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1. Fair and Square
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2. Cold Roses
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3. Live at Fillmore West
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4. Honkytonk University
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5. Be Here
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6. Lonely Runs Both Ways
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7. Delicious Surprise
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8. Feels Like Today
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9. Live Like You Were Dying
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10. When the Sun Goes Down
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11. Here for the Party
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12. Horse of a Different Color
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13. What I Really Mean
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14. Twice the Speed of Life
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15. Greatest Hits
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16. Back to Me
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17. 50 Number Ones
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18. Heard It on the X
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19. License to Chill
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20. Greatest Hits 2

1. Fair and Square
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Asin: B0007VROHE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 14
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Good things come to those who wait. During John Prine's nine-year interval between albums of original material, fans who hailed his recovery from cancer wondered whether he'd ever return to full creative speed. Here, Prine puts doubts to rest with an album that ranks with the finest of an inspired career. The big heart of "Glory of True Love," the socially conscious bite of "Some Humans Ain't Human," the reflective grace of "Taking a Walk," the wry whimsy of "Crazy as a Loon"--the hallmarks of Prine's artistry are reaffirmed on Fair & Square. The album also reflects Prine's first attempt at producing himself, with the warmth of his rough-hewn vocals finding a comfortable fit among the organic, largely acoustic arrangements. Though Prine penned 12 of the 14 cuts (including two bonus tracks, one recorded in concert), a pair of covers prove revelatory: Blaze Foley's "Clay Pigeons" sounds like it could well be one of Prine's own (with a melody that recalls "Hello in There" and a lyric of renewal that sounds like personal testament), while A.P. Carter's "Bear Creek Blues" carries an electric charge as the traditional song rocks harder than anything else on the album. With a generous selection of close to an hour of music, the album stands as a creative triumph for Prine, a fully satisfying effort that rewards the patience of his loyal fans. Welcome back. --Don McLeese ... Read more

Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Comfortable Couch
A good set of songs, most of them written by Mr. Prine. He's in a good mood and moody and estranged....Original music for the most part, kinda low key...at times appropriately qwirky, nice steel guitar, many of the melodies sounding like some of the better cuts from "The Missing Years"..."My Darlin Home Town" is my favorite."Bear Creek Blues" by A.P. Carter is an upbeat backwoods Irish Import from days of yore...."Morning Train" sounds fine...None of this is up to the quality of Prine's orignal American music from the first 3-5 albums..but in view of the music biz today its a breeze one can breathe... authentic, tunes that are not unlike a comfortable old couch, wine stained and unpretentious...

3-0 out of 5 stars Not *bad*, exactly...
It's probably not possible for John Prine to make a bad album.But it is possible for him to make one that is not up to "John Prine" or "The Missing Years", or even "Common Sense".This disc, while of course containing many of Prine's well-known strengths, suffers on a few counts.

First, Prine's voice is not in good form.There are reasons for this, of course, but, well, there it is.His voice lacks the flexibility to properly emote.

Second, his famous and necessary sense of humor is rarely in evidence.

Third, and most telling, where Prine at his best is oblique in his social commentary, usually getting more than one bird per stone, in this one he is direct, as if he feels he doesn't have the time any more for subtleties.This condescension is unbecoming to an artist of his stature.

I'm still looking forward to his next, and am hoping he'll be back to his regular form.

3-0 out of 5 stars John Prine - 'Fair And Square' (Oh Boy)3 1/2 stars
As one of America's best singer/songwriters,Prine penned these songs just as he always has with past efforts;with insight,grace and heart.He even has a female vocal talent on a couple of cuts here,country/folk fellow songwriter Mindy Smith.A couple of tracks that I was semi-impressed with were "Some Humans Ain't Human",his tribute to couples married for many years "Other Side Of Town" and "Clay Pigeons".Keep in mind this is not even close to any of my favorite genres,I just thought I'd review this disc as it's my very first listen I've ever had of John Prine.He's very good at what he does.

5-0 out of 5 stars Prime Prine-it doesnt get any better!!!!!
This is some of John Prines best music.
You just put it on ,and his lyrics and beautiful music will
take you away--and it gets better everytime you listen
to this masterpiece. --The music is simple and
the lyrics are genius. His sense of humor does come out in safety joe. All tracks have a unique and memorizing quality to them. Its gratifing to see excellent music come out
from different styles this time ,instead of the same old crap from the newer artists of today.

Mars

1-0 out of 5 stars Long long long term Prine fan.
I have been listening to Prine for almost 30 years. I've been to see him many times.

Bluntly, I wasn't impressed with this album. The melodies are recycled and the lyrics are maudlin. I missed the wit that others have identified.

I'll be going to see him this Summer if he comes back to Wolftrap, but I hope he sticks to his standards.




... Read more


2. Cold Roses
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Asin: B0007YMUZW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 29
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Sent reeling by the one-two punch Conor Oberst's Bright Eyes delivered with I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and Digital Ash In A Digital Urn, Ryan Adams vowed to strike back in 2005 with three of his own releases. The first--a double album, no less--sees the attention-seeking former Whiskeytown singer casting off both the raucous guitars of 2003's Rock N Roll and the rainy-day ballads of the same year's Love Is Hell in favor of the more introspective moments and rustic textures of 2000's Heartbreaker. He's snuck in at least one epic with "Meadowlake Street" and one potential radio hit with the twangy "Let It Ride," while the rest of the set is mostly packed with bleary-eyed laments that feel all too mannered after spending the last few years revealing his naked pop ambition in full. No doubt Adams will make up for it with the next one. --Aidin Vaziri

Recommended Ryan Adams Discography


Heartbreaker

Gold

Love Is Hell

Whiskeytown, Pneumonia

Whiskeytown, Stranger's Almanac

Whiskeytown, Faithless Street

... Read more

Reviews (60)

3-0 out of 5 stars When will you come back home?

The first disc isn't very good but the second disc has its moments, some of it sounds like the songs I don't like on Pneumonia or worse while some of it is quite good. I would say on Cold Roses Ryan is in the same town of Jacksonville Skyline and Heartbreaker but still can't seem to find his way home.

I remember the rose but honey down at Midway Park the cold roses will soon be forgotten.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply remarkable !!!
This is a remarkable album by Ryan Adams with beautiful and also passionate back-up by the Cardinals and vocal assist by Rachel Yamagata. These are 18 distinct tracks bound together by the emotional, melancholy lyrics and melodies of Ryan Adams.If you're even close to a fan of Ryan Adams...this is a must have. Treat yourself, NOW!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Only because it takes so much to give an album 5 stars.
I think that this is arguably Adams' most solid and consistent record yet. I've loved all of his records, but let's admit it, even the best of them are uneven. "Heartbreaker", for all of its greatness, gets bogged down in places with its meandering acoustic numbers. Although a more solid record, "Gold" sags here and there. "Demolition", strangely enough, is a pretty solid collection, but still has the feel of a demo collection. And I could go on.

Another thing that people seem to complain about is Adams' style changing, but this has never bothered me. For some reason, it didn't seem strange to me that he would make a rock n roll record. Where he succeeds with the style changes is in the fact that ("Demolition" aside) he is consistent within each record. All of "Gold" had the same feel, all of "Love is Hell" had the same feel. And now, here is a rock-solid country-ish collection from him.

I'm not saying this is his best, I'm just saying that it feels like more of a complete work than any of the rest of his albums have. It feels like he had one creative vision and followed it through front to back.

The packaging alone is worth the four stars.

Buy this record.

4-0 out of 5 stars excellent, but i'm not sure yet if it's a keeper
This is the type of album that would have been touted as a 'major statement' back in the 70's.But obviously the ground has shifted since then, and this album for better or worse has a calculated, 'retro' feel to it.

The worst that the cynics can say is that Ryan Adams is pandering to an aging boomer mentality (which many others besides aging boomers are afficted with), but even the curmudgeonly can't begrudge Adams his talent.Someone like this doesn't come along that often.

"Let it Ride" is a little gold nugget of a song with a gorgeous middle-eight (hey, I'm not a musician, but it's the part that goes, "I want to see you tonight, dancing in the endless moonlight...").
Not everything else on the album rises to that level, but some other songs, like "Sweet Illusion" and "Dance All Night" come pretty close.

