Jeremy McComb, “Cold”

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October 30, 2008

Ah, developing niches. Newbie McComb had an solid debut playing the passively frustrated lonely guy in “This Town Needs a Bar,” and now he reprises the role in this buzzed-about follow-up. Fair enough.

The song is what I imagine we’d get if Rob Thomas decided to “go country” and took the now well-worn approach of simply adding a few twangy flourishes to his established pop style. We open with a dramatic vocal busting out of a slow-building piano part, then we get a quick little pre-chorus, and then – BAM! – big, instant hook in the chorus that gets repeated a lot, just for good measure. And just as with much of Thomas’ writing, the lyrics framing that catchy hook – and honestly, that’s probably all they’re here to do – are vague as all get-out, speaking exclusively in cryptic, oft-used expressions of romantic interplay (“Something ’bout the way you move me / Is telling me that you’re still crazy for me”).

So make no mistake: it’s a pop song. In the purest sense of the term. But let’s look at the strengths here: though McComb is still finding his voice, he sings this thing with a Troy Gentryish rock gusto that keeps the record lively, and that hook is unstoppable, though I imagine it might get annoying if this song gains traction at radio. So all-in-all, it’s not an unpleasant listen – but if this kind of song is your thing, you’d be better off digging up your old Matchbox Twenty CDs and revisiting “Bright Lights.”

Written by A. Whisnant

Grade: B-

Listen: Cold

Buy: Cold

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7 Comments

Category: Single Reviews
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  1. Matt BNo Gravatar says:

    I like this song a lot. I also like a lot of Matchbox Twenty stuff and honestly, think Thomas could cross-over to country quite easily. That being said, I think this one will fail to rise the charts because of the smallish label.

  2. Well I would give it an A- but that’s just me. I also agree with Matt B that this won’t go high on the charts becasue of the small label. If her were on a slightly bigger label (like maybe Equity) he might have a better shot but otherwise this should do about what “This Town Needs A Bar” did. By the way “This Town Needs A Bar” almost charted didn’t it?

  3. Blake BoldtNo Gravatar says:

    I really enjoyed “This Town Needs a Bar.” Although I don’t feel as strongly about this song, it’s decent pop-country.

  4. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar says:

    Matt,

    I’d be very interested to see how Thomas would approach a country crossover, not that I suspect he ever seriously would (though he did co-write “Baby Doll” with Pat Green). He’s got a brilliant command of hooks and idiosyncrasies as a pop songwriter, and I’d love to see if he’d be able to retain those strengths if he were to try his hand at writing traditional country.

  5. ColeNo Gravatar says:

    It is interesting you bring up Rob Thomas, because this same song was performed by a local band from Spartanburg SC 8-10 years ago and they were a Matchbox 20 / Hootie and the blowfish, alternative type band. Not sure how it became a country song, I must say after hereing the Alternative version the country song just does not do it for me. Just wondering if anyone else has heard the old version or have a clue on how lyrics get traded/sold between artist.

  6. ColeNo Gravatar says:

    Dezeray’s Hammer “Something about the way” is the song I was refering to if you would like to google it

  7. ColeNo Gravatar says:

    I am sorry for being lazy I have since researched and found that the lead singer/song writer for dezeray’s is in Nashville his name is Aron James Whisnat and is credited as the song writer.

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