DISClaimer Single Reviews (6/16/10)

What a dilemma we have today.

Lady Antebellum, Chris Young and Miranda Lambert are all coming off of chart-topping singles. And all three have their follow-ups ready to go this week. All three hit home runs. Because it is the most “different” sounding offering of the week, I am going with Miranda Lambert for Disc of the Day.

Actually, programmers are going to have their hands full. Not only are Miranda, Chris and Lady A playing at the top of their game, but Toby Keith, Julianne Hough and LeAnn Rimes also have must-play new singles. Good luck with all that.

I have no idea who Blake Wise is. But I know talent when I hear it. He is absolutely, unconditionally deserving of a DisCovery Award.

BLAKE WISE/Cornfields
Writer: Rodney Clawson/Billy Montana/Chris Tompkins; Producer: New Voice Entertainment; Publisher: Big Red Toe/Amarillo Sky/Big Loud Bucks/Mike Curb/House of Moraine/Big Loud Songs/Angel River, BMI/ASCAP; Broken Bow (CDX) (www.blakewise.net)
—I am crazy about this little thang. The production slaps you across the face. The vocalist drawls his way right into yer heart. The relentless tempo demands that you get up and twirl around the room. Yee-haw.

LEANN RIMES/Swingin’
Writer: John Anderson/Lionel Delmore; Producer: Vince Gill, Darrell Brown, LeAnn Rimes, John Hobbs & Justin Niebank; Publisher: Irving/Universal-PolyGram/Foggy Jonz, BMI/ASCAP; Curb
—She ups the tempo and turns this classic into a country rocker. And that is doubtless Mr. Gill turning in that lickety-split electric guitar solo. Nicely done all around.

DAVE GLEASON/Turn And Fade
Writer: Dave Gleason; Producer: Dave Gleason; Publisher: 326 Music, BMI; 326 (track) (www.davegleason.com)
—The title tune to this fellow’s CD is taken at a stately pace, with a chiming guitar line running through it. He has an unusual singing voice, a somewhat strangled-sounding tenor with tinges of Neil Young in it. But he makes it work.

TOBY KEITH/Trailerhood
Writer: Toby Keith; Producer: Toby Keith; Publisher: Tokeco, BMI; Show Dog Universal
—A single with a built-in smile. Toby paints little word pictures of his neighbors in a trailer park and wraps the whole thing up with a chorus that begs you to sing along. In a word, delightful.

THE PEAR RATZ/Nice, Ice Cold Bottle Of Beer
Writer: Cowboy Eddie Long/Aaron Boswell; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Pearratz (www.pearratz.com)
—As rowdy sounding as its title suggests. But there’s something kind of muddy in the audio.

JULIANNE HOUGH/Is That So Wrong
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Mercury Nashville
—This has definite radio potential. The hooky song is super well written. Her delivery has power and passion. And the production underlines and punctuates in all the right places.

JOHN BRANNEN/Raised A Rebel
Writer: John Brannen/Don Von Tress; Producer: David Z & John Brannen; Publisher: Savannah Son/Harry Barker/War Pony, SESAC/BMI; Sly Dog (track) (www.johnbrannen.com)
—John’s new Bravado CD opens with this slab of blue-collar rock, straight from the Springsteen playbook. But with a Southern accent. Very cool indeed.

LADY ANTEBELLUM/Our Kind Of Love
Writer: Dave Haywood/Charles Kelley/Hillary Scott/Busbee; Producer: Paul Worley & Lady Antebellum; Publisher: Warner-Tamerlane/DWHaywood/Radiobulletpublishing/EMI Foray/Hillary DawnBMMG?Kobalt, BMI/SESAC/ASCAP; Capitol Nashville (track)
—Single Number Three from the Need You Now album finds Charles and Hillary trading lines in the verses and Lady A’s patented three-part harmonies lifting the sunshiny choruses to heaven. These people can sure-enough sing. Turn this bopper up.

MIRANDA LAMBERT/Only Prettier
Writer: Miranda Lambert/Natalie Hemby; Producer: Frank Liddell & Mike Wrucke; Publisher: Sony-ATV Tree/Pink Dog/Tiltawhirl/Carnival, BMI; Columbia (track)
—Miranda’s 15-track Revolution CD is an embarrassment of sonic riches. This track shows off her wicked sense of humor. Raucous and rambunctious, it will certainly liven up things in radioland.

CHRIS YOUNG/Voices
Writer: Chris Young/Chris Tompkins/Craig Wiseman; Producer: James Stroud; Publisher: Runnin’ Behind/EMI April/Big Loud Songs/Big Loud Shirt/Big Loud Bucks, ASCAP; RCA (track)
—His burnished honk-tonk baritone is ultra expressive on this mid-tempo outing. The voices he hears bear words of wisdom from his mama, daddy and grandparents. And it is advice he knows he needs to heed. A winner.

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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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