I would rate this album higher than Stephen Stills' "Manassas" double elpee, or Wilco's "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot".I have to dock it one star for being derivative.On some of the tunes, the guitar and bass do weave around in figures very reminiscent of Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh.There seems to be little point in denying that.If that sound is your cup of tea, wouldn't itmake more sense to pull out your copy of "American Beauty" instead?

5-0 out of 5 stars Ryan Adams Rocks
Ryan Adams is hands down my favorite artist. This is one of 3 (!!) new albums he is releasing this year. Some will say that's too much, but for me it's heaven. No one can compare to him, in my eyes. COLD ROSES has Ryan and his new group the Cardinals making a great alt-country album very reminiscent of his last group Whiskeytown. "Let It Ride" is the new single and it's awesome. The album has 18 tracks, 9 on each disc. Shaping up to be one of the best cds of 2005. Check it out! ... Read more


3. Live at Fillmore West
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Asin: B000641A2C
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 55164
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4. Honkytonk University
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Asin: B0007YMVNS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 28
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Though it might not be fair to say that Toby Keith has mellowed, he has definitely matured. Rather than taking political potshots, he exchanges bully-boy bluster for a tone of wry bemusement on "Big Blue Note" and "She Left Me," tempering middle-aged pride with a confession that the years have taken their toll on "As Good as I Once Was." After flexing his muscles with the album-opening title track, which sets Keith's musical autobiography to the trademark lope of Waylon Jennings, he showcases the subtler side of his vocal artistry on "She Ain't Hooked on Me No More"--a duet with Merle Haggard--and "Knock Yourself Out," while turning almost tender on "Your Smile" and "Where You Gonna Go." For those who miss the old Toby, there's "Just the Guy to Do It," which proceeds from one of the cheesiest pickup lines ever ("Do blondes really have more fun/Or are they just easier to spot in the dark?") into promises to punch out an errant boyfriend. Yet even this song has more of a Caribbean lilt than the macho swagger of Keith's younger days. --Don McLeese

Recommended Toby Keith Discography


How Do You Like Me Now?!

Pull My Chain

Unleashed

Christmas to Christmas

Greatest Hits, Vol. 1

Greatest Hits 2

... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's About Time
I missed the "ealier" romantic Toby and the sensual way his voice sounds when he is not trying to prove a political point. I was hoping he would come back to the style that got me hooked on him in the first place. Way to go Toby! Welcome back!

1-0 out of 5 stars Just Crap
This is why i hate new country. A whole cd about nothing and lyrics that a 5 year old could write. If i could give it 0 stars i would.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Strong, Strong Return To Form
While Toby Keith's recent cds have been his most successful sales-wise, in truth, many of the singles from his last couple of albums were starting to sound the same.Thankfully, Honkytonk University offers a return to the well constructed, melodic material that Keith was known for during his Mercury days and his first two DreamWorks albums (How Do You Like Me Now, Pull My Chain).


The leadoff single "Honkytonk U" is an autobiographical look at Keith's life in music placed in a southern rock setting, then Keith's attitude shines through on "As Good As I Once Was."Later, Keith's sarcastic wit makes a welcome appearance on the swing flavored "You Ain't Leavin' (Thank God Are Ya)."There's also more ballads found here than we have seen in awhile on a Keith release, with the sparse "You Caught Me At A Bad Time" and "Your Smile" both making a strong, poignant impression.Best of all is the harmonic heaven that Keith and Haggard create on "She Ain't Hooked On Me No More," an even more effective pairing than Keith's prior chart-topper with Willie Nelson.

Whether you've been a Toby Keith fan from the early "Shoulda Been A Cowboy" days, jumped on board on when his career moved into the stratosphere with "How Do You Like Me Now," and/or recently felt a bit disappointed by the lack of spark in his recent hits, you will find this album quite pleasing.It will probably garner some new converts as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Honkytonk University is AWESOME!
I am a die-hard Toby Keith fan!I love this album because it is reminiscent of some of his earlier music.Although I love all of Toby's music, I really enjoy his ballads.Most people don't realize how great his vocal range is.This album is AWESOME--every song is great!

5-0 out of 5 stars Smile while you listen....
I loved this CD.I could not wait to buy it...popped it into the cd player on the way home and smiled all the way home.The lyrics are great, his voice is great....2 thumbs up!! ... Read more


5. Be Here
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Asin: B0002VEU62
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 115
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Australian-born Keith Urban, hot off the double-platinum success of his 2002 sophomore album, Golden Road, is kind of like contemporary country's Tom Cruise. The kid is just so unjustly talented, likeable, and good-looking that it's hard not to hate him. But such jealousy is apt to melt into begrudging admiration and affection after a quick listen to this third album. True, some of Urban's self-penned adolescent love laments and bright-eyed paeans to life in the slow lane do sound a bit callow and derivative. But, with his resolute tenor and his dazzling lead guitar work, he breathes real pain and passion into moving confessionals like Matraca Berg's "Nobody Drinks Alone," "Tonight I Wanna Cry" (a heart-rending ballad co-written by Urban), and a gentle Rodney Crowell gem called "Memories of Us." --Bob Allen ... Read more


6. Lonely Runs Both Ways
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Asin: B000645UPA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7
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Nobody makes somber sound more exquisite than Alison Krauss. She's come an awfully long way from her days as a teenage fiddle prodigy, as her glamour gown on this CD's cover suggests and the bittersweet maturity of the music confirms. Krauss exchanges her bluegrass fiddle for the chamber strains of viola on much of the material, including four songs by Robert Lee Castleman (whose "The Lucky One," "Let Me Touch You for Awhile," and "Forget About It" were previously popularized by Krauss). Castleman's compositions showcase the emotional intimacy and interpretive subtlety of her breathy trill. The yearning harmonies on "Wouldn't Be So Bad" (written by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings) and "Borderline" (written by Sidney and Suzanne Cox) reinforce the album's restless spirit of quiet desperation. Change-of-pace contributions by Krauss's bandmates are more deeply rooted in the bluegrass/folk tradition, with Dan Tyminski renewing Del McCoury's "Rain Please Go Away" and Woody Guthrie's populist anthem "Pastures of Plenty"; Dobro master Jerry Douglas leads the charge on his instrumental "Unionhouse Branch." Few bands in bluegrass can match the virtuosity of Union Station's interplay, but the artistry of Alison Krauss transcends genre. --Don McLeese ... Read more


7. Delicious Surprise
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Asin: B0007XT86W
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 104
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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On her fourth studio album, Messina, country's queen of hope and empowerment, roars back after a four-year hiatus, during which she went public with a stint at rehab and broke off a nine-year relationship with her fiancé. Those events stand at the center of two of the best ballads on the album ("It Gets Better" and "Sometimes Love Is Just Not Enough"), and please not only because Messina wrote (or cowrote) them from real-life struggles, but because the songs soften the numbing bombast that producers Byron Gallimore and Mark Bright bring to the rest of her repertoire. The singer--big-voiced, expansive, and as comforting as an old friend--is always a welcome presence on the radio, as she is on the album's first single, the upbeat and attitudinal kiss-off "My Give a Damn's Busted." What she needs is more songs like this that break her out of her usual mold (in addition to the aforementioned tracks that showcase her quieter side) and allow her to deliver a surprise or two. The ones offered here aren't quite as "delicious" as the album title promises, but even the most casual listener senses that Messina has so much spunk and grit that she'll gather them yet, her myopic producers be damned. --Alanna Nash ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice Comeback
this album is really good from track to track, she's even written a few of her own songs on this album...i recommend it to anyone whose into good music...i saw her in concert back in november, she's puts on an AWESOME show!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars CountryInterviewsOnline.net
By: Maxine Macpherson

On April 26, Jo Dee Messina released her first CD in five years. During that time, she's been through a lot of bad times, most of them in the public eye. But the new music proves that it will take more than that to keep her down. Delicious Surprise is an upbeat, edgy group of songs that are personal and honest. They clearly show that Messina is putting bad times behind her.

