Single Review: Gretchen Wilson, "Still Rollin'"

gretchen_wilson_still_rollin“I can’t tell you where I’m bound/ Maybe I’m just spinning round and round…. And there may come a day when I have nothing left to say,” sings Gretchen Wilson on her new single “Still Rollin’.”  Such words feel unfortunately indicative of the level of creativity the song displays.

Everything about “Still Rollin'” is forgettable.  The production sounds like a karaoke track.  The melody has scarcely any rise and fall to it, and the cliché-filled lyrics plod in circles with no discernible point.  The song centers around a mediocre non-hook (“I keep on rolliiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnn’…”) that only makes it grating instead of memorable.

But the main thing that sinks the song is the vocal.  When Wilson sings with the right amount of bite and sass, it can make even a “Redneck Woman” rehash like “Work Hard, Play Harder” enjoyable.  That quality is entirely absent here, and her delivery instead comes across as dull and dispassionate.

How am I supposed to care about the new Gretchen Wilson song if

she doesn’t even sound like she cares about it herself?  If she’s going to release three(!) new albums this year, let’s hope she has a lot more tricks up her sleeve than this single demonstrates.

Written by Gretchen Wilson and Vicky McGehee

Grade:  D+

Listen:  Still Rollin’ (via Taste of Country)

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20 Comments

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20 Responses to Single Review: Gretchen Wilson, "Still Rollin'"

  1. Motown MikeNo Gravatar

    Ladies and gentlemen here he is Mr. Bob Seger! Wait a minute, you’re not Bob…

  2. StormyNo Gravatar

    The problem is that the day Gretchen Wilson had nothing original left to day was June 4th, 2003.

  3. Erik NorthNo Gravatar

    Perhaps the most frustrating thing about Gretchen is that she actually could be a far better singer than she is. What’s holding her back, however, and what I feel may always hold her back, is the persona she created with “Redneck Woman.” That’s what most people, at least in country radio, seem to peg her as; she seemed to have fallen into that trap. All of her efforts to break that persona have fallen on deaf ears, and she seems to be resigned to it now (IMHO).

  4. AugusteNo Gravatar

    …a potentially rather decent song – if you enjoy bob seeger style music, that is – has indeed been somewhat slaughtered by a hook with rubber band qualities and, i fully agree there, ben, a surprisingly lackluster delivery by gretchen wilson.

    one just shouldn’t cut the final version of anything on fridays around 5 pm.

  5. Okay, so, I don’t know why, but I actually don’t mind this.

    I was never a huge Gretchen Wilson fan when she hit it big. But I still find her fall from the top to be kind of sad. I mean, it doesn’t happen often that someone hits so big then just plummets so quickly like that. I mean usually they have a few years run. And to think that she had to watch Miranda come along and do the outlaw/redneck thing so much better and to much more acclaim and popularity.

    But back to the song. I kind of like the country rock groove here. I know it sounds like Bob Seeger. I know it’s not original.

    But I just like it.

  6. I don’t mind her channeling Bob Seger; I just think the track has a very bland, watery sound to it. Maybe it’s just me. I might not have noticed it if the actual song did more for me.

  7. I do like this song, but oh, wow. After several listens, this doesn’t just sound like a Bob Seger-type song. Parts of this sound almost exactly like “Against the Wind.” A lot. The line/music during the “people come and go” part sounds exactly like the part of “Against The Wind” that includes “surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends…”

    I know that she was already accused of that Black Crowes “Jealous Again” plagiarism before. This is very close for comfort.

  8. I almost wonder why she didn’t just cut “Against the Wind” for her classic rock covers set, and launch her country project with a different song.

  9. Ben, I agree. I wonder if she and Bob Seger had a conversation about this one already. Otherwise, she might find herself in hot water again by accidentally ripping off somebody’s song. This reminds me of when I was a teenager and I wanted to be a songwriter, but I kept accidentally plagiarizing. So I became a novelist instead. Seriously, though, I am pulling for Gretchen Wilson to someday have another hit.

  10. John RyanNo Gravatar

    You obviously know very little about music

  11. John, that remark would carry more weight if you highlighted in what ways the review demonstrates a lack of music knowledge on my part. Otherwise it comes across as an attempt to provoke a reaction.

  12. One of the most stupid things you can ever do, is tell someone that their opinion is wrong.

  13. Ben Foster and the writers (and most of the commenters) on this blog know a great deal about music. The writing on this site is always intelligent and first rate. Even when I disagree with something on this site, I find the writing be absolutely top-notch critical/analytic work. Thanks for another great review, Ben!

  14. John RyanNo Gravatar

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and there isn’t anything wrong with the writing.. Just the fact that you think Bob Segar, shows your basic understanding of music… I would also encourage you to go back and look at the Black Crows deal… As it also speaks to the lack of expert whiteness..
    Just because a song is different than what an artist has done before, just because it has a different sound, doesn’t automatically mean that they have infringed on someone else’s work… The vocal to this track obviously has the feel of the songs message… And musically, karaoke? Probabaly one of the few tracks that actually has all real musicians performing… So perfect, no, but character and feeling ? Absolutely!

  15. I always welcome dissenting views. Nothing wrong with a friendly debate. Personally, I think it would be boring if we all agreed on everything.

    Anyway, my opinions aren’t gospel, but they’re here for anyone who might find them helpful. Thanks for taking the time to participate in the discussion, John.

  16. John RyanNo Gravatar

    Anytime! As do I

  17. BUDDY ROGERSNo Gravatar

    MY COUSIN IS A SONG WRITER AND HE HAS WROTE SONGS FOR JOHNNY CASH, HE HAS ABOUT 5000 SONGS THAT HE HAS WROTE OVER THE YEARS AND HE LIVES IN ROSSVILLE, GA…….

  18. Fetchin GretchinNo Gravatar

    TOTAL COMPLETE RIP OFF of BOB SEGERS “AGAINST THE WIND”!!!!!!!! Come on……where’s the law suit….unbelievable plagerism! Helloooo?????????????????

  19. Fetchin GretchinNo Gravatar

    Not original … not at all … “Against the Wind”