Sunday, December 11, 2011

End of Year Round-up

So, we are at the end of the year, which means plenty of Christmas shopping to be done.  I am sure many of you are considering buying music for your loved ones, so I thought it would be handy to do a round-up of  all the albums we have reviewed here, ranked from highest to lowest.  Each album will have two links.  The artist name will be a link to the review that we did here.  The album title will be a link to Amazon where you can purchase it if you so choose.  The ratings we gave are also included.

Brantley Gilbert - Halfway to Heaven (Deluxe Edition): 10/10
Eric Church - Chief:  9.5/10
Justin Moore - Outlaws Like Me:  9.5/10
Lady Antebellum - Own The Night:  9.5/10
Pistol Annies - Hell On Heels:  9/10
Martina McBride - Eleven:  9/10
Kevin Fowler - Chippin' Away:  9/10
Eli Young Band - Life At Best:  8.5/10
Jake Owen - Barefoot Blue Jean Night:  8.5/10
Blake Shelton - Red River Blue:  8/10
Brad Paisley - This Is Country Music:  8/10
Lauren Alaina - Wildflower:  8/10
Colt Ford - Every Chance I Get:  8/10
Scotty McCreery - Clear As Day:  7.5/10
Montgomery Gentry - Rebels On The Run:  7.5/10
Rodney Atkins - Take A Back Road:  7.5/10
Chris Young - Neon:  7.5/10
Toby Keith - Clancy's Tavern:  7/10
Trace Adkins - Proud To Be Here:  7/10
Miranda Lambert - Four The Record:  6.5/10
Joe Nichols - It's All Good:  6.5/10
Luke Bryan - Tailgates & Tanlines:  6/10

Overall, country music had a pretty surprising year.  Some new artists, such as Brantley Gilbert and the Pistol Annies put out fantastic albums.  Some staples (Toby Keith, Trace Adkins) had mediocre releases.  New First Couple of Country Music (Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert) had huge years.

This is far from the only country albums to come out this year.  These are only the ones that we had the chance to review.  Check out releases from Thompson Square (Self-Titled), Sunny Sweeney ("Concrete"), Steel Magnolia (Self-Titled), Sara Evans ("Stronger"), Ronnie Dunn (Self-Titled), Josh Kelley ("Georgia Clay"), Josh Gracin ("Redemption"), Jeff Bridges (Self-Titled), The JaneDear Girls (Self-Titled), Hunter Hayes (Self-Titled), George Strait ("Here For A Good Time"), Craig Campbell (Self-Titled), Corey Smith ("The Broken Record"), Ashton Shepherd ("Where Country Grows"), Allison Krauss & Union Station ("Paper Airplanes"), and Aaron Lewis ("Town Line").  Many of these are great albums that we just did not have time to review.

Thanks for a great first year at "Low Down For A Hoe Down" and Merry Christmas from both Lynzee and I.  We look forward to reviewing all the great albums coming in 2012.  Look for reviews of albums from Kellie Pickler, Tim McGraw, and Dierks Bentley early in the year and many more as the year moves on.  Also coming in 2012, I plan on reviewing any concerts I attend as well as finally getting around to the line dances I promised from the beginning.  See you next year!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Album Review: Lady Antebellum - Own The Night

Lady Antebellum wasted no time following up their smash hit album "Need You Now".  After racking up numerous awards (including five Grammy's), the group is back with their third album, "Own The Night"

We Owned The Night: This song has already been released and over-played on the radio but it has this amazing sound lovable message and romantic video. Great lyrics and sound.

Just A Kiss: Another great song. The story of love. A strong connection that takes your breathe away. A song dealing with love being so strong that they don't want everything to end so they take it slow with "just a kiss."

Dancin' Away With My Heart: You always hear stories on TV about couples who go off to college and never see each other till they find one another again in some way (i.e. Facebook) and then they get married and talk about the good old days. When they met each other. It only takes one moment to catch someones heart. This song explains that perfectly.

Friday Night: Such a different style. I normally hate songs like this, but they execute it perfectly. They write of a woman "I don't wanna be another chore to check off on your list." "I wanna be your Friday night sweet ride summertime sunshine barefoot in the moonlight." Basically do what you have to do but when you get home its always Friday night.

When You Were Mine: Brings back memories of when I would have a nasty breakup, later all I could think about would be the good times. "You promised you'd never break my heart, never leave me in the dark, said your love would be for all time." "But that was back when you were mine."

Cold As Stone: It is easier to just put up huge electric fence around your heart when something goes wrong. It is easier to move on when your not admitting that you got hurt. "I wish I was cold as stone, then I wouldn't feel a thing. I wish I didn't have this heart, then I wouldn't know the sting of the pain." To me the best way to get over someone is to find some better who is worth it. No need to be a pathetic person who just talks about there break ups and how there madly in love with them.

Singing Me Home: Awesome song. Now I know almost every country boy has had this happen. "My baby's riding shotgun, singin just a little off key. Her feet on the dashboard, tapping out the back beat. " "got the sunshine shining through the windshield, got a hand on her leg the other on the wheel." The chorus sounds like The Temptations only with a girl. Different but I love it.

