Single Review: Randy Houser, "How Country Feels"

It’s good to see Randy Houser back in the Top 20.

He’s clearly still on top of his game vocally, and he delivers “How Country Feels” with gusto.  You can almost hear him tapping his toe and bobbing his head just from hearing his performance.  The production is pretty thick, but it has a catchy guitar hook going for it.

Unfortunately, the lyrics are pretty uninspiring.  The lyrical hook of “Let me show you how country feels” is so-so at best, and the height of the lyrical cleverness is its rhyming “hollers and hills” with “feels.”  Plus, you’d think a song called “How Country Feels” would feel a little more… you know… country.

Taken as a piece of ear candy, it isn’t bad.  I just hope “How Country Feels” doesn’t start a trend of Randy Houser playing it

safe.

Written by Vicky McGehee, Wendell Mobley, and Neil Thrasher

Grade:  B-

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9 Comments

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9 Responses to Single Review: Randy Houser, "How Country Feels"

  1. MattNo Gravatar

    “Playing It Safe” has made him relevant at country radio. He did play “In God’s Time” the other day and if he can get to an ‘instant add’ level with radio, maybe we’ll get more songs like that in the future.

  2. “Playing It Safe” has made him relevant at country radio.

    How so? “Boots On” and possibly also “Whistlin’ Dixie” are the only Houser singles besides this one that I would consider “safe.” What’s more, this is his first Top 20 hit since 2009, so has yet to develop consistent chart record.

  3. TomNo Gravatar

    …if you didn’t believe in reincarnation until now – you may think again. randy houser’s first couple of lines of this song make you almost believe ronnie dunn got a little more chubby and opted for a new hair style around the chinn.

    would that be a bad thing? hell, no! ok, the song is nothing to write home about, unless home is in – say charlotte, n.c.. nonetheless, i enjoy this ode to jana kramer. the “one tree hillness” in country music continues.

    …and she would go: why ya wanna? why ya gotta…

  4. bobNo Gravatar

    Wish his material matched his voice.

  5. Yeah, he really does sound similar to Ronnie Dunn here. I wish I liked the song better.

  6. MarkusNo Gravatar

    First time i heard this, I though it WAS Ronnie Dunn.

  7. Motown MikeNo Gravatar

    What happened to the artist who debuted with “Anything Goes”? :(

  8. Erik NorthNo Gravatar

    Excerpt from Ben Foster’s review:

    Unfortunately, the lyrics are pretty uninspiring. The lyrical hook of “Let me show you how country feels” is so-so at best, and the height of the lyrical cleverness is its rhyming “hollers and hills” with “feels.” Plus, you’d think a song called “How Country Feels” would feel a little more… you know… country.

    I guess it goes with the territory today of songs about “being country.” And maybe I’m misreading the intent of the song, but its reference to “hills and hollers” seems to imply that the term “country” is limited, or somehow should be limited, only to the South. I don’t know about anyone else, but there’s still a lot of the rural left out here in the Far West, if you’ve ever driven across the wide-open deserts in California and Arizona, or the mountains in Colorado.

    I think maybe Tom T. Hall, a.k.a. The Storyteller, captured it better in his mid-70s hit “Country Is”, in that “Country is/All in your heart.”

  9. RowdyRedNo Gravatar

    Bingo, Erik.

    I am so seriously sick of the hills/hollers cliche’s for country music “legitimacy.” Come on — Buck Owens was from Bakersfield, California — a bona fide city — and I don’t see anyone dissing him for not having come from the hills and hollers. The main problem, for me, is that so many songs are only about rustic geography and customs. Is there nothing else on your mind you’re bursting to sing about, Randy/Justin/Jason? You’re really mined the last speck of value out of that vein.

    (And oh yes, the vocal similarity between Randy Houser and Ronnie Dunn is astounding. I noticed it in “Boots On” as well.)

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