Single Review: Zac Brown Band featuring Alan Jackson, “As She’s Walking Away”

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

Grade: B+

Listen: As She’s Walking Away

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15 Comments

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15 Responses to Single Review: Zac Brown Band featuring Alan Jackson, “As She’s Walking Away”

  1. KeithNo Gravatar

    LOVE this song. You hit the nail on the head when you said that it was reminiscent of the 90s country songs. That is what makes it so good.

  2. That was a great review. You picked up on a few very positive traits that I missed in my review of this song, especially the “deeper nugget of wisdom.”

    That said, I was very surprised that it got a B+. Granted, a B+ is still a good grade, but I was SO sure that I smelled an A.

  3. Devin HoseaNo Gravatar

    Reminds me of Diamond Rio, in a way. I love this song. Pure country gold, in today’s world.

  4. Greg MNo Gravatar

    This is indeed a great song. I’ve loved almost everything Zac Brown has put out and the interplay with Jackson makes for some good chemistry.

    However, this review has me posing a question, something I notice not just here but on places like 9513 and other Country Review sites. How do the grading system work? I mean on 9513 you read a paragraph or two and it seems so positive only to be let down by the thumbs down. Here, this was a glowing review, probably up there with the best singles of 2010, and then you see the grade of B+ and it seemed like I missed something in the review. So sure it was going to get an A and it didn’t. Was kind of interesting.

  5. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    I went back and forth on giving this one an A-, and I think it just came down to subjectivity. Personally, I think this is a fantastic single, but I’m not necessarily blown away by it. I can see why I’m being questioned, though. I’ll be more mindful of matching my reviews against my grades in the future!

  6. I just found the grade a little surprising. I understand that sometimes a song seems to have many of the positive traits that we look for, but we might still consider it “good, but not quite THAT good.”

  7. BobNo Gravatar

    I like the song and plan on buying the album as soon as it comes out. I didn’t buy the first album til “Toes” and their CMA performance convinced me of their talent. I thought “Chicken Fried” was awful and “Whatever It Is” was just OK – then loved the rest of the album. It seems weird to say I got hooked by a song called “Toes”.

  8. I’m like Bob, I thought “Chicken Fried” was awful and I still haven’t forgiven them for writing and performing a song that stupid. The first single that I started to believe they are extremely talented is “Highway 20 Ride,” that’s the first song where I noticed how great of a vocalist Zac Brown really is.

    Now with this song hitting radio waves, ZBB has completely changed my opinion of them. I love this song and this is the first song they’ve released that I actually love and would buy. I am finally seeing why they’ve been receiving accolades and nominations from both the ACM’s and CMA’s. But, I have to say that they can’t replace Lady Antebellum as my favorite group (although some might disagree with me).

  9. Joe MussoNo Gravatar

    I really like this song too! This one, Highway 20 Ride, and Whatever It Is are my favorites by ZBB. I don’t mind Chicken Fried, but I don’t much care for Toes. Not sure how that got nominated for song of the year..??

  10. GerriNo Gravatar

    I have not been a big supporter of ZBB. I disliked “Chicken Fried” but, as some above have stated, began to listen more when they did “Highway 20 Ride.” But this song is great!! Alan Jackson, whom I love, really adds to it. The entire song is very good and worth listening to.

  11. RyanNo Gravatar

    For those who don’t care for “Chicken Fried” didn’t grow up in the country. Growing up in a rural community it was a ritual for us after the game to go down to the river, turn the radio up, drink a cold beer and party till the sun came up the next morning.

    Have you never had a favorite pair of jean that fit just right? They are the most comfortable jeans and you can wear them to do anything from working in the field or goin to town.

    I might just be some redneck hick from Oklahoma, but “Chicken Fried” as do most of Zac’s songs speaks to me in a way that is hard to explain.

    You just wouldn’t understand the comedy/truth to “Sic’em on a chicken” unless you’ve do that exact thing!

    The patriotic feeling that Zac protrudes in his songs is something that recharges this rednecks country soul.

  12. RyanNo Gravatar

    I absolutely love this whole album. There isn’t one bad song on it, and I have officially made “Who Knows” my entrance for anytime I come into a room…Love it!!!

  13. SteveNo Gravatar

    Delilah? Plain White T’s?

  14. KatieRNo Gravatar

    this is one of the standout songs of the year for me. I can’t say it’s my favorite, but it’s definitely one I turned up instead of turned off.