Chris Willman
March 07, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

Sounds So Good

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Ashton Shepherd
genre
Country

We gave it a B+

Ashton Shepherd’s Sounds So Good is the best mainstream country debut since Taylor Swift’s in ’06. And though she’s got only three years on Swift, at 21, Shepherd sounds about twice as old. That’s clear from the opening lines: ”I’ve got a cold beer in my right hand/In my left I’ve got my wedding band” (guess which one’ll be discarded). As a wife and mom already, she’s earned the sense of experience in these alcohol-soaked anthems of pre- and post-marital restlessness, which nicely split the difference between radio-friendliness and pure country tradition.
DOWNLOAD THIS: ”Takin’ Off This Pain”

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