Single Review: Lee Brice, “I Drive Your Truck”

IDriveYourTruck_lee_briceLee Brice’s current hit is quite possibly the best song he’s yet sent to radio – a  compelling meditation on the process of dealing with grief over the loss of a loved one in death.

The point of the song is that each person has his or her own way of dealing with loss.  In the case of our bereaved narrator – who the lyric implies has lost a brother in army combat – he deals with it through driving his brother’s truck.  The song is filled with little details that add color to the story, from the half-empty bottle of Gatorade on the floor to his brother’s favorite country station playing on the radio.  Though specific in nature, the scenario is relatable for any of us who have dealt with grief by surrounding ourselves with things that remind us of the one lost.  A simple but delicately crafted story that draws out one of Brice’s most evocative vocal performances on record.

I hate to have to poke a stick at a single’s production for what feels like the hundredth time, but this song would have an even greater impact if given a more restrained arrangement.  It’s a fine performance of a solid song, but the bass-heavy production in the chorus acts as an unfortunate distraction.

But in the end, the power of a great song prevails.  Without a doubt, “I Drive Your Truck” is Lee Brice’s finest single to date.

Written by Lee Brice, Kyle Jacobs, and Matt McClure

Grade:  A-

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13 Comments

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13 Responses to Single Review: Lee Brice, “I Drive Your Truck”

  1. PaceyNo Gravatar

    Love it. I love the poignant piano playing throughout the song and the honest and heartfelt lyrics. Lee Brice is on his way to become one of the contemporary country music saver!

  2. TomNo Gravatar

    …it’s a great song and a hugely clever one too. even though it seems to insinuate that it’s about a fallen soldier, it doesn’t say that explicitly in the lyrics. since the “dog-tags” are still complete (video and lyrics), it might as well be the case that the brother died only after serving in the military.

    that opens the scope for relating to the song quite considerably and would only add to the tragedy. on the other hand, the more narrow military scenario remains possible too, if you want to hear it that way.

    a fine song from a good sophomore album by lee brice.

  3. Good points, Tom. I altered the second paragraph a bit to reflect the fact that the cause of the brother’s death is not fully established.

  4. Motown MikeNo Gravatar

    “The song is filled with little details that add color to the story, from the half-empty bottle of Gatorade on the floor to his brother’s favorite country station playing on the radio.”

    This is Brice’s best single no questions asked and the above quotation shows us one reason why. The song has detail, like that which Ben mentioned, and poignancy that get painted together into a full picture. A picture that is both realistic and telling of our narrator’s grief and coping mechanisms. Too often modern country songs list off nouns, adjectives and verbs ad-nausea that don’t lead into any detail for the listener to grasp on to. Brice and co. didn’t do that here and it’s refreshing if unusual in mainstream country.

    Add onto that Brice puts in an emotive performance that restrains itself and only lets loose when the lyrics call for some emotional fervor. Maybe I’m being a bit presumptuous but this song, given to another modern country singer, say for example a Gary LeVox type, would not handle the song the way Brice does. Too many would have this turned into the world’s saddest event and would have the clouded atmosphere in the process.

    Normally, I’d criticize the at times louder, bass-oriented production, but I think it works here. It grows nicely throughout the song and only swells when it needs to lyrically. It isn’t unnecessarily loud throughout like many of today’s country songs and whoever produced this did a nice job mixing in some necessary restraint on production.

    Per usual, a nice analysis and agreeable take by Ben. The only quip between us may be that I like the production possibly a little more than you. However, the final grade of an A- is about right where I’d put it as well.

  5. I think the production, mainly the heavy base and smoldering piano, are distracting, but agree that it’s a well written song. I’d just rather that it didn’t sound like a monster power balad.

  6. Beautiful song. Easily his best to date. Very convincing performance from Brice.

    Definitely a contender for my top single of 2013.

  7. SusanK.No Gravatar

    I completely agree with Leeann. It’s an overwrought, annoying song that gets played a million times a day on country radio. I don’t believe it and I don’t care about it. Why aren’t you reviewing Maggie Rose’s new album? It’s excellent.

  8. SusanK,

    Leeann didn’t say that. So technically you don’t completely agree with her.

  9. SusanK.No Gravatar

    Are you disagreeing with my assessment? If so, say it – and tell me why you like this song. I was reading the subtext in LeeAnn’s response. I’m being cruel to the song, not the reviewer. I usually agree with Ben.

  10. Leeann,
    I actually kind of like the piano, but the base was too much for me. I definitely agree that the power ballad treatment wasn’t necessary.

    Susan,
    I haven’t heard that Maggie Rose album just yet, but I will try to listen to it soon. I’m glad to hear you like it.

  11. bobNo Gravatar

    Another vote for Maggie Rose. I’m planning to buy her album and the Band Perry’s today.

    Re the Brice song, the sound of the chorus is too much for me. As Ben suggested, a little restraint please.

  12. Susan,
    You exaggerated my words greatly, so we don’t completely agree, but I do understand your opinion of the song.

  13. CountryKnightNo Gravatar

    Good song but played too much on my local radio.

    Josh Turner “Find Me a Baby” is a much better crafted song.