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Archive for the ‘New Album Review’ Category

Boo Ray Get’s His “Redneck Rock n’ Roll” On in Fifth Studio Album

BooRay2016-006

Outlaw Country artist, Boo Ray, poured his heart and soul into his recently released fifth studio album, Sea of Lights, and it shows. The end result is a gritty, rockin’ good time that you can enjoy over the loudspeakers at a bar or in your car as you cruise down the highway on a road trip.

The album kicks off with “Redneck Rock n’ Roll” which is a boot-stomping, party anthem that will have you throwing back some cold one. It is followed by the title single, “Sea of Lights,” which is currently climbing the Americana charts. The tune gives listeners an insight into some of the hardships Boo Ray ran into (like being held up and broke down) before heading out to Los Angeles to record the entire album live to 2” tape in two days. (You can catch a glimpse of the recording process in the music video for “Sea of Lights.”)

Another great song on the album is “Keep The Hammer Down.” Between the blend of melodies and Boo Ray’s gritty vocals, you can hear Boo’s deep southern rock influences.

Overall, Sea of Lights is a strong album from start to finish. It boasts an authentic sound that is a welcomed departure from the pop-influenced country music that dominates country radio today. To take a listen for yourself, check out Boo Ray’s album here.

Miranda Lambert’s ‘Platinum’ is Sprinkled with Sass – Album Review

miranda lambert platinum

Miranda Lambert’s newest album, Platinum, although sounds a lot like typical Miranda at first listen, may prove to give you whiplash. That’s not necessarily a critique. It’s just true. There’s the typical Miranda sound and twang with sprinkles of sass, but the style and lyrics may throw you for a loop every other song. It’s also not a CD I would throw into the minivan if little ears are near. I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise with songs named “Gravity is a Bitch” and “Old Shit.” Both of which happen to be some of my favorite songs on the album.

Really, it’s all a matter of personal style. Favorite songs on the album besides the two listed above are “Holding On to You,” “Another Sunday in the South,” “”Babies Making Babies,” “Automatic,” and the old-timey twangy “All That’s Left.” “Another Sunday in the South” is a perfect reminiscent song for true country music fans.

Just another Sunday in the South
Wanna put on some Shenandoah
and crank it loud
You and me go Fishin’ in the Dark
Killin’ time with Restless Heart

“Holding Onto You” is vocal masterpiece by Miranda. I’m not certain she’s ever sounded so spot on and stunning in a song ever. The song is still obviously country, but the bluesy undertones with a bit of jazz. If you close your eyes… you’re body starts to sway.

“Old Shit” and “Gravity is a Bitch” are a bit more tongue and cheek lyrically, and really speak to the antique collectors and ladies. At first listen, you may feel like you’re in an old western saloon or honky tonk… until you actually pay attention to the lyrics and laugh your butt off thinkin’ ‘Girl, you’re speakin’ to me.’

Got bags under your eyes, bigger hips and bigger thighs
You got places you can’t even itch
You can nip it, tuck it, squeeze it
But you’re never gonna beat it
‘Cause gravity is a bitch

So, that’s what I love… The not-so-platinum moments are either Love’em or hate’em songs like “Red Wagon,” which I’ll be honest…I don’t get at all. I feel like there is a message that I’m just not getting. Someone forgot the punch line to the joke…… I dunno. Other songs like “Smokin’ and Drinkin’” which features Little Big Town had the potential for greatness. However, the heavy use of auto tune when completely unnecessary threw me for a loop. There is not a group on Earth who needs auto tune LESS than Little Big Town. It’s a beautiful song, but whatever effect that was hoping to be achieved was lost on me.

The Miranda Lambert Platinum ZinePak has 16 songs on it… 8 of them I absolutely LOVE! 3 I don’t care for and 5 that I like enough not to hit skip. Overall, I think that’s pretty darn good.

The Platinum ZinePak also includes a 64-page magazine with exclusive interviews, a sweet & sassy look at Miranda’s wardrobe, and an intimate sit down with her long time producer, Frak Liddell and tons more!   There is also a  photograph scrapbook that dates back to Miranda’s childhood and a collectible window cling for your car.

Get your Miranda Lambert Platinum ZinePak exclusively at WalMart for only $14.88.   CLICK HERE to order online!

 

Jo Dee Messina’s ‘Me’ an Ode to the Modern Woman

Jo Dee Messina Me

Jo Dee Messina released an album today and it marks a special milestone for Jo Dee and her fans. Me was released on her new label, Dreambound Records, and was virtually produced by the fans with the help of a Kickstarter Campaign.