During a recent concert in Lowell MA, she introduced many of the songs on the CD and said that this was her best work and represents much of her own story. She wrote or co-wrote four of the songs and the others were selected because they "rang true." The very first song, "Not Going Down," lets you know that while she's seen some black times, it's going to take a lot more to keep her down. "My Give A Damn's Busted" her hit single from the CD, and "I'm a Survivor" have an edge and deal with the nightmare of her recent addiction/recovery while "Love Is Not Enough" and "Who's Crying Now" deal with the breakup of her nine-year romantic relationship.

During the concert, Messina told the audience about her five-year-old nephew's fight with cancer (the concert was a benefit for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital). A slide show of family pictures began as she sang two more songs from the new CD, `You Were Just Here" and "It Gets Better." There were few dry eyes left in the audience at this point.

It's clear that Messina has a new view on life and she puts it to music in "Life is Good." This is a song about finding what's good, putting what's bad behind you and moving on. Once you hear Delicious Surprise, you'll agree that Messina has found her way and doesn't intend to look back!

www.CountryInterviewsOnline.net

5-0 out of 5 stars great..but dissappointed
the cd was great..but I wish that they could have left track 13--God needed a hero- on the track list..the song is powerful and it reminds us of the men and women servicing for this country of ours.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jo Dee does it again - her way
Delicious Surprise has been a long time coming for Jo Dee fans. I have been playing it non-stop since I got it, she sounds awesome! I love the upbeat stories in "Someone Else's Life" and "It's too Late to Worry" (known to fans as 'the Wal-mart song') and turn around and feel the ache in "It Gets Better" and "Love is Not Enough". The hella-sassy "My Give a Damn's Busted" is delivered as only Jo Dee could! I am also glad she included her live show staple "Not Goin' Down" and her rockin' cover of "Delicious Surprise". Jo Dee also had a hand in writing a couple on this one and "Life is Good" shines, it is about everyday being a treat. This CD is a treat and "My Give a Damn's Busted" going to number one on Billboard should be an indication of the great things to come from the rejuvenated Jo Dee. Go girl!

5-0 out of 5 stars **Women DO have the power!!! **
Okay-- Jodee did it again!!The song "My Give a Damn's Busted" was what prompted me to purchase this CD-- and because I've been a long-time Jodee fan.I especially like the song "It's too late to worry" and "Not going down."Most of Jodee's songs on this album can be related to in everyday life...from men treating women wrong in "Give a Damn's Busted" to people gossiping in "Too Late to Worry."There's trial and how to over come it in "Not going down" and getting over the 'rainy day friends/lovers' in "Where were you"--- Jodee just SCREAMS "Girl Power!!!" in this album!!
~O ... Read more


8. Feels Like Today
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Asin: B0002VL0Z6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 82
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Somewhat remarkably, the youthful trio Rascal Flatts has an uncanny ability to sound 20-something going on 13. They are often dismissed as just another slick, contrived "boy band," though that hasn't kept them from chart-topping success. Admittedly, these Rascals do sound slick and even generic on run-of-the-mill teem anthems like "Fast Cars and Freedom" and "The Day Before You." Yet, on a few shining tracks like "Bless the Broken Road," "When the Sand Runs Out," and a lovely hidden cut called "Skin," the chic threesome also betrays poise, maturity, and thoughtfulness amid its chart-conscious predictability. --Bob Allen ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Blown Away....the Evolution of Rascal Flatts
The album itself, absolutely blew me away. I've been following Rascal Flatts VERY closely for about 4 yrs. I knew they were going to step up the quality of material on this record, but I had no idea how big of a leap in quality it would be. I knew they were up to the task and that they had so much more to say, and offer, musically. Finally, we get to see it, the musical depth they've ALWAYS possessed, in the form of "Feels Like Today." Rascal Flatts is known for radio friendly tunes, but these songs will become hits based soley on their quality. This album focuses more on life, and when it is about love, it is how that love has effected life. About half of these songs made me cry. More of a personal thing I would think, but it was as if Rascal Flatts had read my diary when going through the song selection process. The band also went with top Nashville songwriters without using the usual suspects over and over again, they went with songwriters known for their highly emotional and thought-provoking styles as opposed to writing radio hits. And once again, they come through in a big way for the fans. "Here's To You" is so personally attributed to the fans, that the first verse actually describes a group of fans from the Rascal Flatts Street Team that drove a civic and camped out all night to get tickets to see the guys on Jay Leno. The band personanally witness this event and they were blown away by that kind of devotion. The cd contains about an HOUR of bonus behind the scenes footage. It seems as if they become even more fan oriented each day. The single most profound thing that makes this record different, is this IS RASCAL FLATTS. Knowing the music that they love to listen to, perform, and aspire to, this album reflects them accurately. The last album, double platinum Melt, gave the record company the proof that the band can sell records. Once this is proven, artists usually experience artistic freedom to a high degree. Therefore it does not suprise me that the 3rd album, "Feels Like Today" contains this kind of evolution of the band. The vocal arrangement and instrumentals are MUCH more natural on this project. The vocals seem to just float easily without a high amount of effort. There wasn't the vocal layering that we saw on the first two albums. As for the hidden track "Skin" there's nothing to say. Simply one of the most profoundly touching, and well written of any song I have ever had the privalige to hear. You will cry, this is a guarantee. The melody is SO effective, that the vocals bring goosebumps. This is Rascal Flatts coming into their own, and loving it. Their fans are loving it right along with them.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Album!!
I am such a huge fan of Rascal Flatts. I saw them in concert over the summer when they were on tour with Kenny Chesney. These guys are the friendliest stars I've ever met. They're shows are awesome and seeing them live fueled my love of the band. They're CD's are all awesome. I own all of them and this one tops them all. If you don't own any of them, you should buy them all. If you like either of the previous 2 you would like this one because it really is a lot better than anything they've done before. The sound is also a bit different from traditional RF songs although there is a track on there very similar to "I'm Moving On" and a tribute to the fans "Here's To You", also the name of their upcoming tour, that truly shows how much the guys really do appreciate the fans and they know that without them they as a "band" don't exist Overall a wonderful CD and a must own. ... Read more


9. Live Like You Were Dying
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Asin: B0002IQF7M
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 28
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On the back cover of his ninth album, Tim McGraw sits atop a horse, which just happens to be standing in the foyer of an elegant home. McGraw sits backwards in the saddle, looking not at where he's going, but where he's been. The image tips off the theme of this solid, 16-song album--for a singer who doesn't write, it's as close to autobiography as it gets. "How Bad Do You Want It," for example, references not only bluesman Robert Johnson's crossroads chat with ol' Lucifer, but the kind of relentless drive that got McGraw to the top of the Nashville heap. The dryly funny "Back When" finds the man who recently bought a $6.4 million Beverly Hills mansion yearning for a simpler time. And "Walk Like a Man" talks about the kind of abusive father McGraw himself had before he discovered he was the son of baseball legend Tug McGraw. The late pitcher is surely the subject of three songs here about death, loss, and carrying on, especially the title track, a big, uplifting affirmation of life. If it's also a little sappy, so be it--singing about the most painful thing he's ever endured, he gives it a dignified, understated reading (and only a week or so after his daddy's passing). It takes an artist to do that, and while McGraw may not be the greatest of warblers, nobody in country can touch him at conveying emotions too deep to express in words. Look for this to be the album of his career. --Alanna Nash ... Read more


10. When the Sun Goes Down
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Asin: B00017LV7S
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 135
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Though Kenny Chesney had been building a rabid fan base over the years, no one expected his 2002 release, the multi-platinum No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problems, to make him a superstar. But the Luttrell, Tenn., native had found a batch of songs that perfectly captured that scary no-man's land between adolescence and adulthood, precisely where the bulk of his followers happened to live. On its sequel, When the Sun Goes Down, the protagonists are older, with kids on the way and hectic jobs that rob them of leisure time. In fantasizing about those college keg parties and hedonism after dark, they search for a sigh of relief. Chesney understands this, and his own changes, too. Emotionally he's more at home in his own skin, and since his voice has gotten deeper and wider, he sounds increasingly confident in the studio, besting guest artist Uncle Kracker on the title song, a warmed-over Jimmy Buffett vibe. He's also matured as a writer. The majority of his four songs, two co-written with others, are no match for "There Goes My Life," the powerful unwed father ballad that served as the album's first single, or even "When I Think About Leavin'," another tune about standing at the crossroads. But his memorable "Being Drunk's a Lot Like Loving You" will burrow deep in your psyche, and prove Chesney a fine guide to confronting pain. Better keep this one handy. --Alanna Nash ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best out there
I have liked Kenny Chesney since I first heard his music, but "There Goes My Life" made me a huge fan. That song explains my and my husband's life almost exactly down to the blue-eyed blonde with curls. I bought this CD the day it was released, and when I am having a hard day and tired of being a mom, I put this CD on and am quickly reminded how much I need to enjoy every minute of my little girl's life before she is grown and gone. Kenny has done it again with this one.

