A sound sentiment stuffed in a sound-impaired package.
The generic “moody” 90’s production does some of the damage, as does a patchwork melody that can’t seem to connect its phrases. But you can also hear McGraw still ironing out his vocal technique, as his likably nervous tremor in the verses meets a series of clumsy trills and some pitchy “baby”s and “maybe”s.
What if one of the big female artists of 2011 were the first to release this song?
If Carrie Underwood recorded it in 2011, the song would be praised as one of the best she’s ever recorded, but she’d be criticized for over-singing and over-producing it.
It’s All Good
It’s impossible to review an album titled It’s All Good without indulging in a few witty remarks. Such a title tends to beg the question of whether or not the album really is “all good.” The vocals are all good, to be sure. Joe Nichols has already proven himself to be one of mainstream country music’s best male vocalists, and on his newest effort, his performances do not disappoint. The production, likewise, is consistently solid. Producers Mark Wright and Buddy Cannon back Nichols with arrangements that sound easily accessible and radio-friendly, while laced with traditional country trimmings of fiddle and steel, and it certainly is enjoyable to hear country music that is sonically recognizable as such.
In this aggression-heavy era of Eric Church and Jason Aldean, it’s easy to take Keith Urban’s brand of swagger for granted. It’s a little smoother around the edges, a little less gritty – but when he finds the right song to marry it to, it’s as natural and dynamic as any in the field.