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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
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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