The Weekly Single Recap: September 21, 2012
By: Matt Bjorke
This week we take a look at 10 new singles including tracks from superstars Zac Brown Band, Faith Hill and Brad Paisley. also included in the rundown is Little Big Town's next single, Kristy Lee Cook's comeback, Brent Cobb and Sweetwater Rain's debuts, JT Hodges, Wade Hayes and Gloriana. They are all pretty strong singles with each having their own interesting sounds, sonically. They are also a great representation of the diversity within mainstream country music. We've included a playlist we created in Spotify below which starts off with the five tracks from Spotify and then will roll into other great new tracks for the Month of September, 2012!
Little Big Town - Tornado
Their streak will continue after "Pontoon" became the career-defining hit for the vocal quartet. Tornado is a lyrical gem and a downright awesome song with really interesting percussion and the vocal effects the group does are simply unmatched. Add everything up here and we have another cool little song from a band who deserves ALL Of the success and accolades they are getting.
Zac Brown Band - "Goodbye In Her Eyes"
I was saddened when "The Wind" didn't do better than scrape the Top 10 but sadly, it seems that mainstream radio doesn't take too kindly to actual Country jams being played on Country radio stations. This song is as smooth as a glass of aged single barrel southern bourbon and I'd be very shocked if the lyrically interesting, smart song doesn't make it to the Top 10 or join all the band's other hits in the Top 2 area.
Kristy Lee Cook - "Airborne Ranger Infantry"
There's an elegance to the music here with a strong personal story as well. Kristy Lee Cook also sounds like an engaging and dynamic vocalist, which is the first time I can honestly say that about her. I knew her first record for Sony in 2008 was rushed (even recorded when she was sick) but I had no idea she sounded this good. As good as she sounds, I don't know if radio will take to this ballad. Still, it's a good song and that leaves me excited to hear the rest of her music!
Brent Cobb - "Love On Me"
A successful songwriter with cuts on multiple albums, including Luke Bryan, Eli Young Band, Little Big Town ("Pavement Ends" off of Tornado), Cobb steps out onto his own spotlight with "Love On Me," his debut single from Carnival Records, the label which broke Eli Young Band. "Love On Me" is a jovial little track with loads of fiddle, steel guitar and perhaps most importantly, a vocal which exudes charm. The charm comes off in a little dorky come-on, pick-me-up line that he uses while a little lit at the bar. marry the lyrics with the country arrangement and we got a common country theme thats perhaps not married to such a beautifully traditional arrangement these days (I can totally picture the rock guitar mix of this song if it were recorded by someone like Brantley Gilbert). Here's hoping radio has room for a soulful traditionalist with oodles of charm.
Brad Paisley - "Southern Comfort Zone"
With a title like "Southern Comfort Zone," it'd be easy to expect this single to be Brad Paisley's "me too" addition to the list songs about southern life and what makes it great. But it really isn't. Instead, it finds Paisley singing about his love of traveling outside of his comforting home to experience all the world has to offer. This is the best single of his recent career, by far and the song really does have something to say.
Wade Hayes - "Is It Already Time"
Last year Wade Hayes was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer and the worst was expected for the hit singer of songs like "On A Good Night" and "Old Enough To Know Better." Always an emotive singer and songwriter, Hayes wrote this song in the middle of what he was going through and it's real, raw and just plain good. Working with the principles he knew from his days with Columbia Nashville in the 90s, Wade's donating 100% of the proceeds of the sale of this song to Cancer related charities. Oh, Wade's also in remission at the moment, an amazing feat given that early diagnosis.
Gloriana - "Can't Shake You"
Gloriana finally scored a big hit with "(Kissed You) Good Night," their first Top 5 single and second Gold-selling single (after debut single "Wild At Heart"). The trio smartly has kept both Tom Gossin and Rachel Reinert swapping vocals here in duet form, the tonic that helped drive "(Kissed You)" to its chart heights. Now "Cant Shake You," a song written by Tom, James Slater and Stephanie Bentley, finds both vocalists taking the perspective of a couple who have been broken-up for well over a year and they can't seem to move past this one. It's a nice twist on the "One that Got Away" theme and the moody mid tempo melody helps guide their strong interlacing vocals to great effect.
JT Hodges - "Sleepy Little Town"
Sleepy Little Town is the third consecutive well-written song from JT Hodges. It tells a story that's not often told about those little towns where stuff happens and surprises us all, even when you think you can keep a secret, you cannot in such a small town. The vocal delivery showcases Hodges charm and unique vocal delivery and if we're really looking for something unique and playable, well, JT should have a hit but since I'm 0-2 in predicting that radio will eat up JT Hodges singles, I'll just hope this happens with "Sleepy Little Town." On a side note, kudos go out to Show Dog-Universial for not only releasing a third single from JT's self-titled album but for also releasing the CD to retail stores and digitally despite not having a previous Top 10 record.
Sweetwater Rain - "Starshine"
This band is composed of former members of Curb Records band Rio Grand and Curb Records solo artist Ruth Collins. "Starshine" is an uptempo song with fantastic vocals (from Danny Rivera and Collins) and lyrics married to a pulsating groove that rivals some of the best stuff Lady Antebellum has put out with Collins voice also recalling Ashley Monroe. If Curb can get "Starshine" into the Top 20, then we might finally have another new artist breaking out of the major indie label to join Lee Brice and Rodney Atkins.
Faith Hill - "American Heart"
An iconic vocalist, Faith Hill shot and missed with her cover of "Coming Home" earlier this year but if there's a song that can get her back on the top of the charts, it's this hook-filled, radio ready song that not only is good enough to be a big hit in 2012 but it feels timeless and not out of step with anything else in Faith's catalogue. I'd expect this to be at least a Top 15 hit and enough to get that long gestating album to market in early 2013.
We've included the five available tracks into our September Hits Spotify Playlist. We hope you take a listen to let us know what you think of these tunes as well. Have a great weekend!