Tag Archives: country

Taylor Swift Self-Titled (2006) Song Ranking

15 Feb

20% Awesome; 46.7% Good; 20% OK; 13.3% Meh; Skip out of 15

3 Awesome

Picture to Burn

Should’ve Said No

Our Song

I like this album as a fresh, innocent, spunky offering. Taylor was a totally different person then, but I thought she seemed feisty so I was attracted to her songs.

7 Good

Time McGraw

Teardrops on My Guitar (radio single)

Cold As You

Tied Together w/a Smile

Stay Beautiful

I’m Only Me When I’m w/You (fiddle & bass)

Tear Drops on my Guitar (pop)

3 OK

A Place in the World

Mary’s Song (oh my my)

Invisible

2 Meh

The Outside

A Perfectly Good Heart

Skip

Kelsea Ballerini: Kelsea Album Review

8 Dec

Oveshare: Totally relatable by the anxious (me)

Club: I like this gal.  She’s just like me.  I can totally understand not wanting to take part in a superficial meat market with drunks who want meaningless hook-ups.

Homecoming queen?:  I like to see Ballrini normalizing the homecoming queen and showing she has the same problems as the rest of us.  Sidenote-the homecoming queen from my Senior class, was genuine and nice, lived in poverty with trashy parents, but was beautiful inside and out (like the type of beauty that catches your eye in the yearbook).  Shout-out Kimberly!

The other girl:  This one has a definite Taylor Swift catchiness to it. It addresses a cheater.  But the scarlet letter bit, though it sounds like it could be on Reputation isn’t female-positive.  WOMEN, PLEASE STOP FIGHTING WITH THE OTHER WOMAN AND START HOLDING MEN ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR SHITTY ACTIONS! 

Love me like a girl:  Titles are lowercase.  I am going to say it about folklore and also the Black Eyed Peas, but playing with capialization in song titles is totally annoying–and I’m not going to play (in this review).  This song is sort of a throw-away love song.  It doesn’t really SAY anything new, and it’s repetitive.

Love and hate:  The most beautiful background so far, with the strings.  I like that it could be a love song, or interpreted as a political song (that’s how I’ll take it).  It’s a nice little song.

Bragger:  Probably the edgiest song.  I like the sycopation, and the bigger beat.  The hand claps, mmm, could leave, but they’re not super-distracting.

Hold in the bottle:  I love to hear a drinking song.  Especially by a female.  Another relatable tune, but not trashy or “too.”  And the guitar is fun–like a Brad Paisley song.

Half of my hometown:  Very sentimental.  Tells a detailed and complete story.  A perfect duet–Kenny Chesney blends well and fits the song without overpowering (of course he does).

The way i used to:  A really good example of our thoughts when we’re drunk after a breakup.  So many doubts, trying to play it cool, curious about the next romantic encounter/girlfriend, but still kinda hooked.  Ballerini does a wonderful job conveying those inner thoughts out loud.

Needy:  I don’t like how the female is capitulating to the societal expectation that women can’t demand what they want in a relationship.  It’s nothing to be ashamed.  Women shouldn’t be afraid to hide who she is, or tell a man what she wants/needs.  Feminism fail.

A country song:  I like the sentiment of going back to your roots, back to your hometown, family, and friends.  And writing to cope with the good and bad.  This bridge also reminds me of Taylor Swift as it lists things faster.  

La:  She is very down to Earth about LA (an allegory for fame).  Am I using “allegory” correctly?  I like that she tells us the grittier side of fame.  Lines like, “I’ve got some famous friends that I could call, but I don’t know if I’m cool enough, and what’s worse than spending time alone, is one of them not picking up.” really show the feelings of fame, but the insecurity (that we all feel) that being famous can’t fix.

Chris Stapleton: Starting Over Album Review

1 Dec

Cold:  I like the dramatic, bluesy sound.  Good vocal heights, pretty instrumental backing.  The strings are impeccably executed.  They bring sadness and emote all the feelings.  All of that makes the song feel almost cinematic.  And the guitar break makes me think of Santana–very Spanish feeling.  

