So, this is a semi-regular feature in which I highlight songs from albums that weren’t good enough to be praised or horrific enough to warrant a rant, albums where we feel we would benefit the artist and serve the music more by isolating certain tracks, and sometimes albums we simply didn’t have anything to say about but still felt deserved some attention. It’s a fun way to highlight more music and save us the time of writing–and you the time of reading–reviews we weren’t passionate about. This feature will appear whenever enough songs are sliding through the cracks to produce one.
RaeLynn: “Love Triangle”
This is the one many of you will know, as it was the single off her recently released album. I’ve been one of RaeLynn’s biggest critics in the past–although, ironically, not on Country exclusive–but this song about the “Love triangle” between a daughter and her divorced parents that is autobiographical to RaeLynn is pop country done right and the kind of song we should be championing on radio. the youth listening to country radio today need real songs like this–and when RaeLynn’s being herself, her vocal quality also improves.
RaeLynn’s WildHorse is mostly a pop album–and not a great one–but this one stands out as a nice pop song and would be a nice single choice, explaining how diamonds mean nothing unless they come with the right person and sentiment. It’s another one where you can see RaeLynn’s potential.
RaeLynn: “Praying For Rain”
Not much to say here, and they did overproduce it, but I can’t help enjoying this. It just feels like another, rare moment where Raelynn is being herself.
Trace Adkins: “Watered Down”
Man, what an all-around disappointing album from Trace. It wasn’t terrible, but it just felt like a wasted opportunity most of the way through. This song about coming to terms with his age stands out in a weird way on an album where mostly he’s not letting go, but on its own, it’s quite a fine listen, and he should do more stuff like this.
Trace Adkins: “Something’s Going On”
Ok, so the title track to Trace’s album starts out making you think the woman is cheating–she’s wearing her clothes tighter, her heels higher, and “something’s going on.” It ends up being a sex song, and yeah, it would have been better as a cheating song because the dark melody fits this. But it’s still a nice song, and Trace Adkins pulls this off rather well. And that melody is still just quite cool.
Trace Adkins: “Gonna Make You Miss Me”
Just catchy as all hell…sue me.
Caroline Spence: “Heart of Somebody”
Yeah, this one is just an album neither Brianna nor I could think of much to say about, but it seems to be getting overlooked by a lot of blogs, and there’s some fine songwriting here. If this album, Spades and Roses, gets reviewed, I’m probably giving it a 6/10–but it’s an unfair 6 because there were four songs I’d cherry-pick. The rest of the album was honestly really sleepy for me; style wise, Caroline’s a bit like Sam Outlaw, and where the quality of the writing doesn’t match the mood, the record can drag on. But don’t overlook her just because we couldn’t find any words. (Also, look, we’re giving an independent/folk/Americana album criticism.)
Caroline Spence: “All the Beds I’ve Made”
It occurs to me I didn’t really say what “Heart of Somebody” was about, and there, Caroline was dreaming to give her heart to someone; it seems here, she found someone in this nice love song.
Caroline Spence: “Softball”
The highlight of Spades and Roses, focusing on equality for women and how women can sometimes do the same things as men and it’s still seen as different; even if you’re hitting home runs and stealing bases, it’s called softball.
Caroline Spence: “Hotel Amarillo”
The only one on the album where Caroline deviates slightly from her sound; this one’s more folk rock and tells of her life on the road and missing those she loves.