Category: Country

your life is a record by brandy clark

March 13, 2020

Album: Your Life Is A Record 

Artist: Brandy Clark 

Record Labels: Warner Records, Warner Bros. and State Creeks Records 

Recommended Tracks: 2- “Long Walk”, 9- “Who Broke Whose Heart”

Brandy Lynn Clark is an American country music singer-songwriter. Her songs have been recorded by Sheryl Crow, Miranda Lambert, The Band Perry, Reba McEntire, LeAnn Rimes, Billy Currington, Darius Rucker, and Kacey Musgraves. She was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2015 Grammy Awards. In 2011 Mama’s Broken Heart, written by Clark with Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves appeared on Miranda Lambert’s album Four the Record. It was released on January 14, 2013 as the fourth single reaching number two on both the Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts. As a co-writer of Miranda Lambert’s Mama’s Broken Heart, on September 10, 2013 Brandy received a nomination in the Song of the Year category for the 47th Annual CMA Awards broadcast, held in Nashville on November 6, 2013 She is also twice nominated for Song of the Year at the 4th Annual American Country Awards which will be held in Las Vegas on Dec 10, 2013. I am going to give this album a two out of five rating. I will explain why at the bottom. 

When first listening to Long Walk, I didn’t realize what it was actually about. I thought that Clark was going to be singing about her love life or life in general. It is the exact opposite of that. She is talking about someone she completely hates. She talks about them talking a long walk off a pier and taking a cinder block them as a souvenir. She hopes they fall completely to the bottom of the ocean. Clark also says that if she was Jesus, or someone calm like him, she would tolerate the person she hates. But she isn’t, she is “her mother’s daughter” so she wants her to take a deep breath and take a long walk off the pier. This song is actually pretty funny. Clark hates someone so much that she wants to see them fall off the face of the earth. 

Who Broke Whose Heart is a song about Clark breaking up with someone but not knowing why. Her whole song is full of questions: “Was it something I said? Was it something you did? Was I in a great big hurry to play house And you just wanted to stay a kid? Did you cheat on me? Did I check out on you? Was it really anybody’s fault at all? Or did it fall apart?” Half way through the song, Clark realizes that one didn’t break their heart over the other but that they both equally decided to break apart. This song is actually really sad. But with the up-beat pace of the music, you won’t feel sad when listening to it. 

 The reason why I gave this album a two out of five rating is because of all the other songs I didn’t review. I do like country a lot but fast country, not slow. This album is filled with very slow country songs. I do really like the two that I reviewed but not any of the other songs. So if you like slow country and are fan of Brandy Clark, then this album is perfect for you.

Ocean by Lady Antebellum

Album: Ocean

Artist: Lady Antebellum 

Genre: Country, country pop, and soft rock. 

Record label: Big Machine Records and Capitol Records Nashville 

Recommended Tracks: Track 7- Alright  and Track 10- Boots

Ocean was released on November 15, 2019. It is Lady Antebellum’s eight studio album. The album is America country pop sung by a trio. The trio members are Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood. Ocean is the first album by Lady Antebellum to be produced by Dann Huff. The album has thirteen songs in it. Lady Antebellum was a group that was formed in Nashville, Tennese. The band has won over fifteen different awards since their start in 2006. Their most well known is country pop song Need You Now released in 2010. I am going to give this album a four out of five rating. I will explain at the bottom.

The exact moment I heard Alright, I knew I was going to fall in love with it. The message of the song is so meaningful, that it could turn anyone’s bad day into a good one. The song introduces the lines “I ain’t feelin’ pretty, what I wanna wear don’t fit me. And it’s messin’ with the way I see myself” at the start of the song. At first, I thought that this was going to be another sad, depressing, country song. But then they sing “just when I’m on the edge of cryin’, babe. You’re callin’ to remind me, remind me” with “this life ain’t always perfect. Sometimes it’s dominoes”, and my idea of the song went away. The song is about feeling so down about yourself, that one more thing will push you over the edge. But someone or something (they mention God in the song) will be there to help you get through it. Life has some “dominoes” in it, but you just have to keep pushing. This was my personal favorite song from the album. The song is slow but its overall great. It is perfect for anyone who us having a bad day and needs something to remind you that everything is going to be okay.

