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The Music of Nashville
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New or Used: 2 copies from $36.99
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  • The ABC television series Nashville has created a cottage industry with its soundtrack releases. This is the eighth if you include the compilation and holiday volumes. What's more, these releases have become excellent showcases for real-life up-and-coming and veteran songwriters in Music City. Season 3, Vol. 2 features a slew of highlights. Among them are the version of John Hiatt's "Have a Little Faith in Me," delivered by Will Chase and Maisy Stella. Chase's duet with newcomer Laura Benanti on "Can't Help My Heart" is a close second for best track. Speaking of duets, Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen deliver "Longer," underscoring why their vocal chemistry has been a mainstay of the show. The song, written by Andrea Davidson, reveals one of the reasons contemporary country has such crossover appeal, as it crosses through rock and pop and touches on R&B. Palladio and Bowen also team with Jonathan Jackson (as the XXX's) on the stomping "Borrow My Heart," written by Lia and Phillip LaRue; it contains trace influences from the Everly Brothers as well as the '80s country of Rosanne Cash and Rodney Crowell. One of the genuine surprises here -- and on television -- has been the musical development of Aubrey Peeples' character, Layla Grant. "I Found a Way," written by Adam and Shannon Wright, weds bright, West Coast singer/songwriter fare to pop-country. The two series principals, Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, have minimal representation here but it hardly matters. Britton delivers the poignant "This Is Real Life" with Lennon and Maisy Stella (these real-life sisters also have two excellent selections of their own in "Heart on Fire" and "I've Got You"), while Panettiere offers "Mississippi Flood." Of the two released versions of the soundtrack, the physical one contains eight more tracks. Either way, with only a couple of missteps, this is not only a worthy addition to the previous volumes, it's one of the most consistent. ~ Thom Jurek
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