3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed with When the Sun Goes Down
I was really looking foward to the release of this CD as, overall, I am a huge Kenny Chesney fan. I used to faithfully go to his concerts when he was still touring on small, local venues of a few hundred people. (My husband and I even played Kenny Chesney's Me and You as our wedding song.) However, after listening to the CD only three days, I am ready to take it out of the CD player. None of the songs "grabbed" me. It leaves me wondering what happened to the Kenny Chesney that I used to so enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Same formula brought up a notch
Unlike many Nashville stars that have become very cliche and predictable with one love song or leaving song after another, Kenny Chesney may have his own success formula down but the difference is, he brings the same type of songs up a notch and find great songs to throw in the mix... that seem to get better each time. Just as Toby Keith's "attitude" songs brought him to another level, Kenny knows his audience wants feel good beach tunes, reflective songs about life, getting drunk, scoring, and school. "When The Sun Goes Down" delivers all of the above, in some cases, all at once. (Somebody please admit that Kenny borrows Sugar Ray's riff from "Fly" on the title track) To his credit, though, Kenny does pick well-penned songs that are detailed enough to paint a picture, emotional enough to force you to reflect on the experience. "There Goes My Life", "Some People Change" and "When I Think About Leaving" are by far the best songs on the project and prime examples of his maturity. Unlike most Nashville artists who follow the predictable formula of loading up a CD with one love song or leaving after another, Kenny Chesney continues to follow Tim McGraw's path of offering songs that deal with real issues, real life, and are outside the box of standard mushy love songs, at times corny - but believeable and fun ("Keg in the Closet"). Kenny raises the bar on this one ... this is easily the best project to come out this year ...and will be hard to top. ... Read more


11. Here for the Party
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B00022FWPE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 65
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Her mother was 16 when she had her, and her father moved on when she was two. By the age of 15, with a double-barrel shotgun always at the ready, she was managing a kicker bar in rural Illinois where the corn fields meet the pig farms. That gave Gretchen Wilson something to sing about, with attitude in spades. "You might think I'm trashy, a little too hardcore," she admits on the smash single "Redneck Woman," "but in my neck of the woods I'm just the girl next door." Wilson, already the toast of Nashville before this full-length debut hit the shelves, isn't just putting the trailer park back into country music--she's the antidote to Shania and Faith. Nothing here sounds manufactured or studied, and the best songs are those she wrote. If most of those spotlight the fightin' side that has made "Redneck Woman" an anthem with blue-collar babes, she lets her vulnerability show on her choice of covers, particularly Leslie Satcher's gospel-rap of "Chariot" and the marital weeper "The Bed." Whatever you think of Wilson, who packs a hint of Sammi Smith and Allison Moorer--and even Janis Joplin--into her double-fisted delivery, you won't forget her. Move over, Loretta. Make way, Tanya. Here's another good ol' honky-tonk girl. --Alanna Nash ... Read more

Reviews (59)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank God there is still some country woman singers
For those who miss the good sound of TRUE country singers, Gretchen Wilson lives. Her music unlike Faith Hill, and others, has not crossed over to pop. Trust me, I think she'd K-O Faith in a boxing match. Not that I have anything against Faith Hill or any other singer who has a touch of pop in thier music, but, let's face there haven't really been any true country gals out for a long time.
Anyway, The best song ont he CD is "Redneck Woman". This song it anthem for beer drinkin', Honky Tonkin', Wal-mart shoppin', Charley Daniels and Tanya Tucker listin', non-high class broad of a woman. I have a friend who is the perfect poster person for this song. This song would scare off any city-slicker and gives the citreia for a "TRUE" Readneck Woman. Most of the songs on here have a heavy, country beat. But she does show her sensitive side in "The Bed" a song about a husband who doesn't tell his wife how he feels about her and how much he really loves her.
Over all the CD is a bit short, but that means you can go right back and start listening again. This CD is Great and actually deserves 6 stars if not more! If you love country or are just looking for some fast paced up-beat songs, this CD is great. I Highly recommend it. Whe has to do all the Older famous Country Gals proud.

5-0 out of 5 stars The new G.W. in town is Gretchen Wilson
I read many of the reviews before I bought this cd. The real deal is this. If you are not a country music fan, but like "Redneck woman", but do not generally like country songs, then just buy and download the single. It is highly doubful that you will like the entire CD. An example, I like "My band" by D12, but as I do not like rap as a whole, I would not buy an entire rap cd.

Country music is expansive. There are many sub-elements. Taking from some of the better reviews contained herein, I believe this is a definitive guide:

If you are a fan of country with a rock beat, you will love this.

If you are a fan of country with a progressive sound, than you should love this.

If you are a fan of country with a pop feel, than it is doubful that you will like this. (and thats ok, too.)

If you are a fan of pure traditional country, this is questionable. See if someone you know has purchased this and listen first.

If you like sole, r&b, blues, and are also a country music fan, it is a good possibility that you will like this. Especially if you are a dixie chicks fan already.

Is Gretchen Wilson good for country music? Hell Yeah. She is a genuine balancing force to the more pop country artists. The great thing about country music, is that there is room for Gretchen, Faith, Shania, and Moorer.

I have been a fan since the days when Charlie Daniels told me to stay out of Wooley's swamp. Even when the Palamino was still open, country music was never cool in Los Angeles. However, even in Los Angeles, there are millions of fans, and country is vital part of the music industry. I am grateful to see that someone who, because of her own hard work, has acheived so much, in spite of her background. A true country artist does not have to be imprisoned, appeal to traditionalists only, or pander to the popular public.

If you are not a country music fan, and obviously have not purchased this cd, the proper venue for your thoughts is on a chat-board, not a purchasers review area of Amazon.com

5-0 out of 5 stars love it! i listen 2 it everyday!
I love this CD. I thought it would b bad, but it turned out to be the best damn CD i have ever bought. She is my number one country artist. Buy this CD, You'll regret it if you dont, believe me!

4-0 out of 5 stars Gretchen channels Loretta Lynn, Tanya Tucker
This reminds me of my mom's Loretta Lynn and Tanya Tucker CDs. It's been a while since you could turn on the country radio station and listen to a woman sing a country song about being proud of your roots. Just simple songs about everyday life, from a woman's perspective. Most of the country females these days are doing Celine Dion type, over-blown pop songs. Gretchen Wilson isn't doing anything new, she's just doing something that hasn't been done in a while. Remember when Loretta sang "You Ain't Woman Enough To Take My Man"??? Gretchen was having her Loretta Lynn moment on "Homewrecker". Gretchen sings about knowing all the words to every Tanya Tucker song, and that doesn't surprise me. Gretchen sounds just as real as Tanya. Gretchen is a welcome addition to country music. Besides the title song and "Chariot", the songs stick to being country. I do like those songs, but I prefer the more country ones like "Pocahontas Proud", which is the most heart-felt sounding song on the cd. Just simple, country songs.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good country fun
I do recommend this CD to country fans, however, I don't think it deserves the praise it is getting. As of today, it has been #1 on the country charts for 8 weeks straight. This is because of her "Redneck Woman" success. If it hadn't been for that song, this would probably end up like any other country newcomer's debut album. With that said, I'd like to say some good things about it. The album offers good country music listening fun. There is not MUCH depth behind the lyrics, but it is a good listen. "Here for the Party", "Homewrecker", and "When It Rains" are fun country songs. "Holdin' You" and "What Happened" are pretty nice country ballads. The only track on the album that I altogether do not like is "Chariot". It's trying to offer too much at once, and it doesn't work. The song is all over the place. It doesn't know where it wants to go. I do have to commend her on "Pocahontas Proud"--it's a great tribute to her hometown and everything that she is about. I am happy for her as it seems like she has come a long way. It's just too bad other artists' can't be recognized in the same way. If you are looking for good music with meaning and depth and something behind the lyric, I HIGHLY recommend Carolyn Dawn Johnson's "Dress Rehearsal". You won't be disappointed. -HuntingtonM15@comcast.net ... Read more


12. Horse of a Different Color
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B00020H916
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 106
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (70)

5-0 out of 5 stars Outlaw music for a new generation!
"Brothers and sisters, we're here for one reason only...we present to you COUNTRY MUSIC WITHOUT PREJUDICE!"