When I’m Done With You:  This is an abrupt style-change and sounds like a different artist and album all-together.  We went from hitting higher notes at the symphony, to a throaty outlaw countryman by a campfire.  Also, this is about the 3rd song I’ve looked for the featured artist and none were listed, though it’s obvious the songs benefit from female backing.  Brandi Carlile?  The song ends as abruptly as it began.

Arkansas:  I like the upbeat, more rock vibe.  And there’s not enough tambourine in mainstream music.

Joy of My Life:  This song is most reminiscent of past albums, and I really like it.

Hillbilly Blood:  The style is just right.  With guitar and beat and a stripped-down vocal.  But still passion.  

Maggies’s Song:  A detailed story of a loved dog.  Except right when the song indicated we’re talking about a dog, I got a sense of dread we were also going to have to hear the end of Maggie’s story.  And I suspected it would be sad.  And Stapleton of course, delivered on all of that.  I like a nice country song, in story form, to focus on a beloved animal.  It’s a refreshing change from women and children.

Whiskey Sunrise:  When Stapleton sounds like this he’s at his very best.  It’s a slow, burn, with a lot of intensity.  The guitar stuns.  The slow beat, sets it off.  Best song on the album.  Stapleton should always sound like this.

Worry B Gone:  Very honkey-tonk.  Love.

Watch You Burn:  The music is on-point.  That drum and guitar…  I also like the outlaw country lyrics.

The Lone Bellow: Half Moon Light Album Review

27 Nov

I Can Feel You Dancing:  Would have benefited from another verse.  It’s too much chorus repeating.  I do like the touch of brass.

Good Times;  The bass is cool, there are brass instruments which is great, and the keyboard is nice.  I like the brass!

Wonder;  The harmonic humming sounds good, then when it turns into the sample material it’s still somewhat unique.  They do just enough to tell you it’s a take on the original and call it back, but most of the song is completely original.

Count On Me:  The bass drum heart-beating throughout the song is the strongest part of this one.  The lyrics are a little cliche’, but they sound nice sung as a group.

Wash It Clean:  It is a nice song, but larely forgettable.

Enemies:  Quiet, very quiet.

Interlude:

Just Enough to Get By:  This song suddenly sounds like a completely different band.  There is no indication of this singer or sound prior to this track.  So I like it, it’s a little soulful and bluesy more than the rest–but let’s hear some of this elsewhere on the album.

Martingales:  This song is also a bit of a departure from the rest of the album (in a good way) save for the choral backing.

Illegal Immigrant:  Not an attention getter.  Too soft, too unassuming.  I do give props for any country-leaning group to tackle anything even adjacent to race relations.  This is a pretty mellow and coded and safe take on a hot-button issue.

Friends:  More jazzed up, but I don’t really like that talk-singing stuff.  I do like a touch of whistling so good on ‘em for that.

Dust Settles:  I think it might be a heavily coded political unity song.  And it tells a story in detail, as a good country song tends to do.  But my opinion is that it’s not a very original, or genuine story.  It’s a bunch of cliche’s and probably guesses about how other people feel.  I don’t get a big sense of introspection or personal feeling from the song.  It’s a bit distant, instead of from the heart.  Again though, I really give the band credit for writing on anything political–however coded and arms-length.

August:  big strings are the reason I was attracted to Lone Bellow’s earlier work.  So I’m happy some are included.  But disappointed they’re not center-stage in the song, or featured on more of the album.

finale:

Album Countdown 2019: My Disappointments (19-28, rather 28-19)

28 Dec

I usually rank all of these artists higher, so I was particularly disappointed in them in 2019.  And can we just talk about how country music is totally off the rails right now?  Like, what the fuck happened to it?  Where has it gone?  It’s really superficial, lacking most of the elements I look for in a good country song.  The closest thing to it is this folksy Americana/roots stuff that Brandi Carlile ran off into.  Roots in fine in small doses.  But I want country, country!  And I’d like Brandi to go back to a more folk-rock sound.  Please and thank you.

 

28. David Gray:
He used to be one of my staples. And I was very excited to see his new album had ‘jazz’ right in the title! I really expected something. But alas, the tunes were quited and meh. And I aborted (which I never take lightly) the song by song review because of boredom.