Wanted You More: I despise those relationships where there is only one person giving everything thing humanly possible for the other and they're just blind (mostly it is the guy who doesn't show emotions well). Although I think the song was sung a little too clean cut regardless it was beautiful for a break up song. ;-)

As You Turn Away: when things are bad, there normally is a long road to recovering the relationship. Most don't get to recovery they just leave. A hearts already fully broken, there is no repair for that. Also, there is the let's be friends horse poopy. "No we can't be friends cause I don't think I could take seeing you and knowing where we've been." I'm a little harsh but the song explains it in a gentle matter.

Love I've Found In You: I'm in love with this song. Definitely a song that will be played at a lot of weddings. So Romantic.

Somewhere Love Remains: I swear I could have used this album in high school with all the up and down relationships I went through. Sometimes I think they just take all my experiences and put them in song. (wait then, shouldn't I be getting paid too hahaha NOT) Another great break up song.

Heart Of The World: So Soft, incredibly smooth sounding. Almost like a lullaby it's so sexy.

Own The Night was fantastic. (maybe I'm just in a good mood) I felt the whole album had so much personality and awesome mix of style. Even though he songs are out in order with romantic, then break up and back to romantic and so on. Every song exploded my mind with old memories. (good and bad) This is how country music should stay. Songs that people can relate to. Well done.  9.5/10

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Album Review: Martina McBride - Eleven

Great timing on this album. Martina McBride released her eleventh album, "Eleven" containing eleven songs on October 11, 2011.   The six-time CMA winner and five-time ACM winner (including an honorary award in 2011) Has been a staple in country music since she burst on the scene in the early 90's. She's an amazing singer that defines country music.

One Night: What a song. Makes me want to just drop everything and go on an adventure. No worries. No concerns. Just love. I can agree. I'm Tired of waiting my whole life for something real. Like a match under my ass cause I'm ready to live it up. It's too bad the radios are going to play the shit out of this song.

Always Be This Way: This song is short but to the point. A well-written song about love.  Who wouldn't want their lover to say " you make my heart beat faster," and "I'm crazy for you"? It's too bad life's so freaked up that things can't always be just the good times.

I'm Gonna Love You Though It: Such an inspirational song to keep the fight. Although this song is very sad it's the truth. It's an amazing feeling have a person to hold on to and help give you strength when you have nothing left. There will always be those moments where everything is taken from you but, guess what, you're loved. Even though this song makes me want to cry, I love the video of real stories of people who didn't think they had anything to live for, but they survived.

Marry Me: I like everything about this song, although I definitely don't think she should be saying "marry me" to the guy. I guess I'm old fashion when it comes to those things. Even though it sounds like they are just two people wishing they had the nerve to go over to the other and say "hello", yet they want to marry each other. Now, I've heard stories of people just taking a look at someone and knowing they're the one for life, but I guess it's just in what you believe in. Awesome song. I think she chose a beautiful, gentle sound, and it doesn't hurt to have a great guy singing it with you.

Broken Umbrella: Even though this song has nothing to do with Christmas, I love how the song has that tone to it. No care in the world just cause I'm with you. I love it. :-) Why should anything else matter when you're in love? You should never let the little things bug you. There is more to life.

You Can Get Your Lovin' Right Here: I love how she just lets her man be a man. There are too many little high school girls who think if they keep a tight chain on their dog, he won't run away. ( He will run for the sky right when you turn away) She just sings of how she will let him do what he wants as long as he comes home for a passionate night or two. Great song. She has amazing range in her voice.

Whatcha Gonna Do: A huge change from the first part of the album. Then again every relationship has there rocky points. I definitely agree when a relationship is not working there is no use for staying and putting yourself through the heartbreak. Like She says, "I can't keep waiting around this house, expecting you to change, You lead me on and let me down every time you say your sorry." It will never work itself out if only one person is doing the giving and taking. Partnership.

Teenage Daughters: No kid comes with a manual. Of course when they're small, they love you and you're the greatest thing since ice cream, but when those teen years come along, you're wrong. Just love them for who they are and help them become the best they can. Don't give in but don't abuse. Awesome songs for parents who think they're alone.

Summer Of Love: This song is deja vu for me. I've never had a song explain my situation more perfectly then this one. It was like i was reliving the moment. A wonderful song about "kiss me one more time, you said kiss me so I won't forget, so I can have this feeling even when you're gone." I think every person who's in a military relationship can agree with me on this song.

When You Love A Sinner: This song reminds me of people who marry because they think they can change the other person. In the end you don't.

Long Distance Lullaby: I don't really know what to say about this one. It's beautiful, sweet, and is something that would surely put me to sleep. I do wish I could send my kiss a thousand miles to you, and just to feel your touch.

This is an album that shows slightly different styles (which all sound amazing). It is one of my favorites. She held my interest through out the whole album. I love that she didn't put songs that wouldn't go on the radio or that didn't make any sense. It was powerful but gentle and inspirational and got to the point. Her voice is sensational and her range is amazing. She is one of many people that is going to keep country music alive.  9/10