July 9, 2011
Though the genre has boasted some great album artists over the years, country music remains the most singles-driven format. Albums are often just singles with a bunch of filler. But what to do when the singles are the filler?
Blake Shelton has previewed his first full album in three years with two singles. The first, “Honey Bee”, has been a major hit, and it’s easy to understand why. It’s breezy, catchy and altogether charming. Shelton’s a solid singer, requiring no studio tricks to make him sound good, so nothing gets in the way of the singer and the song.
Is it a great song? Nope. But it’s pleasant and not offensive and it won’t make you change the radio dial. A couple of lyrical twists make it sound clever in comparison to the rest of the dreck on the radio dial, so it even comes off like a career record when it’s really just pretty good filler.
But pretty good filler is a stronger claim than can be made for “God Gave Me You.” Apparently learning none of the right lessons from “Honey Bee”, the follow-up is loud, overproduced, and so generic that it could be recorded by any B-lister out there and fit in on their filler-filled collections, too. Throw in backup singers that are as distracting and unnecessary as those dancers on The Voice, and you’ve got yourself a mess.
A mess that probably still isn’t offensive enough to make most listeners change the radio dial, since it won’t stand out much anyway. I’m sure Blake will be back again soon with another pretty good single, but when are we going to get a great one?
“God Gave Me You”
Grade: D | Listen
Grade: B | Listen