Josh Reacts To New Country Tracks: 5/25

Gary Allan - “Mess Me Up”

This is certainly better than his previous recent singles. But that was a low bar to clear. This is okay. I enjoyed this more when I heard him sing it live a couple of years ago because it was more stripped down. This is just too upbeat to really let the emotion simmer and make the song stick with you. I wish the steel guitar could shine through more too. 5/10

Chris Janson - “Fix A Drink”

This song is trying so hard to be another “Buy Me A Boat.” Not really a surprise since his last single “Holdin’ Her” didn’t do much to grasp attention. It’s hands down his best single. This single is just another drinking song I’ll forget. Also it’s disappointing to hear the sober Janson put out another single promoting drinking. Gotta love the hypocrisy. 4/10

Luke Combs - “One Number Away”

Luke Combs has one of the most average, pedestrian voices I’ve ever heard. It’s just completely forgettable. These lyrics sound so whiny and needy. This song tries to create emotional vulnerability, but instead it just paints the guy as desperate and clingy. I don’t understand why so many people are drawn to such milquetoast artists like Combs and Brett Young. 2/10

Granger Smith - “Happens Like That”

Oh joy Mr. Dibbles has returned. And holy auto tune is it thick on this song. Production is so bad it sounds like he’s singing from the bottom of a trash can. This is just another mad libs love song we’ve heard a thousand times before. I will continue to keep Dibbles away. No Thanks/10

Lady Antebellum - “Somebody Else’s Heart”

This one is just here for me. Not really much to say about this song. Can Charles Kelley go back to being a solo artist please? Meh/10

Tyler Farr - “I Should Go To Church Sometime”

This is better than I expected it be. But it still isn’t good. I like the passion Farr brings to the table, but it feels like we just hear the song title repeated over and over. Nothing is really being said, even though it sounds like he’s really singing something important. Basically it comes off as incomplete song that could have been something. 4/10

Kelleigh Bannen - “Church Clothes”

This is just flat out great! I’m not sure why this song isn’t getting more love, but it absolutely should be. Bannen impressed me with her EP last year and this songs builds upon it by taking it up another notch. I love the symbolism of the church clothes in the song and how it acts as the cloak of hypocrisy and turmoil of the relationship. The subdued production really allows Bannen’s voice to shine. This is the best song from Bannen yet. 8/10

Dylan Scott - “My Girl”

Yeah I was done with this song as soon as I heard the forced Eminem reference. I love Eminem as much as the next hip-hop fan, but it’s ridiculous to be name-dropping him in a country song. It just makes no sense and completely takes me out of the song. Stop Name Dropping Other Genre’s Artists/10

Thomas Rhett - “Craving You” (feat. Maren Morris)

This is just straight pop. Not a surprise and something that is immediately apparent. So I’ll judge this as the pop fodder it is. It admittedly has a good hook. Morris is a great addition to the song and I honestly think she would have been better off as the lead of the song. Her voice is just so much better than Rhett’s voice. In the hands of Morris or a charismatic pop artist, this song is elevated. As is it’s just okay and I’ll forget it as soon as it’s run ends. 5/10

Tim McGraw & Faith Hill - “Speak to a Girl”

I’m just not a fan of this song. It probably has a lot to do with Faith Hill, whose voice I’ve never really liked. She just does nothing to stand out to my ears. Overall the whole arrangement of the song is boring and stagnant. It reminds me a lot of the sleepy fodder that clogged country radio in the early to mid 2000s. 3/10

Carly Pearce - “Every Little Thing”

One of the first things that bothers me about this song is how breath-y Pearce sounds throughout it. I saw Jonathan Keefe first bring this up on Twitter and it’s impossible to not hear after realizing it. The song is overly sleepy for my tastes and doesn’t really go into the details of the heartbreak it revolves around. It’s just too vague to really make an impact on me. 4/10

Jon Pardi - “Heartache on the Dance Floor”

This song is so fun and instantly catchy. I completely get it if this isn’t your cup of tea. But let me tell you this was a go-to jam for me when I was on vacation at the beach last summer. It’s the perfect summer song. This song isn’t trying to be deep or say anything important. And that’s okay. Sometimes you just want something catchy and fun. This song accomplishes this and will be another major hit for the skyrocketing Pardi. 7/10

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