The simplest songs are sometimes the best, as Ashley Monroe proves with "Has Anybody Ever Told You." The love song is a classic country song, and sounds as if it was written in a different decade. With the simple hook, "has anybody ever told you, they'd be lucky just to know you," this song stuns in a way that not many country songs are able to these days. Monroe recently pointed out, when talking about the track, that this song says things that everyone wants to be told, but not many people are. It's about a flawless love, something that people crave.
To this day, "Tim McGraw" is one of the most well-written Taylor Swift songs. Like Scott Borchetta said when Swift first played a piano demo of this song for him, I don't think Swift realized what she had written. It's a mainly acoustic ballad, and reminiscences lost love. It's odd for a girl so young to sing about love in the seasoned way Swift does, but she manages to have a wise beyond her years outlook at love. This song and the other ballads on Swift's debut album were the basis of her epic ballads of later years, like "All Too Well", "Last Kiss" and "Dear John".
This song was Underwood's debut single after American Idol and the last song she performed before she won. It shot up to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, the only overall No. 1 Underwood has had her whole career. It did not chart well on the country charts, even though it is clearly a country song, with pop influence however. Even though this song did not resonate with country fans as much, it started Underwood career with a bang and led to her having countless No. 1's on the country charts following.
The Wreckers were the ultimate country girl duo back in 2005. Made up of pop rock singer Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp, The Wreckers released their debut, "Leave The Pieces" in 2006, quickly followed by their debut album, Stand Still Look Pretty. They seemed to pop out of nowhere, but "Pieces" managed to hit No. 1, making them the first female duo since 1953 to have a number one song, followed ten years later byMaddie and Tae's "Girl in a Country Song." With this remarkable feat under their belts, The Wreckers released two more singles that each did progressively worse on the charts before they split in 2008.
This song was made famous by Whitney Houston, and became the biggest song of her career, but what most people don't know was that it was originally sung by Dolly Parton. The original track is a soft country ballad, instrumented mainly by piano, harmonica, and fiddle. I love this version. Although Parton's vocals aren't as powerful as Houston's, there's something about her voice that just fits this song and it's lyrics better than Houston's does. Houston hits an incredible note at the chorus, but Parton scales it back and softly sings that note, with more tenderness than I ever thought could be in a singing voice.
The Dixie Chicks have released many heart-breaking, inspirational songs before, but none of them compares to this. "Travelin' Soldier" depicts a love story of a Vietnam soldier and his girl. The soldier goes off to train, and then to the war, and he sends her letters until he can't anymore. The story ends with the soldier dying in battle, and the girl crying under the stands at a football game. This song is a country ballad, with acoustic and bluegrass influences. Written by country/folk singer Bruce Robison, this has some of the best lyrics the Dixie Chicks ever sung.
At the time this song was released, this song was a change of pace for LeAnn Rimes. She had released two very traditional sounding country songs, as her first two singles, but then changed it up with this more modern tune. "Ticket" is a uptempo coming-of-age song about facing a breakup and getting over it. The song has heavy pop influence, unlike Rimes' other songs on Blue.