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