Single Review: Darius Rucker, “This”

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January 12, 2011

Back in the nineties, radio remixes became widely prevalent in the pop, rock, and R&B formats.  You couldn’t just send a song to radio as is, and call it a day.

Instead, programmers would get the same song in five different versions.  Top 40 Mix, AC Mix, Dance Mix Edit.  All the same song at the core, I suppose, but when the only thing left from the original is the artist’s vocal, it’s hard to know what the core of the song is.

“This” sounds like it’s the Country Mix of one of those easily malleable pop songs from the nineties. I actually appreciate the fact that there are some country elements – Lady Antebellum, please take note. But they sound layered on, like they were put they’re because they’re supposed to be there, instead of because they need to be there.

Of course, many core country acts don’t bother putting them in there at all. “This” reminds me of a Nashville tourist.  You can always spot one in a crowd. They’re the only one wearing a cowboy hat.

Written by Frank Rogers and Darius Rucker

Grade: C

Listen: This

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  1. Hoggy from OzNo Gravatar says:

    Fantastic review. Love the conclusion!

  2. Ben FosterNo Gravatar says:

    Interesting review. I agree on the point about the country elements seeming slapped on, but since I just thought it was a crappy song to begin with, that wasn’t the first thing I noticed.

  3. KNo Gravatar says:

    Wow, you’re on a roll with these reviews today Kevin.

    I can tolerate “This” more than Darius’ last single, but it’s sad that this type of ear candy fluff is becoming routine from him.

    He’s one of the finest male vocalists to come along in some time, and it’s obvious he has (or should) have higher standards for better material, as his did in the Hottie days.

    What frusturates me the most is the fact that Darius has proven he is (or was) better than this. I don’t understand why “Darius the country artist” seems to have lost his desire to record great material that matches his talent.

    I would expect an artist with Rucker’s talent and previous track record would strive for higher standards.

    The subject is good enough, but it just isn’t interesting or memorable. That’s the thing about country music: either you make a chliche subject something truly special, or the artist choses to leave in all the mudane overcooked stories and reinforce the sterotypes about country music.

    Not to mention I remain confused as to why Darius continues along the same path as so many of his peers; wasn’t he the one who said he wanted to do a tarditional country record, and thought pop country singles brought to him were more suited for Rascal Flatts?

    How ironic.

  4. KatieRNo Gravatar says:

    Darius Rucker’s got a great voice, but his song writing ability is just “okay”. Some good ones, not really any terrible ones, but many “ehh” ones. I own both of his albums (which can’t be said of many radio country artists right now) but his first one is definitely better.

  5. Erik NorthNo Gravatar says:

    Put any country instrumentation on a Hootie and the Blowfish record, and that almost seems to be what Darius Rucker has been doing (IMHO). And this is a solo career, no less.

  6. Ben FosterNo Gravatar says:

    Erik, I didn’t notice that resemblance much on a few early singles like “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” but I really do notice it here. This song sounds like it has almost the same melody as Hootie’s “Only Wanna Be With You.”

  7. TomNo Gravatar says:

    …”honey, no cowboy hats on the nashville-trip this year!”

    “this” is boring.

  8. JonathanNo Gravatar says:

    “This” proves the dumbing down of Darius’s music. This is the kind of song the serves only one purpose – to please the radio programmers enough to get airplay.

    There isn’t an artist out there who can sustain a artistically credible career with this kind of material. It’s more than bland and boring, it’s gutless filler in place of needed substance.

    You won’t remember this song in five minutes let alone five months or five years. It makes no impact what so ever.

    When he released “It Won’t Be Like This for Long,” I remember thinking that he could be the next Brad Paisley. I thought he was that good. I still think he has the talent, but the next Brad Paisley? That was a bit of an overstatement on my part.

    Darius must really want to fade into obviation and fast.

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