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Toby Keith
Astrid Stawiarz, Getty Images
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Toby Keith, ‘Drinks After Work’ – Song Review

Some believe the R&B-influenced country sound of the '70s and '80s is poised to make a big comeback, and recent releases from Trace Adkins and Joe Nichols are evidence of that. Toby Keith's new song 'Drinks After Work' jumps the flashback needle, however. He's a bit ahead of his time in being behind the times.

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Trace Adkins
Theo Wargo, Getty Images
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Trace Adkins (Feat. Colbie Caillat), ‘Watch the World End’ – Song Review

There's an intentional darkness that lingers over Trace Adkins' new single 'Watch the World End,' a duet with pop singer Colbie Caillat. It's an effective love song that also succeeds in painting a vivid picture of the apocalypse.

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Thomspon Square
Stoney Creek Records
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Thompson Square, ‘Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About’ – Song Review

It's back to basics for Thompson Square. The duo's new single 'Everything I Shouldn't Be Thinking About' is a no-tricks, easy-to-embrace love song that finds the married couple having a conversation as comfortable as, "What's for dinner?"

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Taylor Swift
Big Machine Records
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Taylor Swift, ‘Red’ – Song Review

Taylor Swift has released three singles to pop radio since releasing her last country single, but her country fans can rest easy knowing that they get all the best songs from the 'Red' album. The title track marks the superstar's first country offering since 'Begin Again,' a track released before the album was even available.  

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Eli Young Band
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Eli Young Band, ‘Drunk Last Night’ – Song Review

Eli Young Band's new single 'Drunk Last Night' is a subtle, but important, departure from songs on the 'Life at Best' album. The track shuffles along at a slightly faster tempo than 'Crazy Girl' or 'Even if It Breaks Your Heart,' but the chorus and production breathe new life into the band's sound. 

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Love and Theft
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Love and Theft, ‘If You Ever Get Lonely’ – Song Review

'If You Ever Get Lonely,' the new single from Love and Theft, makes vanilla taste like chili powder. The song was previously recorded by former Bad English singer John Waite, and Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson do little to put their individual marks on the story or production. 

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Category: Reviews
Morgan Frazier
Curb Nashville
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Morgan Frazier, ‘Yellow Brick Road’ – Song Review

Morgan Frazier plays Dorothy to the men she comes upon in her major label debut single 'Yellow Brick Road,' but she's hardly the shy, nervous character from the famous narrative. The 'Wizard of Oz' metaphor that drives this rocker is a clever way for the 19-year-old to get noticed, but the power of her voice is what will ultimately impress country music fans.

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Category: Reviews
Jason Aldean
Broken Bow Records
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Jason Aldean, ‘Night Train’ – Song Review

Back country roads are becoming crowded this summer, with Jason Aldean's 'Night Train' the latest to take a girl and a fifth of something to a secret spot. The title track from this singer's most recent album stands out above many of the rest, however. It's a rare Aldean vocal showcase that uses a train to put a slightly different spin on this story.

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Leann Rimes
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
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Album Spotlight: LeAnn Rimes, ‘Spitfire’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

During 'I Do Now,' a song from LeAnn Rimes' new 'Spitfire' album, the singer name-checks the Dixie Chicks. The track is a feel-good, take-my-life-back kinda song nestled between much more moody and emotional fare. The similarities between the two acts were never so apparent until she says it.

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Josh Ward
Facebook
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Josh Ward Looks to Repeat the Success of ‘Sent Me You’ With His New Single, ‘Promises’ – Song Review

After reaching a new level of success with his hit single 'Sent Me You', Mongomery, Texas native Josh Ward is faced with the tall order of following up a chart-topping record. He'll take a crack at it with a very different song from the sweet, honest ballad:  a rocking honky tonk country tune called 'Promises'.

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Category: Music News, Reviews
Now You See Me review
Summit Entertainment
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‘Now You See Me’ Review

The magic of cinema and the magic of magic tend to cancel each other out. Once you convince someone they're seeing alternate realities, alien conquerers, and distant futures, pulling a rabbit out of a hat looks a little underwhelming. It is a cruel, sad truth that a single cut negates all the impact of the greatest act of sleight of hand.

So, a movie about magic needs to be about more than just magic. The silly but not entirely unpleasurable 'Now You See Me' is about showmanship. There are a lot of good actors in this movie, including Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Melanie Laurent, and Mark Ruffalo. They play illusionists, mentalists, hucksters, debunkers, billionaire industrialists, Interpol officers, and FBI agents, respectively(ish). All of them, no matter whether they're wool-pullers or wool-pullees, look like they're having a grand old time misdirecting us through a labyrinthine plot involving magicians, bank heists, and decades-old vendettas. For a while, the fun is infectious. I found myself chuckling at the outrageous character names -- Dylan Rhodes! Jack Wilder! Arthur Tressler! Thaddeus Bradley! J. Daniel Atlas! -- and grinning at the ludicrous twists. Like a mark at a good magic act, I knew I was being worked over and was enjoying every second.

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Category: Movies, Reviews
After Earth review
Sony Pictures
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‘After Earth’ Review

Seventeen summers ago, Will Smith gave us the catch phrase "welcome to Earth" and then punched an alien in the face. This time he's the invading alien (kinda) and his new line "this is Earth" is much more doom and gloom than swagger. An international icon, father and potentially the next great crazy celebrity, Will Smith is finally ready to pass the baton to his son Jaden.

But it isn't a baton he's using in 'After Earth' (an original sci-fi film based on a story of Smith's own creation) but a C-40 Cutlass – a doohickey kinda like Darth Maul's lightsaber, which springs out different blades depending on what you need. Actually, we never quite know how the Cutlass in 'After Earth' works, but it is one of a number of really nifty gizmos that populates the half-baked mythos of this film.

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