Single Review: Blake Shelton, “Doin’ What She Likes”

Blake Shelton Doin' What She LikesThere’s a point early on where you hear Blake Shelton end a line with the word “fajitas,” and you just know the next line will end with “margaritas.”

That’s how predictable Shelton has gotten at this point, which is as much an indictment of Music Row songwriting as a whole as it is of him as an artist.  I’ve asked this question already this year, and it’s not even the end of January yet:  Why is a superstar capable of demanding great material recording such pedestrian claptrap?

He certainly doesn’t need any career advice, but if Shelton has any interest in being as captivating on record as he is on television, I strongly recommend he ditch the publishing houses and just do an album of Jason Isbell covers.   The good stuff is out there.  It’s just not where he’s looking.

Written by Wade Kirby and Phil O’Donnell

Grade: C-

 

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10 Comments

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10 Responses to Single Review: Blake Shelton, “Doin’ What She Likes”

  1. Noah EatonNo Gravatar

    Yeah, that grade sounds about just right.

    While not cringe-inducing quite like “Lookin’ For That Girl” or “This Is How We Roll” which resemble a whole other dimension of audio uranium, this is worse-than-listenable and painfully mediocre as most anything Shelton has released this decade has been.

    The production, once again, is my biggest gripe with this given Blake Shelton release. You can tell they’re trying to emulate 90′s hip-hop in the vein of Brian McKnight here much as they did with “Sure Be Cool If You Did”, but here’s the problem with that: besides the fact that McKnight’s productions were hardly ever groundbreaking themselves and were listenable in large part due to how uncluttered, clean and accessible they sounded……….they still sounded fresh because of McKnight’s impassioned and soulful delivery.

    Shelton, in contrast, sounds like he’s mired in the quicksand of his comfort zone. The production is painfully sterile which, like I’ve said countless times, is considerably baffling given Shelton’s reputation for being an outspoken straight-shooter and rambunctious type on social media. If buoyed by production schemes that actually complemented his personality, plenty of his most recent releases could have been potentially salvaged as standouts, in spite of their weak lyrics.

    It’s that banal production that has made three of four singles from “Based On A True Story…” exasperatingly boring listening experiences. And when his producer does decide to add heft and grit to the production (“Boys ‘Round Here”), the complete opposite happens and Shelton suddenly sounds unbearable.

    I GUESS is if this track has any redeeming qualities, it’s that it isn’t cringe-inducing quite like the aforementioned tracks. But that’s not saying much.

    I’m feeling a strong C- to weak D+ here.

  2. bobNo Gravatar

    Agree this is a very mediocre song.

    You say “That’s how predictable Shelton has gotten at this point, which is as much an indictment of Music Row songwriting as a whole as it is of him as an artist.”

    Songwriters don’t just write the songs that are chosen to be singles. For example, Hall of Fame Don Schlitz has written over 400 songs. How many were hit singles? Less than a hundred would be a safe estimate. Does that mean that the remainder weren’t any good? I believe that some very good songs are never recorded, recorded only as an album track or recorded only by the songwriter. Whether it’s Blake or Tim or FGL or their record label who decides what to record, I think they are more to blame for the staggering amount of bad singles on country radio.

  3. GloriaNo Gravatar

    What does it mean when you grade these awful songs, but then they fly up the charts like Blake’s is doing right now?? Is it because he’s so popular right now or is CR afraid to not play it? I just don’t get it!

  4. Noah EatonNo Gravatar

    It’s because Shelton is a darling of the mainstream Nashville establishment and has more deep connections among its investors and personalities than most. It also helps that he has crossover appeal through his connections with “The Voice” and his high-profile marriage to Miranda Lambert.

    That’s why you incessantly see even fourth singles from Shelton rapidly scaling the charts. Because he is a safe brand to invest in and market, and his output safely conforms with the lowest-common denominator. And this will remain thus until his mainstream career officially declines in earnest.

  5. LynnNo Gravatar

    The singles Blake has released recently are boring and mediocre. Heck, even the cover art for this single is uninspired.

  6. Motown MikeNo Gravatar

    I had this dream, in a land far far far away from Nashville Tennessee, that Blake Shelton fought with his record label. He fought with them and insisted that one of his bonus tracks, “I Found Someone”, be released as the final single off of his current album. It was quite a nice dream I had there too.

    Maybe one day Blake will get tired of sucking up to the bro-country crowd, record label executives and FM radio and release good material again. Material like “Austin”, “Don’t Make Me” and “Ol Red”. Not now, but maybe one day. Unless of course he’s going to be the next Tim McGraw and turn 50 while singing songs suited for a college frat house.

  7. Noah EatonNo Gravatar

    (shudders imagining the “country” equivalent of Limp Bizkit and the Insane Clown Posse taking the format by storm in ten years, and there Blake Shelton is at the forefront of the sub-genre boom: wearing gothic makeup, nothing but body paint from the neck down while performing live and referring to his “backhomies” as “Mudalos”.) -__- -__- -__-

  8. Noah EatonNo Gravatar

    Meanwhile, Luke Bryan’s body mass will double by then as he ditches the skinny jeans to instead become the “country” equivalent of the estranged Axl Rose………..while Florida-Georgia Line go through their brokenCYDE phase: screaming every one of their vocals while making frequent theatrical hand gestures for no reason at all, and a statue of Colt Ford is erected in the center of a newly-remodeled venue formerly known as the Grand Ole Opry now co-owned by DJ Bobby Bones and Scott Borchetta! -__- -__- -__- -__- -__-

  9. MaryNo Gravatar

    Blake Shelton is one of my favorite artists. I listen to his music, at home, at work, in my car, almost everywhere. I got tickets for his Virginia Beach concert expected next month. I booked tickets at Ticketexecutive.com if you are interested.

  10. Sean AmesNo Gravatar

    Agreed…that line about Fajitas and margaritas is cringe worthy…and you know its coming the moment he starts singing the line…the song is mediocre at best. He is supposed to be a music power house and he is writing lines that a 8 year old would write if he/she knew what margaritas were.

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