September 10, 2010
Few mainstream singles this year have displayed the fine musicianship of “As She’s Walking Away,” the first single off the Zac Brown Band’s upcoming album, You Get What You Give. Sparsely produced, the song leaves ample breathing room for the equally gorgeous fiddle and full harmonies to make their respective impacts. More notably, the song is ripe with earnestness, from the sweet interplay between Brown and Jackson to the charming, honest performances. Even the energizing melody feels sincere.
In many ways, “As She’s Walking Away” is reminiscent of the shuffling, understated ditties about life’s little truths that soared in the 90s, many of which belonged to Jackson himself. But make no mistake: this is a distinct Zac Brown Band product, marked by the band’s signature charisma and Brown’s effective (and underrated) vocals. Just as he adds a layer of soul to “Highway 20 Ride,” Brown brings a spot-on, fresh vigor to this song, a delightful complement to Jackson’s even-keeled confidence. The two couldn’t play their roles better as the older Jackson coolly nudges Brown to ask the girl he’s been eying to dance.
Underneath this simplistic story, though, is a deeper nugget of wisdom, outlined in the chorus: “May have lost this battle/live to fight another day” suggests that life isn’t necessarily about that one defining moment, but rather, a vignette of moments that become what you make of them. There are no spectacular details about the girl in “As She’s Walking Away” because the pay-off isn’t so much the dance as it is the reward of taking that chance – or rolling the dice, as they put it.
Here’s to hoping the rest of You Get What You Give is as well-crafted as its debut single.
Written by Zac Brown & Wyatt Durrette
Listen: As She’s Walking Away