Bucky Covington, “I Want My Life Back”

bucky-covington-whatevYou’re always treading on thin ice when you use encounters with the homeless for creative inspiration. Songwriters love to do it, but it’s the rare one who is able to present a homeless person with the distinction and dignity necessary to make him or her feel like more than a stock character.

“I Want My Life Back” bombs pretty hard in that regard. The homeless man in this song exists solely to help the song make its point – he’s so committed to it, in fact, that he turns down food money in order to recite the words to the bombastic chorus. After that, the homeless man’s words serve to inspire the narrator to realize, as all regretful men in pop-country singles do, that his pride and temper are what killed his previous relationship, and that he now wants his girl back. So he calls her up to tell her that. The End.

What we learned: the homeless exist to give songwriters ideas and to inspire you to get back together with your girlfriend. And when they speak, it is in power-ballad form. Now you know!

…Yeah. I want my four minutes back.

Grade: F

Listen: I Want My Life Back



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41 Comments

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41 Responses to Bucky Covington, “I Want My Life Back”

  1. FranNo Gravatar

    That was so harsh sounding, I decided to google Bucky C. and found the song on his My Space. I really like the song. Your review mentions nothing about the excellent arrangement,high-quality production, or on-the-money vocals. If the only criticism you have is the subject matter in the first verse, then why an “F” for a song which I uncovered was not written by the artist. I think it will be a hit.

  2. I just listened to the song as well, and all I can say is that this review is 100% spot on. This is a clumsily-written song, overproduced and overwrought and the vocals are anything but “on the money.”

  3. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    This is a creepy vocal.

    I’d also like to know who goes into a bar and has a shot, a beer, and lights up a cigar at the same time.

    I think Bucky might be the first artist in Country Universe history to earn two F’s. I gave one to “A Different World.”

  4. MaryNo Gravatar

    Kevin gave an “F” to ADW…which made it to the top 5 I believe. Enuf said. I Want My Life Back rings true for anyone who longs for “the way things were”. Not ony before you lost your job. It could be before an illness disrupted your whole family or something like that. Bucky’s charm comes thru amazingly in this great new single.

  5. jrobertsNo Gravatar

    My brother is a program director for a country music station, and the only thing his boss ever said that made any sense was that just because a song becomes a hit does not mean people ever want to hear that song again.

    “A Different World” is a classic example, and it is no longer played on his station.

    I agree with Kevin, “I Want My Life Back” is the pure unabridged garbage that many radio stations have to play but really dont want to.

  6. SueNo Gravatar

    “I Want My Life Back” will probably be a hit single and is no different than any other of the many songs on the charts right now that deal with this very same subject. The fact that the character in question is homeless has no bearing on the message of the song…IMO. I truly hope that Bucky Covington tops the charts with this one!

  7. KatieNo Gravatar

    Please, don’t pay any attention to Dan Milliken, Razor X, Kevin Coyne, and the other unrecognizable people on here. I’ve done a little research on them and trust me, no matter what Bucky sings, they put it down. They are all tied in with other blogs that write less than desirable words about Bucky. And if you try and leave a good review, they find fault in that too. Then when you counter back, they justify with what they think should be the final say and it’s usually with witty sarcastic little words that these type of “expert’s” (and I use this term loosely) use in their attack.

  8. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    I gave positive reviews to Bucky’s debut album and to his single “It’s Good to Be Us.”

  9. OwlerNo Gravatar

    I think anyone who thinks Sucky’s vocals are spot-on really needs to get their ears checked.

    This song kind of reminds me of Emerson Drive’s “moments”.

    To be positive…well, in my book, it’s not QUITE as bad as “I’ll Walk”.

    Bucky’s fans are as voracious as Carrie’s.

  10. dreamerNo Gravatar

    I am not a fan of Bucky’s or most artists….I am just a fan of music….and I really like this song….the homeless man is symbolic of the pit we often feel we have landed in when life gets tough. I did read that it was not written by Bucky Covington, but I do think he puts a haunting quality into the vocals and found it to be a song that gets stuck in your head….Kudos to Bucky Covington….I hope he does well with this song.

  11. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Bucky fans,

    I have nothing against Bucky, and I agreed with Kevin’s positive review of “It’s Good to Be Us.” It’s true that a lot of people in the blogosphere like to make fun of Bucky, and I probably have a time or two in good fun, but that doesn’t mean I automatically put down everything he does. If he were out with a good single, I would give it a good review. I just happen to think this is a poor single, simple as that.

  12. “Please, don’t pay any attention to Dan Milliken, Razor X, Kevin Coyne, and the other unrecognizable people on here. I’ve done a little research on them and trust me, no matter what Bucky sings, they put it down.”

