If it’s close to fall, then the heavyweights of the industry must be jockeying for position on the shelves of CDs for Christmas purchases. From a country standpoint, two of the more high profile releases in the next few months are Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood. Carrie’s release Play On (due November 3rd) just got a nice PR bump due to a leak on the Internet, originally from a radio recording, but followed shortly after by a clean version. “Cowboy Casanova” has some similarities to “Before He Cheats”, but this recipe is 1/3 “Cheats”, spiced up with 1/3 “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” remixed, and blended in a 1/3 Shania Twain sassiness. At first listen, I was taken aback, but damn, if that’s not a catchy tune, I don’t know what is. Watch for this one on the Pop charts in the near future, as there’s got to be a non-country mix of this. (h/t Bill’s Top 40/Pop Blog)
Tim, on the other hand, is doing what he does best, with a clever set of lyrics talking about how much “pain” his relationship inflicts on him. The full-length disc out on October 20th is called Southern Voice, and it’s already up to preview on iTunes. You might recall the drama a year ago surrounding the release of this CD getting pushed back by Curb to make way for a miserably-selling Greatest Hits 3. We’ll have to wait and see what Tim’s next move is, now that his contract is fulfilled with Curb, but I can’t imagine he’s going to hang around. Originally I thought there might be a Live Nation deal in Tim’s future. Wouldn’t it be interesting if they set up a deal with Tim AND his wife, Faith Hill? Just food for thought.
Here’s the first single from Southern Voice entitled “It’s a Business Doing Pleasure With You”.
If you need one more reason to wonder why record companies are so out of touch with reality, you don’t need to look any further than the case of Tim McGraw. Billboard reported today that Tim actually denounced the release of his “Greatest Hits, Volume 3”, and with good reason. Straight from the horse’s mouth…
“I am saddened and disappointed that my label chose to put out another hits album instead of new music,” McGraw said in a statement. “I’ve only had one studio album since my last hits package. It has to be just as confusing to the fans as it is to me. I had no involvement in the creation or presentation of this record. Sure I love the songs and I don’t want to take anything away from all the creative people who were a part of making those records. But the whole concept is an embarrassment to me as an artist.
“In the spirit of an election year, I would simply say to my fans ‘I’m Tim McGraw and I don’t approve their message,'” McGraw concluded.
You’ve got to wonder what Curb Records is thinking. This guy has carried that label on his back for years, and while they have other artists that do alright, no one’s had the consistent hit power that McGraw has shown over the past 15 years. While they’re not exactly destitute, Curb’s next biggest star is Leann Rimes, who is making some great music, but sure isn’t setting the charts on fire recently. Take a look at the roster to see just how fortunate they should be to have Tim McGraw around.
The craziest part of this to me is that McGraw actually has new material, and wanted to release it before Christmas. That would make most labels squeal like pigs at a trough, but apparently Curb felt another Greatest Hit collection, featuring music that goes all the way back into the 90s, would be a better seller. However, it looks like they will probably lose McGraw AND a lot of record sales this Christmas. It’s not like he and Faith need the money at this point, having staged the highest-grossing country tour of all time back in ’06 (a show that I felt was sadly lacking). I smell a Live Nation deal coming on for Tim.
– Surprise, surprise…Janet has postponed a total of three shows on her “Rock With U” tour in order to recuperate from some super-secret malady that caused her to become “suddenly ill”. It’s been reported that she was only at the hospital for two hours, and then left. Shows in Montreal, Boston, and Philadelphia are supposed to be rescheduled, but does anyone want to take a guess on how poor the ticket sales were there? It can’t all be doom and gloom, though…tickets for a newly added show in Tulsa go on sale this week. I’m still waiting for the Denver show to pop up on the radar, but I have sources that have told me that I have a better chance of seeing Kylie in America than of seeing Janet in Denver. *sigh*
– New releases this week include full-lengths on TI, Jennifer Hudson, Robin Thicke, James Taylor, James Morrison, Faith Hill (Christmas), and Kellie Pickler (for you trashy AI fans). You’ll get reviews shortly on several of those titles. It’s also a singles bonanza this week, including new tunes from the Killers, Nickleback, John Legend, Ciara, and David Cook, whose “Light On” is a decent start for his new CD that’s dropping in November. In a world where “Human” exists, though, everything else is just sounding mediocre at best.
– Looking at Pop Radio, Rihanna is number one on airplay with “Disturbia”, while Ne-Yo’s “Closer” is number one in total audience, and Katy Perry picks up most increased airplay for “Hot N Cold”. Speaking of Rihanna, “Rehab” is officially the 72nd single off of “Good Girl Gone Bad”. Other songs going to pop radio this week include (finally) Jennifer Hudson’s “Spotlight”, and the brilliant “Love Lockdown” from Kanye West.
– Thanks to everyone for all of the well wishes as I’ve moved to Colorado. I am grateful for all of the support as I get settled and attempt to find a job. In the meantime, I’m making sure I enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts.