One, it describes things as they are now, instead of trying to inspire us with idyllic images of how the world could be if we just, you know, did something. The details used to describe a woman who “is so much more than you like to talk about” captures the dilemma that faces so many women today with little descriptions that add up to a larger picture of all of the compromises that must be made to a woman’s ambition and talent for her to not offend those who might be offended by them.
And it’s the tension created by those compromises that lead to the second reason for the song’s success. The tale of a woman holding back her potential must be matched by a production and vocal performance that also hold back. The lyric demands restraint, which prevents the over-singing and arena bombast that sinks the other songs on the album from taking over this track. The elements are still there, but they don’t overwhelm the proceedings.
It’s interesting. The Incredible Machine has already been certified platinum. When the first two singles are inevitably included on the first Sugarland hits collection, they will represent what I consider a very weak set in the best possible light. That’s encouraging in the long run, because quite frankly, when Sugarland is on the top of their game, they’re still better than everybody else in mainstream country music.
Written by Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles
Listen: Little Miss