Kane Brown - "Homesick"
A nice piece of pop-country that goes for restraint rather than bombast. It's not an original concept, but it is a nice hook and Brown sounds good on it. It's a little slick, but overall it's an enjoyable record and a decent example of what modern country music should sound like on the pop end of the spectrum.
Garth Brooks (feat. Blake Shelton) - "Dive Bar"
An obnoxious track from two artists with some obnoxious tendencies. The production is grating and the melody's not a whole lot better; the songwriting, meanwhile, doesn't have a whole lot of anything going for it. Both Shelton and Brooks have charisma, but it's not put to great use here. Not entirely sure what the point of this is besides loading up on name recognition.
Kelsea Ballerini - "homecoming queen?"
Easily Kelsea Ballerini's finest moment to-date. A stunning, delicate empowerment anthem wherein Ballerini is vulnerable, open, and technically sound. The production is effectively sparse and the songwriting and hook are both powerful and memorable. Really, really impressive stuff.
Jordan Davis - "Slow Dance In a Parking Lot"
Listen, Jordan Davis leans into pop influences on a lot of stuff, but he does it pretty effectively in my view. This track demonstrates those tendencies: an anthemic production, broad but clever songwriting, and a vocal style that commands attention and comes off as fairly convincing. "Slow Dance In a Parking Lot" isn't groundbreaking, but it is a charming track that holds your attention, which is more than many of his peers can say.
Old Dominion - "One Man Band"
Old Dominion seems to be coming into their own somewhat with an AC style that, while not country, is much better than the bro-schlock they released early on. "One Man Band" holds that pattern, with a memorable hook and an effective structure that makes it stand out. The production is a distinct weakpoint; it's overly slick and somewhat generic, though admittedly still tasteful. Hardly extraordinary, but another step in the right direction for the genre's current de facto number one band.