Lee Brice performed a rare feat in 2012: he became a star on the back of ballads, not party songs. Country has a long history of gentle, masculine crooners but the 2010s were rife with suburban dudes in tight jeans who sang slow songs only as a change of pace. Brice specialized in an assured delivery, taking such reflective songs as "Hard to Love" and "I Drive Your Truck" to the upper reaches of the country charts, and this success has led him to double down on deliberation on 2014's I Don't Dance.
Somewhere between Georgia pretty boy Luke Bryan's female-friendly hits and Eric Church's testosterone-heavy, metal-influenced country music, you'll find Lee Brice: a rising Nashville star who's mastered the art of appealing to all his fans without alienating anyone. Everybody wins on songs like I Don't Dance's title track: Nope, Brice is far too manly to shake his rump, but for you, dear, he'll make an exception. It helps that the songwriting is as urgent as the production is ambitious.
Romance demands warning labels on “Goddess” (Harvest), the debut album by Jillian Banks, the Los Angeles songwriter who simply calls herself Banks. “What if I said I would break your heart?/What if I said I had problems that made me mean?” she sings in “You Should Know Where I’m Coming ….