Unlike Alright, Boots is a faster paced song. However, like the song Alright, Boots has a wonderful message to it as well. When reading the title of the song, I thought this song was going to be a boring country song about boots. It is, but the boots in this song are used as a metaphor. For example, they sing the lines: “it’s a miracle they found their way to your door. It’s like they forgot all the places they have been before, oh. Took awhile to find their place. Girl, you know they’re here to stay”. The singer is using replacing himself with boots. They admit that the boots (the singers) are never going to walk away. The song shows a unique way of using a metaphor. This song is perfect for anyone who likes fast paced country music with a good message behind it. I really enjoyed the song.

Overall, the songs within the album were pretty good. Some were very upbeat and energetic, while others were slow pacing, like slow dance songs. The reason I gave the album a four out of five rating instead of a five out of five is because of that exact reason. Some of the songs were a little too slow for my liking and they did not keep my attention. However, like the two I wrote about, most of the songs kept my attention and were executed perfectly. I recommend this album to anyone who is a big fan of country. Especially a fan of the band, Lady Antebellum.

Wildcard by Miranda Lambert

Album: Wildcard

Artist: Miranda Lambert

Genre: Country 

Record label: RCA Records Nashville

Recommended Tracks: Track 1- White Trash  and Track 3- It All Comes Out In the Wash

Wildcard is the seventh album by American country music artist Miranda Lambert. It was released on November 1, 2019. In 2003, Lambert finished in third place of the television program Nashville Star, a singing competition which aired on the USA Network. Lambert released two albums from 2004–2008 called “Kerosene” and “Crazy Ex- Girlfriend”. Her next albums were “Revolution” (2009-2011), “Four the Record” and the “Pistol Annies” (2011-2013),  “platinum” (2014-2015), and “The Weight of These Wings” and “Third Pistol Annies” (2016-2018), before her nearest album. She is most known for her song Mama’s Broken Heart in 2011. Lambert has been honored with multiple Grammy Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Country Music Association Awards. I am going to give her album a two out of five rating. I will explain why in the conclusion.

White Trash is “Wildcard”’s opening song. It is, so far, Lambert’s most performed song from the album. She has sung it at multiple concerts and gatherings. In the beginning of the song, Lambert sings about how she has moved up in the world. How she has “Traded in my[her] trailer park for a neighborhood with a gate”. However, even though she has been living this lavish life she believes that some things don’t change. In the next part of her solo, she talks about how her old life still intrudes her new one; “Cadillac on a cinder block, duct tape on every other thing”. This song reminds me of a song you would hear in a movie. The scene would be a female moving into a fixer-upper house. She would be playing this song in the background while fixing her house. That being said, this is a perfect song to listen to while cleaning. It would motivate you to clean, not distract it.

It All Comes Out In the Wash is a song about letting things go. Whether it be “dipping your fries in your ketchup on a bumpy road” and having it spill all over you or getting “frisky with your boss at the copy machine” it’ll all come out in the wash. She uses the phrase “it’ll all come out in the wash” in a way to tell people to let go. Eventually everything will come down and go away in the way that the ketchup did when you split it on your shirt. This song is very upbeat. If you like upbeat country music, then this song is perfect for you.

I was actually pretty disappointed when listening to this album. I usually love Miranda Lambert and her music, but this album didn’t sit well with me. It actually bored me and gave me a hard time picking songs to do this album review, this is why I am giving the album a two out of five rating. But if you are a hard core Miranda Lambert and country lover, then this album is for you. In my opinion, it is not Lambert’s best album but all of the songs have unique meanings behind it. So who knows? This album may be perfect for you. 

Old Dominion by Old Dominion

Album: Old dominion

Artist: Old dominion

Genre: Country/Country Pop

Record label: RCA Records Nashville

Recommended Tracks: Track 6- Midnight Mess Around  and Track 8- Hear You Now

Old Domination album came out on October 25, 2019. The band is an American country band that consists of five members that was founded in Nashville Tennessee. The band consists of Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, Whit Sellers, Geoff Sprung, and Brad Tursi. Their music is contemporary country with rock instrumentation, and has pop and hip hop overtones. Old Domination has won the Academy of Country Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year in 2018 and 2019. I am going to give this album a two out of five rating. I’ll explain at the end.

Midnight Mess Around is about what you guessed it to be. It is about being out in the middle of nowhere and wanting to have sex before they return to the city. The person singing the song “know[s] which road, which road to take you down”. This song reminds me of a country song that people would slow down to. It has a very soothing and slow beat that it would be perfect for a slow dance song. If you like slow country, then this song is perfect for you. Old Domination does have a guitar playing in the background, like most country music. But, the guitar is smooth and not overpowering. It is perfect for anyone who likes slow music.

Hear You Now is about someone who is in a relationship who is taking their significant other for granted. The significant other has told them multiple times to change or they will leave, but the artist is barely hearing them. They finally heard them when the person left. In the song they sing: “[I] Hear you now, hear you now, hear you now. Now that you ain’t talking to me.” This song is pretty depressing, because of the message behind it. This song is just like Midnight Mess Around, it has a very slow beat. The guitar isn’t overpowering in this song either. Just like the other song, if you like slow music then this is the perfect song for you.

The reason why I gave this album a two out of five rating isn’t because it is a terrible album, it’s actually pretty good. I gave this albuma two out of five because the genre is misleading. It is country, but slow country not pop. I was expecting more upbeat songs, not what the album contained. However, if you are a lover of country, slow country to be exact, then this album is perfect for you. You won’t be disappointed, the songs are actually pretty good for slow country. 

Fire & Brimstone by Brantley Gilbert

Album: Fire & Brimstone

Artist: Brantley Gilbert

Genre: County 

Record label: The Valory Music Co. 

Recommended Tracks: Track 1- Fire’t Up  and Track 7- Tough Town 

The album Fire & Brimstone was released on October 4, 2019. I has been Gilbert’s latest album since 2017. The album contains fifteen songs. Each song is a bit different from each other. Some songs are upbeat, while others are slow. But, each song definitely has the country twang to it. Brantley Gilbert is an American country singer, writer, and record producer from Jefferson Georgia. He is well known for his song Bottoms Up that came out in 2010. I have heard many of his songs, but I would have to give this album a 3 out of 5. I will explain towards the end why I gave this rating.

Fire’t Up is the first song on the album and was also the first song I listened to on the album. Out of the entire album, it was my personal favorite song from the album. The song has a great beat, it forces you to move along to the music.  The song is about having a fun night with your friends. It is about leaving out your daily life and focus on the fun that is happening right in front of you. When I heard this song, I could picture it in a commercial The scene would people driving off into the sunset, rocking out to this song. This is a great song for a car ride if you like upbeat music and want to rock out on the road, especially to the part with the guitar solo. 

Tough Town is a song about an old, historic town where the people who lived their literally built the town. They poured “blood, sweat, and tears” into building the town. The song in this town is similar to the town Gilbert grew up in. This song is perfect for anyone who has a great connection to their childhood home town. Gilbert explains that even though the town it old and broken down, that it is a tough town. The song is very upbeat. Like Fire’t Up, it forces you to groove to the music. The guitar in this song, however, it better than in Fire’t Up, it has a more important role in the song.

The two songs that I recommended were the two best and most catchy from the whole album. I love country but this album wasn’t the best country album I have heard. There were more slow songs in the album than upbeat and catchy. So if you are into slow, sadder songs, this album is for you. There are a lot of songs in the album that talk about missing/wanting someone or regret. They are not good songs for an upbeat person. Overall, this album was okay compared to other country I have heard.

