This is one of the year’s highly-anticipated country albums and it does not disappoint. This album has modern country flair without too much pop. The album leads off with “Renegade Runaway” an up-beat, rocking country song that sets the tone for the album. The album includes “Smoke Break,” a rebel anthem that has been Carrie’s most recent radio single. Underwood mixes it up with the funky “Choctaw County Affair,” and her stellar vocals shines through on this track. She slows it down with “Like I’ll Never Love You Again,” a sweet, love song that brings balance to the record. One song that stands out is “Mexico,” a song about running from the cops and finding sanctuary south of the border. This track is a great addition to the album that helps to break up any chance of traditional monotony. It takes a different direction than the rest of the album, but Carrie makes it work. Carrie Underwood re-states her dominance in country music with this great album.
5 Seconds of Summer – Sounds Good Feels Good October 23
The Australian pop group 5 Seconds of Summer has released “Sounds Good Feels Good.” The 17-track album from the boy band is what you would expect and more. The album is a great listen and the vibe is fun and up-beat. 5 Seconds of Summer stands out in an age of popular boy bands like One Direction because they seem to not worry about what the competition is trying to achieve. 5 Seconds of Summer does their own thing with this album and it pays off. Each track is enjoyable to listen to and they really show their talent throughout the record with their addition of solid accompaniment and harmonies.
Rod Stewart – Another Country October 23
The legendary Rod Stewart has released “Another Country.” This album falls under the rock genre but to pigeonhole it into one genre hardly does it justice. This album combines folk, rock, some twangs of country, funk, and even reggae. The result is an instant-classic. In this release, Stewart brings back some classic sounds that have been missing from the rock genre. The album leads off with “Love Is,” a track that has great acoustical riffs and fiddle to back it up, giving it the feel of a modern folk or country song. Stewart puts his spin on reggae with “Love and Be Loved,” an interesting addition that was a well-rewarded risk. The title track, “Another Country,” is an up-beat track that helps the album stand out above the rest.
Harry Connick Jr. “That Would be Me” Oct 23
American Idol judge Harry Connick Jr. has released his latest album “That Would be Me.” The 11-track album takes great creative chances and Connick’s extraordinary music talent brings this album to the next level. Mixing pop, funk, and soul, Connick delivers each song in his own unique way. Enlisting brass elements on “(I Think I) Love You A Little Bit,” “You Don’t Need a Man,” and “Right Where It Hurts,” the horn accompaniment brings a funky vibe to the tracks. The emotional highlight of the album is “Do You Really Need Her.” Connick’s vocals in this track bring an edge to the song. His usual smooth voice is brought down with more emotion and pain.