    Since you’ve done your research, Katie, please tell me what I’ve said to “put down” other things Bucky has sung, because I recall making no such comments.

  13. “I’d also like to know who goes into a bar and has a shot, a beer, and lights up a cigar at the same time.”

    It’s not even legal in many states.

  14. “I Want My Life Back rings true for anyone who longs for “the way things were”. ”

    I long for the way things were — back when country radio wasn’t overwhelmed with crap songs like this.

  15. Stephen H.No Gravatar

    Stilted vocals, odd rhythm (song seems to keep on speeding up/slowing down in the choruses, unless it’s the audio quality of the provided file). I agree that the homeless man’s sole existence seems to be to get the narrator back with his girl. Someone mentioned “Moments”, which is a good comparison except the homeless man there is kept a main character throughout the song and effects the change in the narrator, while here he doesn’t.

    I had a soft spot for “A Different World”, liked “It’s Good to Be Us”, and couldn’t stand “I’ll Walk”. Guess it’s 2-for-4 now to me.

  16. LaPaulaNo Gravatar

    It sounds to me like you just dont like Bucky.He has plenty of radio announcers ,TV personalities and very devoted fans that feel differently. His songs are great ,including “IWMLB” and he sings them with such feeling.You can not find a more down to earth nice guy who never forgets where he came from.He is great to his fans and we will do everything we can to promote this song and anything Bucky does.

  17. KatieNo Gravatar

    Pardon me Razor X, I wasn’t just addressing you in general, I was stating that your little “group” (which includes you) never has nice things to say about Bucky. I looked back at songs of other artists that you personally like and you actually write nice sounding comments, when you disagree on a song, you sound like a smart a** and put everybody down with it.

    Unless there is food served at a bar, you can STILL order a shot, a beer, AND light up a cigar! Again, Bucky just SINGS the song, he did NOT write it.

    Ya know what I long for? The days when even if someone disagreed on something, the person actually just stated so with no cutesy, stupid, and crappy words like those of Razor X.

  18. Razor,

    Country radio has ALWAYS been littered with ‘crap songs’ and ALWAYS will be. At least they were to someone at one time.

  19. Katie, at least 1/3 of the states don’t allow smoking in any public indoor places. States like Tennessee have laws that allow for the venue to choose the no smoking/smoking option.

  20. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    “It sounds to me like you just dont like Bucky.”

    What’s crazy about this is that I didn’t even mention Bucky in the review; I just talked about how much I disliked the song, which he had no part in writing. Is this just the defense Bucky fans naturally jump to or something? Can’t we just agree to disagree?

  21. majikNo Gravatar

    “Bucky fans,

    I have nothing against Bucky, and I agreed with Kevin’s positive review of “It’s Good to Be Us.” It’s true that a lot of people in the blogosphere like to make fun of Bucky, and I probably have a time or two in good fun, but that doesn’t mean I automatically put down everything he does. If he were out with a good single, I would give it a good review. I just happen to think this is a poor single, simple as that.”

    No problems Dan!!! True Bucky fans know that there will always be bad reviews and there will always be those who just don’t like Bucky….and it really isn’t a big deal, after all, Bucky has had 3 top ten hits, a succsessfull first album, does charity events, entertains our troops overseas and gets more “good” press because of it. He travels back and forth across the country playing to hundreds of people each show and I have personally never been to a show where the people havn’t been enjoying it. So, really, if the Bucky trashers really believe they are making Bucky cry, they need to find reality, after all he’s living his dream and they are just typing unkind words on the internet.

  22. Stephen H.No Gravatar

    Majik,

    Two top-ten hits.

    “It’s Good to Be Us” reached #11.

    Just sayin’.

  23. majikNo Gravatar

    Thanks Steven…I read my facts wrong…

  24. Steven,

    It hit Top 10 on one of the charts.

  25. Stephen H.No Gravatar

    Majik and Matt,

    A) Sorry, I usually use Billboard as my personal be-all and end-all for chart positions.
    B) Please read my name and how it’s spelled. It’s a pet peeve of mine when it’s misspelled after I’ve typed it (I’m too used to it after saying it out loud to care then).

  26. Stephen H.No Gravatar

    But I do apologize for contradicting the top-ten claim. (It would prove my personal belief that songs I like from artists I don’t end up being their worst chart performers. lol)

  27. Matt B: “Country radio has ALWAYS been littered with ‘crap songs’ and ALWAYS will be. At least they were to someone at one time.”

    It’s always been LITTERED with crap songs, but it hasn’t always been OVERWHELMED with them, like it is now.

    Katie: “Ya know what I long for? The days when even if someone disagreed on something, the person actually just stated so with no cutesy, stupid, and crappy words like those of Razor X.”

    I long for the days when it was possible to have an intelligent discussion without certain artists’ rabid fans trying to derail the conversation.

  28. majikNo Gravatar

    Sorry Stephen, I have a son named Steven so writing it with that spelling is automatic….But i do apologise, it irks me when people misspell my name too!

  29. KatieNo Gravatar

    Razor, that would be nice if the conversation was intelligent. I long for the days where us “rabid” fans could actually read a review, even a negative review, and not have to derail your unfair comments.

  30. Fine, I’ll say something nice about Bucky. His blond highlights are very pretty.

    Satisfied?

  31. redbird49No Gravatar

    Wow…such negativity!! Everyone has their own opinion, and I have Mine! Bucky is a very down to earth sweet guy who hasn’t gotten above his raising, if you mean people know what that means! He’s the same person he was before he got his major record deal. I love his voice, it’s genuine, and I believe him when he sings. His emotion is obvious if you’ve ever taken the time to see one of his shows! He is a very good entertainer!
    And, as for the words in the song about a shot and a beer and lighting up a cigar….the song didn’t say he did it all at the same moment! I can’t count the times I’ve walked in a bar, got a shot, then a beer and lit up a cigarette….so why bash on those words?? I love the way the story line unfolds, and the way Bucky delivers it! He is awesome, in every way!

  32. AndieNo Gravatar

    carrie fans are in a legue of their own, they are really protective with carrie, right now no fanbase can compares to them

  33. ChrisNo Gravatar

    I give this song a grade A.I respect that we each have our own choices in what we like and don’t like that is what makes the world go round. Thank you for giving me the chance to hear this song I can relate to it very well it touched a place in me. I guess as we get older a lot of us say I want my life back….Thank you again for the chance to give it a listen.

  34. CaptFranceNo Gravatar

    Well, I think the theme of the song is about how we all sometimes realize that we want our old lifestyle back. It could be a lifestyle that changed through our own doing or through no fault of our own. I don’t believe it is meant to be a song about the homeless. Why is it wrong to use homelessness as a symbol that tweaks out emotions any more than using divorce or war; as many Country songs do? We didn’t invent the problem, but we all can identify with it.

    I’ve only heard the song a couple times so far, but I didn’t find it at all offensive. I also enjoyed the way Bucky sang it with a lot of feeling, and it has a good range of melody.

  35. cruisingNo Gravatar

    I can’t believe you people are getting your shorts all up in a knot over a few people’s opinions. Everyone has a different taste in music, and actually who really delves into the lyrics of a song and pick it apart if they simply just like or dislike the song.If you like the song buy it … if you don’t like it don’t buy it. Personally I like the song, just my opinion. now Taylor Swift, that’s someone I’m sick of hearing. Just my personal opinion.

  36. Dan Milliken says:
    “What’s crazy about this is that I didn’t even mention Bucky in the review”

    Dan, uh, I believe you mentioned Bucky Covington in the title of your review. Why did you not just write Frank Myers, “I Want My Life Back” if you were going to give a review on the lyrics?

    I realize it is too easy a target to make fun of Dan, who is just a kid still in college. Give him some time to mature and I am sure he will learn to write with depth of understanding and empathy. It is often hard for someone that young to know what it is like to lose a spouse to war; a father to a brain tumor; a baby to SIDS; a home to foreclosure; a 25 year job to cutbacks ; the ability to walk due to an accident; a beloved mother’s memory to Alzheimers. It is hard to have felt the hot pain of what one’s life used to be when you have barely gotten out of your teens.
    Today is Easter. The sermon was you don’t have to be defeated by your worst moment in life..your biggest mistake..your worst regret. How appropriate that Bucky’s song fits perfectly into that message of hope.

  37. It is hard to have felt the hot pain of what one’s life used to be when you have barely gotten out of your teens.

    Good point, but does it not also illustrate that this song has failed to get its point across? One shouldn’t have to personally experience everything a song talks about in order to be able to understand it.

  38. NicolasNo Gravatar

    Wow, I really love this song – its getting me very excited for his second album, I think his vocals are brilliant on it and the production is great… its kinda mellow and filled with the awesomeness of steel guitars

  39. AmberNo Gravatar

    this song really speaks to me.

  40. Mike JNo Gravatar

    This song is just atrocious, overproduced, and I have no idea why they chose this as a single. I liked the songs Bucky put out on his first effort, but they swung and missed with this one. His voice isn’t suited to this type of song, and the sheer idea of the song is just silly.

  41. Great post. I do agree. This could help a lot of people! Keep it up mate