Single Review: Trisha Yearwood, “Every Girl in This Town”

“Every Girl in This Town”

Trisha Yearwood

Written by Erik Dylan, Connie Harrington, and Caitlyn Smith

Trisha Yearwood has been empowering women through her unique small town perspective since the beginning of her career.

Launching with “She’s in Love With the Boy” and, one year later, “Walkaway Joe,” she humanized the small town experience of young girls with twin tales of first love.  The endings were so different that it was easy to miss the common thread that bound them: disregard what the men have to say and listen to the wisdom of your small town mother.

As she grew older, so did the women that she sang about.  “XXX’s and OOO’s” captured the ambition of a young woman struggling to “make it in her daddy’s world,” where she has to do all the work he had to do as well as the domestic responsibilities that still aren’t being shared.  By the time of “Real Live Woman,” she was anticipating the body positive movement and embracing her right to take up space and use her voice, no longer apologizing for the things that she believes and says.

She’s old enough now to dispense the wisdom reserved for the mamas in her earliest hits, and the timing couldn’t be better.  Hopefully doubling as both lead single and thesis statement for Yearwood’s first country album in twelve years, “Every Girl in This Town” is a bold record that tempers the big dreams of a small town girl with the stark reality of the forces that will do everything to keep her down.  The song has an extra potency being delivered by a small town girl who triumphed over the resistances built in to the culture she was born into.

So the whimsy and hopefulness of the first verse, with its ferris wheel and yellow porchlight, rub up against the stark truth of the second, where the imagery of baptism is used brilliantly as a metaphor for the forces that will hold a girl back, regardless of her character or personal choices: “Every girl in this town is somebody’s daughter. An angel or devil, no matter what they call her. If they try to hold you down under that water, just come up baptized, baby. Let it make you stronger.”

A woman of a certain age faces the dual challenges of sexism and ageism, being marginalized and silenced once she’s accumulated enough wisdom to give sage advice to the young girls who are being marginalized and silenced because they are too young to have anything meaningful to say.  The conversation between the two needs to be heard now more than ever.  This stunning single is as good a place as any to start.

Grade: A

 

12 Comments

  1. A strong enough song (albeit sounds like a remake of Martina’s “This One’s For The Girls”) but suffers from similar over-compressed production issues as “Prizefighter”.

    Wouldn’t give it quite as glowing a review as above.

  2. Good to hear Trisha back on form with country material but suffers from over-compressed production, as did Prizefighter. It’s a strong song though, if slightly reminiscent of Martina’s “Girls”..

  3. I agree that the production is a bit too loud here, especially when compared to the classic 1970s records of her spiritual role model Linda Ronstadt. Still, Trisha has been one of the best things to happen to country music, female or otherwise in the last thirty years; and she is unavoidably different from the rest. Whether the powers-that-be at country radio think she’s still a big deal as she approaches 55 is one thing; but that shouldn’t matter…at all (IMHO).

  4. I love Trisha, so I’m cool with the grade. But I’m not picking up on why the refrain — “every girl in this town” — is a particularly powerful mantra to keep repeating and to hang the chorus on. It seems sort of thin. I guess the songwriters are saying that there are certain universals shared by every small-town girl, but I’m not sure why that’s so empowering. Maybe someone can help me.

  5. I like this song a lot. Trisha’s vocals still sounds fantastic as always. I’m really looking forward to her new album.

  6. The song debuted at #21 on the Kix Brooks American Country Countdown (Billboard Airplay) for the week of June 17th. For the week of June 24th, it dropped to #40. Seems crazy.

  7. They had a pay for play deal for the single’s first week. It really irritated me that her team presented it as radio embracing her coming back. I wish that narrative was true, but it was always doomed to fall apart during the single’s second week.

  8. thanks for the follow-up. Your comment reminds me of the payola scandals since i grew up listening to NYC rock stations in the late 50’s and early 60’s.

  9. Eh, it is just the female version of bro-country nostalgia; a list of common events with added girl power by pushing the idea that everything has to be a fight because sexism and ageism. Of course, ageism happens to the male singers in the genre as well.

    I will pass and put on Aaron Watson again.

  10. from yesterday’a Music section of Lawyer’s, Guns & Money:

    Trisha Yearwood on the ridiculous levels of sexism in the country music industry, which is ironic since women are putting out at least 3/4 of the good country music in the last decade.

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