DISClaimer 7/31/09

KChesney-greatesthitsII-150They didn’t win any of the big prizes, but two of our mid-level acts have some of the tastiest tunes this week.

Give an ear to the hilarious lyrics in Heartland’s “Mustache.” This thing is so wonderfully different that it could really perk up a radio station’s playlist. Also a writer’s delight is “Gypsy Boots,” the new Terri Clark single. Plus, it is sung and produced expertly.

Easton Corbin is a product of a Florida cattle farm in an area so rural that there isn’t even a fast-food burger joint in town. No wonder he sounds so marvelously countrified. “A Little More Country Than That” fits him so perfectly that it might as well be his true story. It also earns him a DisCovery Award.

The Disc of the Day belongs to a pair of unquestioned superstars. Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthews are an audio delight on “I’m Alive.” It is the finale track on Kenny’s smash-packed Greatest Hits II album.

Writer: Katie Armiger; Producer: Jonathan Lawson; Publisher: Lily Road, BMI; Cold River
—The track of this ballad builds nicely from an acoustic-based arrangement to big, oomphy, electrified, string-soaked choruses. The verses are cast in a key that’s too low for her, but the pay-off notes in the hook are right in the pocket.

Writer: Kenny Chesney/Dean Dillon/Mark Tomburino; Producer: Buddy Cannon & Kenny Chesney; Publisher: none listed, ASCAP/BMI; BNA (track)
—Very pretty. Both men sing with gentle intimacy, and the acoustic track is a shimmering swirl of liquid repeating riffs.

Writer: Brothers Finch; Producer: Brothers Finch; Publisher: none listed; Brothers Finch (www.brothersfinch.com)
—These siblings are former Can You Duet contestants who are now working on their debut album. Based on this advance, my advice is to get more clarity in the mix. This is too muddy.

REBA/Consider Me Gone
Writer: Steve Diamond/Marv Green; Producer: Reba McEntire & Mark Bright; Publisher: Teri and Steve’s/EverGreen/Warner Tamerlane, ASCAP/BMI; Valory/Starstruck
—I can’t believe this is the best song this superstar is able to find. There’s nothing really wrong with it, but it is definitely another routine day at the office on Music Row.

MIKE SCHIKORA/What’s Old Is New Again
Writer: Mike Schikora; Producer: Mike Schikora; Publisher: Tuck and Go, ASCAP; Front Range (track) (www.frontrangerecords.com)
—The title tune to this fellow’s CD has rippling Latin rhythm and a crisp production. His pitch-perfect, light tenor voice has an attractive “break” in certain notes. The acoustic guitar solos are cool, too. All in all, a job very well done.

EASTON CORBIN/A Little More Country Than That
Writer: Don Poythress/Rory Lee Feek/Wynn Varble; Producer: Carson Chamberlain; Publisher: none listed; Mercury
—Excellent. The song is extremely well crafted, and his performance is Strait-ahead country. After one listen, I was ready to sing along.

Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Star Tour/Slugfest (www.brittiniblack.com)
—She sings wonderfully. But when was the last time you heard a vocalist backed by only a keyboard on the radio?

Writer: Terri Clark/Jon Randall/Leslie Satcher; Producer: Terri Clark; Publisher: Hattitude/Tier Three/Wha Ya Say/Reynsong/Leslie Satcher/Sony ATV Tree, ASCAP/BMI; Baretrack (CDX) (615-324-2380)
—“I ain’t cut out for aprons or stayin’ home at night,” she observes. Plus, “My mama was a hippie, and my daddy was a rolling stone.” And this: “My middle name is Gone.” And this: “Don’t wanna rock no babies, but baby I’ll rock you.” Simply put, this is one of the coolest female ‘tude tunes I’ve heard in ages.

Writer: Chris DuBois/Jimmy Melton/Neal Coty; Producer: Paul Compton; Publisher: New Sea Gayle/Songs of Universal/Write’em Rite/Bug/Murrah, ASCAP/BMI; Permian (CDX) (www.heartlandband.com)
—The “I Loved Her First” Alabamians are back, this time with a very funny bopper about a gal dating a guy who looks like a porn star, right out of 1979. Sung and performed with grand gusto.

BILL GENTRY/I Want What You Want
Writer: Ed Hill/David Frasier/Josh Kear; Producer: Garth Fundis; Publisher: Asierra/Sagrabeaux/Universal Music Careers/Cross Keys, BMI/ASCAP; Roadworthy (www.billgentrynation.com)
—It’s a frothing rocker with a galloping rhythm track and a catchy hook. The singer musters up just enough moxie to “sell” it.


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Category: Reviews

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Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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