In our debut edition of this new weekly feature, we take a look at 10 of the most recent singles released to country radio and offer our thoughts about them in one convenient place.
It’s our goal to spotlight both established and new artists from big label to small here and in each recap, we’ll leave you with our favorite single of the week and a couple others that stood out.
This weeks’s favorite new single comes from Eli Young Band. “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” is dripping with passion and is more than just the latest cookie-cutter single and finds the band discussing the power that dreams can have on your life. Other strong singles come from Canan Smith, Alan Jackson, and newcomer Bryan Cole.
We hope you enjoy this new feature, something that will happen every Thursday from here on out!
Alan Jackson – So You Don’t Have To Love Me Anymore
Last summer Alan released “A Long Way To Go” and while it was meant to be an escapist piece of music, it wasn’t his strongest single ever. Consider then, the release of “So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore.” It’s a strong new single from one of the torch bearers for traditional country music. That being said, it’s going to be hard for this single to succeed in the modern country radio environment. – Matt Bjorke
Steve Holy – Until The Rain Stops
To say that radio has had a love/hate relationship with Steve Holy is an understatement. He’s basically had a big hit every five years (“Good Morning Beautiful,” “Brand New Girlfriend,” and 2011’s “Love Don’t Run.” What many fans don’t know is that Steve’s constantly delivered strong radio singles like non-album tracks “Might Have Been” and “Baby Don’t Go.” “Until The Rain Stops” is an ear-catching single with a strong melody and Steve’s strong vocal. Here’s hoping that radio plays this single like they did “Love Don’t Run!” – Matt Bjorke
Bryan Cole – Love Doesn’t Live Here
Last year we heard this gifted vocalist sing two strong singles called “If Only” and “Talkin’ Dirty” but honestly, neither of them was as good as “Love Doesn’t Live Here.” The singer is a popular draw in the Northeast and rustbelt regions and is looking to make an impact nationwide here. If given a chance, it may just happen. He certainly has the voice to become a household name. – Matt Bjorke
Mark Cooke – Any Way The Wind Blows
I’ve been a big fan of Mark Cooke since he released his first single “Can’t Cheat In A Small Town” in late 2010 and this new single, the lead-off track to the recently released EP Livin’ For The Weekend, is another strong single. Vocally Mark has a contemporary feel to him that’s not unlike James Wesley or Craig Morgan and while the lyric of this tune isn’t as strong as his debut single, it is still a catchy single. Radio needs a little more variety to their playlists and Mark Cooke certainly could be an artist to give them that variety. – Matt Bjorke
Lauren Alaina - Georgia Peaches
We discussed this single when it was released last fall and our thoughts about it are still relevant. Produced by Byron Gallimore, the song’s melody features down-home country rock with plenty of fiddle and steel guitars in the mix and that adds up to something that should’ve been too irresistible for country radio to ignore but somehow hasn’t been, yet. – Matt Bjorke
Blake Shelton – Drink On It
We want to take time here to offer our condolences to Blake, Miranda and Blake’s family as his father passed away this week. God bless the whole Shelton clan in their time of grief. – RS Staff
As for this single, it’s another winner from Blake, even if it’s not exactly the best lyrical gem on the planet. The mixture of a somewhat cheesy melody and a somewhat sleazy narrator does make the song kind of fun, even though the hook seems to be trying a bit too hard. The lyrics are somewhat undeveloped, and it’s a bit hard to believe his pick-up line works, but it does enough to drive home the song’s message. – Kyle Ward.
Ronnie Dunn – Let The Cowboy Rock
I don’t know what Ronnie Dunn’s long-term plans are — will his solo album be just a “last hurrah,” or will he continue to record into his 70s like some of the legends that no doubt inspired B&D? If this song is any indication, the latter might be a wise choice. “Let the Cowboy Rock” indeed. – Bobby Peacock
Canaan Smith – We Got Us
Canaan Smith is one of our 15 artists to watch in 2012 for good reason. This charming, lilting ballad charmed our editor from the very beginning and it’s off to a strong start at radio. – Matt Bjorke
Eli Young Band – Even If It Breaks Your Heart
I’ve been a fan of Eli Young Band since I first heard “Level” in 2005. It took them the better part of 3 years before they landed a Nashville (via NY’s Republic Records) label deal and once the Republic Nashville shingle opened, the band exploded with “Crazy Girl” ending 2011 as one of the most-played singles (and their first #1 hit). Now they’re back with an even better song. This is soulful folksy and modern country music about ‘every note wrapped around’ a young kid’s soul. It’s destined to be a #1 hit. Look for our full review soon! – Matt
Josh Thompson – Comin’ Around
Lately I’ve noticed that a lot of acts who have modest performance from a first album do far better on the second one. Witness Eli Young Band and David Nail finally scoring number ones with the lead-offs to their respective second albums. I don’t know if “Comin’ Around” will go the distance (although, given RCA’s knack for sending all of Chris Young’s songs to the summit, I wouldn’t doubt it), but I at least expect it to outperform “Beer on the Table.” – Bobby Peacock
Well, there you have it folks. Our debut rundown of the week’s newest singles. If you’d like to have your artist’s singles reviewed in this space, click here to send an email to us!