This week we have a lean collection of country music singles to bring to you but it remains a strong grouping of songs from four star artists and one up-and-coming artist who has broken out with a #1 single on radio and has sold well digitally. These singles represent a strong cross-section of the diversity that you can hear on country radio these days. Take a look at what we have to say about the singles and let us know what you think of them!
Sara Evans – “Anywhere”
At some point this is the song which will end up on country radio dials across america. What’s weird about this single release is that it is coming months after “My Heart Can’t Tell You No” peaked at 21 on the radio charts. In an interesting twist, “Anywhere” is a single that should’ve probably been released after #1 hit “A Little Bit Stronger” as it showcases the strong voiced Evans in an uptempo sound that has suited her as much as, if not better than her hit ballads (“Suds In A Bucket” comes to mind). If radio’s receptive, this one should also be another hit for Sara but they may be as surprised as I was to see it actually get released (instead of a lead single from a new album).
Lonestar – “The Countdown”
A couple of years ago Lonestar’s three core members Michael Britt, Keech Rainwater and Dean Sams parted ways with longtime vocalist Richie McDonald as he went on to record and release a pair of solo albums. Those albums and Lonestar’s own “Party at the end of the World” (with Cody Collins on vocals) failed to generate much interest outside of core audiences so when the news came earlier this year that The original band quartet was getting back together, it made a lot of sense. Toss in a 20th anniversary tour and now we have some new music from a fall album. The lead single, “The Countdown” showcases everything that the band has done well (musicianship, harmonies, tight production) and brings a familiar and fresh sound to the mix. Instead of returning with a power ballad (which they became known for), “The Countdown” is a light hearted tune that should find itself becoming some sort of hit at country radio.
Kip Moore – “Beer Money”
Word was that “Drive Me Crazy” was going to be the follow-up to Kip’s breakthrough #1 hit “Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck” and while that is a strong song, “Beer Money” is the perfect follow-up to the single. It extends the ‘spending time with the one you love by your side’ theme and is another strong mood-setting, sing-a-long ready country/rocker. Moore’s vocals remain a unique attraction to his brand of country music as they bring an easy identifier that you’re listening to a Kip Moore record and not just another music row concoction. This one should easily be both a radio and digital single hit for Moore throughout the Summer of 2012.
Tim McGraw – “Right Back At Ya Babe”
Curb Records surprised a lot of people by releasing “Better Than I Used To Be” from Emotional Traffic and got the single into the Top 5 despite McGraw moving onto a new record label after years of bitter arguments and dual lawsuits which brought about his release from Curb. Instead of moving on without any more singles from the album, Curb is releasing the Dave Pahanish/Joe West penned mid-tempo ballad that massages a wide groove and mood. Melodically a song that is more 70s AM Radio than ‘country,’ it’s nonetheless a strong single that would become another Top 5 hit for Tim McGraw if not for the weird label circumstances between the artist and his now former label. Still, given who Tim McGraw is, it’s hard to see this single going anywhere less than into the Top 20.
Chris Cagle – “Let There Be Cowgirls”
Chris Cagle spent the better part of the past year with “Got My Country On” getting him re-acquainted with country radio and now he’s hoping to follow-up that Top 20 success with “Let There Be Cowgirls” a song that mixes his love for 80s style power chords with country lyrics, a style that Brantley Gilbert and Jason Aldean have turned into platinum success. This tune certainly fits that mode and it suits Cagle’s masculine persona as well as his bigger rockin’ hits have and with radio and fans reminded of who he is, it has the road laid-out for at least another Top 20, perhaps Top 10 success.