Billboard Top 25 Country Albums This Week [April 11]

Luke-Bryan-Spring-Break-Checkin-Out

  1. Luke Bryan – Spring Break…Checkin’ Out (Grade: 2.5/10)
  2. Sam Hunt – Montevallo  (Grade: 1/10)
  3. Various Artists – Nashville: On The Record, Volume 2
  4. Various Artists – 2015 Academy of Country Music Awards ZinePak
  5. Jason Aldean – Old Boots, New Dirt (Grade: 3/10)
  6. Florida Georgia Line – Anything Goes (Grade: 0/10)
  7. Little Big Town – Pain Killer (Grade: 3/10)
  8. Eric Church – The Outsiders
  9. Chase Rice – Ignite the Night (Grade: 2/10)
  10. Carrie Underwood – Greatest Hits: Decade #1
  11. Luke Bryan – Crash My Party
  12. Miranda Lambert – Platinum
  13. Cole Swindell – Cole Swindell
  14. Garth Brooks – Man Against Machine (Grade: 7.5/10)
  15. Zac Brown Band – Greatest Hits So Far…
  16. Canaan Smith – Canaan Smith EP
  17. Kenny Chesney – The Big Revival (Grade: 4.5/10)
  18. Brantley Gilbert – Just As I Am (Grade: 5/10)
  19. Blake Shelton – Bringing Back The Sunshine (Grade: 4/10)
  20. Shania Twain – Shania: Still The One: Live From Las Vegas
  21. Lee Brice – I Don’t Dance (Grade: 5/10)
  22. Asleep At The Wheel – Still The King: Celebrating The Music of Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys 
  23. Luke Bryan – Spring Break…The Set List: The Complete Spring Break Collection ZinePak
  24. Dierks Bentley – Riser
  25. Striking Matches – Nothing But The Silence (Grade: 8/10)

Notes:

  • Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt stay at #1 and #2 respectively again this week.
  • Four new albums break into the chart. Two of them are just collaboration albums of several songs. One is for the television show Nashville and the other is songs nominated for the 2015 ACM Awards.
  • Canaan Smith’s self-titled EP debuts at #16.
  • Striking Matches round out the top 25 with their debut album Nothing But The Silence.
  • Little Big Town’s Pain Killer was the biggest gainer this week, moving up eight spots from #15 to #7. I think you know why.
  • The biggest losers this week were Still The King: Celebrating The Music of Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys and Luke Bryan’s Spring Break…The Set List: The Complete Spring Break Collection ZinePak, which each fell 11 spots on the chart.
  • Shania Twain and her album Shania: Still The One: Live From Las Vegas fell ten spots to #20 on the chart.

 

Source: Billboard

Billboard Top 25 Country Albums This Week [April 4]

Luke-Bryan-Spring-Break-Checkin-Out

  1. Luke Bryan – Spring Break…Checkin’ Out (Grade: 2.5/10)
  2. Sam Hunt – Montevallo  (Grade: 1/10)
  3. Jason Aldean – Old Boots, New Dirt (Grade: 3/10)
  4. Florida Georgia Line – Anything Goes (Grade: 0/10)
  5. Chase Rice – Ignite the Night (Grade: 2/10)
  6. Eric Church – The Outsiders
  7. Carrie Underwood – Greatest Hits: Decade #1
  8. Miranda Lambert – Platinum
  9. Luke Bryan – Crash My Party
  10. Shania Twain – Shania: Still The One: Live From Las Vegas
  11. Asleep At The Wheel – Still The King: Celebrating The Music of Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys 
  12. Luke Bryan – Spring Break…The Set List: The Complete Spring Break Collection ZinePak
  13. Zac Brown Band – Greatest Hits So Far…
  14. Cole Swindell – Cole Swindell
  15. Little Big Town – Pain Killer (Grade: 3/10)
  16. Garth Brooks – Man Against Machine (Grade: 7.5/10)
  17. Brantley Gilbert – Just As I Am (Grade: 5/10)
  18. Blake Shelton – Bringing Back The Sunshine (Grade: 4/10)
  19. Kenny Chesney – The Big Revival (Grade: 4.5/10)
  20. Lee Brice – I Don’t Dance (Grade: 5/10)
  21. Aaron Watson – The Underdog (Grade: 8/10)
  22. Tim McGraw – Sundown Heaven Town (Grade: 7.5/10)
  23. George Strait – The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium
  24. Dierks Bentley – Riser
  25. Thomas Rhett – It Goes Like This

