April 9, 2009
I swear I’ve heard this song somewhere before, but that’s probably just because every writer in Nashville already has a version of it. You know the jist: “I don’t need luxurious things, ’cause I got the sun and the moon and you, sweet baby.”
And you know, I don’t think there’s an inherent problem with that theme. It’s good stuff, the kind of mentality I definitely subscribe to personally and am willing to buy into when I listen to music.
Problem is, precious few songwriters seem able to flesh it out without resorting to the same trite, dumbed-down approach. Pretty much every song of this persuasion just throws out some examples of what is unattainable, then says, “but no worries, I’ve got…” and then throws out some examples of that. There is no room for interpretation or thought on the listener’s part; these songs are designed to feed you a sentiment rather than allow you to unpack one yourself.
So it’s no wonder, really, that the language and examples used in “Alright” could be exchanged with those in dozens of songs that have come out over the past few years; they all have such a one-dimensional approach that it’s hard to look at the details as anything but random fillings in a template. (And if you’re wondering why else it sounds like a familiar formula, check out how it rips its arrangement directly from Taylor Swift’s “Our Song.” Nice.)
The lone saving grace is Rucker’s performance, which demonstrates the kind of infectious character that could be spent making new-gen country classics instead of so many shallow forgettables. Now that he’s broken at radio and retail, let’s hope he’s given the chance to flex his real artistry next time out.
Written by Frank Rogers & Darius Rucker