There isn’t much to love about The JaneDear Girls’ debut album, and that’s putting it lightly. It’s a set characterized by uninspired, derivative songwriting, not to mention screechy vocals and tin-eared production choices. (John Rich – Who’da guessed?) But there was one song on the album that almost made all the other songs look good by comparison. Surprise! It’s their new single.
To say the least, if you didn’t like Trace Adkins’ “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” you won’t like this either. Apparently, “merry” is a new word for the female tush, which leads to the eyebrow-raising hook of “Make your merry go round.” Beyond that hook, and the calling for listenters to “Bend those curves to the groove of the fiddle” and “Throw your hands up, make your headlights shimmy,” the lyrics are typical paper-thin party song fare. So instead they’re going to go for a catchy melody and production, right?
Wrong! “Merry Go Round” crumbles under the weight of a bloated, overblown arrangement that makes it sound like fingernails on a chalkboard. But what drives it further into the ground is the excessive use of auto-tuning in Susie and Danelle’s vocals. It’s an unnecessary, in-your-face addition that moves the song down from just plain bad to outright unlistenable. When thin, weak vocals are the least of the problems, you know you’re in trouble.
What was the label even thinking when they released this? The fact that such a terrible record passes for country music in 2011 is extremely depressing.
In a career that’s already consisted of some astonishingly bad singles, this is the worst one yet.
Written by Danelle Leverett, Peter Amato, and Oliver Leiber
Listen: Merry Go Round