Jeremy McComb, “Cold”

Ah, developing niches. Newbie McComb had an solid debut playing the passively frustrated lonely guy in “This Town Needs a Bar,” and now he reprises the role in this buzzed-about follow-up. Fair enough.

The song is what I imagine we’d get if Rob Thomas decided to “go country” and took the now well-worn approach of simply adding a few twangy flourishes to his established pop style. We open with a dramatic vocal busting out of a slow-building piano part, then we get a quick little pre-chorus, and then – BAM! – big, instant hook in the chorus that gets repeated a lot, just for good measure. And just as with much of Thomas’ writing, the lyrics framing that catchy hook – and honestly, that’s probably all they’re here to do – are vague as all get-out, speaking exclusively in cryptic, oft-used expressions of romantic interplay (“Something ’bout the way you move me / Is telling me that you’re still crazy for me”).

So make no mistake: it’s a pop song. In the purest sense of the term. But let’s look at the strengths here: though McComb is still finding his voice, he sings this thing with a Troy Gentryish rock gusto that keeps the record lively, and that hook is unstoppable, though I imagine it might get annoying if this song gains traction at radio. So all-in-all, it’s not an unpleasant listen – but if this kind of song is your thing, you’d be better off digging up your old Matchbox Twenty CDs and revisiting “Bright Lights.”

Written by A. Whisnant

Grade: B-

Listen: Cold

Buy: Cold


  1. I like this song a lot. I also like a lot of Matchbox Twenty stuff and honestly, think Thomas could cross-over to country quite easily. That being said, I think this one will fail to rise the charts because of the smallish label.

  2. Well I would give it an A- but that’s just me. I also agree with Matt B that this won’t go high on the charts becasue of the small label. If her were on a slightly bigger label (like maybe Equity) he might have a better shot but otherwise this should do about what “This Town Needs A Bar” did. By the way “This Town Needs A Bar” almost charted didn’t it?

  3. I really enjoyed “This Town Needs a Bar.” Although I don’t feel as strongly about this song, it’s decent pop-country.

  4. Matt,

    I’d be very interested to see how Thomas would approach a country crossover, not that I suspect he ever seriously would (though he did co-write “Baby Doll” with Pat Green). He’s got a brilliant command of hooks and idiosyncrasies as a pop songwriter, and I’d love to see if he’d be able to retain those strengths if he were to try his hand at writing traditional country.

  5. It is interesting you bring up Rob Thomas, because this same song was performed by a local band from Spartanburg SC 8-10 years ago and they were a Matchbox 20 / Hootie and the blowfish, alternative type band. Not sure how it became a country song, I must say after hereing the Alternative version the country song just does not do it for me. Just wondering if anyone else has heard the old version or have a clue on how lyrics get traded/sold between artist.

  6. I am sorry for being lazy I have since researched and found that the lead singer/song writer for dezeray’s is in Nashville his name is Aron James Whisnat and is credited as the song writer.

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