DisClaimer: Chris Young On Edge of Superstardom With Spicy New Song

chris young i'm comin overHandsome is as handsome does.

Sam Hunt, Chris Young, Shania Twain and Granger Smith are all undeniably good looking folks. That might get you in the door, but after that, it’s the sounds that count. And, happily, these four have the best records of today’s listening session.

The Disc of the Day award goes to Chris Young. His “I’m Comin’ Over” seasons his nice-guy personna with the spice of sensuality, and the result is the kind of record that can turn a hit maker into a superstar.

Texan Granger Smith is a veteran of seven self-released studio albums. Now, he’s teamed up with star-maker Frank Rogers (Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Josh Turner). The result brings him a well-deserved (and long delayed) DisCovery Award.

LUKE BRYAN/Kick the Dust Up
Writer: Dallas Davidson/Chris DeStefano/Ashley Gorley; Producer: Jeff Stevens & Jody Stevens; Publisher: EMI Blackwood/Two Chord Georgia/EMI April/Combustion Engine/Sadie’s Favorite/WB, BMI/ASCAP; Capitol (CDX) 
—Stomp, stomp, stomp. Drink, drink, drink. Party, party, party. Who is this guy?

BILLY DAVIS & OIL COUNTRY/Roughneck
Writer: Alex Zanetis; Producer: Eric Zanetis; Publisher: none listed; Zanetis (track) (www.oilcountrysongs.com)
—The late Nashville songwriter Alex Zanetis wrote, sang and produced a 1964 concept LP titled Ballads of the Oil Fields. Fifty years later, his son Eric produced sonically updated versions of those songs, now collectively titled Oil Country: Songs of the Oil Fields. This toe-tapper illustrates how thoroughly contemporary he makes these antiques sound. Recommended.

CLARE DUNN/Move On
Writer: Clare Dunn/Jesse Frasure; Producer: Clare Dunn & Jesse Frasure; Publisher: BMG Gold/Leer Jet 87/Rio Bravo/Telemitry, ASCAP/BMI; MCA Nashville (CDX) 
—She has a dramatic, deep alto until she shifts into her upper-register overdrive on the choruses. Production-wise, it is strikingly “different” and loaded with echo and electronic effects. It is quite good, but I’m having a hard time hearing what is “country” about this record.

MIKEL KNIGHT/Roses & Mayhem
Writer: K Grisham/J. Cross/J. Deford/B. Mitchell; Producer: J. Cross & K. Grisham; Publisher: none listed; 203 (CDX) (www.mikelknight.com)
—I have always hated country rap. Especially when it’s under produced.

CHRIS YOUNG/I’m Comin’ Over
Writer: Chris Young/Corey Crowder/Josh Hoge; Producer: Corey Crowder & Chris Young; Publisher: EMI Blackwood/Goodbye Pants/WB/Songs From the Rose Hotel/EMI Foray/Write 2 Be Free, ASCAP/SESAC; RCA (CDX) 
—Millions of women answer, panting breathlessly, “Yes, PLEASE, drop by anytime.” In other words, this is totally hot. It’s also a stone smash.

SOUTHERN HALO/Little White Dress
Writer: Natalia Morris/Catt Gravitt/Gerald O’Brien; Producer: Catt Gravitt & Gerald O’Brien; Publisher: none listed, BMI/SESAC; Southern Halo (CDX) (www.southernhalo.net)
—The creamy female harmonies shimmer on the fabulously melodic choruses. The tuneless verses are a waste of time.

SAM HUNT/House Party
Writer: Sam Hunt/Zach Crowell/Jerry Flowers; Producer: Zach Crowell & Shane McAnally; Publisher: Universal/Three Mules/External Combustion/Who Wants to Buy My Pub/Atlas/Songs of Southside Independent/I Love Pizza/WB, ASCAP; MCA Nashville (CDX) 
—This is one rousing, romping good-time single. The track stutters and thumps  delightfully, and his vocal invites you to sing, shout and knock yourself out. Smiles for miles.

Granger Smith

Granger Smith

GRANGER SMITH/Backroad Song
Writer: Granger Smith/Frank Rogers; Producer: Frank Rogers & Granger Smith; Publisher: Climbing Windmills/House of Sea Gayle, BMI/ASCAP; Thirty Tigers (track) (www.grangersmith.com)
—He has a very attractive, intimate, smokey baritone, and his midtempo tune is irresistibly catchy. This gets my vote as a summertime song.

SHANIA TWAIN/Man I Feel Like a Woman
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Eagle Vision/Universal DVD (track) 
—Twain says she’s working on a new CD and has so many songs that she has to edit them down to a manageable group. In the meantime, we have the DVD of her Vegas residency, Still the One: Shania Twain Live From Vegas. That’s where you can see as well as hear her romp through this 1997 Grammy-winning smash. She not only looks and sounds great, the lighting, effects, dancing, camera work and staging are all simply first rate. The clip is on YouTube. It will more than convince you that this is one concert DVD that’s well worth the price of admission.

STEPHANIE QUAYLE/That’s What I’m Talking About
Writer: Lindsay Rimes/Emily Shackleton/Phil Barton; Producer: Ilya Toshinsky; Publisher: EMI Australia/Warner-Tamerlane/Better Boat/Sony-ATV, BMI; Rebel Engine 
—As if we don’t have enough men singing bro-country lyrics ….. now we have the chick version of that.

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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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