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Monday, June 13, 2011

Moving

Country Rocks is moving to a new address, and our name is changing! Check out the new "Muziverse" site!

www.muziverse.com/blog

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Craig Campbell - Fish

I'm a little late getting to this one, but here's Craig Campbell's "Fish", which he released this past week, and has already debuted at 53 - making it the largest rise this week on the country music charts.

Fish, taken from Campbell's debut album "Craig Campbell" and is the 2nd single after the top 20 hit "Family Man". Fish tells of the man's girlfriend who likes to fish, which of course the man likes.

The lyrics are very country, but are fairly shallow - that shouldn't be too much of a bother to most people though. The lyrics basically describe him finding out that she likes too fish, and how she wants to fish all the time, and he's so thankful that he found a girl that likes fishing so much.

The style is also very country, and fun to listen too. The tune is fun, with fiddles filling in between phrases. Campbell has a great country voice, and even though it's not shown of incredibly in this song, it just seems to come easy to him.

"Fish" is already doing well on the charts, being the highest debut of the week (and as said earlier, the biggest chart rise of the week) - and I'm expecting it to at least make it to the top 20. I can't say if it will beat Family Man or not, but it's a great addition to Craig Campbell's music repertoire. A music video is in production currently, and we can expect to see that very soon.

Kellie Pickler–Tough

Kellie Pickler is releasing the first single from her upcoming album today – the single is called “Tough” and is already making it’s way up the Charts, debuting at #59. The album has yet to be named, but it’s expected to be released this fall.
“Tough” is about a regular girl who “wanted lace…pearls…[and] to be a princess like all the other girls”. But when life got hard, she wanted to “even up the score” by being “tough”.

The song is upbeat, with very well-written lyrics. A catchy tune, with instruments and arrangement that return Kellie to more of a country style (most of her music has merged in some pop). Filled by banjos and strings, and backed by guitar, the song is mixes several different styles of country together with excellent skill.

Kellie’s voice shines in the song, with her signature twang showed off and with great power on the higher notes. She continues to make us wonder how she didn’t win, or at least come in 2nd, on American Idol.

This songs quality production and performance guarantees some good radio play. This track is sure to do well on the charts, and it already has had a pretty good debut on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Shania Twain - Today is Your Day

Well, it's finally here! After 6 years of waiting for another release from country superstar Shania Twain, the singer has released her new single "Today Is Your Day". This single is her first since her Greatest Hits album, and also her first track to not feature the work of her ex-husband "Mutt Lange". It was released at the end of the finale episode of Shania's TV show "Why Not? with Shania Twain", and is now available for purchase at iTunes!

"Today is Your Day" is a charming, up-lifting song - and a different style than I personally have ever heard from Shania. It departs from her usual mix of Country and Pop, and goes more towards a folk style. The first verse is accompanied by Piano, and strings enter in the chorus - then the second verse is accompanied by Banjo and Guitar, creating a large contrast in styles between the verses.

The lyrics are very simple, mostly made of simple rhymes. For example, "You got what it takes, you can win. Today is your day to begin", "I know you can and you will, get to the top of the Hill" or "When people throw sticks and stones, all they can break are your bones". It makes the lyrics sound as if they were written by a relatively new songwriter, with little experience. While the lyrics aren't "bad" in any way, Shania has done better in the past.

The tune is simple and charming. The tune in the verse is fairly repetitive, and it doesn't reach it's full potential in the chorus - but overall was written well (especially if you factor in that Shania hasn't written in over 6 years). In the second verse, a harmony part enters, which adds quite a bit to the quality.

"Today Is Your Day" is a simple song, that is fun to listen too - and it overall is very good. The main problem with this song, is that it's no where near the level of quality we've found in Shania's songs. In other words, she didn't match her previous work - which leaves us disappointed. She is rumored to be working on a new, 5th studio album, and it's unknown if this track is for that album or if it's a special release to celebrate her return to the music business.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

CMT’s Next Superstar Winner…

This year, CMT debuted the new talent TV show “CMT’s Next Superstar” – sort of a country version of American Idol. This week, the winner of Season 1 has been crowned:

Matt Mason, a 25 year old from Indiana, was named the winner at the end of the finale episode that included guest star Kristin Chenoweth. He has now signed a record deal with Warner Music Nashville's Elektra imprint, and will Luke Bryan on the CMT On Tour concert series.

"It's all very surreal," Mason said , "I've wanted this for so long. I couldn't be more grateful for this opportunity and look forward to making the most of it. Huge thanks to everyone who voted for me."

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lady Antebellum names next album "Own the Night"

On June 7th, Lady Antebellum announced the name and release date of their upcoming album! It will be called "Own the Night" and will be released on September 13!

"We took more time to write and record this record than we've ever done before," said Charles Kelley. And so far, that time and work is paying off, as the lead single from the album, "Just a Kiss" has become the fastest rising single of the group's career. (for a review of "Just a Kiss", Click Here)

The name, "Own the Night", appears to come from a song from the record called "We Owned the Night"; which Hillary Scott said was one of their favorite songs from this album, and is all about "a special once-in-a-lifetime moment".

For more information, or to read Lady Antebellums official announcement, click here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Reba announces Fall Solo Tour

Country Superstar Reba McEntire announced today that she'll be going on a Solo Tour this fall, touring the United States and Canada. Starting in September the Tour will be visiting at least 31 cities in the 2 countries. Reba will have 3 groups opening for her throughout the tour; "The Band Perry", "Steel Magnolia" and "Eden's Edge". Dates and Cities will be released on Reba's website sometime in the following weeks. Reba says that they're currently planning the new show, designing the production and putting together the new stage and new lights.

Reba finished a tour with George Strait and LeeAnn Womack, called the "Twang Tour" earlier this year - and released her album "All the Women I Am" in November 2010. (see the review here) And more recently, she has been the latest addition to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Reba was known in the 90's for putting on extravagant shows that included dancing troupes, rising platforms, etc, etc, and in the late 2000s even went on tour with Pop-Singer/American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. I'm looking forward to hearing her opening acts and am especially looking forward to seeing what she does with these upcoming shows.