Single Review: Brantley Gilbert, “Bottoms Up”

Brantley Gilbert Bottoms UpA month of single reviews into 2014, I’ve never been more aware of just how many songs there really are about partying with a girl out in the country.

“Bottoms Up” is one of three songs in this week’s top ten alone that follow this plot line, and I suppose it’s the best of the three, if only because of the sparse atmosphere of the first half of the record.  Gilbert’s vocal feels detached, as if he can’t really believe he’s singing this.  His voice being more weathered than his contemporaries makes that detachment sound more cool than disinterested.

So,  yeah.  He does this remarkably popular theme better than most.   But when a theme is this played out, even doing it well doesn’t make it worth listening to.

Written by Brantley Gilbert and Justin Weaver

Grade: B-

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4 Comments

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4 Responses to Single Review: Brantley Gilbert, “Bottoms Up”

  1. Noah EatonNo Gravatar

    Funny, because it’s Gilbert’s vocal that is my chief issue with this track.

    The fact the music video for this track directly accompanied the debut on the audio is indeed most telling. That’s basically admitting that Gilbert is naturally style over substance any day of the week. That he can just unintelligibly mumble all the lyrics because, you know, everyone will be drawn to the video anyway where he comes across with sheer self-indulgence in his frequent showing off of his muscles, product placement and shooting the sheriff at the end.

    The fact Gilbert feels he doesn’t even need to try as a vocalist really gets on my nerves here and makes this worse-than-average. At least when Luke Bryan interprets lunkheaded fare, he actually sounds like he cares. Why should I care when Gilbert doesn’t?

    *

    It doesn’t help matters that this follows the laundry-list song formula to a tee, including the cringe-worthy line that commences the second verse (“Damn girl, I gotta tip my hat, never thought a country song would make you move like that………and she’s doing it in daisy dukes…”)……….and the production is basically chicken-fried Nickelback.

    This falls short of an epic flame-out, but still an early contender for the Top Ten Worst Singles of 2014 list. A solid D from me.

  2. AugusteNo Gravatar

    …hard to believe that nashville gave up on travis tritt just to end up with the brantley gilbert generation. still waitin’ to hear anything from him that I’d kinda like. on the whole, the cap acts remain much smaller fry than the ones with the hats.

  3. Six String RichieNo Gravatar

    I think Kevin was being way too generous on this one. The production was pretty awful and the lyrics are even worse than much of what’s on the radio (that’s a big statement. What made this song worse than most of today’s partying anthems, to me, was Gilbert’s performance. I know Kevin stated he thought he sounded cool but he sounded pretty bad to me. Gilbert is hands down one of the weakest singers in country. This song probably would’ve been a D for me.

    Points off for authenticity, too. Brantley Gilbert has stated publicly that he doesn’t drink anymore and has been sober for, I believe, about two years. Maybe leave the party/drinking songs to those that actually do drink next time.

  4. PSU MikeNo Gravatar

    You know, as much as I enjoy the daisy dukes line, I think the line that jumps out the most to me is…”gonna pull into a party like y’all what’s up”. This tells me one of three things:

    1. Gilbert thinks “Y’all what’s up” is an adjective, and that it in some way describes arriving at a party. (In which case, I would love to see some of his written work from his high school English class.)

    2. He was being lazy in writing the song, and didn’t feel like separating two different ideas of arriving at a party, and greeting people at said party…so he combined them to make it easier to write the bridge. (I know…the thought about being lazy in writing this song is hard to bare.)

    3. He did it intentionally to model “current slang”, by using “like” and “wassup” together in a way to sound “cool”, in order to appease the audience that would actually willingly listen to this more than once. (Something tells me Brantley would consider “Wassup” as fresh slang.)

    I’d probably be willing to overlook this once, but he does it again in the chorus when trying to convince a girl to get into his truck…so it’s continually repeated in the song.

    Guys, I know this is nitpicking, and I’m sure there’s stuff from the olden days that I like that doesn’t have perfect grammar. Furthermore, it’s not like omitting those lines would’ve saved the song anyway. But, I’m just sick of the lack of maturity that this type of material exhibits. It’s bad enough that most of the current output from Nashville is generally bubble-gum type party anthems. However, it would be nice if there was a modicum of effort put forth in writing something coherent.