Single Review: Zac Brown Band, “No Hurry”

Via Facebook’s “Share” feature, you have probably bumped into a satirical motivational poster by now with this text:

PROCRASTINATION: “Hard Work Often Pays Off After Time, But Laziness Always Pays Off Now.”

On paper, this certainly shows with regard to the newly-released fifth single, “No Hurry”, from the industrious Zac Brown Band’s current album You Get What You Give: vying to tie Rodney Crowell’s record for most Billboard Hot Country Song #1 hits from a single album.

As you could indubitably guess from the title alone, this song depicts a passive protagonist whittling the day away and basking in faineancy without a care in the world. Lyrically, it regurgitates all-too-familiar images associated with relaxed, simple living. Old cane fishing pole? Check! Fold-up easy chair? Check! Hiding out from the “bossman”? Gotta have that, right?

It also follows an all-too-familiar narrative arc, where the first two verses are concerned with personal details, while the third and final verse moves onto more universal ruminations with regards to life and death (“Heaven knows that I ain’t perfect, I’ve raised a little cain. And I plan to raise a whole lot more, before I hear those angels sing…”)……..and feels the need to obligatorily exclaim “Gonna get right with the lord!” immediately after so not to, you know, displease the Focus On The Family types.

From the band that has already given us “Knee Deep” this time around, it sounds, straight-up, consonant to the band’s strengths. Who can go wrong with a harmless ditty that would probably make for a fine official anthem in observance of the Day After New Year’s Day, and the inevitable plentitude of nullified resolutions that appear in its wake?

So, lyrics aside………why does the band sound like it’s trying too hard here?

Ironically, Brown sounds as though he’s trying to give it his all vocally. By the time we reach the climatic final verse, he actually sounds like he’s rehearsing for a Bud Light “Real Men of Genius” television advertisement promo as opposed to singing an ode to quiet living (imagine that…….Zac Brown saluting Mister Croup-Preventing Skullcap Weaver………if not Mister Sweet Tea, Pecan Pie & Homemade Wine Fixer-Upper! ;) )

He certainly doesn’t sound laid-back by that point. He sounds like he’s starting to run a cold sweat. Which underscores the main reason I can’t seem to connect with this. The band actually makes procrastination sound……….dare I say it…………not any fun at all. Even funereal.

Jimmy De Martini provides another hearty helping of fiddle here that nevertheless only reinforces this lasting impression that the effort would sound better fitted to a late-autumn dirge than to the scents of early spring. Come on, fellas, you assured me before the only thing I ought to fear is if the tide is going to reach this easy chair!

Then again, as far as we know, perhaps that is the point. After all, “No Hurry”, punctuated by mournful fiddle throughout, may not be so much about celebrating procrastination than, from a more practical standpoint, accepting that we’d be fools not to worry about everything we can’t change in a more philosophical sense…….or else, in doing so, we would be fated to the tagline of another satirical, grimmer motivational poster on the issue of procrastination, depicting a dying goldfish in a dirty bowl:

PROCRASTINATION: “It’s, Hands-Down, Our Favorite Form Of Self-Sabotage”

Either way you skin it, “No Hurry” is a time-waster in that it fails to inspire either a rousing or reflective quality…….resulting in their weakest of ten singles to date. In spite of that, expect this to quite likely make history in making the Zac Brown Band the first group in the history of country music to produce five Billboard Hot Country Song #1s from a single album.

See, what did I tell you? Laziness Always Pays Off Now! Even for a band whose work ethic and rise to stardom has been anything BUT slothful.

Written by Zac Brown, Wyatt Durette, and James Otto

Grade: C

Listen: No Hurry

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10 Comments

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10 Responses to Single Review: Zac Brown Band, “No Hurry”

  1. bobNo Gravatar

    Noah, basking in “FAINEANCY”? I took a few journalism classes in college back in the 60′s and still remember getting back my first paper with many red marks and comments like “choose the simple word”.

    “No Hurry” is a pleasant song that may not be the greatest choice for a single from country music’s best group but still not bad. I’m surprised that “Let It Go” wasn’t released as a single.

