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Country - Released February 14, 2020 | Big Machine Records, LLC

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A 1990s revival has already hit rap and pop music, so it makes sense that country would have its moment of nostalgia, too. Cue singer-songwriter Carly Pearce's second album, which captures the spirit of that era without sounding like a retread. (Big credit goes to late producer busbee; this was the last album he finished before his 2019 death.) There are shades of Faith Hill's warm-honey tone on songs like "Halfway Home" and "It Won't Always Be Like This," and Martina McBride's comfortably lived-in style on "Greener Grass" and "Heart's Going Out of Its Mind." The lightly bluesy "Lightning in a Bottle" comes on like a modern update of Deana Carter's "Strawberry Wine." And the excellent duet "I Hope You're Happy Now," with Lee Brice, would have been right at home on '90s FM radio. Pearce shakes things up with R&B-inflected "Closer to You" and the irresistible "Call Me" — a flirtatious track that sounds fresher than anything in country music right now. This little gem was co-written by Little Big Town's Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook, who made a big mistake in not keeping it for themselves. © Shelly Ridenour / Qobuz
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Country - Released October 13, 2017 | Big Machine Records, LLC

Carly Pearce grew up singing country music, heading to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee at the age of 16 so she could sing at Dollywood. Every Little Thing, her 2017 debut album, bears echoes not only of this polished professionalism but also the bluegrass of Pearce's native Kentucky, but it's all wrapped up in a shiny production courtesy of busbee. He performed a similar trick in 2016 when he gave Maren Morris' Hero a sterling progressive production, and if Pearce is a more conservative songwriter than Morris -- she's less likely to explicitly play with R&B and hip-hop, for one -- Every Little Thing still bears all the hallmarks of contemporary country production. It's crisp and nimble, using electronic and R&B as flair that accentuates the songs. So appealing is busbee's gleaming sound that the craft of Every Little Thing may be difficult to acknowledge at first. Working with a variety of heavy-hitters -- including Natalie Hemby, Emily Shackelton, and Shane McAnally -- Pearce co-wrote over half the album, and these songs, along with their companions, feel fresh in their melodies and observations. As appealing as the individual songs are, Every Little Thing works as well as it does because of its expert sequencing. Sliding from the woozy grooves of "Hide the Wine" to the urgent romance of "Careless" with ease, the album takes time for delicate ballads and stops at the precise moment for the stomping blues "Catch Fire." Through it all, Pearce establishes her own identity: her showbiz and country roots are inextricably entangled, a singer with a feel for the past but an eye for the present. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released February 14, 2020 | Big Machine Records, LLC

Country - Released September 27, 2019 | Big Machine Records, LLC

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Country - Released November 2, 2018 | Big Machine Records, LLC

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Country - Released October 12, 2017 | Big Machine Records, LLC

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Country - Released December 6, 2019 | Big Machine Records, LLC

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Country - Released January 31, 2020 | Big Machine Records, LLC

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Country - Released September 27, 2019 | Big Machine Records, LLC

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Country - Released January 3, 2020 | Big Machine Records, LLC

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Country - Released January 17, 2020 | Big Machine Records, LLC

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