Posted on 27 March 2007 by Bill West
Tim McGraw seems to have the perfect life. Bodacious wife. Cute kids. He’s the ultimate Country "rock" star. He has it all. That’s why there’ll always be people in Nashville trying to knock him down a few pegs.
McGraw releases his latest CD "Let It Go" Today. It’s his first of all new material in about three years. Nashville naysayers will have a rough time putting down this project.
Any arguments that his music is "too pop" is disproven by this CD. He keeps it mainstream country. As Tim says "I couldn’t go pop if you stck a firecreacker up my *@#$!"
I’m not a huge fan of the lead single "Last Dollar" (witten by Big and Rich’s Big Kenny) but it sets up the CD just fine. My "must listen" cut on the album is "Between The River and Me" a brooding, rockin’ edgy song written by McGraw buddies Brad and Brett Warren. I have been a fan of the song on the Warren’s CD (actually prefer thier version) and I’m glad to hear it see the light of day. It would be an unlikey – risky – radio single… but one can hope.
A few Faith Hill contributions round out a solid offerening from Country’s new mainstream voice. McGraw faces an uphill sales battle in a world of slumping CD sales (thanks to digital downloads.) But if it goes anything like the rest of his life I think he’ll be just fine.
My Grade: B- (No radio slam dunks like "Live Like You Were Dying"
Hear the ENTIRE CD NOW Free and ON DEMAND Here.
Posted on 01 March 2007 by Bill West
Mainstream Country music has sometimes been described as a big circus tent. Under which there are a lot of different kinds of performers. Jack Ingram proves in his new CD “This Is It” (available 3/27) that he deserves a spot under the tent even if he doesn’t stay “inside the box.”
Under much debate between uptight country programmers is wether Jack’s cover of the Hinder hit “Lips of an Angel” is or isn’t “country.” I think it is and it works.
“I’ll let other people choose sides between what genre and who should stay inside which box.” He says in the liner notes. Watch Lips Of An Angel here and judge for yourself.
Jack is challenged by already being a pretty big star in the Lone Star state. Ingram does a solid job of nudging his self created Texas sound more mainstream but still keeps it gritty on most of the songs he actually wrote on the CD.
Highlights include: “Hold On” (featuring touring partner Sheryl Crow). “Ava Adele” shows off his songwriting. When Jack visited the studio he was quick to tell me he “wrote it for my daughter named Ava”.
Bonus tracks include the previously released #1 “Wherever You Are”, and “Love You.” Jack has bent a bit but radio will have to bend the rest of the way.
My Grade: Solid B