Usually, on this section of the blog, there are songs that are a bit older than this one, but this song just hit the 5 year mark, so it belongs here. Whitney Duncan is behind the irresistible Danielle Bradbery single, "Young in America," which she wrote a few years before Bradbery ever recorded it. Duncan was also a Nashville Star contestant like fellow country singers Kacey Musgraves and Miranda Lambert. "Skinny Dippin'," the third single off of her first major-label record, showed a new side of Duncan's music, after the previous singles "When I Said I Would" and "The Bed You Made." This new side showed that Duncan was and is a very versatile artist, and can do practically anything.
There's a point in the reviewing world where you have to begin to steer away from the uptempo, happy, almost shallow songs, and turn towards songs that are deeper - songs that actually mean something. "Whiskey Lullaby" is an extreme version of one of those.
As has been said on this blog before, the best country songs are the songs that make you feel a certain way, whether happy, sad, nostalgic, any feeling that comes along with a song (besides the one in which you want to turn it off because its so overplayed) is good.
The throwback section of this blog has seemed to be filled up with girl power songs the last few weeks. This is another one of those, but is different in that it's not trying to put woman above men, just reassuring them that they are beautiful and worth it. That is the best kind of girl power song because it's feminism without putting anyone else down in the process.
This song is all about lifting up girls of all ages. The story begins at age thirteen, with girls beginning high school. It then moves on to young women that are about 25, "living on dreams and spaghetti-o's." She then moves on to 42 in the second verse, documenting them "throwing pennies into the fountain of youth."
The third single off of Berg's album, Lying To The Moon, this track was the third thing fans ever heard from her. Following Top 40 US Country hits "Baby, Walk On" and "The Things You Left Undone", this track charted more poorly in the US, peaking at No. 43, but became a Top 30 hit on the Canada Country Chart.
For this song, Berg brings in blues influences. This slick, sultry track is a change from her two previous singles, in that they were upbeat, and this song is not as much. Berg discusses how she's fallen so hard for this man, she's barely herself anymore.
This song is the ultimate girl power country-dance-rock song. It has crossover appeal, but still belongs in the genre of country music. At least, the newly defined definition of country music. At this time, the line between country and pop music began to become a bit blurry, as it still is today. With the rise of female country stars like Twain and Faith Hill, and their crossover appeal, along with their different kind of lyrics, country music was forever changed. For the first time, it was almost normal to have girl power country songs, a subject for the longest time was limited to pop music. Of course, there were the tracks like "Just Because I'm a Woman" by Dolly Parton, and "The Pill" by Loretta Lynn from years before, but this track and others like it released at this time led country music to have songs like "Gunpowder and Lead" and "Picture to Burn" on the radio.
To this day, this 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".
like this, which discuss loving and accepting yourself become popular, but this one did. Although riddled with cliches, this song does display a beautiful and powerful message. The chorus,
This song was Lambert's debut single, and the lead single off of her album, Kerosene. This track did not chart nearly as well as the album's title track, but did get a bit of recognition and charted at No. 27 on the Hot Country Songs chart.
"Me & Charlie Talking" is a nostalgic track that looks back on Lambert's first love, and how simple her life was then. The song begins with crickets chirping, and has an instrument that imitates the cricket sound throughout the whole song. It is an acoustic based track, and has the vocals the main focus, and therefore the story. The hook of the song is a metaphor about how she used to treat love, and then using the rest of the song to compare it to how she treats love now. Lambert sings,
Faith Hill was one the biggest female country stars of the 90s and 2000's. Her powerful vocals and ear for catchy music led her into the pop music world as well as the country music world, but she always had country influence in all of her songs. "Breathe" is an example of one of those crossover songs. It was the No. 1 song of 2000 even though it only reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It reached No.1 on the Adult charts and the Country charts for both the US and Canada and charted worldwide.
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 group 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. She tells the story, and sings it as if she were actually speaking to her lover. The bridge is a spoken verse, where Parton speaks in an almost tearful voice, saying,
The Dixie Chicks have released many heart-breaking, inspirational songs before, but none of them compares to this. "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. The chorus goes,
At the time, this song was a change of pace for 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.