Single Review: Big & Rich, “Cheat on You”

Big & Rich Cheat on YouMany moons ago, when Big & Rich seemed like the most promising and interesting duo to hit the genre in eons, they put out a song called “Holy Water.”

It was a powerful song with empathetic feminism, the sort of solidarity with women that you usually don’t hear from men in cowboy hats. It cut through their cartoonish persona and showed that they could be incisively insightful.  This was no small feat given it was the follow-up to “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)”, which had established that persona in the first place.

The best thing that I can say about “Cheat on  You” is that it’s a startling reminder of that initial promise.  The scenario is as believable as their empathy is palpable, and it lends a sincerity to the proceedings that’s gone all but missing in their post-Horse of a Different Color work.

Now, the second verse is a bit too predictable, and their harmonies rarely get out of first gear, so it’s hardly a perfect record.   But it’s good enough to revisit for repeated listens, and what’s the last Big & Rich single that could be said about?

More importantly, it provides the boys a clear path, a way out of the larger-than-life, over-the-top caricatures that are as restrictive as they are annoying.   But hey, Sawyer Brown triumphed over worse, and ended up making some of the best country music of the nineties.  Maybe there’s hope yet for B&R to do the same.

Written by Kasey Buckley, John Rich, and Amanda Watkins

Grade: B

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13 Comments

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13 Responses to Single Review: Big & Rich, “Cheat on You”

  1. White CleatsNo Gravatar

    No grade, Kevin?

  2. White CleatsNo Gravatar

    That was strange. There was no grade, then it refreshed after I posted, then it was there. Must have been my glitch. CU Team, someone should delete both these posts.

  3. This has been among my favorites from ‘Hillbilly Jedi’ since first listen.

    The storyline is fairly interesting, harmonies are solid, productions great.

    Nice.

  4. Yeah, I agree that this is on the right track for B&R. They’ve got a couple other good songs on the album too. It’s amazing how much better I like John Rich’s voice when he’s with Big Kenny. Now, if only they could reach the potential of their debut album again.

  5. This is a decent record, but something in the melody and arrangement doesn’t quite click for me.

  6. Donna GNo Gravatar

    This is a great song for Big&Rich and I have to agree, as much as I love their Party songs, I so much more love it when they show this side of themselves. There are other great songs on Hillbilly Jedi too. Check out “Lay it All on Me” and “That’s Why I Pray”

  7. Mike J.No Gravatar

    I can definitely dig it. Oddly enough, I find myself wishing that this was a Blackhawk single from their mid-to-late 90s heyday.

  8. bobNo Gravatar

    I agree with Ben’s comment plus I’ve never been a big fan of their vocals. My favorite B&R songs are “8th of November” which the duo wrote and “Faster Than Angels Fly” written by Billy Henderson and John Phillips.

  9. As I said above, I do enjoy their vocals together, even though I haven’t liked so many of their songs. “Faster than Angels Fly” is one of my favorite B&R songs too, along with “Live this Life.”

  10. It pains me to say this, but it’s a good song. The video’s pretty clever, too. Maybe there’s still hope for these guys.

  11. ReggieNo Gravatar

    Check out “Deadwood Mountain”, from their debut album. It’s their best song by far.

  12. Jordan StaceyNo Gravatar

    I’ve always liked the two of them together even their worst songs at least had some life to them wich is more than some other artists. Having said that this is easily their best single since “Holy Water”. They’ve always had awesome album tracks that don’t get released I’m happy this time this one didn’t get left behind. It doesn’t look like it’s going to be a hit though. :/

  13. kyle cuthrellNo Gravatar

    I have always been a fan of big and rich I think the duet was great in this song.

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