Single Review: Kellie Pickler, “Someone Somewhere Tonight”


A new chapter begins in Kellie Pickler’s career as she prepares to release her first music on her new record label Black River Entertainment.  She kicks things off with a true beauty of a song with the Dave Raines – Walt Wilkins ballad “Someone Somewhere Tonight.”

To call “Someone Somewhere Tonight” a love song feels like an oversimplification of sorts, even though that’s basically what it is.  Far from indulging in empty schmaltz, it’s a song that captures commonality of the human experience, meditating on the endlessly repeating cycles of birth and death while contrasting the different turns life can take based on a person’s choices.

Pickler’s performance doesn’t quite possess the sense of age-earned wisdom that enriched previous versions by Kenny Rogers and Pam Tillis, but her comparatively youthful take on the song is effective in its own right.  The poised, graceful lyrical interpreter who fully blossomed on last year’s 100 Proof makes a return as Pickler imbues the song with the gravitas of one who, lest we forget, has put in some hard living in only 26 years.  The arrangement strikes a balance between the modern and the traditional, while allowing plenty of leeway to let the lyric and performance speak.

It’s a compelling performance of a quality song – something far too rare in the modern country format.  Though richly deserving of a mainstream audience, such an astute, insightful ballad would hardly seem the usual go-to for an artist making her first radio bid on a new label, but this release would seem to confirm that Pickler’s pandering days are indeed over.

Only time will tell if the risk will pay off, and if the Black River promotional muscle will have any success in restoring Pickler to her slot at country radio.  But as Pickler ventures out with a new team behind her, and doubtless some increased notoriety in the wake of her recent Dancing with the Stars victory, there may be a reason to hope that “Someone Somewhere Tonight” just might bring a little substance and sincerity back to mainstream country music.

Written by Dave Raines and Walt Wilkins

Grade:  A-

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8 Responses to Single Review: Kellie Pickler, “Someone Somewhere Tonight”

  1. Great review for a great song.

  2. Tom PNo Gravatar

    Great Song. My favorite version is the one by Pam Tillis but this is still very good. This song has much substance and its such a shame that radio doesn’t think there is an audiance for people who actually listen to lyrics. I am hoping if people like Kellie and a few others keep recording quality songs that somehow, one of the songs will hit and bring country back. Again, Great song.

  3. Tyler H.No Gravatar

    Hoping that she can capitalize on the DWTS promo/win and can finally get Kellie the breakthrough that she deserves so darn much! This is an absolutely beautiful vocal.

  4. Motown MikeNo Gravatar

    It’s nice to know that good music in the mainstream country genre isn’t quite dead yet. Kellie Pickler is one of the few taking a “risk” with a single like this but I’m glad she’s putting this out to the mainstream. The Neo-Traditional country sound needs more risk takers and flag bearers like Pickler. Hopefully if her next album is successful, more will come about. We’ve lost Joe Nichols in recent years but gained Kellie Pickler.

    Sing it Jiminy…
    When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are…

  5. Yellow RoseNo Gravatar

    Wow, the beautiful longing in this recording is just wonderful. It doesn’t overreach, it’s not theatrical in any way shape or form, just quietly heart-wrenching. Tender. Good job Kellie Pickler!

  6. bobNo Gravatar

    KP sounds very good here but I’d give the edge to Pam Tillis’s version which I have on Rhinestoned.

  7. VickiNo Gravatar

    Since Kellie with that voice of hers finally found her true calling in country music (not the Best Days of your life crap), I have become a true believer. I have her “100 Proof” CD and will buy this CD. Her voice was made for true country and when she sings the right song, it’s magic.

  8. It’s moments like this that I regain faith that maybe the mainstream Country audience will rise to a quality song instead of sink to a lowest-common-denominator ditty. It’s off to a decent start, but let’s hope it holds it’s own and Pickler becomes this generation’s Lee Ann Womack.