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Cassadee Pope – Over You

On the September 25, 2012 episode of the reality music show The Voice, emo-rocker Cassadee Pope captivated the hearts of America with a magnificent rendition of Over You. The song showcased her versatility in music, temporarily veering away from her usual pop rock performances, and performed not just a country melody but a song written by one of the judges: country crooner Blake Shelton and his equally talented wife Miranda Lambert.

Over You is a melancholic melody inspired by Shelton’s grief over his brother’s death and originally performed by his wife Lambert. The song which debuted in early 2012 won Shelton and Lambert Song of the Year in the recent Country Music Awards and peaked at #1 on the US Country Songs chart.

A smart move by contestant Cassadee Pope, her heartwarming cover of Over You not only won her Shelton’s vote but also the rest of America. Over You made her one of the strongest frontrunners of the contest and made her an overnight sensation. In less than 24 hours, her performance shot through the iTunes chart eventually beating out Korean discovery Psi’s Gangnam Style on the #1 rank.

Whether Pope wins the top honors on The Voice or not, Over You has already cemented this talented lady’s future in the music business. The country song has announced to the world, that pop rock Pope is one versatile performer who’s ready to conquer the music industry.

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Christina Aguilera feat. Blake Shelton – Just a Fool

Christina Aguilera takes advantage of the show The Voice’s connection with her new single Just a Fool. The second track from her seventh album Lotus, shows Aguilera dabbing into country pop and singing a duet with her co-judge, country crooner Blake Shelton. The song which was initially scheduled to be performed on the hit reality show The Voice featuring the two judges in December. However this performance was pushed earlier and debuted on the show last November 20, 2012.

Just a Fool was written by the trio Steve Hobson, Claude Kelly and Wayne Hector. The melody is clearly country and Xtina’s duet with Blake Shelton is like a match made in country pop heaven. The emotional track showcased Aguilera’s powerful and forceful voice perfectly complementing Shelton’s cool and effortless singing. Each of them acknowledging each other’s part in the melody and effectively showing restraint in trying to outshine the other.

Now, due to its successful TV debut, Just a Fool not just popped into the Hot 100 list, it has skyrocketed to the iTunes Top 20 songs in less than 48 hours. If this keeps up, Lotus’ second single may very well reach the top before Christmas. Looks like Xtina may have actually been good enough to land in Santa’s nice list this year.

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Luke Bryan – Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye

Here’s another song from Luke Bryan to make all the country ladies swoon and sigh. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye is the fourth single from the country crooner’s Tailgates & Tanlines album. It was released in August 2012 and although not as successful as his past singles, this one is steadily climbing the charts.

The song begun as a title in the head of the writer/producer Jeff Stevens who presented it to Bryan and together they collaborated with Shane McAnally to complete the song. The result is an incredibly honest and emotional track befitting the Bryan’s image as a sensitive country man that most women salivate for.

Although Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye had the makings of a wonderful song, however, the distracting music drowns out the heartfelt lyrics ruining it for the people who actually wanted to understand the message. Critics were a bit disappointed that one: it was too noisy, even for a country song and two:  that Bryan was not giving anything new.

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye is not necessarily a bad song; it’s just too similar to his previous tracks. Luke Bryan needs to come up with a little variety as his novelty is fast becoming a thing of the past. And although he can always depend on the country women who are hanging on the edge of their pretty little skirts to hear his voice, Bryan needs to step it up if he wants to stay in the country music business.

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Wanted – Hunter Hayes

Wanted shows that Hunter Hayes is no Justin Bieber, and that is a good thing. This fresh 20-year old boy serenades the right way. The lyrics are sincere without the cringe-inducing cheese.

With Wanted, no one can claim that Hayes is just a pretty boy because this pretty boy can write. The song showcases such heartfelt words that effortlessly blend perfectly with the music. The song is so romantic that being a wedding staple may not be too far-fetched.

The song joyfully proclaims there is no swag in the country so young girls rejoice.  If Hayes maintains such mature understanding of women then he’s set for life.  Wanted is a beautiful love song that women, not just girls, want to hear. It’s a ballad that shows promise of great things to come from such a young boy.

Hunter Hayes gives people hope that country/pop songs are finally ready to be good again. God bless this boy.

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Get Blown Away by Carrie Underwood

The song Blown Away serves as a milestone in the career of former American Idol winner Carrie Underwood, as the song is the first time the American singer/songwriter/actress has tackled darker, more mature subject matter in her songs.

The lyrics of Blown Away tell the story of a girl and her revenge against an abusive father, which uses a tornado storm as the metaphor for her anger. As expected of a song that deals tragedy, Blown Away is sung in the key of A minor. However, instead of a slow beat, the song relies on a surprisingly fast 134 beats per minute, making the song danceable, in direct contrast with the message it contains. The song itself was praised by some critics as a fine example of Nashville storytelling, with the added bonus of a slick, more refined production.

Written by Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear, Blown Away garnered praise from notable music critics, including Taste of Country’s Billy Dukes, who described the song as “dangerous, but irresistible” thanks in part to Carrie Underwood’s powerful voice, the grooving melody, and the odd mixture of strings, vocal overdubs and various synthesizers in order to create a neo-80s mixture of the Eurythmics and the Nine Inch Nails.

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We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together: Another Ode to Swift’s Ex

red-taylor-swiftI just have to get this out of the way — it must suck to be Taylor Swift’s ex-boyfriend.

Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is another ode to one of her ex. Darn it, men should really think twice before taking that girl out.

The popularity of song comes from the people’s curiosity as to whom she’s referring to this time [it’s about Jake Gyllenhaal]. The country crooner /pop princess inserts ramblings to the song that makes you think she’s reading her diary.  Still the tune is quite catchy if not fresh.

Surprisingly, Swift veered away from her standard country beat. There’s a little bit more R&B. There’s a little bit more attempt to do some vocal play and the guitar rifts are more playful. It’s probably a sign that Swift is starting to mature musically. However, she maintains the same tween crowd leanings. She’s still having too much fun having her heart broken and writing songs about it.