Single Review: Jon Pardi, “Heartache On the Dance Floor”

“Heartache On the Dance Floor”
Jon Pardi

Written by Bart Butler, Brice Long, and Jon Pardi

Yet another example of the Nashville majors signing a talented artist and proceeding to waste that talent in the studio.

“Heartaches On the Dance Floor” is juvenile, but that’s not really the problem. There’s nothing wrong with a young guy having the perspective of a young guy. The song itself is cute enough, and Pardi continues to show an eye for small details that make his stories come alive.

I can even stomach the slick arrangement and slightly too fast delivery, at least in the verses, where they don’t mess with Pardi’s vocal too much.

But I absolutely loathe the echo in the chorus, an unnecessary call back that adds nothing but muddled distraction to a decently constructed hook. I’m increasingly baffled by the trend of masking quite good singers with vocal filters and other production tricks. Pardi sounds like the Florida Georgia Line singer at times, and that’s such a waste. He has so much charm and personality in his pure country voice.

All you have to do is listen to the live version of this song embedded below to see how Pardi’s talent is being watered down. Even the callback works better with real live singers.

Heck, Jon Pardi could sing an album a cappella and I would listen to it. Instead, we get a record that sounds like those tacky late nineties pop remixes of country songs that were made for crossover attempts at Top 40. Enough already.

Grade: C

5 Comments

  1. This seems like one of those songs that would be fine if left as an album cut. It’s so obvious listening through the album which songs are the “radio songs” and which ones are the real deal traditional sound we all know he’s capable of. Heck even “Cowboy Hat” on the radio would be a nice compromise since “She Ain’t In It” has no chance of being released I’m sure.

  2. Don’t care much for Pardi as a vocalist so that a cappella album is out for me. Saw Hal Ketchum this past February at the Franklin Theatre. There’s a man who could handle a cappella, even at age 64.

    Don’t care for this Pardi dance floor song either. For anyone into dance floor songs, I would recommend “Old Dance Floor” by the Western Swing Authority.

  3. When I first listened to his second album, this was by far my least favorite song. Sounds way too much like the rest of the Thomas Rhett inspired songs on the radio today, except it’s a little more country sounding of course. To me, it just doesn’t fit his style at all. I really hoped that it would never be a single, but I had a bad feeling it would, and well…. I just hope the success of this single doesn’t pressure him to keep recording and releasing these kind of songs. He’s much better than this.

  4. I saw Pardi live last night opening for Tim and Faith. He went acoustic with just himself and a second guitarist and this song definitely sounded much better with that sort of arrangement.

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