Single Review: Joey+Rory, "When I'm Gone"

No doubt, Mr. and Mrs. Feek are very busy people these days as they host their very own variety program The Joey + Rory Show on RFD-TV, while also preparing to release their third studio album His and Hers on July 31.  The first single from the project is the piano-driven ballad “When I’m Gone” – a narrator’s wistful meditation on her future death, as well as its effect on the one she holds dear.

While the piano accompaniment is a slight departure from the steel-heavy sounds Joey+Rory have typically favored, I’ll be darned if this song doesn’t bring out the absolute best in Joey Martin Feek as a vocalist.  As usual, she smartly goes for subtlety over power, conveying the sorrowful tone of the lyric without wallowing in it, and turning in a performance of beautiful emotional connectivity.  It’s a classic example of the unaffected down-home sincerity that has long marked Joey+Rory’s personas both on stage and off.

The lyric follow’s the narrator’s spouse through the grieving journey.  “The bright sunrise will contradict the heavy fall that weighs you down/ In spite of all the funeral songs, the birds will sing their joyous song/ You’ll wonder why the earth still moves…” Joey sings in a verse that sounds vaguely reminiscent of Skeeter Davis’ “The End of the World.”  The next verse depicts the bereaved one’s first night alone, showing a few shades of Reba’s “For My Broken Heart.”  The lyric makes no attempt to downplay the depth of grief, but offers a hint of positivity toward the end as Joey concludes that ultimately, life will go on – “And even though you loved me still, you will know where you belong/ Just give it time, we’ll both be fine when I’m gone.”  The song follows a structured narrative that is straightforward, well laid out, and most importantly, true to life.

At this point, country radio has clearly demonstrated no interest in Joey+Rory’s music, which is too bad for country radio listeners.  But if the Feeks are able to build a respectable career as album artists, hopefully bolstered by exposure from their television program, there may be little reason to complain.  viagra canadian sales The main thing is that, if “When I’m Gone” is any indication, Joey+Rory still have plenty of excellent music left in them.  Bring on that new album.

Grade: A-

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9 Comments

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9 Responses to Single Review: Joey+Rory, "When I'm Gone"

  1. gloriaNo Gravatar

    I do love their singing. What a shame CR shows them no love. Man, how things have changed over the years. Where’s HeeHaw when you need it?? lol!

  2. MotownMikeNo Gravatar

    What FM country radio could be…

    What fantastic artistry here! Lyrics that evoke raw emotions and production that goes beyond just “staying out of the way”. A melodic composition that rather enhances the emotional gravitas of the situation being sung about. It’s good to see some Nashville songwriters/artists still meet my personal definition of “getting it” when it comes to parts of country music.

    Carrie Underwood recently released “Blown Away”. A a song itself meant to carry a more profound meaning in comparison to its peers on radio and those in Carrie’s recent music catalog. Imagine if “Blown Away” were produced as “When I’m Gone” has been. How much more memorable and emotional would that make a song such as “Blown Away” for you? I know it would increase tenfold for me.

    Alas though, I am not the target audience anymore for FM country radio or any FM radio format for that matter. Carrie’s song, with its own raw emotions whisked away by bombastic production, will chart on radio, this one likely will falter and drop off. And once again, disenchantment will reign supreme with my feathers left ruffled once again.

    Country radio, the corporate executives and many in their audience might not care to miss out on a musical experience such as this, but I sure would. I’m pledging my full support to Joey & Rory and any country, country/folk, countrygrass or bluegrass artist who chooses to release deep, meaningful material such as this in a market full of stale and vapid material.

    …what FM country radio should be

  3. MotownMikeNo Gravatar

    What FM country radio could be…

    What fantastic artistry here! Lyrics that evoke raw emotions and production that goes beyond just “staying out of the way”. A melodic composition that rather enhances the emotional gravitas of the situation being sung about. It’s good to see some Nashville songwriters/artists still meet my personal definition of “getting it” when it comes to parts of country music.

    Carrie Underwood recently released “Blown Away”. A a song itself meant to carry a more profound meaning in comparison to its peers on radio and those in Carrie’s recent music catalog. Imagine if “Blown Away” were produced as “When I’m Gone” has been. How much more memorable and emotional would that make a song such as “Blown Away” for you? I know it would increase tenfold for me.

    Alas though, I am not the target audience anymore for FM country radio or any FM radio format for that matter. Carrie’s song, with its own raw emotions whisked away by bombastic production, will chart on radio, this one likely will falter and drop off. And once again, disenchantment will reign supreme with my feathers left ruffled once again.

    Country radio, the corporate executives and many in their audience might not care to miss out on a musical experience such as this, but I sure would. I’m pledging my full support to Joey & Rory and any country, country/folk, countrygrass or bluegrass artist who chooses to release deep, meaningful material such as this in a market full of stale and vapid material.

    …what FM country radio should be

    As always though, a nice review by Ben Foster, striking many of the same chords I feel.

  4. MotownMikeNo Gravatar

    Trisha Yearwood’s Melancholy Blue is a song that I think this song can compare very favorably to. Both have a lot of lyrical similarities and both retrain themselves beautifully in terms of production. I wouldn’t recommend though listening to the two songs back to back, not sure that human emotions can handle that.

  5. RobertNo Gravatar

    Yes! It’s so nice to hear Joey’s voice so exposed. She definitely holds her own without the cushion of steel and percussion.

  6. RobertNo Gravatar

    Yes! It’s so nice to hear Joey’s voice so exposed. She holds her own without the cushion of steel and percussion. I think the bluegrass flavor of Joey and Rory’s lyrics may be the reason for country radio’s lack of interest, but in this instance it comes off as classic rather than trite. This is song is lovely.

  7. Amazing song, which means the odds of country radio even considering playing it dropped to near zero.

  8. TomNo Gravatar

    …it’s a beautiful, yet not exactly radio friendly song. where carrie underwood is overdoing it usually, joey martin falls somewhat short in adding the right amount of punch into these mournful reflections. a weakness however, that is due to the song-writing rather than her talent.

    then again, whether this is making the radio playlists or not is artistically irrelevant. on that score it gets full marks.

  9. Great song. I agree, not the most radio friendly song but great still. It is one of the most emotional country songs out there.