DISClaimer Single Reviews: Mo Pitney, Jordan Davis, Eric Paslay, Corey Crowder, Chrissy Metz, And More

Mo Pitney

It sounds to me like Music Row has springtime on its mind.

Jordan Davis, Eric Paslay and Sam Hunt (with Breland) have sunny sounds. The songwriting community is also on hand with fresh, breezy audio — check out the offerings by Corey Crowder and Nicolle Galyon.

Crowder, Galyon, Chrissy Metz, Breland and Chevel Shepherd are all making their DisClaimer debuts today. The guy who tops ’em all and gets the DisCovery Award is Jesse Keith Whitley.

In a highly competitive contest, I’m going with Mo Pitney for the Disc of the Day prize. His single drops tomorrow.

JESSE KEITH WHITLEY/Try To Change My Ways
Writers: Kirk Roth/Robert Kemp; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; JKW
– Jesse snarls like a country outlaw in this defiant anthem. The well-produced track mixes fierce electric guitars with rippling banjo notes, stirring up a hot, frothy cauldron of sound. He gives a shout-out to his late, legendary dad in the lyric. Mom Lorrie Morgan should be proud.

ERIC PASLAY/Heartbeat Higher
Writers: Eric Paslay/Zach Crowell/Sarah Buxton; Producer: Paslay/F. Reid Shippen; Publisher: none listed; EMI
– Driving and propulsive, yet unmistakably romantic, this has the lush melodic qualities I have always liked in this artist’s work. Hushed verses burst into open throated, rocking choruses about “taking my heartbeat higher” and trying to “turn this sunset kiss into a midnight choir.” That’s co-writer Sarah Buxton providing harmony vocals and step-out vocal lines.

CHRISSY METZ/Talking To God
Writers: Connie Harrington/Jake Mitchell/Nicolette Hayford/Ashley McBryde; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Warner-Tamerlane/Goes Something Like This/One Tooth Productions/Super Los Publishing/Make It Matter/Smackworks/I love Rha, no performance right listed; EMI
– The This Is Us TV star has found an outstanding Nashville song for her debut country single. Her vocal is kinda compressed, but she still conveys conversational intimacy as well as a certain soaring sincerity. It’s one cool lyric. Give it a listen.

JORDAN DAVIS/Almost Maybes
Writers: Jordan Davis/Jesse Frasure/Hillary Lindsey; Producer: Paul DiGiovanni; Publisher: ole Red Cape/Jordan Davis/Anthem Entertainment/Songs of Roc Nation/Telemitry Rhythm House/Warner-Tamerlane/BIRB/BMG Gold, ASCAP/BMI; MCA Nashville
– Barroom bopping, with a loosey-goosey rhythm track and a lackadaisical vocal delivery that are highly engaging. It has a relaxed, congenial vibe that sounds perfect for summertime Happy Hours.

CHEVEL SHEPHERD/Everybody’s Got A Story
Writers: Kacey Musgraves/Shane McAnally/Brandy Clark; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; CS
– All of the ingredients are here. The song is superb. The rolling, country-rock production is ear candy. Her voice is pristine perfection. But like many teenagers, she seems to have no idea how to get inside a lyric. She won on The Voice in 2018, and that’s what she sounds like, a voice. The lyric is so excellent, but she might as well be singing foreign-language words, and that’s what makes this so frustrating sounding.

RITA WILSON/Where’s My Country Song?
Writers: Rita Wilson/Lee DeWyze; Producers: Rita Wilson/Mikal Blue; Publisher: none listed; Sing it Loud/The Orchard
– A hard-working, tough-life gal listens to the radio, but doesn’t hear her experience reflected in any of the lyrics she hears. Instead of male fantasy, she’d like to hear her blue-collar reality. This well-known actor shows real talent as a songwriter, and her lilting, folkie soprano is lovely.

COREY CROWDER/My Poor Mama
Writers: Corey Crowder/Jaren Johnston/James McNair/Jordan Schmidt; Producer: Corey Crowder; Publisher: none listed; Round Here
– This successful Music Row songwriter (FGL, Lady A, Jake Owen, etc.) and producer (Chris Young, LOCASH, RaeLynn, etc.) steps behind the mic for a delightfully loping, rocking ode to a mom who bailed him out and saved his butt more than once. Charming.

BRELAND & SAM HUNT/My Truck
Writers: Daniel Breland/Troy Taylor/Kalvin Austin/Devon Barton/Edrick Miles/Tatiana Zeigler/Sam Hunt; Producer: Kal V and Troy Taylor; Publisher: Daniel Breland/NoQuincydence/Kalvin Austin/Devon Barton/Emilesmusic/Songs of Universal/Tatiana Zeigler/Sam Hunt/Universal, BMI/ASCAP; Bad Realm/Atlantic
– Of all the hip-hop/country fusion records, this one stands out for sheer goofy smiles. Breland’s vocal actually sounds just as “country” as Hunt’s does (okay, except for the falsetto bits). Like “Old Town Road,” it is mindlessly repetitive (it took seven writers to come up with this?), but that’s part of its appeal I guess. Sam Hunt has always had rap tendencies, anyhow.

NICOLLE GALYON/All The Things
Writers: Nicolle Galyon/Lori McKenna; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Songs & Daughters
– This award-winning hit songwriter (“Tequila,” “Automatic,” etc.) has always possessed a winning vocal presence. This lightly wafting tune showcases her sweet soprano beautifully. Sunny, lovey-dovey and super positive, but never cloying. A treat.

MO PITNEY/Mattress on the Floor
Writers: Matt Alderman/Billy Montana/Randy Montana; Producer: Jim Moose Brown; Publisher: none listed; Curb
– Sultry and sensuous. Pitney continues to be an outstanding vocal communicator on this slow-burning ballad about sharing love and poverty. A track to get lost in.

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Category: Artist, Featured, Reviews

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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