Girl by Maren Morris

Artist: Maren Morris

Album: Girl

Genre: Country Pop

Record Label(s): Columbia Nashville

Recommended Tracks: Track 4- A Song For Everything and Track 8- Gold Love

Maren Morris is a 28 year old Nashville born country singer songwriter. Morris is the winner of multiple country awards including a grammy for best solo performance and a Country Music Award for Best New Artist. Morris released her first album “Hero” in 2016 and just this year released her second full length album “GIRL” on March 8th, but her first fully produced work was her EP released in 2015. Morris is most known for her top-40 radio hit “The Middle” which was remixed by Zedd, but fans know her for her more songs for her country hits “My Church” and “80s Mercedes”. As a fan of country music and Morris specifically I would rate this album a 3 because I enjoy this style but a lot of it sounds the same, and I wouldn’t recommend it if you aren’t a country pop fan.  

“A Song For Everything” is a song about how for every emotion you could be feeling there is a song out there about it. Songs have so much meaning and Moris is talking about how no matter what you’re going through there’s definitely something written about exactly what you’re going through. We all have songs that hold a special place in our hearts or one’s that we can’t listen to for whatever reason, but music is so important and help get through anything. This song primarily is just vocals and acoustic guitar with a drum beat and some keyboard during the chorus. I think this song is meant to make you feel like you’re never really alone and there’s always someone who has felt this was and written a song about it.

If you are looking for a romantic song about the person who can get you through all the worst times the “Gold Love” is for you. She talks about feeling an instant connection with someone and how she immediately could tell they were different. This person looked past all of her sadness and insecurities and fell for the real her and she always knew he was different. This song has a more pop sound than most others on this album but still hold true to her country roots. The chorus includes rhythmic clapping and heavy use of drums.

Looking for a feel good country album “GIRL” may be worth checking out. Most of the songs are uplifting and likely to put you in a good mood. I’d say this is album is probably best for a road trip. If you are a fan of this style of pop country then you’d also probably enjoy Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, or Little Big Town.  

Stages by Cassadee Pope

Artist: Cassadee Pope

Album: Stages

Record Label: Awake Music

Recommended Tracks: Track 3- How I Feel Right Now and Track 5- If My Heart Had a Heart

Cassadee Pope is a 29 year old pop country artist from Florida who just released her second full length album “Stages” on February 1st, 2019. The country artist gained popularity in recent years after the release of her first album and when she became the first female winner of the reality singing competition show The Voice in 2012 under the wing of her mentor Blake Shelton. Pope was no stranger to the spotlight before The Voice though, prior to her solo work, she was the lead singer of the pop-rock band Hey Monday; a big shock when compared to her now country style music. Pope’s new country album features 11 songs and runs for 33 minutes.

“How I Feel Right Now” is a feel good song about doing what you want to because you can. Cassadee makes a reference to the 1997 hit “Semi-Charmed Kind of Life” by Third Eye Blind in reference to the nostalgia of the song and how it makes her feel good. The song talks about crushes she has and dancing around in parking lots adding to the happy feeling pop country song that it is. The whole song is really about her having fun and falling in love to an upbeat pop track that gives off all good feelings. Although this is not the most mainstream sounding song on the album, it does still give off pop radio vibes that does its job of staying in your head for the rest of the day because of the catchy beat and feel good lyrics.

The song “If My Heart Had a Heart” is the only single released so far off the album “Stages”. This song is much slower and emotional compared to “How I Feel Right Now”. The song is about a breakup and the sadness she is feeling in the moment. It directly talks about what her heart would do if it was in control while she was experiencing heartbreak and sadness. She’s delving into how she wishes she could stop feeling pain and sadness and if her heart had a heart it would understand what she needs in the moment. The song sounds more country than others on the album but still remains to her labeled genre of pop country.

Cassadee Pope’s album includes a song for every mood you can be feeling involving love. The album as a whole takes you through her ups and downs and everything in between with emotions pouring out onto country tracks, and has a sense of relatability that a lot of young girls would enjoy. It is a perfect bedroom listen when you want something fun and light to listen to but still feel a connection to. So if you consider yourself a country music with pop influences fan then this album deserves 4 out of 5 rating. If you listen to “Stages” and enjoy then you should definitely check out Kelsea Ballerini, Danielle Bradbery, and Marren Morris for similar styles.