“It Feels Good”
Written by: Derek George, Philip Pence, and Drake White
Its content— what with its talk of layin’ by a riverbank, dippin’ toes in the water, and picking up a carton of smokes— may be all too familiar at this point, but what elevates Drake White’s “It Feels Good” above so many other purely escapist singles it its attention to craft and its casual wit. The lyrical hook is perhaps too simple to stand on its own—and, it’s worth mentioning, resorts to the increasingly common trope of repeating words without adding more meaning— so White and his co-writers make sure that the melody in the chorus is catchy and singalong ready.
Moreover, there’s a real sense of playfulness to the song, as White sings of “dancin’ like [he] just saw the Holy Ghost” and drawls a slant rhyme out of “river bank” and “wink.” As a piece of songwriting, the construction is airtight and is a reminder that there’s still an art to creating songs that are purely fun.
The song’s production includes little more than some enthusiastic handclaps, a looped jaw-harp, a wailing harmonica, and a prominent steel guitar, and it’s a terrific amalgam of traditional instrumentation with an ear for contemporary trends. “It Feels Good” sounds progressive, but it’s also recognizable as a country record.
Even better is that the production doesn’t get in the way of White’s full-throated performance. While it’s easy to imagine an even more powerful vocalist—Marc Broussard springs immediately to mind, but Chris Stapelton or Gary Allan would fit the bill, too—absolutely nailing this song to the wall, White blusters and growls through a thoroughly winning vocal turn. White’s enthusiasm is catching, and it makes “It Feels Good” one of the most refreshing singles of 2015 thus far.