“Girls Like Me”
Written by Stephanie Chapman, Ester Dean, Shane McAnally, Martina McBride, Alexis Kristine Shadle, Dan Swank, Ryan Tedder, Michael Tyler, and Halie Wooldridge
Songwriting by committee is one of those easily tossed about phrases used to malign what sounds like assembly line song craft, even when it usually isn’t.
But there are eight songwriters responsible for “Girls Like Me,” which is the product of the Songland reality show concept currently in its debut season. Martina McBride was a guest for one of the episodes, and this song is the result. It really is songwriting by committee.
All things considered, it’s not a bad effort. We haven’t heard from McBride for a while, who put out a Christmas album in 2018 but hasn’t issued a collection of new material since two years prior. She sounds gentler than usual on “Girls Like Me,” which goes well with the encouraging lyrics. This is a song about encouraging young girls to take chances and make mistakes, because that’s how they’ll grow. The chorus does most of the heavy lifting, as she acknowledges a younger version of herself that is smoking cigarettes and drinking whiskey while second guessing her own worth, all because some boy is too foolish to recognize it himself.
It’s the verses that feel like quickly slapped up spackle, and they don’t succeed in giving the song’s chorus and concept the support needed to bring them to fruition. I’d love to hear more worldly wisdom from McBride. Let’s just do it without the artificial deadline of a reality show that’s itching to move on to writing something for next week’s guest artist. Her talent deserves better.