Various Artists: Hot & New Country Music Vol. 3 (CD Review)

Various Artists: Hot & New Country Music Vol. 3 (CD Review)
Label – Sbc (Sony Music)
Release – September 30, 2011
UPC – 886979531420
Time – 77:52
1. Brad Paisley – Old Alabama (Featuring Alabama). 2. Jerrod Niemann – What Do You Want
Thompson Square – Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not 4. Kenny Chesney – Somewhere With You
Sara Evans – A Little Bit Stronger 6. Chris Young – Voices 7. Kevin Chase – Let’s Get Dirty
Miranda Lambert – Heart Like Mine 9. Darius Rucker – This 10. Shania Twain – Today Is Your Day
Lennerockers – White Mice, Pink Elephants And Strong Brown Liqueur
12. Brad Paisley – This Is Country Music 13. The Band Perry – You Lie 14.Jason Aldean – My Kinda Party 15. Billy Currington – Let Me Down Easy
Carrie Underwood – Mama’s Song 17. Luke Bryan – Someone Else Calling You Baby
Zac Brown Band – Colder Weather 19. Kenny Chesney – Live A Little 20. Blake Shelton – Honey Bee
“All good things come along in threes” is an old German proverb but in 2011 this certainly rings true with this wonderful selection crammed full of some of the hottest country singles in recent times. HOT & NEW COUNTRY MUSIC VOL 3 offers another splendid compilation following hot on the heels of Volume 1 & 2 released from Sony Music.
The set opens with Brad Paisley’s terrific chart topping toe-tapper ‘Old Alabama’ which pays tribute to one of the legends, and all time top groups in country music, ALABAMA. The super group are shortly due to receive a special honor—the Greatest Hits Award—at the “American Country Awards,” on Dec 5, 2011. Paisley’s ‘This Is Country Music’ co-written with Chris DuBois is also included which reached #2 on the Billboard chart of March 12, 2011. It captured many of the feelings Brad loved about the genre when growing up.
Jerrod Niemann’s sensitive and soulful ‘What Do You Want’ from his album JUDGE JERROD & THE HUNG JURY, a #4 hit, it was certified gold in April 2011. It was the third single from the album and the follow-up to the #1 single ‘Lover Lover’. This acoustic break-up number with its gentle organ melody and some Latin-flavoured percussion was written by Niemann with Richie Brown and Rachel Bradshaw who sings a tasteful harmony and is the daughter of a former NFL quarterback. For Jerrod, personally it was therapeutic as he wrote this when hitting a very low ebb – “I wrote this song ’cause I had ran that girl clear off to India. … So, for me, I had really lost everything with her in Nashville” he said.
With the sweet smell of honeysuckle in the air Keifer Thompson plans his next move with his wife Shawna Thompson on ‘Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not’ (written by Jim Collins and David Lee Murphy). This playful romantic song gave duo Thompson Square their first number 1 hit on April 9, 2011 and currently a marker as a career song.
AGR recording artist Kevin Chase who hails from New Brunswick, Canada showcases his hard-driving rocking songLet’s Get Dirty’ to a European audience pulled from his 2011 CD HOLD ON TIGHT. (Youtube Video) With the motor running hot this was a summertime release on July 29th, 2011.
Kenny Chesney offers up two songs from his album HEMINGWAY’S WHISKEY. Firstly the tortured soul track ‘Somewhere With You’ (writers Shane McAnally and J.T. Harding) which carried a lot of mental baggage from a previous relationship. It stayed at #1 for 3 weeks after hitting the top spot in January 29, 2011. With its opening and closing riffs fans of rock group The Who will warm to ‘Live A Little’ (Love A Lot) written by Shane Minor/David Lee Murphy which is a song Chesney says defines him and a sound he likes to create on tour. It topped the Country songs chart for one week in May 2011.
Sara Evans wrings every bit of emotion out ofA Little Bit Stronger’ penned by Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey and Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott. This was the lead-off single on Sara’s comeback album STRONGER, it gained a platinum certification and made the cut on the soundtrack for the Country Strong movie. Following on from Chesney’s #1 this held the top spot for 2 weeks in May 2011. Succeeding on Sara’s success Miranda Lambert’s ‘Heart Like Mine’ (Travis Howard, Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe) drawn from her album REVOULTION is a catchy number with a strong melody. It climbed to the top on May 28, 2011 after its January release.
