Country Strong (soundtrack)

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Country Strong: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released October 26, 2010 (Standard)
December 21, 2010 (Re-release)
Genre Country, country pop, blues, soundtrack
Length 50:34
Label RCA Nashville
Producer Various
Singles from Country Strong
  1. "Country Strong"
    Released: July 26, 2010
  2. "A Little Bit Stronger"
    Released: September 27, 2010
  3. "Me and Tennessee"
    Released: February 22, 2011

Country Strong is a soundtrack album for the film of the same name. It was released by RCA Nashville on October 26, 2010. It is preceded by two singles: the title track, performed by the film's star Gwyneth Paltrow,[1] which was released on July 26, 2010, and "A Little Bit Stronger", performed by Sara Evans and released on September 27, 2010.[2] In addition to Paltrow, the film's co-stars Garrett Hedlund, Tim McGraw and Leighton Meester all sing in the soundtrack, as well as country music stars Lee Ann Womack, Hank Williams, Jr. and Faith Hill, among others.[3] The album has sold 479,000 copies in the US as of February 2013.[4] A follow-up album Country Strong (More Music from the Motion Picture), was released on December 21, 2010, originally as digital download only.[5] The second album has sold 36,349 in the US as of January 2011.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic wrote the soundtrack "follows the blueprint of its star, McGraw, and the early work of his wife Faith Hill, delivering a collection of crisp, clean, and melodic country where the Hank Williams, Jr. cameo is used as rowdy flavoring. If Paltrow never quite sounds convincing as a country singer -- she seems just a little to mannered to be “Country Strong” -- Gossip Girl Leighton Meester pulls off the sweet “Words I Couldn’t Say” with ease, and the rest of the soundtrack is handed over to professionals" and added "A Little Bit Stronger" is a strong first single.[7]

Empire Online's Danny Graydon gave the soundtrack a four stars rating out of five explaining Gwyneth Paltrow is really good. "[She] more than holds her own among such esteemed company as Lee Ann Womack (Liars Lie), Hank Williams Jr. (Thirsty) and Faith Hill (Give In To Me), her voice driving the stomping Shake That Thing, the anthemic title track, and Me & Tennessee, a gorgeous duet with Tim McGraw."[8] Entertainment Weekly writer Mikael Wood was convinced by Paltrow in the title track but not in "Shake That Thing". For the rest, he said "Elsewhere you get solid new songs from the likes of Sara Evans, Ronnie Dunn, and Patty Loveless"[9]

Matt Bjorke of Roughstock described Paltrow's Country Strong as a "solid, down the middle ‘I will survive’ ballad." Though, he shared the same opinion as Mikael Wood concerning her performance on "Shake That Thing" by saying the song doesn't suit her, he really liked "Coming Home" saying it's an Oscar worthy ballad. He then wrote, "While Gwyneth acquits herself nicely on two out of three songs, the biggest surprises on the album are her co-stars Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester." He praised Hedlund's performance on "Chances Are" by saying "the best song on this album belongs to him." He noted his voice recalls Charlie Robison with a slice of Kris Kristofferson which suits country music quite well. He also explained, "Meester certainly comes off sounding closely along the lines of the folksy singer/songwriters like Colbie Caillat and Sara Bareilles and the obvious comparison, Taylor Swift.[10] Country Weekly gave the release three stars saying "While the album holds together better than many soundtracks, it’s divided between country songs and pop-country songs. Some are super, some so-so; some are sung by actors (Garrett Hedlund being the most convincing of the bunch) and some are delivered by serious country singers."[11]

The Boston Phoenix was negative about the soundtrack, "This steaming pile of songs is emblematic of the state of mainstream country music — all artifice, no heart, calculated anthems written to formula and meant, like the film itself, to do no more than capitalize on the genre's current success and rob its undiscriminating fans." He found Paltrow's performances "pointless". He also disliked the tracks by Sara Evans, Lee Ann Womack, Trace Adkins, and Tim McGraw because of their lack of character. He pointed out the drinking songs — Hank Williams Jr.'s "Thirsty" and Ronnie Dunn's "She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)" — are the only ones "offering humor and humanity.[12]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[7]
Empire Online 4/5 stars[8]
Entertainment Weekly B[9]
Roughstock 3.5/5 stars[10]
Country Weekly 3/5 stars[11]
The Boston Phoenix 1/4 stars[12]

Track listing[edit]