 

27. Marren Morris
Her breakthrough albums made me an instant fan! I really liked it and had it on heavy rotation for 2 years. So I was excited to see her next effort since she has more fame, clout, money to go in a direction she wants musically. I’d have liked to see more personality on the 2nd album–it was kinda forgettable despite the duets. What a disappointment.

 

26. Madonna
File this one under: Expert Trying Too Hard. Yes, Madonna will always have it. But I could tell she was really trying to get in touch with a moment to better fit the aesthetic of 2019. Like that mom that borrows her 16 year old’s clothes to try to fit it with the kids.
“Extreme Occident” right/left/lost is not strong enough, and I found it to be a political cop-out. Madonna has never shied away from telling us who she is and what she thinks. Also, she has a large following and big audience that she influences. Finally, she’s a bit removed from the chasing fame and certainly financially stable. So what does she have to lose by making a big statement?
“Bitch I’m Loca” speaking part at the end was funny.
“I Don’t Search” very electronic (house?) with kinda dreamy lyrics. I, of course, like the “Vogue”-eske snaps.
“Faz Gastoso” is foreign language (Spanish?) and has an R&B tough-gal sound and a lot of tongue-rolling. It also has that sound given to a lot of 3rd world scenes with the instrumental breakdown and all. As a matter of fact, I felt a sense of dejavu listening to it, and was trying to figure out if it was copied from something…

 

23. Lady Antebellum:
I found the album a little ‘too.” You know overly sentimental and trying too hard.
-”The Thing That…” Nice harmony and nice like echo effect of the singing.
-”What If I Never” I liked how they alternate male vs female vocals on the verse then came together on the chorus. It’s a good concept-the thought that time might not always heal broken hearts caused from breaking up.
-”Pictures” Short and meh.
-”Downtown” Tells a story, with a lot of description.
-”On a Night Like” Is a nice love song.

 

22. Avett Brothers
-ugh! Too much talking! Every song is ruined with talk.
-”New Woman…” good political points/feminism, but I think it must have been written before Trump? It’s pretty optimistic, and the current political landscape and state of feminism is (I would say) bleak.

 

21. Jonas Brothers
The album seems quite generic and boring.
“Used to be” poppy. Just Ok.
“Love Her” is nice with the snaps and la-las.
“Hesitate” I like the sentiment of the lyrics.

 

20. Luke Combs
I was actually pretty disappointed this album was such a let down compared to the prior one that was well written. This one felt more forced and came off as phony to me–not nearly as authentic as the last album. I also thought that deep, resonant singing got lost on this one.
-“Angels Workin…” Has a good beat, is a good tailgate song, and was probably the strongest offering on this album.
-“Every Little Bit..” I like that it’s sad and cheeky. I always enjoy a good break up song, and this one is relatable.
-“Beer Never Broke” is a good tailgate song.
-“Even though…” Daddy? Um no, you’re too old for that, Luke. The song is folksy.
-“Frigerator Door’ is trying too hard to force sentimentality.
-“Mexico” is kinda short and meh-not that notable.
-“Better Together” is just OK. The singing is kinda rough.
-“Lovin on You” sounds like a jukebox song, with a good beat, and love lyrics.
-’Even Though” is too much for me. I put in in the ‘Army Wives’ category.

 

19. Thomas Rhett:
It isn’t the autobiographical catchy tunes of the other album I liked. I found most of the songs felt too short. He did more shorter songs and I wish he had added to each one even if the album turned out shorter.
-”Don’t Threaten me w/a Good Time” party song, fun, jam-band instrumentals
-”blessed” nice love song, only complaint is that it’s too short
-”VHS” is mildly catchy like the other album, but not in a strong way. Watered down summer jam.
-”Notice” is a nice, catchy love song. I like the detail in it, and I like how singable it would be at concerts.
-”Sand” is a summer party song and also a love song. I think the singing is good here-some higher notes
-”Beer Can’t Fix” is the Jimmy Buffet island song of the album. Calypso sound and duet sounds nice for the beach.
-”Don’t Stop Drivin’’ has a nice beat, more poppy.
-”Barefoot” gives a nice mental image. Has some background vocals reminiscent of the other album.