Joey + Rory, “Play The Song”

joey-roryJoey + Rory’s latest single, “Play The Song,” is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it’s a fun statement song from the frustrated gut of a talented songwriter. On the other hand, it was likely released because it is an up-tempo number, despite not being one of the best songs on the album.

Focusing on the bright side, however, the song does encapsulate one of the most endearing qualities of Joey + Rory: their utter fearlessness and honesty. It’s the same quality that set “Cheater, Cheater” apart from typical radio fare (“Loser, loser hope you love her cuz your stuck with her now / Take your sorry butt, load up all your stuff, and get the hell out of my house / But I just wish you’d tell me this one thing before you go / Cheater, cheater where’d you meet that no good, white trash ho?” Classic.).

“Play The Song” continues that candid, from-the-gut streak. It entreats corporate radio to simply play the song and “let the people decide if the music is right or it’s wrong.” It pushes back against the mindset of corporate radio that only a certain “type” of songs sells and therefore should be distributed to the mainstream audience. It also pushes back against—in a cheer-worthy line—the agonizing P.C. of country radio: “and it’s too bad, if you ask me / Our song’s gotta be so darn P.C. /so DAMN P.C.

To be personally honest, I find the contrast between the duo’s radio releases and their sweet, straight-laced, corn-fed image fascinating.  I’d love to sit down and have a tall beer with both of them and discuss the ins and outs of the Nashville music scene. I don’t cast my political vote based on that criteria, but I’m not above choosing my songwriters in that fashion.  And I have no doubt the conversation would be completely frank and entertaining, just like this duo.

Songwriter: Rory Lee Feek

Grade: B

Listen:Play The Song



  1. Why is this in the “100 Greatest Women” category?

    Anyway, I completely agree with the review- good duo, a little clunky song, but still good overall. Should be interesting to watch at radio.

  2. I really enjoy this song. I think the only problem with releasing is that people who don’t know the album might think it’s full of upbeat, cutesy songs. While those are on the album, it’s not exactly the right impression to get, since there are also plenty of more melodically diverse songs on it.

  3. Lynn,

    They are pretty damn open and honest about the industry and how it can suck the life out of some people. They also wish the ‘cooks in the kitchen’ mindset would be lessened.

    I don’t think this song will be a mega hit (that’s still the job of “To Say Goodbye”) but it is very intriguing to see what it does. I will admit, though, that my personal bias for Joey+Rory as people makes it hard to ever want to criticize their stuff (which is why any singles/album releases in the future aren’t being written by me @ Roughstock).

    /end book.

  4. Even though it’s my least favorite song on the album, I agree that “To Say Goodbye” has the best chance of being a radio hit. I will say that it’s performed very well, though I can’t imagine them being capable of doing otherwise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.