Darius Rucker blesses his role as both a husband and parent – “Thank God For All I Miss, Cos’ it Lead Me Here To This” he sings on ‘This the opening track from his album CHARLESTON, SC 1966. It was co-written with Frank Rogers and Kara DioGuardi and released as the second single in November 2010 and granted Darius his number-one place on April 30, 2011.
Something of a bonus is to find Shania Twains current single ‘Today Is Your Day’ secure a place on this disc. After a 6-year hiatus Shania is back! This being her first single to have a crack at a chart showing since her duet with Billy Currington on ‘Party For Two’(2004). This new single released on June 12, 2011 was used as a vehicle to promote the documentary series Why Not?with Shania Twain which appeared on the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Written by Shania and co-produced by renowned names David Foster and Nathan it became the theme song for the series. It had limited success peaking on the Billboard Country chart at a lowly #36.
Joining the American country superstars with the only European representation are German band, and new to me Lennerockers. AGR Television Records decided to include this previously unreleased song ’White Mice, Pink Elephants And Strong Brown Liqueur’ which is fun and goofy number and is on their brand spanking new album HIGH CLASS LADY The Best of the Lennerockers. It is one of 3 brand new songs by the rock ‘n’ roll and country outfit who have been playing for 27 years to audiences in 20 countries across the globe.
Three times winners at the 2011 CMA’s The Band Perry include their 3rd single ‘You Lie’ (writers Aaron, Brian and Clara Henningsen) from their self-titled album. This lead-off song received gold certification for sales and reached #2 on the charts. A hurting Kimberley Perry features on lead, as the songs female narrator she feels the anger by a partner’s cheating.
Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party’ packs a punch as the lead-off high energy single and up-tempo title track which was written by country rocker Brantley Gilbert whom has just scored a number one with his single Country Must Be Country Wide. Jason re-recorded the song and released it in August 2010 and it made a #2 position.
With the smell of perfume in the air the sultry and silky smooth ballad ‘Let Me Down Easy’ (writers Mark Nesler and Jennifer Hanson) provided Billy Currington with a fourth consecutive number one hit at the start of April 2011 taken from his album ENJOY YOURSELF.
Carrie Underwood’s somewhat clichéd but inspirational and satisfying ‘Mama’s Song’ makes a showing which like her smash hit ‘Undo It’ she teamed up with writers Kara DioGuardi, Martin Frederiksen and Luke Laird ( writer of “Temporary Home”). Mama’s Song became the fourth single release from the album PLAY ON and just fell short of a number one peaking at #2 (Jan 12, 2011) on Hot Country Songs held off by Reba McEntire and Tim McGraw.
Luke Bryan feels left in the dark and questions his former lovers motives and honesty as she’s quick to hitch a ride elsewhere and move on so soon after a break-up on ‘Someone Else Calling You Baby’, from the pen of Bryan and his producer, Jeff Stevens. The song on Luke’s DOIN’ My THING 2010 album, with it’s crunchy guitar this fast paced number gave the 2011 CMA New Artist nominee a #1 party, when some 6 months after its release, it went on to top the chart on February 6, 2011.
The Zac Brown Band’s popular ‘Colder Weather’ was up for 2 CMA nominations for Single and Song of the Year composed by Zac Brown with band member Coy Bowles joined by Wyatt Durrette and Levi Lowrey. It was the albums second single from YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE, where geography, timing and adverse conditions frustrate a ramblin’ man from being with his lover. The song had 2-week duration at #1 in April 2011.
This 77 minute sampler rounds off with 2011’s most popular track ‘Honey Bee’ (writers Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip) which had a 4-week reign at #1 for 2011 CMA Male Vocalist of the Year Blake Shelton. For a male country singer it has become the fastest selling digital song to break the 500,000 mark.
Verdict: It’s widely available in Germany (link) and an import for the UK market. If you don’t own these songs already then this could be the perfect seasonal gift to celebrate a feast of some of the hottest country tunes of 2011. It hits a home run with me – Enjoy it!

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