And so begins one of the best, and certainly most daring, country albums ever recorded. "Horse of a Different Color" is not what you're used to hearing. Do I have to attempt to describe this album? Take John Mellencamp, add a dose of Skynyrd, some Kid Rock, a little Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, and a touch of Toby Keith's attitude. That doesn't cover it (I don't think you can describe this album in any way other than GREAT) but it'll do.

Big & Rich features "Big" Kenny and John Rich (former bassist/vocalist for Lonestar, before the band lost the belt-buckles). These two guys harmonize on every track--and it is oh such a heavenly sound.

Songs such as the engaging "Rollin" and the party anthem "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" (love that title) express the boys' music tastes, and why they aren't embarrassed to be rockin' cowboys in an age of traditionalism. And yet, few songs are countrier than the barroom brawlers "Big Time" and "Drinkin' 'Bout You." "Love Train" takes a look at the world's problems, from racial tentions to how the Bulls play without Jordan. "Kick My Ass" is a song for the underdogs (and the party hounds). "Six Foot Town" tells of a young man's angst to leave the town that's too small for him. "Live This Life" is a moving look at, well, living your life. "Holy Water" is a touching song about a woman who's trying to regain her innocence. The first single, "Wild West Show," is a bit cliched (but purely enjoyable) look at a broken relationship compared with the wild west.

I covered more songs than I meant to; I appologize for taking so much time. But you gotta understand--this album is excellent. I'm glad to have John Rich back on the airwaves (his solo career went nowhere), and I'm super-glad he joined forces with Big Kenny. The two are excellent singer/songwriters, and they make superb music together. Yes, their album's a little strange (what country album previously has featured a multilingual rapper?), and yes, they might get charged with pushing the barrier (both in style and lyric) a bit too far. But that's country music, folks. It's always changing; and believe it or not, Big & Rich are throwing it back to the good days--the days where Johnny Cash was still king, and rock n roll and country music were brothers.

"Horse of a Different Color" is a must-have album. I purchased it just today, and it's already one of my favorite albums of all time. Buy it, please; you deserve that much, don't you think?

5-0 out of 5 stars To buy this CD is to love this CD
As Big Kenny likes to say, "I love everybody!"

Well, I love this CD.

I saw the lyrics to "Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)" on a blog and enjoyed the humor so much that I knew I had to give Big & Rich a listen. I was not disappointed and I don't think you will be either as long as you keep an open mind. For people that enjoy all genres of music, this CD is for you. From the hick-hop party anthem, "Rollin' (The Ballad of Big & Rich), to the straight up country honkytonk sound of "Kick My A$$" and along to spiritual ballads "Saved" & "Holy Water", Big Kenny & John Rich show they have a fantastic talent for witty and thoughtful lyrics and the musical chops to back it up.

I can't wait to catch these guys live.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cowboy or Rock?
I was driving yesterday in Kirksville MO, and listening to country radio, because that is all they have up in northern MO and I heard a song that blew me away. Save a Horse ride a Cowboy!

I am not a C&W fan BUT... this song's lyics I couln't get them out of my head, and the radio station committed the mortal sin, they didn't say the title to the song.

So I rode my mustang to the radio station in town and walked in the front door and asked "Who was that you just played about save a horse?"

And the DJ said "If an old R&Roller like you would come into our station I'll give you a copy"

Now I am a soldier in the army of Big & Rich, and I am waiting for their next release.

5-0 out of 5 stars Big & Rich rock!
They are white trash good ole boys who can sure create a festive mood on cd! Any one who can get themselves kicked out of a wimp band like Lonestar (as John Rich did) is all right by me. And Big Kenny is 40 years old just like me! Pretty old to be releasing his first album, but hey, Brooks & Dunn are both well over 50 and no one has gotten rid of them yet. I'm not very big and I'll never be rich, but I sure love this cd. All of the songs are great, not just Wild West Show and Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Title Says It All
This Cd is truly a horse of a different color. It is the first CD I've bought in years, there are many more awesome songs other than Save a Horse; like Rollin' and Live This Life.You wont be disapointed with this album at all. Its definitly worth it. Muzik Mafia is coming to your town soon, so join the party! ... Read more


13. What I Really Mean
list price: $17.98
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Asin: B0007Y8A74
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 164
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Few songwriters are as cinematic as Robert Earl Keen. In the tradition of Keen's classic "The Road Goes on Forever" and "Merry Christmas from the Family," his eleventh album finds the Texas troubadour transforming indelible characters, vivid description, and narrative drive into movies for the ear. He delves into the surreal with "The Great Hank," a spoken-word barroom vignette that features Hank Williams in a time warp (and in drag). He turns a fable about animals into a tale as dark and twisted as film noir in "Mr. Wolf and Mama Bear," and enlists a vocal cameo from Ray Price and a serenade from Mariachi Estrella to provide the soundtrack for the droll story of cantina overindulgence in "A Border Tragedy." Even the tender title song, about the touring musician missing his wife, shows his eye for evocative detail, with one of Keen's warmest vocals to date. Produced by his bandleader/guitarist Rich Brotherton, the album's musically expansive arrangements match the ambition of the storytelling, with guest banjo from the Bad Livers' Danny Barnes, a lovely soprano sax by John Mills on the title cut, and Celtic pipes from E.J. Jones on "The Traveling Storm." Keen may well expand his audience along with his musical range, as the uptempo "The Wild Ones" could pass as a John Hiatt cut, while "Broken End of Love" has an echo of Tom Petty. --Don McLeese ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great American Songwriter, Singer and Performer
I bought this cd at a recent live show by REK that I attended and have to say this one's a good one.He performed some of the songs on the cd at the show and everyone there was very accepting, especially when he sang the Hank song.REK is one of America's treasures, a great songwriter, performer and vocalist.Get this one, you will not be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST HAVE
This is REK's finest album yet.Some instant classics that will be must plays at all of his concerts - For Love, What I Really Mean and Broken End of Love.The whole album from start to end is a winner.Buy it now!You will not want to take it out of your cd player.

5-0 out of 5 stars REK returns to form
I cant tell you how happy I was when I first listened to this CD.
REK is back in good form. good songs and good production. Highly recommend it.
This is a very happy surprise after his last 2 releases.
Gravitational Forces had BAD production and decent songs.
Farm Fresh Onions had BAD production AND Bad songs.

yeeehaahes back and Im loving it

5-0 out of 5 stars REK you did it!!!!!!!!!!!
FANTASTIC!!!! BUY THIS ALBUM!! Ever sInce Gringo Honeymoon REK has been working. Searching. Trying different things. I applaud his efforts and have always loved the music, but let me say Robert Earl Keen has finally done it. This album is fantastic. This is the first album I have listened to each track TWICE before moving on to the next song. His songwriting is superb. This CD has the old school REK that we all fell in love with but with that twist he has been working towards for nearly 10 years. He is NOT the pluck pluck yuk yuk performer that he was afraid of becoming. Superb. You just gotta buy this CD. Sit back with a cold one and enjoy. What I really mean is this possibly the best REK album yet!

5-0 out of 5 stars What I Really Mean is Buy This CD
I have been listening to an advance copy of this album for almost two months. I have played it so often that my wife wants me to leave the house. She thinks I have a weird sickness for REK music, which I probably do. That said, I can tell you that this is an amazing CD and probably the best effort of Robert's long career. I think it could be the break out album for the premier singer songwriter from Texas.

Although I liked Farm Fresh Onions, I am really a bigger fan of some of his earlier stuff. Several songs off Bigger Piece of Sky, especially Paint the Town Beige and Crazy Cowboy Dream have always been my favorite REK tunes. I still listen to Picnic often. My favorite songs on it are: Over The Waterfall, Running With The Night and 4th of July.

