DISClaimer: Brothers Osborne, Lauren Jenkins Offer Top Tracks

Brothers Osborne, Lauren Jenkins

It’s Star Time here at DISClaimer.

Sorry, indies, but the major labels and established names rule the roost today. And with artists like Lauren Alaina, Tim McGraw and Morgan Wallen in the mix, that’s a good, good thing.

Big Machine newcomer Lauren Jenkins nails down the DisCovery Award.

But what is even more exciting is the latest in an unbroken string of audio triumphs for Brothers Osborne. Their new tune easily captures the Disc of the Day prize.

MORGAN WALLEN/Whiskey Glasses
Writers: Ben Burgess/Kevin Kadish; Producer: Joey Moi; Publishers: 2016 Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp./Mr. Buck Lucky/Bump Into Genius Music (BMI), Sony/ATV Allegro/Over-Thought Under-Appreciated Songs (ASCAP); Big Loud
– A bodacious, boozy. boyish delight. His drawl is completely endearing. The track burbles along with verve. The tongue-in-cheek, heartache lyric is splendid. I have liked just about everything this fellow has dished out. Keep ‘em coming. I hope you become a big star.

RASCAL FLATTS/Back To Life
Writers: none listed; Producer: Rascal Flatts; Publishers: none listed; Big Machine
– A positive power ballad about how much he loves her. Tuneful. Well produced.

CALE DODDS/What We Gonna Do About It
Writers: Cale Dodds/Corey Crowder/Tyler Hubbard; Producer: Corey Crowder; Publisher: none listed; Warner Bros.
– Infectiously rocking. The track is a little “busy” sounding, but the spirit of the thing is so full of bright optimism that it’s hard to resist.

TIM MCGRAW/Neon Church
Writers: Ben Goldsmith/Ben Stennis/Ross Ellis; Producers: Byron Gallimore/Tim McGraw; Publishers: none listed; Columbia
-Echoey and atmospheric, this is an ode to the warm glow of a barroom where you can go to heal a broken heart. Tim’s vocal is processed in a cool kinda way, and the track swirls around it like a smoky halo. I’m in.

LAUREN JENKINS/Give Up The Ghost
Writers: Jenkins/Emily Shackelton; Producer: Julian Raymond/Lauren Jenkins/Scott Borchetta; Publisher: none listed; Big Machine
– It has a peppy rhythm track laid under a minor-key melody, which makes for ear-catching listening. Her slightly bruised vocal begs him to leave the memory of a previous lover behind and cling to her instead. A promising debut.

 

LAUREN ALAINA/Ladies In The ’90s
Writers: Alaina/Jesse Frasure/Amy Wadge; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Mercury
– It’s a big ol’ bounce party with Lauren recalling growing up in the ‘90s, when there were so many more female role models on the radio. She name checks tunes by Shania, Faith, Britney, Deana, TLC, the Chicks, Reba, the Spice Girls and more as she romps through this audio delight. “I want to feel like ladies in the ‘90s,” she rejoices, remembering when “females were unstoppable.” There are millions of country listeners who feel this way, despite the pseudo-science of radio programming that disenfranchises them.

WALKER HAYES/’90s Country
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Monument
– More nostalgia for the ‘90s. The track is strictly cheesy, contemporary country hip-hop, and he doesn’t really sing (does he ever?). But what he’s name checking is reminiscence all the way — titles made famous by Kershaw, Chesney, Strait, Mary Chapin, Ricochet, Shania, John Michael, Shenandoah, David Lee, Deana, Lonestar and the like. Each line is a country flashback, even if it’s a pop single. Jaunty and engaging.

BROTHERS OSBORNE/I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)
Writers: John Osborne/TJ Osborne/Shane McAnally/Matt Dragstrem; EMI
– This change-of-pace ballad confirms the fact that this duo is one of the most creative record makers in country music today. TJ’s vocal here is a masterpiece of subtle shading. In the song’s lyric, he doesn’t recall what a wild man he used to be, because he’s found true love. Exquisite listening. Proud to be a huge, huge fan of these boys.

 

WATERLOO REVIVAL/Wonder Woman
Writers: George Birge/Cody Cooper/Marv Green/Ryan Tyndell; Producer: Jason Massey; Publisher: none listed; Show Dog
– Bland pop. Soft rock that went out of favor 30 years ago.

DOLLY PARTON/A Woman’s Right
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; WNYC
– This single is drawn from an album of songs celebrating the 27 amendments to the Constitution. The other participants are alt rockers, but there’s our Dolly chirping about women winning the right to vote (the 19th amendment, adopted in 1920, thanks to the state of Tennessee). Naturally, being Dolly, she adds wit and humor to her lyrics. Lively fun, and it will become ever more timely as we approach the 100th anniversary of the Suffrage Amendment.

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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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