  2. Noah EatonNo Gravatar

    Story of my life, Bob! Story of my life! ;)

    I just think the song really falters in its execution. I get the impression it is meant to channel a relaxing, laid-back vibe, but the urgency as the song goes on directly contradicts that attempted vibe. The atmosphere just sounds pensive here. About the most pensive fishing song I’ve ever heard.

    “C” really just boils down to “Average” as a grade. I find the production is better than most of what is being passed onto radio, and I appreciate their genuine musicianship as always. It’s just not nearly as impactful as we’ve been accustomed to hearing from them lately. And to this day, aside from “Chicken Fried”, I’ve found all of the band’s other singles to be above-average, with numerous exceptional offerings (“Colder Weather”, “As She’s Walking Away”, “Highway 20 Ride”, “Toes”).

    I highly doubt “No Hurry” will have the staying power many of their previous hits are enjoying or are likely to enjoy. I feel the grade I offered this reflects that. It might be enjoyable in the meantime, but it will have an inferior shelf life. In two year’s time, it will be “Colder Weather” and “Knee Deep” that listeners keep turning back to.

  3. Noah EatonNo Gravatar

    As for “Let It Go”, I actually would have chosen either that or alternatively “I Play The Road” as the fifth single (I don’t think “Martin” would work well at radio).

    In my view anyway, “Let It Go” better succeeds as a motivational poster put to music effort. I also like the clever, cheeky allusion in the second verse to the incident regarding radio censoring their previous hit “Toes” because of the word “ass”. The breakdown before the final chorus is also really nice, which sounds like a modern interpretation of one of Paul Simon’s “Graceland” experiments.

  4. DevinNo Gravatar

    I think “I Play The Road” is more cliched and uninspiring than this song, personally.

    But I agree that “Let It Go” would have been much better served as the 5th single, and I for the life of me can’t figure out why it wasn’t chosen. Most people I know have been hoping for that one as the next single two or three songs ago.

  5. Exactly what I said. There were so many better songs on the record they should’ve released than this

  6. Simple words are boring ;)

    I haven’t listened extensively to this song, but I generally haven’t been engaged enough to read into it this far. I guess I’m just starting to get bored with this particular side of the Zac Brown Band. I’ll probably give the song a couple more chances, but I expect I’ll likely remain in agreement with the review.

  7. Noah EatonNo Gravatar

    “I Play The Road” is lyrically cliched, I agree, but I do like the sound of that track more than this.

    Heck, even “Make This Day” would have made for a more entertaining fifth single. It sounds much more Brian Setzer Orchestra than country by all means, but who’s keeping count of how many songs from any given artist are “country” anyway?

  8. TomNo Gravatar

    …seems to me as if this could be a rather fitting presidental campaign song for barack obama after his first hand experience that “yes, we can!” in fact takes a little more patience than expected four years ago.

    for those of us, who are not in the business of changing or shaping the world, but enjoy a day of fishin’, it may be as good a tune when driving to the fishing hole as the yet unmatched “beer, bait and ammo”.

  9. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    “I Play the Road” is engaging. The lyrics don’t bother me.

  10. Noah EatonNo Gravatar

    I think it would be fitting for all politicians, actually (i.e. “We’re in ‘No Hurry’ to abolish corporate personhood, tackle the issue of immigration, legalize hemp and kick our reliance on foreign oil! And…..oh yeah…..that middle class…” ;)

    *

    Tara, the lyrics of “I Play The Road” certainly don’t bother me. I’d certainly prefer to hear a song about life on the road as opposed to a song about beer for the umpteenth time. They’ve just been spoken countless times already.

    And I get the impression the band somehow feels the song is particularly clever. According to Brown, while touring the band had stopped at a diner on their way to a show that same evening. It was at the diner that the waitress asked, “Are you in a band?” The band confirmed this, and she then asked what instruments each of them play, to which their bus driver Big George replied: “I play the road!”

    It’s a cute story that makes for an enjoyable, honest song…….but it’s not as clever as they’re making it out to be.

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