“Better Than You Left Me” Mickey Guyton Written by Mickey Guyton, Jennifer Hanson, and Jenn Schott This is pretty much how a country ballad is supposed to sound, as far as I’m concerned. Nothing says heartache like a steel guitar, and if you’re going to sing with vulnerability, it’ll do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. All you need to do is show up with a decent lyric, not let the production get in the way, sing the song well, and you’re done.
I think if we can give Blake Shelton the award for Male Vocalist in 2010, we might as well start thinking about giving it to Billy Currington in 2011. He’s giving Shelton a run for his money in putting out milquetoast material that’s elevated into listenable by a charming vocal performance.
“Let Me Down Easy” is not going to appear in one of those deluxe coffee table books of song lyrics. Coffee napkin, maybe.
As Hanson reminisces about her childhood while looking through pictures, she stops to wonder how her life would have been different if her parents hadn’t gotten divorced, and had stayed in love instead. The song doesn’t really take a position whether things would’ve been better or worse, though the sweet reference to her baby half-brother indicates that she might things worked out the way they were supposed to, even as she wonders what might have been. Written by Jennifer Hanson, Michael Heeney & A.J. Masters Grade: B Listen: 73 Buy: 73
This may be the best Sheryl Crow record that Sheryl Crow never made, a nice little cross between “Every Day is a Winding Road” and “Steve McQueen.” Given that I was half-dreading, half-hoping that this was a cover of the #1 Roxette hit from 1991, I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. It isn’t much more than a ditty, but I’m a sucker for some “na na na’s”. Never fails. Grade: B+ Listen: Joyride Buy: Joyride