January 4, 2010
I was less than generous to this group’s Bon Jovi-lite (and that’s some serious lite) debut, “Runaway,” but damn if its infectious melody didn’t weasel into my brain anyway. Not unlike Lady Antebellum and Gloriana, Love And Theft show a real aptitude for sugary AC-pop melodies wrapped up in slick harmonies, with their only major recorded weakness being their bland, somewhat vacuous lyrics.
Such is the basic story of “Dancing in Circles,” a Contemporary Christian-styled waltz with a few nice thoughts for humankind. It’s hard to object to a song of social conscience squeaking its way into the typically-mundane country radio format, even if it must do so by Bible-thumping, and it’s hard not to fall for the song’s swelling, very singable chorus. You just wish it would dig deeper into our species’ faults than surface-level references to lying, stealing, fighting and killing, or deeper into its own faith foundation than surface-level reminders of God’s existence and judgment. There’s no doubt the song’s heart is in the right place, but without a little more brainpower behind it, one worries that most of the “circles” it reaches will remain fundamentally unbroken.
Written by Robert Ellis Orrall, Roger Springer & Stephen Barker Liles
Listen: Dancing in Circles