Country Weekly's Scores

  • Music
For 157 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 75% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 24% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 80
Highest review score: 100 Reflections
Lowest review score: 42 Spring Break... Checkin' Out
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 0 out of 157
157 music reviews
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With due respect to her previous fine efforts, Four the Record is easily Miranda's best album yet.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Although the title is also an album track referring to hair color, the depth of this project goes further than Miranda’s roots.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In every aspect, from production to instrumentation and Wynonna’s sensational performances, this ranks as her absolute best solo effort.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is a masterful album, replete with wonderful stories and fully drawn characters.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The only real clunker is a lugubrious redo of “Lodi,” featuring John’s sons Tyler and Shane, but otherwise, this should be a must for Fogerty followers.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If you’ve ever bemoaned the absence of traditional country sounds in an era of pop, rock and even hip-hop production, be still—Ashley Monroe is throwing you a country music lifeline.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Their fourth album, The Muscle Shoals Recordings, is an outstanding 11-song offering that lives up to the lofty expectations of its namesake.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With The Woman I Am, Kellie has made a natural evolution while managing to stay true to those things that are important to her.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    On this album, she has found what works best for her on the contemporary side and front-loads the project with those songs.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The collection really soars when it blends the personal and the spiritual.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Set You Free doesn't sound like every other album coming out of the Nashville factory these days-and that's definitely a good thing.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It may not be all pretty, but Something More Than Free is as real as it gets.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Reflections is a must-have for any Don fan, any traditional country fan and anyone who wants to know what Williams acolyte Keith Urban has been crowing about for years.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is a nicely balanced album that you could listen to repeatedly and still discover fresh, exciting touches with each new listen.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    747
    It’s the incredible balance of Lady Antebellum’s many shades that makes this a flight worth catching.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Hunter Hayes has once again produced a collection of music that belies his tender age, not only in content, but in vocal confidence.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is no less than the story of a flawed man finding his own greatness--the primary factor behind the power and substance of these simple, no-frills performances, as well as the reason why any serious fan of Cash or country music history will want to walk the line it so compellingly traces.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Alan’s album is the real thing, a “must” whether you’re a bluegrass buff or just a fan of fine music.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This set proves that good storytelling never goes out of style.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The production team of Tim and Byron Gallimore have struck country music pay dirt with this incredible collection that balances contemporary and traditional styles with amazing subtlety, all without making Tim sound as if he’s trying to keep up with the younger stars--indeed, with Damn Country Music, he’s in the passing lane.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Full Circle stands as a wonderful and welcome piece of work, 14 solid songs that shift easily from Appalachian mountain soul to pure country and even spiritual fare. Plus, Loretta has simply never sounded better.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Each track evokes an emotion, a giggle, a tear or a memory, but always a hunger for what’s next.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A staggeringly great collection of original tunes that paint vivid, honest portraits of real life, from a uniquely feminine perspective.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Kacey adroitly communicates who she is through her music, maturing in her artistry while staying true to herself. Pageant Material deserves to win some sort of title--and it just might.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Ultimately, there's enough in this big box to last a fan weeks, months and years. It's not all equal, but it certainly leaves no stone unturned.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    ZBB has never sounded as energized or as fierce.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There's plenty here for country fans of pretty much any ilk.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Down to My Last Bad Habit is simply Vince having loose-limbed fun with his cohorts, resulting in one of the most enjoyable listening experiences you’ll be privy to all year. You’ll want to play it over and over.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With a range of topics that cover bullying (“Kill a Word”) and women running afoul of the law (“Chattanooga Lucy”), there’s plenty to indulge in without coming away bored or feeling like you’ve heard it all before.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Keith promised that Fuse would change things up, and he delivered.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Wrapped in Red is a stylistic maverick, for sure, but the original tunes are worthy of sitting next to the standards, and when Kelly sings, it’s like Christmas all year round.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    While he’s done nearly a dozen yesteryear-based solo albums, this one is distinguished by its smartly chosen representation of the Gershwins’ musical breadth and the handpicked, multi-stylistic band (with Mickey Raphael’s winsome yet penetrating harmonica again providing a crucial link to Willie’s larger body of work) fittingly snazzing up the affair while making the most of Willie’s no-dress-code musical fusion.