If you share my love for those early songs, you are really going to like What I Really Mean. The song writing is vintage REK, and the band is excellent. Rich Brotherton may be the most under rated guitar player in the world. The rhythm section is as solid (game) as always on every song. The addition of Danny Barnes on banjo adds nicely to the sound of several tracks.

My favorite cuts on the CD are the title track with its catchy sax, banjo and wonderfully descriptive lyrics. I also love Broken End of Love. Even Bob Dylan hasn't written a song that uses the word metamorphosis. I also like the last cut, Ride, with its bouncy kind of rhythm and great lyrics.My 3-year-old daughter, who is a huge REK fan, likes Ride the best, along with Mama Bear.

If you are already a fan or just curious about Robert's music, you need to buy this CD. You will not be disappointed. Buy it and tell a friend. ... Read more


14. Twice the Speed of Life
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Asin: B000640XPW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1418
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15. Greatest Hits
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Asin: B0002Z1EG2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9
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Shania Twain--reclusive, happily married, mother of one--has sold more than 40 million albums with flirty, hook-laden, beat-heavy, country-tinged pop that has all the subtlety of a musical wet T-shirt contest, yet is as irresistible as Swiss chocolate and Pringles. There are a few heartfelt, moon-in-June love ballads on this generous and long-awaited 20-song collection, which includes three new songs along with all the predictable chart-toppers and near-chart-toppers. But it's the mostly non-stop, uptempo booty-shakers--too often with garish overproduction and vapid lyrics--that, for the unconverted, tend to run together after a while. No doubt, this relentlessly upbeat retrospective will keep Twain's millions of fans jumping up and down on their sofas. --Bob Allen ... Read more


16. Back to Me
list price: $14.98
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Asin: B0007GAENU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 290
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The standout cuts on this follow-up to Kathleen Edwards's highly praised debut, Failer, serve notice that the Canadian artist has no intention of remaining a cult favorite in the States. The opening "In State" evokes the anthem-like sweep of Tom Petty's "Refugee," complete with signature organ by the Heartbreakers' Benmont Tench, though its lyric of a prison-bound paramour smacks of déjà vu, Failure having opened with a similar narrative. The propulsive title track, with its irresistible double-entendre hook, deserves to be Edwards's breakthrough hit, while the yearning "Old Time Sake" and the buoyant yet bittersweet "Summerlong" expose a disarming tenderness underlying her tough-chick bravado. Over the course of the album, too much of the midtempo material sounds too much the same, more inspired lyrically than musically, failing to sustain the momentum of the opening tracks. The stripped-down intimacy of "Away" will likely rekindle comparisons to Lucinda Williams, but this artist sounds eager to outgrow those. --Don McLeese

Influences and Contemporaries


Whiskeytown, Strangers Almanac

Whiskeytown, Faithless Street

Sarah Harmer, You Were Here

Sarah Harmer, All of Our Names

Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

... Read more

Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars great cd and great live
Not much to add to the positive reviews--love both "Back to Me" and her 1st album "Failer."Just wanted to say that I saw her live at the Canal Room in NYC back in March and it was awesome.Great foot-stompin' performance and interaction with the audience.If she comes to your area make sure to see her and her band, and if she comes (back to my area) I'll see her again.

5-0 out of 5 stars "good things come when you stop looking ~ Kathleen Edwards"
Who is Kathleen Edwards? Well, you could say she's a singer/composer/artist who serves up delights that you'll have ringing in your heard for days and weeks...Zoe and Rounder Records brings this latest release "Back To Me", featuring Edwards strong distinctive style that takes you back to the early days of Folk Music...just like her label mates Edwards has done more for the genre today than any other performer that comes to mind...remember the likes when countryand folk music was pure and not mixed with pop.

Joining Kathleen (acoustic guitars/banjo) are Joel Anderson (drums), Richard Bell (organ), Jim Bryson (vocals), Gary Craig (drums), Colin Cripps (slide guitar), Johnny Dymond (bass), Eric Heywood (pedal steel), Jim James (vocals), Pierre Marchand (piano), Kevin McCarragher (bass), Benmont Tench (organ), Peter Von Althen (tambourine)...bring this album full circle, just the way we like 'em!

The album songs in alphabetical order and composers listed:

AWAY (Kathleen Edwards)
BACK TO ME (K. Edwards/Colin Cripps)
COPIED KEYS (K. Edwards)
GOOD THINGS (K. Edwards)
IN STATE (K. Edwards)
INDEPENDENT THIEF (K. Edwards)
OLD TIME SAKE (K. Edwards/Peter Cash)
PINK EMERSON RADIO (K. Edwards)
SOMEWHERE ELSE (Jim Bryson)
SUMMERLONG (K. Edwards/Colin Cripps)
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? (K. Edwards)

There is a lonesome tone, a mood set between genres of rock and blends of folk mixed with country...a flavor not so unbecoming for her haunting mesmerizing storytelling...as Edwards explains "If you've got nothing you've still got your family, because you are so safe inside my memory"...poetic and much of the truth rings from such lyrics...gotta love it!

Total Time: 49:00 on 11 Tracks ~ Zoe Records 1047 ~ (3/01/2005)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow, This is Great!
I have little to add to this discussion in the way of insight.I simply want to put in my two cents.This is the first of Kathleen Edwards that I've heard, and I am really stunned at how good it is - not only does she have a great voice, unlike some of the other artists in this vein recently, and not only are the songs really good, but there's something about the tone of this album overall that's really compelling and creates an almost-hypnotic vibe.This is truly a thing of beauty, and I plan to go out of my way to see her in concert when she comes to town . . .

5-0 out of 5 stars This is what I call country
I hardly ever write any reviews, but when I saw the ratings KE was getting I was compelled to state my opinion. I personally think that this is one of the best albums I own. I am a huge fan of Allison Moorer, Shelby Lynne, and Lucinda Williams and I was dissapointed that there weren't more artists that provided the same depth to country music.
Well, Ms. Edwards came along and I add her to my list of Alt-Country favorites. She may not have a beautiful voice like Allison and Shelby, but her strength is in her lyrics. Her songs are like short stories/vignettes and she delivers this songs w/ such honesty and attitude that one can easily visualize each song.
I also, don't agree w/ some of the previous postings that claim that all of the songs tend to sound alike, on the contrary each song is distinct. The only song on this album I don't really like is Pink Emerson Radio. So for those who are curious about Kathleen Edwards give both of her albums a try, you won't be dissapointed.

4-0 out of 5 stars More like 3 1/2 stars -- it's a good effort!
It was the recent music video that caught my attention to Kathleen's music once again. Although I'm interested in all new singer/songwriters, her first album, Failer, was not convincing enough for me to purchase it. With "Back to Me" the quality has increased and the edge to her music is increasing. Comparing her to Lucinda Williams is not justified as there's maybe one or two instances on the whole album that may remind us of Lucinda for a second -- Kathleen Edwards is too perfect to be compared to Lucinda Williams as I doubt it that Kathleen's band records the first take for the album like Lucinda's band does. I would compare Kathleen's style more to DAR Williams which is probably the closest comparison if comparsions need to be made. I had Kathleen's CD in my car for one spin and then again at home to listen to it a few more times -- and it does take a few times listening to it to discover her real craft, but "Back to Me" is not yet convincing enough and I restled with 3 stars or 4 stars as I think that 3 1/2 stars would be justified. Hopefully the next album will be at least 4 stars. The songs on the album vary ... some ballads, but most songs are a little bit on the wild side with some edge to it and that's good. Kathleen's voice is a little bit annoying at times as it is still a little bit too bright because of her age, but it will mature with time and then comparisons to Lucinda W. will be more realistic. ... Read more


17. 50 Number Ones
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Asin: B0000CE752
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 36
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When George Strait's "She'll Leave You With a Smile" moved to the top of the country charts in early 2003, the handsome Lone Star crooner bested Conway Twitty for the most No. 1 singles by a solo artist. This collection of 50 chart-toppers, spanning 22 years, showcases the Cadillac of country singers at his best, blending traditional and contemporary stylings, but never straying too far from the core of his Texas barroom sound. "Fool Hearted Memory," from 1982, proves that Strait had his uncluttered production and straightforward vocal approach down from the start, no matter how many producers guided him to his peak. Through the years, the path to superstardom dictated that he trade the crisp Western swing of "Right or Wrong" and "Ace in the Hole" for squishy, mid-tempo crowd pleasers like "Check Yes or No" and "Write This Down." But he redeemed himself with such poignant heartbreakers as "So Much Like My Dad" and "…Smile." This retrospective's one new track, "I Hate Everything," about a man in a bar who's besotted more from pain than whiskey, doesn't match up with the singer's best material, but it's still got that irresistible Strait hook: average-guy sincerity wrapped in a down-to-earth heart. --Alanna Nash ... Read more


