Definitive Collection – Chely Wright
Back in 1994, a beautiful brunette from Kansas hit the country charts singing a song penned by Alan Jackson, “Till I Was Loved by You.” Because there was a convoy of country singers in those years, Chely Wright’s debut single and several more to follow were lost in the shuffle. Lucky for her, 1999’s “Single White Female” hit No. 1 and propelled her to her one and only gold record.
This 18-track compilation disc includes the two aforementioned Wright tracks, plus other memorable gems such as “Shut Up and Drive,” “She Went Out for Cigarettes” and “Back of the Bottom Drawer.” This is a great collection because her old label (MCA Nashville) is putting it out, yet it includes Wright’s last few independent releases, including the patriotic “Bumper of My SUV.” A-
Pure BS – Blake Shelton
Ada, Okla.’s own hat act remains a force to be reckoned with in Music City six years after his first single, “Austin,” rose to the top of the charts. At the ripe age of 30, Blake Shelton is releasing his fourth CD, and he’s out to prove his records only get better with age.
Songs like “The Last Country Song,” an anti-sprawl anthem, features two of Shelton’s country heroes, George Jones and John Anderson. Shelton helped pen three tracks on the album, including the rocker “This Can’t Be Good.” Ol’ Blake even went in the studio to cut a Chris Knight scorcher, “It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Me.” And the ladies will love his more sentimental side on “Don’t Make Me.” You get a lot when you play a Blake Shelton album, and that’s no BS. B
This Is It – Jack Ingram
When your musical pal list includes folks like Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow and Billy Joe Shaver – who called Jack Ingram “one of the best performers around” – well, that ain’t too shabby. Waylon Jennings even chimed in once that Ingram was “an incredible talent.”
Following the heels of an album that produced two monster radio hits, including the No. 1 “Wherever You Are,” Ingram’s eighth studio album is set to take him to another level. The Texas crooner’s got a 12-pack of songs on This Is It, and it’ll definitely get you through the weekend. The better tracks include “Lips of an Angel,” “Don’t Want to Hurt” and “Measure of a Man.” The two hits from his 2006 CD Live: Wherever You Are are repackaged here, too. B+
Beverley Mitchell – Beverley Mitchell
If you ever watched the WB network show 7th Heaven, then Beverley Mitchell is probably no stranger. For 11 seasons, the Californian played the role of “Lucy.” In real life, she’s engaged, 26, and looking to make a splash in Nashville with her latest role, that of country music crooner.
Through the years Mitchell’s been a big country music fan. She often traveled to Music City during her 7th Heaven days, and it’s paying off now. She co-wrote half of the 14 tracks on her self-titled debut. “You Didn’t Kiss Me” is a sorrowful track about missing a goodnight kiss. “Heaven on Earth Down Here,” the album’s opener, is a stunner. “Good Girls” and “The Ones Left Behind” brilliantly showcase this multitalented star. A