Why must hip-hop invade every genre of music?
The style is omnipresent in R&B, pop and even Latin, and it certainly has its entertainment space. You’ll find it in today’s new “country” tracks by Brantley Gilbert & Jelly Roll, by Filmore & Pitbull and by Ya’ Boyz.
Holding up the more melodic and romantic side of things this week are The Kentucky Gentlemen, Cody Belew and our Disc of the Day winners, Thompson Square.
KYLIE MORGAN / “If He Wanted To He Would”
Writers: Kylie Morgan/Zandi Holup/Ben Johnson; Producers: Shane McAnally/Ben Johnson; Label: EMI
–A steady R&B backbeat with a saucy vocal attitude and some cool stacked harmonies. Girl, stop wishing for a guy who is indifferent to you. Quit lying to yourself.
LITTLE BIG TOWN / “All Summer”
Writers: Karen Fairchild/Sarah Buxton/Madi Diaz/Ashley Ray/Savana Santos/Alysa Vanderheym; Producers: Little Big Town/Alysa Vanderheym; Label: Capitol
–It’s somewhat wordy, but the groove is jaunty and novel.
BRANTLEY GILBERT & JELLY ROLL / “Son of the Dirty South”
Writers: Brantley Gilbert/Jelly Roll/Andrew Baylis; Producers: Andrew Baylis/DJ Chill; Label: Stoney Creek/BMG
–Pretty obnoxious all the way around. Hick hop mixed with hard rock guitars. The in-your-face lyric fuses “f” bombs with drinkin,’ smokin,’ tattooed right-wing “patriotism.” Did I mention guns and threats of violence?
LUKE BRYAN / “Country On”
Writers: David Frasier/Styles Haury/Mark Nesler/Mitch Oglesby; Producers: Jeff Stevens/Jody Stevens; Label: Capitol
–Hey you farmer, trucker, cowboy, bartender, fireman, cop, soldier and musician keep it country ‘cause it’s the patriotic thing to do. What?
THOMPSON SQUARE / “Nothing More Beautiful”
Writers: Keifer Thompson/Vicky McGehee/Stephen Wilson Jr.; Producers: Mickey Jack Cones/Derek George; Label: Quartz Hill
–Swooningly romantic. The gentle ballad wraps you in its arms, whispers in your ear and caresses your spirit. Their lovely singing is backed by some eloquent guitar passages and sighing strings. The sound of peace and love.
FILMORE & PITBULL / “USA”
Writers: Tyler Filmore/Sam Bergeson/Geoff Warburton/Dallas Wilson/Armando Christian Perez; Producers: Sam Berguson/Zach Abend; Label: Curb
–Loud and busy sounding.
CODY BELEW / “Rodeo”
Writers: Cody Belew/Autumn McEntire; Producer: Dustin Ransom; Label: Visionary Media Group
–The plaintive performance compares a rocky romantic relationship to a rodeo ride. The heartache vocal is spot-on, and the gentle track is perfectly understated. Worth your spins.
BILLY DEAN & PAUL OVESTREET / “The Rest of It’s Mine”
Writers: Billy Dean/Paul Overstreet; Producer: Brent Rader; Label: BFD/Audium
–Bouncy and sunny, it’s a Buffett-flavored anthem for retirees everywhere. The kids are grown, so let’s go to Florida, buy a boat and live it up. Highly engaging.
THE KENTUCKY GENTLEMEN / “Love Language”
Writers: Brandon Campbell/Derek Campbell/Mary Kutter/Andrew Capra; Producer: Andrew Capra; Label: TKG
–These twins (Brandon & Derek Campbell) scored earlier with their infectious “Vibin,’” “Alcohol” and “Whatever You’re Up For.” They take a turn to romance on this outing, crooning an invitation to love making in a production with a soft R&B groove. Recommended.
BRETT ELDREDGE / “I Feel Free”
Writers: Brett Eldredge/Heather Morgan/Nathan Chapman; Producer: Nathan Chapman; Label: Warner
–Moody and soulful. It ain’t all that “country,” but it is a mesmerizing meditation on mental strength in the face of adversity. As usual, he sings with intense fire.
YA’ BOYZ / “This-A-Way”
Writers: Zach Kale/Joe Ragosta/Nick Zinnanti/Jon Nite; Producers: NCKZN/Zach Kale/Joe Ragosta; Label: MCA/Republic
–Truck, mud, drinking, babe, backwoods—you know the drill. Just add a hick-hop track, bob yer heads and get mindless.
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