Can you be fabulously famous and a new face at the same time?
If your name is Jennette McCurdy, you can. Known by millions of teens for her role as sassy “Sam” on the Nickelodeon TV comedy series iCarly, 18-year-old Jeanette can’t go out to a restaurant without being mobbed. But in country music, she is a newcomer. Her handlers are currently taking her on a mall tour to introduce “Generation Love.” In my opinion, you’d have to be made of stone to resist it. Give the gal a DisCovery Award.
It will come as no surprise that Taylor Swift has the Disc of the Day. She may be out conquering the planet on her world tour right now, but she left behind plenty of killer tunes on her Speak Now album to keep on delighting us folks back home. “Mean” is definitely one of them.
LEAH SEAWRIGHT/On The Backroads
Writer: Leah Seawright/Frank Green; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Ineylue/Frank Thomas Green, ASCAP; SkyTone (www.leahseawright.com)
—She has an attractive little vocal rasp, but it is somewhat overwhelmed by the driving, rocking track.
ASHLEY GEARING/Five More Minutes
Writer: Ashley Gearing/Tiffany Goss/Nicole Witt; Producer: Byron Gallimore; Publisher: Curb/Curb Congregation/Mike Curb/Sweet Hysteria, ASCAP/SESAC/BMI; Curb
—She needs five more minutes saying goodnight to her boyfriend on the back porch. Daddy needs five more minutes before he gives his daughter away. And, you guessed it, the husband needs five more minutes at his dying wife’s bedside. Pretty, if predictable.
PAUL NUNN/Dead And Gone
Writer: Paul Nunn; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Paul Nunn, BMI; PN (www.paulnunnbanc.com)
—He sings with force and feeling, the production is perfect and the band is tight. The song, however, is way too wordy and meandering. Programmers will also not be thrilled to find that it clocks in at over four minutes.
Writer: Taylor Swift; Producer: Nathan Chapman & Taylor Swift; Publisher: Sony-ATV Tree/Taylor Swift, BMI; Big Machine (track)
—The wispy, melodic “Back to December” was just about a perfect single. This chunky little bopper goes in a totally different direction. Toe tapping, tongue tripping and terrific. Hang on for the multi-voiced finale.
THE STEVEN L. SMITH BAND/Pieces
Writer: Steven L. Smith; Producer: Bob Bender; Publisher: none listed, ASCAP; Vinyl (track) (www.slsmith.info)
—The title tune to Smith’s new CD is a stark, dark ballad. His shredded, barely-there voice is extremely effective in conveying the soul of a broken man. Celebrity guests on the album include Joe Bonsall, Jimmy Van Zant, Crystal Gayle and Glenn Duncan.
JENNETTE McCURDY/Generation Love
Writer: Tom Douglas/Heather Morgan/Ross Copperman; Producer: Jay DeMarcus; Publisher: Sony-ATV Tree/Tomdouglasmusic/EMI Blackwood, BMI; Capitol Nashville
—Introduced at last week’s Capitol CRS luncheon, this soaring, inspirational and completely captivating anthem makes my heart pound with pleasure. She sings like a bird, Jay’s production is fabulous and the song is a minor masterpiece. Play this.
KIP BOARDMAN/Runnin’ Right
Writer: Kip Boardman; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Kip Boardman, no performance rights listed; Ridisculous (track)
—The groove is hypnotic, and his pop vocal has a drowsy, dreamy quality. Americana music programmers are probably the best audience for this.
Writer: Skip Black/Hannah Blaylock/Catt Gravitt/Gerald O’Brien; Producer: Mark Bright; Publisher: Sony-ATV/401 Kye/Fouche River/Kye ya con Dios/Ink Pen Mama/Songs of Maxx/Tunes of R and T Direct/Syd and Sophie, BMI/SESAC/SOCAN/ASCAP; Big Machine
—The no-good girlfriend has split, and the whole town is celebrating Jimmy’s liberation. Airy harmonies and a sunny lead vocal are just two of this single’s many charms.
ELI YOUNG BAND/Crazy Girl
Writer: Lee Brice/Liz Rose; Producer: Frank Liddell & Mike Wrucke; Publisher: Mike Curb/Sweet Hysteria/Sony-ATV Timber/Hillsboro Valley, BMI/SESAC; Republic (CDX)
—When are the rest of you people going to get with it? Every single this Texas group has released has been splendid. This oomphy, mid-tempo outing is, too. I am going to keep raving about these guys until they get the big hit they deserve.
COLT FORD/Country Thang
Writer: Colt Ford/Dallas Davidson/Rhett Akins/Ben Hayslip; Producer: Jason Chance, Michael Zeuhsow & Dustin Burnett; Publisher: Average ZJS/Rhettneck/EMI Blackwood/Melissa’s Money/Get a Load of This/WB, BMI/ASCAP; Average Joe (CDX) (615-733-9983)
—The big guy rawks. He growls the verses, then bursts into melody on the choruses. Upbeat and infectious.
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