Weekly new release report: October 23, 2015

There are some extremely big superstar releases put under the microscope this week.

This week features some superstar releases from Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton and Colt Ford along with strong new releases from Americana Roots artists The Cox Family and Shawn Mullins.

Shawn Mullins - My Stupid Heart (Sugar Hill Recors/Rounder Records)
The talented singer/songwriter has partnered up with ace country artist/writer/producer Lari White ago produce his latest album, My Stupid Heart. The album features nine original Mullins track and one track written by his frequent collaborator on the project, songwriter Chuck Cannon (who is also White’s husband). The album features a nice blend of storytelling like opener “The Great Unknown,” socially conscious songs like Cannon’s “It All Comes Down To Love” and “Ferguson.” Fans of Wynonna may recognize “…Love” but it’s reimagined here and performed in a style not unlike Mullins’ biggest hit, “Lullaby.” A talented, soulful vocalist, he showcases that with the hymn-like “Ferguson” and the title track “My Stupid Heart,” one of the best, most-honest love songs I’ve heard in a long while and I can totally see someone like Blake Shelton or Brad Paisley cutting this song and making it a country radio hit. Meanwhile, “Roll On By” “Gambler’s Heart” and “Sunshine” all showcase strong Americana tunes while “Never Gonna Let Her Go” is rootsy soul/blues music at it best (with shades of The Band as icing on the cake). My Stupid Heart is honest and pure music at its best.

Kyle Park - The Blue Roof Sessions (Thirty Tigers)
The Texan self-produced this record in a house in Texas where he and his band were able to form a freeflowing collection of country music that is as modern and rock-leaning as anything he's ever released. While he's known for his fiddle and steel heavy tunes, Park showcases that he's able to expand on that sound with a record which really represents what he does in a live setting (which usually didn't have fiddle or steel guitars). Standouts include "What Goes Around Comes Around," "Like The Rain," "I Lose, You Win," "Work On Love" and "Come On." "I See Red" is also a potential mainstream smash hit, if ever released to radio. Some may wish for the past Kyle Park records but those willing to go on this ride with Kyle will be rewarded for taking the chance with him as The Blue Roof Sessions may be his most cohesive album to date.

Carrie Underwood - Storyteller (19/Arista Nashville)
Album rivals the best recordings of her career. Take a look at our full-length review of Storyteller here to enter to win an autographed copy.

The Cox Family - Gone Like The Cotton (Elektra Nashville/Rounder Records)

Click here to read our full-length review of Gone Like The Cottonthe band's long-lost album which features newly-recorded vocals.

Blake Shelton - Reloaded: 20 #1 Hits (Warner Bros Nahsville)
The superstar’s second greatest hits collection, this one’s title basically says everything you need to know about it. It’s all of his #1 hits on one album (with current single “Gonna” as a ‘bonus track’). It’s set in reverse chronology from “Sangria” to “Doin’ What She Likes” to “Boys ‘Round Here” to “God Gave Me You” to Hillbilly Bone” to “Some Beach” to Austin.” “Gonna” — which WILL be the 21st #1 of Blake Shelton’s career soon — closes out the album. The album is a great representation of the superstar and CMA Male Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year’s career, especially since his first hits album Loaded was released (11 of these songs are on that collection.

Colt Ford - Answer To No One: The Colt Ford Classics (Average Joes Entertainment)
This record pulls together 14 fan favorites from Ford’s previous albums and gives fans a good overall taste of what he offers as a pioneer of the Rural Rap sound. The title track kicks off the project and the album features collaborations with artists like Jake Owen (“Back”), Chase Rice (“The High Life”), Jamey Johnson (“Cold Beer”), James Otto (“Chicken And Biscuits”), Brantley Gilbert (the original version of “Dirt Road Anthem”) and Jason Aldean (The Gold certified “Drivin’ Around Song”). Answer To No One: The Colt Ford Classics is an enjoyable collection of everything Ford does best and sets the plate for his follow-up which is certain to top even the 14 tracks (and SiriusXM hits) delivered here.