Throughout the process, her fans helped Jo Dee surpass her $100,000 goal, making her Kickstarter.com campaign the most successful one to come out of Nashville and at the time of completion, the 15th largest funded music campaign in Kickstarter.com history. The fans were given a voice. Via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Stage-It, her fans selected which songs would be included on the album, submitted artwork for her label logo, selected the album title ME and chose the album’s first single “Peace Sign.”

The album brings a whole new Jo Dee Messina to the forefront, featuring 7 personally penned songs within the tracklisting of twelve.

The album kicks-off with “I’m Not Dead Yet,” and ode to her former label sayin’ she has no plans to go anywhere. The rockin’ anthem is perfectly suited for Jo Dee, and fans embrace having her back on country radio.

The album has an air of women empowerment, and there are several tunes that pretty much tell a man where to go and what to do when he gets there. “Peace Sign” tells a man exactly what he can do with himself and contains one of my favorite lyrics of all time, “Good Bye one finger shy of a peace sign.” “Breaking It Down” is a woman basically telling her man he’s obviously not ever gonna ‘get it’ so she’s done. And “Love on a Maybe” is a woman kindly explaining that her heart is worth something a whole lot more permanent than a ‘maybe.’

A favorite song on the album, the title track “Me” hits home for me, and I imagine with many other women as well. It chronicles the many roles a woman has…wife, friend, mother, lover, secret keeper, advice giver…”When I look into the mirror, all I see is Me.” It’s sung almost in disappointment. “I wish I was half the woman I gotta be.” For women, we’re never enough, but too much to handle all at the same time. It’s exhausting, emotional, surprising, disappointing, and worthy all at once.

There are so many more songs worth hearing on Jo Dee’s ME but I recommend you order yourself a copy and take a listen. You won’t be disappointed. It’s with great pleasure that I say ‘Welcome back Jo Dee Messina.’

Jo Dee Messina’s much anticipated fan-backed album ME is now available for sale EVERYWHERE including Best Buy, Walmart, FYE, iTunes, and Amazon.com!

For tour dates visit JoDeeMessina.com

Eric Church Releases “The Outsiders” – Album Review

Eric Church

Eric Church’s album “The Outsiders” is certainly one of the most anticipated albums of 2014. He has spent months building the suspense and dropping mysterious clues. He also released two songs from the album, “The Outsiders” and “Give Me Back My Hometown,” which have very contrasting sounds adding to the build up of what this new project may hold. Eric has never been one to play it safe, so why start now?  Country’s biggest rebel co-wrote every song on the “The Outsiders” which is available TODAY February 11th. It pushes the boundaries, continues to define Eric as a true artist and most of all is insanely unique.

Upon first listen you will immediately feel like you are on a journey. The 12-track album kicks off with the title track. It seems people either love this song or hate it. No matter how you feel it grabs your attention and is the perfect way to start the ride. Just as Eric has your boots stomping and your fists pumped, he slows things down with the poignant “A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young” Eric’s passion and emotion is perfect on these types of songs. “Cold One” is lyrically creative with a one of a kind sound and a constantly changing tempo. “Broke Record” is one of my favorites on the album; the sound is completely infectious. What makes the song so distinctive is how the instruments and the production tell the story even more so than the lyrics. “Dark Side” is a true story song that seems quite autobiographical. It is extremely stripped back and well written. Eric’s voice slides over moving lyrics like,

I’ve got a wife and got a son who don’t know half the stuff I’ve done and I pray that’s the way it stays… and that’s why my dark side don’t ever see the light of day

Every song on the album explores a different side to Eric, or a different sound. It’s extremely diverse and keeps you guessing. The song “Devil, Devil: Princess of Darkness” is an eight minute journey within a journey! The beginning is somewhat of a dark poetic reading with hard rock overtones about Nashville. It then drifts into an up-tempo song that will certainly please any Eric Church fan.

All of the tracks on “The Outsiders” are worth listening to. It is not extremely mainstream and also not your typical traditional country album. However it is original, artistic, possesses substance and radiates passion. If you love music of any genre I think you will appreciate what Eric has been able to accomplish on this album. I admire his ability to push himself and his craft while staying true to the heart of who he is musically. So buckle up and get ready…”The Outsiders” is quite a ride, but certainly one you won’t want to miss!

“The Outsiders” is available TODAY!

Krissie Humphrey/CMTT Music Contributor
You can also check out my own country music blog Country Music Matters and follow us on twitter @CMMnow

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