Some days, your favorite music comes from the most unexpected places.
This week, we have great new tunes from such proven winners as Trace Adkins, Jamie O’Neal, Easton Corbin and Lee Brice. Not to mention a terrific track by the redhot Morgan Wallen.
But over there in the corner, slyly working his audio magic is newcomer Troy Cartwright with a super hooky Disc of the Day.
Jameson Rodgers has previously been in this column as a collaborator with Luke Combs. Now he has a chance to shine as a solo. In so doing, he wins a DisCovery Award.
MORGAN WALLEN/More Than My Hometown
Writers: Ernest Keith Smith/Michael Hardy/Morgan Wallen/Ryan Vojtesak; Producer: Joey Moi; Publisher: Universal/Kobalt/Sony-ATV; BMI; Big Loud
– His vocal is kinda processed and compressed, but there’s no covering up his soulful warmth and personality. The track rolls along nicely, like a drive in the sticks in your dad’s comfy, air-conditioned sedan. The lyric is a country boy pledging his love to the gal who wants to leave him behind so she can see the bright lights.
Writers: Emily Shackleton/Jana Kramer/Nicole Witt; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Warner Chappell; Sophie Dog
– She has always been underrated. The plaintive ache in her vocal on this yearning, mid-tempo outing is terrific. She’s asking for something more than a one night stand. The whole world is searching for True Love, so here’s a song that everyone can relate to.
TRACE ADKINS/Better Off
Writers: Hillary Lindsey/Corey Crowder/Liz Rose; Producer: non listed; Publisher: none listed; Verge
– Her shoes, her clothes, the bed pillows, her lipstick and the lights are all “Better Off” because he’s got a sexy, one-on-one night in mind. Big Trace’s throaty, come-on voice is appropriately miked up close and personal. Cool tune.
JAMIE O’NEAL/The World Goes On
Writers: Shaye Smith/Jamie O’Neal/Ilya Toshinsky; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; JO
– The crunchy, punchy track is dynamite. As always, this total pro delivers the goods as a vocalist, offering conversational advice as well as wailing, soprano celebration. It’s about finding inner power when you’re feeling down, which is the kind of inspirational message we can all use right now. Turn it up.
EASTON CORBIN/Turn Up
Writers: Easton Corbin/Jessi Alexander/Wade Kirby; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Honkytonk Land
– He’s still country and I still like him. This is a hillbilly romper with charm and rhythm to spare. Lotsa fun.
HONEY COUNTY/Woke Up Tired
Writers: Danielle Rosner/Devon Eisenbarger/Kalie Shorr/Katie Stump; Producer: Maks Gabriel/Kenneth Belcher; Publisher: none listed; Sounds Like Nashville
– Creamy harmonies. Lilting melody. Wistful and attractive.
JAMESON RODGERS/Some Girls
Writers: C.J. Solar/Jake Mitchell/Michael Hardy; Producers: Chris Farren/Mickey Jack Cones; Publisher: none listed; Columbia/River House
– Strongly sung. It’s a bitter swipe at a no-good gal who has busted his ticker. The snarling electric guitar work and pounding rhythm in the production match the “edge” in his performance. I think this youngster might be headed for big things.
CLARE DUNN/Salt and Lime
Writers: Clare Dunn/Jeff Trott; Producer: Jeff Trott; Publisher: none listed; Big Yellow Dog
– First of all, the song sounds like an ultimate summer anthem. Second of all, her liquid-alto singing voice is a sultry delight. Third of all, it’s a lot more country than her previous releases. Go for it.
LEE BRICE/Hey World
Writers: Adam Wood/Dallas Davidson/Lee Brice; Producer: Lee Brice; Publisher: none listed; Curb
– This man always seems to hit an emotional bullseye. We have all felt the heartache and anguish that assault us every day. This man’s supremely soulful performance of this ballad is an everyman masterpiece. It hits your heart hard with its conviction and eloquence.
TROY CARTWRIGHT/Round and Round
Writers: David Garcia/Hillary Lindsey/Troy Cartwright; Producer: David Garcia; Publisher: none listed; Warner
– The loose-limbed, head-bobbing rhythm track is pretty irresistible. His drawling delivery, a catchy tune and the groovy, repetitive-romance lyric are all on the money, too.
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