Single Review: Jake Owen, "Anywhere with You"

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January 25, 2013

jake owen anywhere with youIf a song has nothing to say beyond what’s said in its title phrase, what’s the point of writing the song in the first place?

Jake Owen’s new single “Anywhere with You” takes a concept many times used before, and does nothing with it.  We’ve all heard the country song about the starry-eyed narrator willing to live or travel absolutely anywhere

so long as he/she is joined by his/her significant other.  Jo Dee Messina perhaps pulled it off best and most memorably with “Heads Carolina, Tails California.”

Owen offers a take that never aspires to be anything more than perfunctory.  With a dull-as-a-brick title hook of “I’ll go anywhere with you,” the song lets listeners know what it’s about, and asks them to accept it without scrutiny.  The chorus’ listing of random U.S. states in particular feels like an obvious crutch.  The thick, un-country, radio-chasing production similarly earns no points for originality.

In light of Owen’s recent successes at radio, “Anywhere with You” will likely be a sizable hit.  But it still fails to offer any answer to the fundamental question of “Why does this need to exist?”

Written by Ben Hayslip, David Lee Murphy, and Jimmy Yeary

Grade:  C-

Listen:  Anywhere with You

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14 Comments

Category: Single Reviews
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  1. LynnNo Gravatar says:

    So is this the kind of music that Blake Shelton was talking about when he said that country music has to evolve in order to survive? If so, no thanks, lol.

  2. Markus MeyerNo Gravatar says:

    Jake Owen has been frustrating lately.

  3. JoeNo Gravatar says:

    I think what irks me the most about this situation is that Jake’s “Anywher With You” will no doubt succeed at radio, while Sara Evans’
    “Anywhere” never had a fighting chance. Sigh.

  4. TomNo Gravatar says:

    …the american ignorance when it comes to geography is legendary. therefore, i can only commend nashville’s efforts in trying to improve this national weakness. the first ambassdor was faith hill with her “american heart”, next in line should have been kellie pickler – but her “budapest experience” had some people having second thoughts. hence, the ball was passed to jake owen, who took a good shot at singing the greyhound bus network plan – anywhere with you! – to us.

    other than being a halfway decent possible commercial advert soundtrack, i can’t find any reason for this one either. but who needs a reason, when you could have a hit, potentially?

  5. lisaNo Gravatar says:

    THIS SONG GONNA BE A BIT HIT. I GIVE IT AN A.
    JAKE OWEN IS SO GOOD-LOOKING

  6. Markus MeyerNo Gravatar says:

    Lisa, it seems like every comment of yours is:

    “I LOVE THIS SONG!!! I GIVE IT A!!!”

  7. DiamondNo Gravatar says:

    I thought Jake’s “Startin’ With Me” was a wonderful, spot-on country song in theme and execution. Since then, meh.

  8. Motown MikeNo Gravatar says:

    Jake Owen came out of the gate with a good showing with both “Yee-haw”, “Startin’ With Me” and a respectable “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You”. I haven’t enjoyed a one single or album for that matter since his career launch. Any interest I have in him is gone.

  9. NicolasNo Gravatar says:

    I like Sara Evans’ “Anywhere” a lot more than this mediocre song. I agree w/ Joe; Sara’s is the one that should’ve been a hit last year.

    No arguing that Jo Dee’s debut single is the perfect song in this vein though. What an effortless tune that was.

  10. RowdyRedNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with you, Diamond. JO’s best song (Startin’ With Me) is about seven years behind him. I completely committed to that song, its message, and his performance. Since then, I’ve realized that he has an extremely average voice, with a below-average vocal range for someone making a tidy living in the industry. His current popularity is a total mystery to me.

    This song, in particular, suffers from the same flaw as that I’ll never forget whats-her-name summer song he had out last year: there’s no depth to the story, nothing with an emotional grip.

    It’s the unexplainable success of this genre of weak-tea music that depresses the hell out of me.

  11. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar says:

    I have this strange conviction that this song would be really compelling if sung by a female with a less aggressive arrangement. Am I crazy?

  12. Ben FosterNo Gravatar says:

    I dunno. Several have noted the similarity to Sara Evans’ “Anywhere,” which feels like more or less the same song to me, and which does have a less aggressive arrangement. Do you find that song more compelling?

  13. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar says:

    No – it’s something about the melody of “Anywhere With You” and the way a female voice would soften it / give it vulnerability. Plus, it has a slower tempo than “Anywhere.” I don’t know. It’s just one of those crazy things I can’t get out of my head when I hear this.

  14. Ben FosterNo Gravatar says:

    I wonder if it would be better suited to a ballad treatment?

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