This week we recap 10 recent rundowns from various Weekly Single Recaps in light of the fact there weren’t enough new releases to profile this week. We hope you enjoy this look back at some recently profiled new singles and chart hits.
Chris Young – “I Can Take It From There”
The melody of the opening track to Neon is pretty much stock and trade of most mainstream country studio sessions of the past 10-15 years but that doesn’t mean this is a bad song for any song that has Chris Young singing is gonna rise above the pack. Quite simply, Chris Young has one of the best, purest voices in country music. He not only can sing, he can sang. This is one of the best vocals on Neon and was a very smart follow-up to the disappointing Top 20 success of the album’s title track (after 5 consecutive #1 hits). This one should be at least a Top 10 hit and it will carry fans and Chris through the spring where he’ll be able to release a lead single from his fourth album sometime in 2013′s summertime.
Little Big Town – Tornado
Their streak will continue after “Pontoon” became the career-defining hit for the vocal quartet. Tornado is a lyrical gem and a downright awesome song with really interesting percussion and the vocal effects the group does are simply unmatched. Add everything up here and we have another cool little song from a band who deserves ALL Of the success and accolades they are getting.
Zac Brown Band – “Goodbye In Her Eyes”
I was saddened when “The Wind” didn’t do better than scrape the Top 10 but sadly, it seems that mainstream radio doesn’t take too kindly to actual Country jams being played on Country radio stations. This song is as smooth as a glass of aged single barrel southern bourbon and I’d be very shocked if the lyrically interesting, smart song doesn’t make it to the Top 10 or join all the band’s other hits in the Top 2 area.
Justin Moore – “Til My Last Day”
There certainly is an appeal to Justin Moore when he releases songs like “Bait A Hook” and “Backwoods” but let’s be honest here. Justin Moore’s much better when he sings songs like #1 hits “Small Town USA,” “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” and “Til’ My Last Day,” easily one of the best tracks off of his nearly Gold sophomore album Outlaws Like Me. “Til’ My Last Day” is an up-tempo ballad which finds the Arkansan’s natural twang guiding a sweetly romantic song that just sounds good coming out of the radio speakers. I get that Justin Moore loves to show his ‘redneck side’ and that certainly has its appeal in concert but for radio hits, I hope to hear more of songs like “Til’ My Last Day” and less of the ‘bravado’. And given the success of “Small Town USA” and “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away,” so does radio and, most importantly, a majority of the fans. Update: The single is one of his fastest-sellers and has taken-off digitally while also helping Outlaws Like Me experience a sales spike. The album will undoubtedly cross Gold sales before the 2012 Holiday shopping season is over.
Maggie Rose – “I Ain’t Your Mama”
Signed to the newly formed RPM Record label, Maggie Rose used to be known as Margaret Durante for a couple of other singles while with R&J Records. The name change is an organic one as it’s what she’s called by her family. Like “Take Ya Back” above, “I Ain’t Your Mama” is a catchy tune. The melody is a smokin’ little track that is full of all kinds of spirited fills backing up Maggie Rose’s attitude and charm-filled vocal. It’s a clear contemporary track but Legendary producer James Stroud keeps the song grounded in country music.
Chase Rice – “How She Rolls”
Chase Rice’ lead single (listen here) from Dirt Road Communion, “How She Rolls” finds the just-signed-to-CAA artist showcasing his strong songwriting skills which marry nicely with the production from Chad Carlson. It’s a tight, radio ready mix that is strong and perfect in the modern country music pocket. Chase is a natural and charming artist in the Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley mold with a playful side that is more ‘rock-n-roll’ than awe-shucks country boy next door and showcases all of that here. Chase is a co-writer of the Gold-selling Florida Georgia Line single “Cruise” and could very well be on his way to joining that duo as the next ‘up and coming’ act signed to a big label in Nashville. “How She Rolls” certainly makes a strong case for such a thing to happen.
Florida Georgia Line – “Cruise”
With well over 100,000 singles sold leading FGL to a major record deal with Republic Nashville, “Cruise” is certainly in its way to breaking out at country radio. “Cruise” is catchy as all get out and the singers are two of the nicest, most-hardworking artists I’ve met in Nashville. Their sound is wholly contemporary and the thump-y twangy telecasters are married to a modern production sound from Joey Moi and it all ads up into a winning combination. There’s just no way this song isn’t a hit and that’s exactly what I thought when I first heard it this spring when Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard were still indie.
D. Vincent Williams – “Down By The River”
One of my favorite songwriters in town, D. Vincent Williams finally scored a record deal when he signed to Bigger Picture Entertainment. Not one to waste his considerable chops, D. Vincent teamed with Keith Stegall to record his upcoming album and this single, an infectious and obviously country sing-a-long. This ain’t a country song masquerading as a country song. It’s a country song through and through and recalls Mac McAnally,
Eli Young Band – “Say Goodnight”
It has been an awesome thing to see this band grow into the superstar act that they are now. I’ve been a fan since they were on their producer Frank Liddell’s Carnival Recordings label for their album Level (the record that had their first Top 40 country hit “When It Rains”). “Say Goodnight” is a perfect example of the band’s growth with this moody and romantic ballad. Not only does it showcase their strong musical growth but it showcases a band unafraid to record songs that may be out of their typical comfort zone. One of the many great songs on their break-out album Life at Best, the first for Republic Nashville after Jet Black And Jealous was recorded for Republic Records/Universal South. They literally could’ve gone anywhere to follow-up #1 singles “Crazy Girl” and “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and instead of going for a late-summer and fall uptempo tune like “Skeletons” or “How Quickly You Forget” (both which sound cool), the band went for this mid-tempo ballad.
Dierks Bentley – “Tip It On Back”
After scoring critical acclaim with the Up On The Ridge record, Dierks Bentley has returned to mainstream country form with Home and this has resulted with three consecutive #1 hits in “Am I The Only One, “Home,” and the most-recent hit “5-1-5-0.” “Tip It On Back” is set to be the fourth single from the album and it is one of the best tracks on Home. The song is all about taking time to enjoy life and get out of the bad mood or feeling that may have resulted in the need to ‘forget’ things for a while. The melody is moody and accentuates Dierks’ vocal while also allowing the mandolins and other instrumentals to shine. Dierks may just have his hit his creative and commercial stride with these singles as “Tip It On Back” feels like another #1 hit.