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    On Blue Smoke, the country legend travels many different paths and sounds only like herself.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    A couple of back-to-back tracks midway through the project bear a sonic similarity to each other, but their topics are so different, you’ll want to keep listening.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    His best is pretty dang good.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Like most projects released by Americana singer/songwriter or heritage acts, Tarpaper Sky is best enjoyed like a book, in its entirety as opposed to a chapter here and there.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The Blade further serves to position her as one of the premiere and rare female neo-traditionalists in the format.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    At times the slower tempos make the album feel longer than it actually is, but it’s never dull.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The trio’s second album, Annie Up, (thankfully) picks up where their debut, Hell on Heels, left off, offering more engaging studies of real-life heartbreak, domestic inertia and the daily trials of womanhood.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The album’s overall spirit of adventure is summed up in the gorgeous title track, written by the Perrys with fellow family trio The Henningsens. Starting sweet and delicate, it offers a message of encouragement to be bold in the face of uncertainty and doubt as it builds to a thrilling crescendo.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Overall the recording sounds great—warm and intimate without sacrificing polish.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Country music and old-time gospel music have borrowed from each other for decades, but rarely have the two styles blended as flawlessly as on a new offering from one of gospel music's most revered groups.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even the least attractive and most un-country voices heard here (let's not name names) have a unique, soulful quality that makes them suited for the deeply felt sentiments that fill The Lost Notebooks, a package that finds the heart of real country music still beating and Hank's vital presence anything but lost.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With these 15 tracks, it's clear he can do it all pretty damn good.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    With this, his fourth country album, Darius and his team have most definitely solidified his sound with expertly layered, but not overdone, musical arrangements that add some dimension to his already warmly textured vocals.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    If last year’s Heroes, with the tongue-in-cheek “Roll Me Up,” was Willie proving he’s still vital, Let’s Face the Music and Dance is a legend who has seen it all reveling in the melancholy of time’s passing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Lucky may prove a bit too laid-back for the diehards out there, who might prefer a rougher-edged collection, but this is a fresh take on Merle’s classics, as interpreted by the still-fabulous Suzy.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The River & The Thread will require multiple listens to truly appreciate, so set aside some time to soak in this one.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    It’s an album that defines an artist, proving that the Williams name (the daughter of Bocephus, Holly comes from the Hank lineage) remains as trailblazing and unique as ever.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    You’ll want to hit the road and play this one over and over.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The resulting album is earthy, warm and spacious, not sounding too fussed over or suffocated with studio tricks.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Not everything works, however. ... Overall, though, this is the Hank Jr. we’ve been waiting to hear for years, and it’s a welcome return.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Bruce and Kelly let their plaintive, tight harmonies deliver the goods, a refreshing break from the bombast that often substitutes for real emotion in much of the current fare.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Love Is Everything further showcases George’s smooth voice and, perhaps more importantly, his uncanny knack for picking outstanding songs.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    A collection that plays into the group’s rock sensibilities without any loss of identity.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    This disproves the popular belief that nothing good ever happens in the a.m. There’s plenty of good stuff here.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The musicianship on Wheelhouse is incredible and Brad just keeps on getting more flavorful as a guitarist. Serious music buffs are going to love Wheelhouse, while cursory fans may be left scratching their heads.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    It’s his sophomore studio album, See You Tonight, that is really showing some maturity and growth.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The result feels a little something like those beloved ‘80s movies in spirit and aesthetic.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    David could be country music's most soulful singer since Ronnie Dunn.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Kip's grainy, warm and confident vocal delivery ties the tales together into a believable tapestry.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Chris Young's new 10-track project is tightly packed with solid songs, honoring both family and desires of the flesh.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This disc highlights a collection of substantial songs every bit as relevant as they were in Loretta's heyday.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    After the success of his "six-pack" album concept with Hillbilly Bone, Blake is back to delivering a full-length offering of music.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [Reba] singing, "I'll give my heart to a song, but I'll never sell my soul." That's exactly how Reba's approached her career thus far, and what she continues to do on this emotionally charged set of songs.