Jamey Johnson, “My Way To You”

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July 23, 2009

Jamey way to youInteresting enough. It’s almost like Jamey Johnson decided to try his hand at a typical radio ballad – unspecific narrative about finding fulfillment in a significant other/God, rock bent, oversized electric guitar solo – just to show that he could make even that sound pretty cool.

Good thing the idea worked out alright. Expectations have become so bloated for Johnson that his career could suffer quite a dip if the follow-up to That Lonesome Song doesn’t manage to woo both critics and consumers again. This single’s savvy blend of commercial packaging and un-commercial delivery suggests that won’t be a problem.

Still, it’s hard not to be disappointed at the more middle-of-the-road features. As a piece of writing, “My Way To You” is nice, but ordinary; as a production, it’s pretty over-the-top. (Seriously, someone’s got to put a stop to these guitar solos. They could single-handedly kill this country music era’s chances of being taken seriously by future generations.)

And yet, as a vessel for Johnson’s hugely emotive vocals, it all comes together into something fairly compelling. Save for a sour tone or two at the end, his is an undeniable performance, the kind of passionate display that just seems to defy description or review. As long as that voice is around, mainstream country can’t help but sound a little more interesting.

Grade: B

Listen: My Way to You

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10 Comments

Category: Single Reviews

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  1. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Perfect description! I like this song, because Johnson does pull it off, but the overblown electric guitar solo is very offputting for me, which downgrades my over all ability to embrace it. A B+ or B is honestly what I’d give it as well.

  2. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar says:

    Love the steel guitar, hate the electric guitar. He still sounds to me like a Randy Travis 45 played at 33 1/3 speed. Much like the Miranda Lambert single, I’m having trouble deciding if this is artistic growth or self-indulgence.

  3. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks, Leeann!

    I know what you mean, Kevin. There’s something very “overzealous gospel diva” about everything from the bridge onward, and as much as I think he mostly pulls it off, I wonder how much more I’d like it if he had just continued on the quiet route.

  4. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Kevin,
    Funny description of Jamey’s voice. Pretty accurate, now that I think about it.

  5. Canadian BoyNo Gravatar says:

    I think this song is more of an A level than a B level, but agree with you on the guitar solos. Give them a break already!

  6. RussNo Gravatar says:

    I suppose this answers my question about whether Jamey was coming out with a new album this year. Is it just me or does the intro sound like the start of a Clint Eastwood Western? I love it

    The guitar solo is weird, especially when you consider that it doesn’t even sound like it could be derived from anything remotely country. Most of these type of solos these days sound like bad Skynyrd attempts. This one sounds more like Guns ‘N Roses in my opinion.

    Overall though, I like it and agree with the rating. He lead his last album with the most radio friendly song and should that be a reflection of this one, I’m excited about the upcoming release.

  7. Matt B.No Gravatar says:

    I think that Jamey might even be singing about finding the man he wanted be in himself, so the “you” could even be himself.

  8. Canadian BoyNo Gravatar says:

    That’s a real interesting interpretation of the lyrics Matt B. Never thought about it that way before, but it definetly could be who “you” is actually suppose to be.

  9. JessNo Gravatar says:

    I couldn’t be happier to see that he has another album coming out this year, but I know he wasn’t planning on releasing another album until early next year because he wanted to work on it after he got done with touring this fall….wonder what gave.

    I love his sound, i love his lyrics…it’s just very refreshing hearing him. It is very clear who he idioled as young man and young musician based on what he has produced.

    I tried figuring out who the “you” was in this song as well…i thought “you” may be god, but wasn’t sold on that. After reading Matt’s idea above, i think he is correct.

    overall, love it. can’t wait to see him live again…but it looks like i’m going to have to travel to make it happen, unless the second part of that tour he’s on with Randy comes near the Tampa Bay area later this fall…..

  10. RobertNo Gravatar says:

    I love this song, even if it is a shade questionable who “you” is. The electric solo had me thinking instantly of Slash and “November Rain”. Not exactly usual in country music, but I liked it.

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