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Reviews

Sarah Darling
Marquee PR
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Sarah Darling, ‘Little Umbrellas’ – Song Review

Sarah Darling's new single 'Little Umbrellas' is fun, flirty and a brand new way to describe drinking away the blues. The singer's airy, pop-fused delivery is a perfect match for the story she tells. It's a fun song and she has fun telling it. You can hear her smiling.

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Category: Reviews
Reckless Kelly
Facebook, Reckless Kelly
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Reckless Kelly ‘She Likes Money, He Likes Love’ – Song Review

Reckless Kelly have been one of the highlights of the Texas music scene for over 15 years, and it seems like every song that RK releases to Texas radio can be penciled in to the Top 5 of the charts. And with good reason; this is one of the coolest, most talented bands you're going to come across. Their latest single, 'She Likes Money, He Likes Love' from the album 'Good Luck & True Love' shows off both of these attributes.

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Uncle Kracker
UncleKracker.com
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Uncle Kracker, ‘Blue Skies’ – Song Review

Uncle Kracker has been singing the virtues of life's simple pleasures since the mid-2000s, and his new single 'Blue Skies' falls obediently in line. It's a feel-good, mid-tempo, country-rock song that, despite its similarity to everything else he's released to country radio over the last half-decade, feels pretty dang good. 

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Jason Boland and the Stragglers
Facebook, Jason Boland & the Stragglers
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Jason Boland and the Stragglers ‘Dark & Dirty Mile’ – CD Review

We've come to expect certain things when you listen to a new Jason Boland and the Stragglers CD over the past 15-plus years. Expect new music to stay true to the dancehall country music that made them Texas/Red Dirt music icons. Expect great lyrics, and fantastic musical arrangements that are incredibly easy to listen to. And, of course, you can expect to enjoy one of the best vocalists in country music. With the release of their seventh studio album, 'Dark & Dirty Mile', it's good to know that some things never change.

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Category: Music News, Reviews
Despicable Me 2 Review
Universal
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‘Despicable Me 2′ Review

I am not a monster. I want to be very clear and upfront about this. Yes, those little squibbling yellow marshmallows called “minions” in 'Despicable Me' and 'Despicable Me 2' are adorable. I don't care how much of a tough guy you think you are, when these little buggers are vrooming about the screen and warbling and wobbling and making exaggerated facial expressions; it is biologically impossible for a human being not to smile. They're wonderful and the design team that creates them (and the scientists who code the array of imaging rendering computers) should all continue to take a bow. With this qualifier out of the way, allow me to warn anyone over the age of 10 or 11 that 'Despicable Me 2' stinks.

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Henningsens
Jason Kempin, Getty Images
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The Henningsens, ‘I Miss You’ – Song Review

'I Miss You,' the second single from country newcomers the Henningsens, starts off open for interpretation, before revealing itself as a longing-for-lost-love song. The ballad rests on Clara Henningsen's vocal performance.

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Category: Reviews
The Heat review
20th Century Fox
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‘The Heat’ Review

“She's crazy!”

That's what 'Arrested Development' star Tony Hale shouts from the back of Melissa McCarthy's broken down jalopy of a police car as she goes through the motions of an uninteresting chase sequence.

"Hoo boy," I mutter. "We're in for another 'Identity Thief' here" - a movie where physical comedy and riff-heavy music cues will have to suffice instead of any real wit. But something happens about 10 minutes into 'The Heat,' the latest comedy from 'Bridesmaids' director Paul Feig. McCarthy's Detective Mullins loudly and brashly bursts into a room and meets Sandra Bullock's Special Agent Ashburn.

The chemical reaction is instantaneous. McCarthy and Bullock, both naturally funny people, feed off one another and crackle as one of the best comedy pairings since John Cleese and Michael Palin. 'The Heat' is a decent movie; McCarthy and Bullock are outstanding.

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Category: Movies, Reviews
Aaron Lewis
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Aaron Lewis, ‘Granddaddy’s Gun’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Aaron Lewis's new single 'Granddaddy's Gun' should easily become the biggest country hit of his career. The third release from 'The Road' album speaks to an audience that's increasingly being told to quiet down. While the song has appeared on more than one album in recent years, it's Lewis who truly does it justice. 

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Tim McGraw
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
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Tim McGraw, ‘Southern Girl’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Tim McGraw's latest album 'Two Lanes of Freedom' is full of songs that should live long after their run up the charts. The latest is 'Southern Girl,' a too-easy-to-fall-for tribute to American women born where the weather's hot nine months a year.

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Craig Morgan
Sara Kauss, Getty Images
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Craig Morgan, ‘Wake Up Loving You’ – Song Review

Craig Morgan says he thinks his new single 'Wake Up Lovin' You' is going to be the biggest of his career. The soaring ballad is the singer's first love song to be released as a single since George W. Bush was in office. His vocal performance will cause even his longtime fans to do a double take. 

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LoCash Cowboys
Paul Brasil for Taste of Country
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LoCash Cowboys, ‘LoCash Cowboys’ – Album Review

The LoCash Cowboys' career has been a series of stops and starts -- until now. With the release of their self-titled debut album, Chris Lucas and Preston Brust finally get to show fans all sides of their personality. Ballads like 'Best Seat in the House' and the previously released 'Keep in Mind' soften the image that songs like 'C-O-U-N-T-R-Y' and 'Here Comes Summer' helped build.

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Category: Reviews
Chris Stapleton
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images
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Chris Stapleton, ‘What Are You Listening To?’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Chris Stapleton's debut single as a solo artist isn't timeless, but it's from a time that's poised to make a resurgence in the next few years. 'What Are You Listening To?' is what you'd get if Marvin Gaye came back to life and moved to Nashville. The singer's pedigree keeps it country, however.

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Category: Reviews

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