Country Strong: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
No. Title Writer(s) Artist(s) Length
1. "Country Strong"   Jennifer Hanson, Tony Martin, Mark Nesler Gwyneth Paltrow 4:15
2. "Love Don't Let Me Down"   Marv Green, Troy Olsen Chris Young and Patty Loveless 2:57
3. "A Little Bit Stronger"   Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey, Hillary Scott Sara Evans 5:03
4. "Chances Are"   Nathan Chapman, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose Garrett Hedlund 3:25
5. "Liars Lie"   Sally Barris, Morgane Hayes, Rose Lee Ann Womack 5:19
6. "She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)"   Wayne Carson Thompson Ronnie Dunn 3:28
7. "Shake That Thing"   Mark Irwin, Josh Kear, Chris Tompkins Gwyneth Paltrow 3:54
8. "Thirsty"   Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins, Brett Eldredge Hank Williams, Jr. 3:12
9. "Give In to Me"   Billy Falcon, Rose Falcon, Elisha Hoffman Faith Hill 4:11
10. "Timing Is Everything"   Natalie Hemby, Troy Jones Trace Adkins 3:28
11. "Words I Couldn't Say"   Gregory Becker, Tammi Kidd, Steve Robson Leighton Meester 4:26
12. "Coming Home"   Bob DiPiero, Tom Douglas, Lindsey, Troy Verges Gwyneth Paltrow 4:13
13. "Me and Tennessee"   Chris Martin Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow 4:43
Country Strong: More Music from the Motion Picture[13]
No. Title Writer(s) Artist(s) Length
1. "Silver Wings"   Merle Haggard Garrett Hedlund 3:21
2. "A Little Bit Stronger"   Laird, Lindsey, Scott Leighton Meester 5:17
3. "A Fighter"   Tom Douglas, Ed Hill Gwyneth Paltrow 4:33
4. "Hard Out Here"   Hayes Carll Garrett Hedlund 3:09
5. "Summer Girl"   Jessica Andrews, Marcel, James T. Slater Leighton Meester 3:22
6. "Keep Me Hangin' On"   Ira Allen, Buddy Mize Jypsi 3:36
7. "Take Me Away"   Adam Carroll Hayes Carll 4:12
8. "Kissin' In Cars"   Stephen Barker Liles, Rebekah Liles, Brad Warren, Brett Warren Jesse Lee 3:30
9. "Turn Loose the Horses"   Hayes Carll Garrett Hedlund 3:05
10. "Travis"   Matt Kinsey Gwyneth Paltrow 4:49
11. "Fly Again"   Chapman, Rose, Nicole Williams Nikki Williams 3:55
12. "Give In to Me"   B. Falcon, R. Falcon, Hoffman Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester 3:29
13. "Hide Me Babe"   Hayes Carll Garrett Hedlund 3:08
14. "Timing Is Everything"   Hemby, Jones Garrett Hedlund 3:24

Production[edit]

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[edit]

According to The Boot:[14]

Chart performance[edit]

Album[edit]

Country Strong (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)[edit]

Chart (2010–11) Peak
position
Canadian Albums Chart 21
US Billboard 200[15] 6
US Billboard Country Albums 2
US Billboard Top Soundtracks 1

Country Strong (More Music from the Motion Picture)[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
Canadian Albums Chart[16] 71
US Billboard 200[17] 23
US Billboard Country Albums 5
US Billboard Independent Albums 6
US Billboard Top Soundtracks 4

Singles[edit]

Year Single Artist Peak chart positions
US Country US CAN UK
2010 "Country Strong" Gwyneth Paltrow 30 81
"A Little Bit Stronger" Sara Evans 1 34 75
2011 "Me and Tennessee" Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow 34 63
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Other charted songs[edit]

Year Single Artist Peak chart positions Certifications
US Country US CAN US Heat
2011 "Give In to Me" Faith Hill 56
"Give In to Me" Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester 79 94
"Summer Girl"A Leighton Meester 104 15
"Words I Couldn't Say"A Leighton Meester 120 25
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification
United States (RIAA)[20] Gold

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gwyneth Paltrow Hits Radio Airwaves With 'Country Strong'. TheBoot.com. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  2. ^ Sara Evans Gets Up Close and Very Personal With Fans. TheBoot.com. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  3. ^ 'Country Strong' Soundtrack Details Revealed. TheBoot.com. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  4. ^ Paul Grein (February 27, 2013). "Week Ending Feb. 24, 2013. Songs: "Harlem Shake" Stays Put". Yahoo Chart Watch. 
  5. ^ "Country Strong: More Music from the Motion Picture". Allmusic.com. 
  6. ^ "Eric Church Scores First Two Album Week on Sales Chart". Roughstock. 2011-01-26. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  7. ^ a b Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Country Strong [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]". Allmusic. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Graydon, Danny. "Empire's Country Strong Soundtrack Review". Empire Online. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Wood, Mikael (October 27, 2010). "Music Review - Country Strong". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Bjoke, Matt (January 2, 2011). "Country Strong: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Roughstock. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Reviews - Country Strong (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". Country Weekly. November 16, 2010. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b Drozdowski, Ted (January 11, 2011). "CD Reviews - Country Strong Soundtrack". The Boston Phoenix. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  13. ^ "iTunes - Music - Country Strong (More Music from the Motion Picture) by Various Artists". Itunes.apple.com. 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  14. ^ http://theboot.com/country-strong-soundtrack-track-listing/
  15. ^ "Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!". FMQB. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  16. ^ "Albums : Top 100". JAM! Music. Canadian Online Explorer. Quebecor Media. January 13, 2011. Archived from the original on January 16, 2011. Retrieved January 16, 2011. 
  17. ^ NAME: (2011-01-19). "Steel Magnolia Debuts in Country Album Top 5 This Week | New Country Music, Listen to Songs & Video". Roughstock.com. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  18. ^ "American single certifications – Garrett Hedlund & Leighton Meester – Give In To Me". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  19. ^ "Bubbling Under Hot 100 Week of January 29, 2011". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  20. ^ "American album certifications – Various Artists – Country Strong". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]