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The sugared tunes would be easy to dismiss except for the credible guitar riffs, foot-tapping rhythms and fiery passion with which Keith sings. Thankfully, it's not all sunshine.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A true duo, Joshua Scott Jones' rugged rock voice blends and contrasts at the right moments with Meghan Linsey's fluid soul singing.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Far from being a punching bag, this album contains enough musical muscle to throw a few punches of its own.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The plucky "Bombshell," a nimble instrumental number, is just one example of the shimmering mandolin and fiddle solos that permeate the album.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Vince's superb musicianship leaves the spotlight on these poignant songs.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Easton gives fans of traditional country everything they've been missing.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Brad Paisley, having been raised on traditional country music, is one of a handful of contemporary stars who could title an album This Is Country Music (with all that the title implies) without raising more than a few eyebrows.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This Texas-bred singer knows how to convey heartfelt and complex emotions with one clever turn of a phrase.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This winning formula should keep you around for quite a while.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lyrically and musically, the songs stream effortlessly from accessible to intricate, creating an estimable country album with a steady undercurrent of blues and rock.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As the potent observations on And So It Goes make clear, time is indeed ticking away, though Don's comforting, timeless-sounding presentation of these top-flight tunes can sometimes make it seem otherwise.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fans of Matraca's songwriting, who have waited for more than a decade for a new album, will likely agree with another of that song's lyric lines: one more is never enough.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is easily Carrie's most well-rounded and confident work to date.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's all life, and Martina, with her unforced country-pop sensibility, gets it all to add up on Eleven.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In honoring his friend and inspiration, the late writer Hank Cochran, Jamey Johnson recorded one of the most heartfelt albums of the year.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Guy wasn't kidding when he sang "it's got to come from the heart if you want it to work;" here, he and his talented crew prove it, playing and singing like nobody's watching.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On his latest, Marty meshes country with Memphis rockabilly and bluegrass-inspired background vocals throughout the disc.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album's bluesy country sound may not make waves at radio, but these ladies are on track to give country concertgoers a little hell of their own.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While touching upon Led Zep's more pastoral moments and Raising Sand's rootsy variety, Robert avoids rehashing his former glories.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Producer T Bone Burnett had the foresight to infuse the album's recording with vintage microphones and techniques that would have been used on recording sessions half a century ago.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Darius' brand of country music, much like Radney's, is full of detailed, true-to-life accounts of love, regret and loyalty to childhood stomping grounds.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Open your ears, open your mind, press play and Free the Music.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Uncaged, does nothing to tarnish their sterling image and even manages to expand it a bit.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Country gospel at its most fervent and rousing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Overall, this is one of Trace's best collections.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though he's capable of being playfully satisfied, Dwight is at his best when he's consumed by yearning.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Overall, though the lyric content is among the best on a Tim McGraw album to date.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Mostly introspective, lower-key fare fills out the album's remainder, resulting in an occasional lag in momentum. This, however, is offset by inventiveness and instrumental wizardry, offering those who accept Follow Me Down's tempting invitation entry into a wonderland of musical riches.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bocephus-like clarinets, old-timey lyrics and Toby's smooth-as-whiskey delivery assure purists that there is still Hope for classic barroom singalongs.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For the most part, Lady Antebellum strikes a nice balance between the two, keeping the penchant for bighearted ballads and the vocal chemistry between Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott intact.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Adventurous roots-music aficionados will want to book themselves a date for Traveler, a masterfully planned Dixieland journey that lets the good times roll easy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Ghost on the Canvas is a lovingly produced nod to the musician and his music that summarizes the multiple dimensions of Campbell's remarkable genre-crossing career and, best of all, allows the honoree to help do the honors.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This road-tested group boasts tightknit sibling harmonies and an ear-pleasing tribute to the joys and tragedies of working folk and weekend warriors.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Emmylou and Rodney seem at their best with the more up-tempo offerings like Kris Kristofferson’s “Chase the Feeling” and “Bluebird Wine,” which features Rodney’s playful vocals.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Carrie’s never been in better voice, but a little more control in the production would have served her well.