The songs are the real stars this week.
Lonestar, Reba, Jana Kramer and John Anderson have all latched on to outstanding pieces of material. Any one of them could be a Disc of the Day.
Singer-songwriter Sam Hunt has carved out a special niche with his one-of-a-kind ditties. One of the best of them on his Montevallo album is now its sixth single. “Make You Miss Me” is the real Disc of the Day winner.
Kane Brown easily wins the DisCovery Award. His “Used to Love You Sober” is a first-rate song, too.
JOHN ANDERSON/Magic Mama
Writer: Merle Haggard; Producers: John Anderson & Joe Spivey; Publisher: none listed; Bayou Boys
– I’ll never get over this timeless stylist. Here, he returns to his goofy-hillbilly personna. The band swings like crazy while he drawls out the good-time lyrics. Pianist Gary Smith, steel man Glenn Rieuf and fiddler Joe Spivey sound like they’re just as big a ball as the star. A boatload of fun.
SAM HUNT/Make You Miss Me
Writers: Sam Hunt/Josh Osborne/Matt Ramsey; Producers: Zach Crowll & Shane McAnally; Publishers: Universal/Three Mules/Sons of Black River/Sonic Geo/Calhoun Ent./Music of RPM/HoriPro, ASCAP; MCA
– Mr. Romance returns with his mix of husky, quasi-spoken passages and memorable sung choruses. The gist of it is that his lover always disposes of relationships, so he’s going to make himself so memorable that she won’t be able to move on. The track includes a fine harmony vocal — it’s either Hillary Lindsey or Mickey Guyton (the credits on the CD aren’t specific). Excellent listening.
CYNDI LAUPER/Funnel of Love
Writers: Charlie McCoy/Kent Westberry; Producers: Tony Brown & Cyndi Lauper; Publisher: Universal Cedarwood, BMI; Sire
– Cyndi has a romp with this Wanda Jackson rockabilly classic. The twangster guitar, snazzy organ and slapping snare backing her are as brightly bopping as she is. Extremely cute.
JANA KRAMER/Said No One Ever
Writers: Nicolle Galyon/Natalie Hemby/Busbee; Producer: Scott Hendricks; Publishers: Warner-Tamerlane/A Girl Named Charlie/HappyGoWrucke/Creative Pulse/These Are Pulse/BMG Platinum/Jam Writers Group/Hello I Love You, BMI; Elektra/Warner Bros.
– Percolating and perky, with just a touch of “attitude.” The lyric is as cute as the dickens, listing phrases that no one ever says, like, “Who are the Rolling Stones?” “I love politics,” “I’m happier when I’m lonely,” “Wish you’d talk more about yourself,” “Don’t want love to last forever,” “Bring back the pay phone,” “I wish you’d kiss me less” or “Can’t wait for Monday.” So nice I played it twice.
KANE BROWN/Used to Love You Sober
Writers: Kane Brown/Josh Hoge/Matthew McVaney; Producer: Matt McVaney; Publisher: none listed, BMI/SESAC; RCA
– His dark, earthy baritone is simply terrific, especially on the verses. A slab of alcohol-soaked misery that grabs hold and won’t let go. A star is born.
REBA/Just Like Them Horses
Writers: Liz Hengber/Tommy Lee James; Producers: Tony Brown & Reba McEntire; Publishers: Starstruck Writers Group/Giving Out Wings/BMG Platinum/SWMBMGBMI/Once in a Blue Tune, ASCAP/BMI; Nash Icon
– Heart tugging. Waves of freedom, nostalgia, loss and letting go wash over this tenderly evocative song. As usual, she sings the heck out of it.
MICHAELA ANNE/Won’t Go Down
Writers: Michaela Anne/Dave Brainard; Producer: Dan Knobler; Publishers: Michaela Anne/Dave Brainard, BMI/ASCAP; Kingswood
– This recent transplant from Brooklyn to Nashville has a lively, sprightly single from her new CD, Bright Lights and the Fame. Slashing country guitars and a take-no-prisoners rhythm section back her silky delivery.
Writers: Chase Rice/Chris DeStefano/Jon Nite; Producers: Chase Rice & Chris DeStefano; Publisher: Sugar Glider Music, EMI April Music, ASCAP; Columbia Nashville/Dack Janiels Records (track)
– Cluttered sounding. The production is a jumbled mess. The melody goes nowhere. There’s not much that’s “country” about it.
BOBBY BONES & THE RAGING IDIOTS/If I Was Your Boyfriend
Writers: Bobby Bones/Michael Saenz/Mical Trejo; Producers: Nick Autry & Bobby Bones; Publishers: Songs of Black River/Only Funny Online/Mical Trejo Tuneage, ASCAP/SESAC; Black River
– I kept wanting it to become funny. The hopeless vocals are the most amusing part.
Writers: Dean Sams/Richie McDonald/Marv Green; Producer: Dean Sams; Publishers: Last Song Standing/ClearBox/NuSlate/Warner-Tamerlane/The Good The Bad The Ugly, BMI; Shanachie
– The foursome comes out swinging with this rocking, soaring celebration of enduring love. Grab your honey and jitterbug across the dance floor. And give a rebel yell for that Michael Britt guitar solo.
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