18. Heard It on the X
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B0007QJ1FC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 240
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This supergroup with ever-changing personnel (no longer limited to seven) is less a band than a bilingual concept and boundary-crossing vision. The third and most rambunctious release under the Los Super Seven banner takes its title from the ZZ Top anthem celebrating the Mexican border radio of the 1950s and '60s. With the title track sung by Tejano mainstay Ruben Ramos, the transgenerational duet on "Cupid" by Freddy Fender and Rick Trevino, and the alcohol-fueled mariachi of "The El Burro Song" performed by the Mavericks' Raul Malo (a ringer of Cuban descent), the Hispanic imprint on the project remains much in evidence. From the northern side of the musical border, Lyle Lovett revives Bob Wills's "My Window Faces the South," Rodney Crowell renews Buddy Holly's "Learning the Game," and Joe Ely covers Holly acolyte Bobby Fuller's "Let Her Dance."

Perhaps the album's dominant influence is that of the late Doug Sahm, whose Sir Douglas Quintet was a Tex-Mex trailblazer. Sahm's spirit is channeled here through two songs he wrote--"I'm Not that Kat (Anymore)," sung by John Hiatt, and the jazzy "The Song of Everything," performed by Raul Malo--and another one he recorded, "Talk to Me," given a soulful reading by Delbert McClinton. However wide the musical range, the results rarely fall short of super. --Don McLeese ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars More a Concept than a Band CD
I did not come to this CD with any pre-conceived notions.I had not heard of Los Super Seven and have not heard the prior CD's.The only song I had heard perviously was the ZZ Top tune that gives the recording its title.I heard snipets of the music in a review on the radio and thought it sounded hot.The full CD lives up to the promise of the snipets.It is really a collection of different styles and music -- latin styles I have heard but cannot name, a sort of country swing, rock, blues.It is music that was played on border radio partly because there was no outlet for it on the main stream stations."Song of Everything" is my favorite."Heard It On the X" is also good.Owing to the mix, this CD is a little like listening to a good cross cultural radio or music television station in the southwest.Appreciate it for what it is -- a tribute to the boarder radio of the 50's and 60's -- and this is a very enjoyable CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Different But Still Great
When I saw Los Super Seven had a new album-I ordered it sight (and sound) unseen. The first two albums were SO great there was no question- just buy it. I tore it open, threw it in the CD player in my car and was shocked to hear what others have mentioned-no sign of anyone from Los Lobos, very little Spanish language music, and alot of rock and roll...albeit superb rock and roll.
Don't be deterred by this-change is always good, and this change is wonderful. To say that this album doesn't belong under the banner of Los Super Seven misses the point: simply put-everyone who has been in LS7 grew up on this music, and therefore it is legitimately part of the series- and in fact an essential part of the series.
Border Radio (and I was thrilled by every word of the wonderful history written in this package) exemplified what LS7 is all about-cross musical and cultural pollination. This collection of updated and heartfelt updates does for Border Radio what the other albums did for Mexican and Cuban styles; brings it together and expands the vision by combining the original artists with those who grew up influenced by their innovations.
This is a GREAT record...the musicianship is superb, production and mixing wonderful, modern while never forgetting the ethos of the border radio music; hot, raw and smokin'.
Liste- I never thought I would love a ZZ Top song either (being an ethinc music snob) but that is not the point, the point is to experience and expand understanding and knowledge about an essential piece of uniquely American music- and on that count alone- this album fits in the series like a glove. Beyond that- this is a wonderful record- the ultimate back yard rockin' party record.
Expanding our musical horizons goes both ways- pushing the boundries and envelope of music and creating something new, and discovering something new that has been right in our own backyard for decades. Take the chance and let go- you'll wish you grew up on the X too...

5-0 out of 5 stars " Heard it on the X" -- You MUST buy this C.D.

The music in this c.d. is crisp, finger snapping, toe tapping, and I hope you buy it. I just got it in the mail and I have been listening to it every day, night, and at work!
I had never heard of the " X" radio stations. I had heard of many of the musicians but had not personally listened to their music. This music opened up another culture to me. And I want more.
This music is saucy, sexy, jazzy, and with a good dose ofblues. This c.d. will make you feel as if you are listening to the music at a plaza in a border town. It made me start salivating for a libation of the tequila kind. Yes, it can be labeled "Texican " but it's that and so much more. This music is what laid the foundation for groups like Z.Z.Top.
The amount of talent on this c.d. is mind blowing. It had to be great. If you don't know all of them you will get to know them. The music is that good.
After having more than one boy friend who was an alcoholic I found it refreshing to hear a man ( Raul Malo) sing about his girl friend being SO hung over she can't get up.
The El Burro Song is sung with heart and grace, as only Raul can do. The sonic fusion of Calexico, Mariachi Relampago, and Raul's smooth, virile-fueled voice is pure musical alchemy! This is the first song on the c.d. and after hearing this song, you too will be hooked. The next song is " Cupido" which brings the collaboration of Freddie Fender and Rick Trevino. It's a dynamite combination and I hope they do more music together. " Cupido dame la mano" - Cupid help me, lend me a hand.
It's tastefully done and this song will have you heading for the fridge for some kind of libation. I know it made me.
Every single song is great. Song #5 - "My Window Faces the South" sung by Lyle Lovett, reminded me of sitting on the Moon Walk in New Orleans watching the boats go by. The melody is pure " Southern" bliss. His voice is perfect for this song. The two were born to be together.
You will also enjoy song #9 - Ojos Traidores sung by Rick Trevino. He's sad, he's mad, he's hurt and you hear it in his voice. All I could think was, "Boy, she's a mean girl that dark eyed woman." Rick Trevino sings with a lot of soul and you feel his pain.
When you read the credits of all the major talent involved you should note the assistance that was given by the legendary talents of Flaco Jimenez, Arturo "Sauce" Gonzalez, Charlie Sexton, Jacob Valenzuela, Max Baca, on and on. There is no way this c.d. was going to be a dud. It's filled with much illustrious talent. Kudos to the producers who did a great job on this c.d. It was a great under taking and the end product is for your enjoyment.
I have no negative feedback on any of the songs. The music blew me away. I even loved the artwork on the cover. The only things that vexed me were the pictures of all the singers who contributed. They don't indicate who is who. And another thing missing, that miffed me, was the absence of the lyrics. They were nowhere to be found. Come on now, you have great music you must have great words. And you do -- you just don't have them written anywhere for you to read them.
This c.d. stands alone and should be purchased and enjoyed. Trust me, you will fall in love with the music. Some of the lyrics are racy considering the music was written in the 30s and 40s but a lot of it is timeless - ageless, what ever you want to call it. Don't deprive yourself, buy this c.d. and let your mind take you to a place where you can enjoy this great music.







