Single Review: Blake Shelton, “Minimum Wage”

“Minimum Wage”

Blake Shelton

Written by Corey Crowder, Jesse Frasure, and Nicolle Galyon

One thing that I’m not even going to bother with is the controversy surrounding this song.

Rich country stars pretending to be working class guys has been a part of the genre since the dawn of the recording industry, and it’s nothing noteworthy.  It’s been done better (John Anderson’s “Money in the Bank”) and worse (Alan Jackson’s “I Still Like Bologna”), but it’s not newsworthy.

Shelton’s version doesn’t strike the same balance of humor and sincerity that Anderson’s record does, but it’s still a well-crafted song that he sings well.  The minimum wage metaphor is the weakest part of the chorus, with the other details being better examples of what the songwriters were going for, like the one-bedroom apartment and the six-pack on the living room carpet.  Clear, concise, and easy to visualize, without needing to rely on federal and state labor laws to make the point.  I would also edit out the chanting of “Your love is money.”  It’s not a smart enough line to repeat ad nauseum.

What holds the record back is common to most country records today, so get used to me saying it as I wade back into reviewing radio records.  It’s too loud.  These records are being made as if they’re supposed to play in an arena instead of on the radio.  Strip it down for the studio, fellas, and amp it up for your live show.  Shelton is one of the better vocalists of his generation, and there’s no need to drown him out.

Grade: B-

6 Comments

  1. It’s a pretty stupid song overall, but not bad, as you said. I get the intention behind it. Oddly enough, I’m with you on it being too loud, but I found it gave the track a sense of urgency missing from … well, 98% of Shelton’s material since, oh, the 2000s. I was unfair to his last single when I reviewed it here, but I’d rate this one the same as you.

  2. Oh dear – this one is a complete turkey – stupid lyrics and insipid production. Blake can do much better than this – D+

  3. @KevinJCoyne Yes God can hear if you whisper but that was a mediocre Keith Urban song.
    I find current radio country to be overly bombastic and without defined separation between the instruments. I don’t know if that’s due to the loudness or some other production technique but I don’t like it.

    Out of curiosity, when you avoid the current radio scene do you focus in on current indie material or just listen to older stuff?

  4. didn’t care much for this song noting your 2nd full paragraph comments about the minimum wage metaphor being the weakest part of the chorus and the chanting of “your love is money”.
    Agree that Shelton is one of the better vocalists of his generation.

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