Single Review: Frankie Ballard, “Helluva Life”


February 5, 2014

Frankie Ballard Helluva LifeA surprisingly philosophical take on the “drinking in the country with a girl” theme that is apparently the only thing that new male artists are allowed to sing about.

I’m seriously thinking that it’s a contractual obligation now, along with the radio tours and the publishing partnerships.   Frankie Ballard’s “Helluva Life” is most interesting when he’s singing about what he’s thinking about while he’s doing the only things that guys his age are singing about.    There’s a potentially compelling  voice that’s trying to  shine through, one that is wondering more about tomorrow than where the party is tonight.

The conversational vocal style and tasteful arrangement create a nice groove, a sound that I could really get into if Ballard applies it to more mature material.

Written by Rodney Clawson, Josh Kear, and Chris Tompkins

Grade: B

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7 Comments so far

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  1. Markus MeyerNo Gravatar says:

    Digging the production/melody here, and think he sounds good.

    “Bad times make the good times better” is one of my favorite lines recently. That said, there are a few cliches that hold it back.

    Still a solid ‘B+’ from me.

  2. bobNo Gravatar says:

    I didn’t wince once listening to it. In today’s country music world, that’s a ringing endorsement. It’s currently at #13 on the media base top 40.

  3. Markus MeyerNo Gravatar says:


    It’s actually at #8.

  4. Ben FosterNo Gravatar says:

    Pretty much my thoughts as well. Not particularly interesting, but more listenable than most songs of its ilk.

  5. TomNo Gravatar says:

    …frankie’s just a great name – it’s got such a cool sixties vibe about it. full marks there. the song is decent radio fare. also love his wondering about “…why we’re here..” sitting next to a girl at night under a blanket of stars.
    billie jo spears would have given him at least an idea there – then again, that was the seventies. got off that hook, frankie.

  6. Paul W DennisNo Gravatar says:

    I’d give it a B+ – there is much to like about his performance of the song – now let’s see if he can keep it moving forward

  7. Sherman MohrNo Gravatar says:

    It has been a helluva ride for country guitarist-singer Frankie Ballard, who tops both the Mediabase Country Chart and Billboard Country Chart this week, with “Helluva Life.”


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