Jul 25, 2012

3 Up 3 Down: July 2012

3 Up

Zac Brown Band - The Wind
Unfortunately, it seems the band led off this new album's single era with the best song of the bunch. That doesn't do anything to blunt the impact of this thoroughly enjoyable, heart-racing bluegrass pop-country tune. Probably one of the best commercial country songs of the year.

Lee Brice - Hard to Love
I've read people comparing this to a couple of Tom Petty songs, but I don't really hear it. What I hear is an undeniably catchy, honest-sounding modern country song that veers a little too close to adult contemporary at times, but still stands above the fray. It's well-written, decently performed and thankfully free of trucks, cutoffs and beer.

Jerrod Niemann - Shinin' On Me
This is hardly, barely a country song, but it just sounds so damn cool. Niemann's laid-back delivery, left-of-center instrumentation and the crisply askew production makes this winner of a summer song, avoiding nearly all the cliches so common to this season on commercial country radio. Is it the best written song ever? Of 2012? Of this month? Probably no to all of those, but it's darn sure a treat for the ears.

3 Down

Little Big Town - Pontoon
I hope that's out of their system now. This is a talented band. I'm not sure why they took the easy route to.. oh wait, yeah I do: $$$. These guys have great voices and up to this point have released pretty decent singles. This dunderhead song broke that streak. It's a lockstep summer anthem with nary an original thought and a goofy "motorboatin'" hook to hook the teens and pervs. Not really anything redeeming about this song. Do better, LBT.

Tim McGraw - Truck Yeah
What else can be said, really? I could copy and paste all the synonyms for "feces," but I already did that the time Bucky Covington covered Nickelback. Can you believe this is actually worse than that? It's improbable but true. Also, if Tim continues in this direction, he will easily overtake Luke Bryan and Brantley Gilbert on FTM's shit-list within months. For the love of all things decent and good, Tim, stop this. You're embarrassing yourself.

Blake Shelton - Over
It's not that this is such a horrible song, but it's a mediocre potboiler right at the time Shelton should be delivering massive hits to cement his place as an A-Lister (please shape up Blake! I'd rather have you as an A-Lister than Luke Bryan!). It's a position-holder to keep his brand on the charts and his name in listeners' ears. Blake is at the apex of his fame - shouldn't he use this position to cut and record the best Nashville songwriters have to offer? This is fluff that nobody will remember in… yep, already gone. I honestly can't make this song play in my head even after listening to it for review. It's that forgettable.

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