Notes:

  • Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt stay at #1 and #2 respectively this week.
  • Shania Twain’s Shania: Still The One: Live From Vegas album was this week’s biggest loser, which fell seven spots from #3 to #10.
  • Luke Bryan’s complete spring break albums collection was also this week’s biggest losers, falling seven spots to #12.
  • This week’s biggest gainer is the Bob Wills tribute album, Still The King: Celebrating The Music of Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys, which moved up 19 spots from #30 to #11.
  • Sturgill Simpson fell out of the top 25 this week with his 2014 album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music album. While it fell out this week, it could re-emerge in the top 25 next week thanks to an endorsement on national television this past week. American Idol judge and fellow country artist Keith Urban, a noted big fan of Sturgill, wore a Simpson shirt on the show this past week:

Source: Billboard

Album Review – Pearls Mahone’s Echoes From The Prairie

Ever since 2006, Pearls Mahone has been touring and performing live across the country, establishing herself a loyal fan base yearning to hear her throwback sound of Western Swing and Rockabilly music. Mahone’s music and albums are dictated by her live shows, with upbeat rhythms and danceable melodies through and through. One of her main influences is the one and only Bob Wills, the man whose musical influence runs deep through Swing and Country music history. Pearls Mahone’s second studio album, Echoes from the Prairie, channels nice swing sound combined with some Jazz influence to bring forth a fun, upbeat listen.

For the most part, melody and instrumentals drive Echoes from the Prairie with notable fiddles, steel guitars, and saxophones finding their way into almost every song. “Blow Your Top” and “All of Me” both kick the album off with fun, upbeat music. The lyrics are simple and repetitive, but the longer instrumental breaks create a vibrant feel with each listen. If I knew how to swing dance, I might have jumped off the couch and danced around the living room while listening to these songs. But instead, I listened to the music and the way the musicians traded the various solos and appreciated the musical variety of the songs.

“Flash of Diamonds” tells a story of a woman who says it like it is: she’s materialistic, and if any man wants to be with her then he better be ready to spoil her. This sassy, selfish tune carries a nice production and is quite enjoyable. Pearls sings of her hardship and hard-working lifestyle in “Hard Luck.” A life of little money and constantly stumbling, but those obstacles don’t slow her down. Pearls kicks up the dancing tunes again with “I Had Someone Else.” This song describes her as a rambling woman who’s not ready to settle down. There was someone before, there will be someone after you, and you’re just mine for now. And in “Oklahoma Hills” Pearls Mahone sings about a life out in Sooner State. While this Midwestern swing singer hails from Chicago, she plants herself well from this perspective in this groove.

“St. James Infirmary” might be my favorite song on the album. Sticking with her own woman attitude, Pearls Mahone sings of her man’s death. What does she do once she leaves the infirmary? She heads down to the bar to have a good time! This song chronicles the steps and thoughts she takes after his passing, and it’s quite an entertaining story. It’s well written with some great production to it. “Old Time Religion” is an old-time country gospel tune. I immediately draw comparisons to Hank’s “I Saw the Light.” The song is full of joy and love for the Lord. Echoes from the Prairie slows down for the last song, a cover of Tom Waits’ “Long Way Home.” This song details, in this case, a rambling woman whose love for the road is stronger than that for her man. And though she won’t leave him, she’ll just take the long way home from time to time.

Overall, Echoes From the Prairie is an enjoyable listen. There are several songs whose energetic mood and melody will certainly find a place in a live show. But Pearls Mahone proves she’s not just a one trick pony, providing listeners with story-driven country tunes among the dance inspired Swing songs. With sharp writing and an awesome production of blended Swing, country, and jazz, this album has a bit of everything to offer music fans. The variety isn’t choppy and the album transitions and moves smoothly. Echoes From the Prairie is an entertaining album from Pearls Mahone with fantastic instrumentation and great vocal performances.

Grade: 7/10