“All we do right is make love/ We both know now that ain’t enough” is one of the best opening lines I’ve heard in a mainstream country single this year. (It’s right up there with “Ain’t no rain as cold as the look she just gave him” from Kellie Pickler’s “100 Proof”) Likewise, the line “Love me like you loved me when you loved me and you didn’t have to try” is both substantive and catchy, while set over an engaging minor-key melody.
A song like this could have been a huge winner if given the right treatment, but alas, enter a storm of mainstream Nashville overproduction – the work of producer and co-writer Jeff Stevens – to drown out the soul. Bryan sings over a cacophonous mess of thrashing guitars and crashing drums laid on so thick that it makes the song hard to listen to. It all culminates in a bridge that features some perfectly atrocious guitar-shredding that sounds like it was lifted right out of “I Don’t Want This Night to End.”
Bryan’s previous hit “Drunk On You” featured an arrangement that was thoroughly mainstream, but that still stayed out of the way enough to let the intimacy of the song shine through. Not here – a few strains of steel and mandolin put some much-needed cracks in the polish, but they aren’t enough to offset all the clutter in the overall mix. This song could have been good, but this endlessly distracting wall of noise doesn’t let it come anywhere close to its potential. Maybe someday we’ll be treated to an acoustic version…
Written by Luke Bryan, Jeff Stevens, and Shane McAnally
Listen: Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye