(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
If Chris Young sang Garth Brooks, it would sound like this. And if Shania Twain had a little more twang, it would sound like this. And if LeAnn Rimes took a sassier swing at “Blue,” it would sound like this. And by “this,” I mean this outstanding collection of studio versions of the songs that the Top 13 American Idol contestants have released. It’s technically a compilation album, but you can buy the songs as singles, which is why I singled out the country ones. Scott McCreery, the deep-voiced teenager and the countriest one in the group, does Brooks’ “The River.” And he does so like a pro. Lauren Alaina does Twain’s “Any Man of Mine,” with her own spunky Georgia spin. And Haley Reinhart covers Rimes’ “Blue.” Even though Reinhart isn’t being positioned as the next Carrie Underwood, she sure sounds like she’s straight up country on this tune.