are some issues with ‘Wish You Were Here,’ these are issues that will likely be smoothed out over time, making this a fine debut for Joshua Ray Walker. Favorite tracks: “Working Girl,” “Canyon,” “Last Call,” “Fondly” Least favorite track: “Love Songs” Rating: 7/10 The long version: If you want to… Read More Album Review: Joshua Ray Walker – ‘Wish You Were Here’

Pop Goes The Country Vol. 4: Jimmy Wakely & Margaret Whiting – “Slippin’ Around” (1949)

Pop Goes The Country is an ongoing feature where I explore country music’s biggest crossover hits. So far on ‘Pop Goes The Country,’ we’ve addressed honky-tonk fever, cigarettes and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This week … I’ll be honest, I wish I had more to say about this next crossover hit. To be perfectly blunt,… Read More Pop Goes The Country Vol. 4: Jimmy Wakely & Margaret Whiting – “Slippin’ Around” (1949)

Album Review: Alice Wallace – ‘Into The Blue’

The short version: Alice Wallace’s ‘Into The Blue’ pays tribute to her home of California in a different way than past albums, and this makes for an incredibly good listen. With that said, the project can feel a tad scattershot sonically and lyrically. Favorite tracks: “Echo Canyon,” “Santa Ana Winds,” “Desert Rose,” “The Lonely Talking,” “Elephants”… Read More Album Review: Alice Wallace – ‘Into The Blue’

Song Review: Easton Corbin – “Somebody’s Gotta Be Country”

The short version: Easton Corbin makes his return with a song that, while not bad, is still below his talent level. Writers: Ashley Gorley, Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins Rating: 6/10 The long version: If the next trend we see in country music is artists proclaiming how country they are, count me out. Granted, songs like… Read More Song Review: Easton Corbin – “Somebody’s Gotta Be Country”

EP Review: Farewell Angelina – ‘Women & Wine’

The short version: The melodic construction and harmonies are spectacular on Farewell Angelina’s sophomore EP, but it could benefit even more from sharper writing and stickier hooks. Aside from this, the short length of the project doesn’t give it time to really grab the listener the way it should. Favorite tracks: “Ghosts,” “Baby,” “I Feel You” Least… Read More EP Review: Farewell Angelina – ‘Women & Wine’

Album Review: Whiskey Shivers – ‘Smothered and Covered’

The short version: I can’t believe I’m reviewing a covers album, but Whiskey Shivers deliver what might be one of the funnest albums of 2019 with ‘Smothered and Covered.’ Favorite tracks: “Sandstorm,” “Lithium,” “Goodbye Earl,” “The Trooper,” “Losing My Religion” Least favorite track: … “Rainbow Connection” I guess? The long version: Forget the fact that… Read More Album Review: Whiskey Shivers – ‘Smothered and Covered’