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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Author Archive: Michael McCall

Review: McCreery moving beyond ‘Idol’ with new LP

Scotty McCreery, “See You Tonight” (19/Mercury Nashville) The first “American Idol” victor born in the 1990s, Scotty McCreery turned 20 the week before releasing “See You Tonight,” his follow-up to 2011′s platinum debut, “Clear As Day.” The former church choir boy quickly establishes how much he has matured, opening his album with a rocking party […]

Review: The Band Perry delivers fresh 2nd album

The Band Perry, “Pioneer” (Republic Nashville) Like film director Tim Burton, the Band Perry puts an entertaining spin on the darker aspects of life and love. With their second album “Pioneer,” singer Kimberly Perry and her brothers Neil and Reid continue to blend sinister and innocent in deliciously fresh ways. The trio’s new work highlights […]

Review: Holly Williams spins sensitive new album

Holly Williams, “The Highway” (Georgiana) Holly Williams is the kind of poetic songwriter country music once embraced. These days, the powerfully sensitive songs featured on her new album, “The Highway,” are relegated to the independent Americana genre that exists outside of the arena-rock formulas of country radio. The strength of Williams’ songwriting and the subtle […]

Review: Gary Allan delivers edgy new album

Gary Allan, “Set You Free” (MCA Nashville) Gary Allan shows younger country singers the difference between true emotion and posturing on his searing new album, “Set You Free.” Allan avoids all Nashville trends and clichés, as he has for most of his 17-year recording career. Instead, he digs deep into edgy songs that balance pain […]

Review: Little Big Town turns in up on ‘Tornado’

Little Big Town, “Tornado” (Capitol Nashville) By the first chorus of opening song “Pavement Ends,” Little Big Town makes it obvious they are taking a more modern, more adventurous approach on their fifth album, “Tornado.” One of country music’s most rousing live acts, the vocal group hasn’t achieved the success at country radio that its […]

Review: Zac Brown Band show diversity on new CD

Zac Brown Band, “Uncaged” (Southern Ground/Atlantic) The Zac Brown Band delivers a message with the title of its new album, “Uncaged” — and the songs back up that statement. Although still likely to be described as a country band, the Georgia group purposely, and admirably, avoids current Nashville conventions on their new collection. Ten years […]

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