3-0 out of 5 stars NOT Los Super 7
Before even considering the quality of the music, let me say that I felt cheated by this CD. To sell this CD as the third from Los Super 7 is, to say the least, questionable. The first and second Los Super 7 CD's gave us a blend of Latino and Americana music, played with pioneering spirit. This third Los Super 7 CD just gives you Texas Americana. It is not particularly spirited or pioneering. Some songs are nice, but not more than that. Nowhere do the artists go beyond their normal scope. Furthermore, nowhere in the booklet the Los Lobos members, that to me formed the core of Los Super 7,are mentioned. Why aren't they here? Had I known beforehand I would not have bought this CD. The name Los Super 7 is misused for commercial reasons and the many fine musicians on this CD are not taken beyond there usual borders, which to me is the real betrayal. ... Read more


19. License to Chill
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B00029P9X2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 59
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Country music's infatuation with the puka-shell rock of Jimmy Buffett has been one of the genre's less fortunate indulgences. Most of Nashville's hat acts do little more than dip their toe in the water and do nothing to build upon Buffett's signature sounds. That's why License to Chill, which features a plethora of Music City guests (Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Clint Black, George Strait, Martina McBride, Toby Keith) along with Bill Withers and Nanci Griffith, seems like a bad idea. But the album, on which the Key West hedonist performs his favorite "bar gig" songs, as he calls them, often delights. As someone who began his songwriting career in Nashville (and who's also recorded more than half his albums there), Buffett isn't just slumming, as his choice of covers (from such writers as Guy Clark, John Hiatt, Hank Williams, and Jerry Garcia) proves. What could have been little more than a lark, then, ends up being a showcase for Buffett the serious songwriter and song finder. Although he does indulge in the occasional beach-minded thong-writing, Chill is a surprisingly satisfying album aimed less at the Parrothead crowd and more toward an audience who remembers the Buffett of 30 years ago, a man who struggled to make his mark among Nashville's most revered tunesmiths. --Alanna Nash ... Read more

Reviews (62)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Best He's Been In A Long Time...
Welcome back Jimmy Buffett.

His past few musical outings have featured songs that were hit-or-miss, but "License to Chill" is pretty solid throughout. With such an amazing song selection from the likes of Hank Williams and John Hiatt, I couldn't help but think how amazing it would have been to have heard a cover of Williams' "Jambalaya" as the final track to end the album. Oh well.

What most impressed me about "Chill" was it's production quality. The use of slide guitar and honky tonk piano, mixed with steel drums, gave the songs a true country vibe while blending in Buffett's favored island sound. Fans of the standard Buffett sound should be warned that this album is more country than caribbean soul, but the end result is strong.

Lastly, Jimmy Buffett has never had the best voice out there. What was missing in his vocals was always made up for with his storytelling lyrics. Surprisingly, "License to Chill" showcases Jimmy Buffett hitting notes and working in a vocal range that I have never heard from him. It was a total delight, and left me eager to hear a complete acoustic album from Jimmy Buffett...one that prominently features his newfound voice.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Country-Carribbean Album.
When I first heard Jimmy Buffett was going to do a "country" album, I was a bit apprehensive. Although I love his earlier stuff where he was more country, I had grown accustomed to his more recent Beach-Themed efforts.
Rest assured, this album will not dissapoint. The selection of country artists that assist Jimmy on this album work beautifully.
All the duets shine, notably "Boats to Build" with Alan Jackson, "License to Chill" with Kenny Chesney, and and "Hey Good Lookin'" with Jackson, Strait, Black, Chesney, and Keith is quite catchy and should be playing in your stereo for some time after purchase.
As a recommendation, Jimmy Buffett once melded the whole country-Beach theme styles in a very underrrated album called RIDDLES IN THE SAND. If you enjoy LICENSE TO CHILL, give RIDDLES a look.
Many Parrotheads will wonder with Buffett's surge in the country world if he isn't a straight-up country star now. Check out the song "Simply Complicated", where Jimmy poses this question quite playfully. One of Jimmy's best albums in some time.

3-0 out of 5 stars Bumpkins invade the beach
Country may have once been a respectable genre of music, but nowadays it has more in common with top 40 radio. I miss the originals, like Johnny Cash, because these new singers try too hard to get that twang in their voice. So Jimmy decided to do a country themed album. Any Phan worth his salt will know that Jimmy started out country, and he had some good early albums. My objection stems from Jimmy inviting all of those other singers on this album, ( 9 of the 16 tracks feature Jimmy sharing vocals). The good news is that these "duets", don't really ruin the album. The bad news is it doesn't really enhance it either, leaving me to conclude that the idea was just a marketing ploy. The only song I really like among the "duets" is License to Chill, it is every bit as catchy as 5 o'clock somewhere. The rest I usually skip, excluding Boats to Build, with is enjoyable even thought the lyrics seem a little rushed. As for the other songs, Coast of Carolina is a real gem, one of those slow reflective songs that Jimmy can work so well. (Such as Semi-true story). Simply Complicated is typical Buffett with uproarious lyrics, and although it is a quick song (just over 2 minutes) it is one of my favorites. Coastal Confessions is also a highlight. And thankfully, Jimmy ends the album on a high note with his trademark beach sound on the up tempo Scarlet Begonias, and the gospel like steel drium hymn Back To The Island. Perhaps the rest of the album will grow on me with time, and as for now I'm simply satisfied. Thanks Bubba.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just like a southern beach
I have read many reviews of this record, some good, some bad.
my opinion is that what Jimmy Buffett has done on this album is just perfect. with some exceptions of course i belive many of the songs have major commercial potential. Parrotheads might not like that but that is the point of the album, it is a country album hence the lack of original songwriting by Mr.Buffett himself. Jimmy has blended the ideal gulf/western record. some tracks will be remembered as classics and some won't, but there is no dead air here, it's the type of thing you can play through which is rare these days, usually artists get 2 maybe 3 money songs on a record and fill the rest with slacking tunes. The vocals are great on this record and the island country sounds are mixed wonderfully. Sea Of Heartbreak with Georgr Strait is exactly on point. as is Coast Of Carolina, Boats To Build, Piece Of Work, Trip Around The Sun, Anything Anytime Anywhere will bring you back to the folkish sound of buffett which got him recognized. Window On the World is great, track by track i could analyze but i don't need to, because this is a must have for parrotheads and country fans, and especially gulf/western fans.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Big Surprise
Like many, I was very skeptical that this would be a decent CD. The concept screamed "Cash In", and the first single, though certainly fun, didn't do much to alter that opinion.

Here's what makes this release a success:

1. The musicianship. Sonny Landreth and Billy Payne give Jimmy's sound a good kick in the rear. Landreth's unique slide style is a stark contrast to Peter Mayer's elevator music approach (especially when he reinterprets Garcia's "Scarlet Begonias"), while Payne gives the band the same swing he lent to Little Feat for so long. These two seemed to have inspired the rest of the band to raise their performance a couple of notches. Even Jimmy's singing, which has veered dangerously close to self parody recently, seems to show more respect for the songs than in recent memory.

2. The songwriting. Their have been so many songs on Jimmy's last few releases that just made me cringe. This one spares us that, largely because of his reliance on outside songwriters. John Hiatt, Guy Clark, Leon Russell, Jerry Garcia....these are some writers w some heft and definitely give Jimmy more to work with than he's had on recent albums. Probably not a coincidence that Jimmy's singing better.... he likes the songs better!

One complaint....will someone please take JB aside and tell him to stop that ridiculous "stream of consciousness" patter on the song's fade out? It damn near ruined "Mexico" and "Fruitcakes" a few years back and made him sound like a foolish shill pimping his own bar on "5 O'Clock Somewhere". He breaks it out again a couple times here, prompting me to hit "Forward" on my CD player each time.

One last comment....all roads lead to John Hiatt! He wrote "Window on The World", Landreth is the guitarist in his long time band The Goners", Payne played on the great Hiatt CD "Stolen Moments", and Jimmy reveals in the "Studio Diary" that Hiatt was his guitar player when Jimmy first went to Nashville more than 30 years ago. ... Read more


20. Greatest Hits 2
list price: $13.98
our price: $11.99
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Asin: B00063F8CG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 30
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At his best, as exemplified by his 1999 megahit "How Do You Like Me Now?!" Keith is simple and direct in the tradition of Hank Williams Jr.--aware of his limitations, able to thrive within them. "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)" struck a chord, though it differed little from the fist-shaking morale-boosters of previous wars. On the downside, Keith's formulaic tendencies can become tiresome, as it did on "My List," a generic celebration of life's mundane treasures. Sales notwithstanding, "Beer for My Horses" was no artistic landmark for Keith or duet partner Willie Nelson. By contrast, he and daughter Krystal have fun with the 1963 Inez and Charlie Foxx R&B hit "Mockingbird" (first revived by James Taylor and Carly Simon). "Go With Her" injects a different spin into the time-honored breakup song, wittiness absent on the gimmicky "Stays in Mexico." Raucous live performances of "You Ain't Much Fun" and his debut hit, "Should've Been a Cowboy," reflect his ability to rouse the faithful into the obligatory singalong. --Rich Kienzle ... Read more


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