Single Review: Tim McGraw and Tyler Hubbard, “Undivided”

“Undivided”

Tim McGraw and Tyler Hubbard

Written by Tyler Hubbard and Chris Loocke

This is three minutes of sparkling sincerity.

I was not prepared to like this as much as I did, and I think that I know why.  Usually, songs with a “big message” are given a “big production” to match, pronouncing to the world that this record is important. 

“Undivided” doesn’t bother with any of that.  It’s breezy and simply presented.  To borrow a phrase from the new president, it “lowers the temperature.”  That goes with the message of the song, which interestingly opens with a tale of regret: not being a friend to a bullied seventh grader who is implied to be gay.

The thesis here is that if we start on the immediate level, being open and understanding to those different than us in our daily lives, it will pay off with national unity in the end.   It’s spectacularly naïve.  But so is every other song about peace, love, and understanding.

You can’t save the world in three minutes. But you can help nudge it in the right direction.  Kudos to both men for putting in the effort, and doing it with such a charming record.

Grade: B+

6 Comments

  1. For a mainstream country radio single … eh. I suppose a step in the right direction is still a step, as you said. I just wish they found a consistent focus – I’m not sure what Hubbard’s verse is contributing here.

  2. I’m making a point to engage with mainstream country music again this year, but I’m still in the early stages. This track sounded very clean to me, with an arrangement similar to Tim’s “Overrated” from Sundown Heaven Town.

    I heard just the audio first. Full disclosure: I thought I was going to be tearing this record apart. I was very pleasantly surprised by it all.

    I didn’t realize how influential Tim was on Tyler’s vocal style until I heard them together on this track.

  3. I like this one too. I certainly didn’t expect to like it either! It’s certainly simplistic and idealistic, but it’s heart is in the right place and I like the production.

  4. I found the song to be satisfyingly mediocre. Quality radio country. Toothless, vaguely positive, and inoffensive to the ears(aside from the hip hop AutoTuned ad libs throughout the track). It felt like Tim relied a it more on AutoTune then typical on this track. Is it just me or did he sound different then usually here?

    I like the take on the themes of the track. I initially felt it meandered about without genuinely tackling any issues of division, but your interpretation of starting with the small stuff at home is on point.

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