Single Review: Kellie Pickler, “100 Proof”

Here’s a kooky little love song. It lilts by so sweetly that you kind of miss the verse lyrics at first. After another listen, you realize that the night of marital bliss in the chorus apparently stems from that couple feeling smug compared to another, less successful couple from earlier that night. And the other couple are their friends! You’re cold, Kellie and Kyle.

Goofing aside, I’m just bewildered by the choice of single. It’s a pleasant album cut and sounds modern enough, sure. But as a bid to save Pickler at radio? And to get people excited about her brave new album? Seems too sleepy. I would’ve gone in guns blazing with “Unlock That Honky Tonk,” which pulls off all the swagger and hookiness “Tough” didn’t manage to. Even the gentle groove of “Rockaway (The Rockin’ Chair Song)” – just as lovey-dovey as “100 Proof” – might have made a deeper impression. I’m worried programmers are going to shrug this one off before listeners even get the chance.

Written by James T. Slater and Leslie Satcher

Grade: B-

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4 Comments

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4 Responses to Single Review: Kellie Pickler, “100 Proof”

  1. I like this one well enough, but it’s not one of my favorites off the (very strong) new album. It never really struck me as smug, and I doubt it was intended to come across as such. To me, it just sounded like the contrast the two couples’ relationships serves to deepen the narrator’s appreciation for what she herself has.

    Likewise, I am slightly bewildered by this single choice. I agree that “Unlock That Honky Tonk” would have been a brilliant canidate for a single. As for “Rockin’ Chair Song,” I love it so much that to see it released to radio almost sounds too good to be true. But it’s such an effortlessly likeable cut that I’m sure it could gain Pickler some amount of traction at radio if given the shot.

    Even if she never does become a fully established radio presence, I hope she can at least carve out a respectable career as an album artist. I’m fairly optimistic that her output will continue being interesting from here on out.

  2. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I was just kidding about the ‘smug’ thing. I just think it’s an unintentionally funny situation – basically the two couples are hanging out, then one of them starts causing a scene, so the other couple goes home and (it’s implied) has sex. Oh, Leslie Satcher!

  3. TomNo Gravatar

    …sonically rather pleasant, but not a lot more.
    i could imagine that it might find some love with radio programmers, if played during rush hours. it could have a kinda soothing effect on people sitting in traffic jams. moreover, it might put one or the other idea in their heads – actually, just one.

  4. Motown MikeNo Gravatar

    I hope at some point on this album she goes with the gutsy choice and releases “Stop Cheating on Me”. If she pulls that one out of her hat I’ll be a fan of hers for life! I semi-promise that one too!