DISClaimer: Sugarland’s Welcome Return

Happy New Year.

This is a season of new beginnings, and that’s just what we’re hearing in the sounds from Jimmy Wayne, Scotty McCreery, Levi Hummon and Terry McBride. No one inhabits this concept better than Sugarland, our winner of the Disc of the Day award.

The DisCovery Award goes to Michael Tyler. This young Missouri native is previously best known for co-writing Jason Aldean’s “Laid Back” and Dierks Bentley’s “Somewhere on a Beach.” Now he has his own spotlight.

MICHAEL TYLER/Hey Mama
Writers: Michael Tyler/Jaron Boyer/Adam Argyle; Producer: none listed; Publishers: Peertunes, Ltd. obo itself, MTNoize and Jaron Boyer Music (SESAC) / Peermusic III, Ltd (BMI); Reviver (CDX)
-It looks like this time, she’s the right one. So that’s why I’m talking to you, Mom. The vocal is boyishly endearing, and the poppy, attractive track burbles along at a jaunty pace. Quite enjoyable.

SUGARLAND/Still The Same
Writers: Jennifer Nettles, Kristian Bush; Producer: Kristian Bush/Julian Raymond; Publishing: Jennifer Nettles Publishing (ASCAP)./ Magic Mustang Music Inc. / More And More Magic Publishing (BMI); Big Machine (download)
-The Sugarland comeback single packs a powerful punch. It builds nicely from an acoustic opening into an oomphy, anthemic melody and a multi-layered production pylon. A welcome return.

AC JONES/Buses and Trains
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; SSM (CDX)
– She tells mama she’s been hurt by love, but that it feels so good she wants to do it again. Jones sings with plenty of fire, but needs a better song.

LUKE BRYAN/What Makes You Country
Writers: Luke Bryan/Dallas Davidson/Ashley Gorley; Producers: Jeff Stevens/Jody Stevens; Publishers: Sony-ATV Tree/Peanut Mill/Round Hill/Natalia’s Music Money/Combustion Engine/WB/Sadie’s Favorite, BMI/ASCAP; Capitol (track)
– It’s a stompin’ rocker with a lively attitude. The rapid-fire lyric spits both cliches and truths. Absolutely a smash.

JIMMY WAYNE/Puppy Love
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Bea Hive (track)
– Jimmy Wayne’s latest project is a kids’ book called Ruby the Foster Dog. It has its own website with video stories. His companion Ruby Toons CD kicks off with this electronic bopper and is easily enjoyed by adults. Check it out.

SCOTTY MCCREERY/Five More Minutes
Writers: Monty Criswell/Scotty McCreery/Frank Rogers; Producers: none listed; Publishers: Sony/ATV/Spirit; Triple Tigers
– The good times in life seem to just fly on by. If only we had a “pause” button or just a few more moments to enjoy them. Very touching and heartfelt. The accompanying video has loads of cool, home-movie footage from the singer’s boyhood.

BEBE REXHA & FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE/Meant To Be
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Warner Bros.
– The track is really groovy, and everyone is singing splendidly. A bit more melody would have been nice.

TERRY MCBRIDE/Boots Off
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; MV2 (CDX)
– Rolling, relaxing and laid back. A wanderer finds a home in her arms and, for a change, doesn’t feel like leaving.

THE PAT WATTERS BAND/Indigo
Writers: none listed; Producer: Evan Middlesworth; Publisher: none listed, BMI; PWB (track)
-Its upbeat, yet deals with heartbreak. I love the line, “Your future could be in your next hello, why are you dwelling on your last goodbye?” The production is rather minimal, but the steel playing is nifty. I dig these guys; they need an audio upgrade.

LEVI HUMMON/Stupid
Writers: Scooter Carusoe/Chris DeStefano/Levi Hummon; Publishers: Sony-ATV, no performance rights listed; Producer: none listed; Iconic
-He doesn’t want to over-think a kiss or a romance. The track jingles and jangles in all the right places, and his lilting performance is on the money. Catchy and well worth your spins.

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About the Author

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

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