Darius Rucker, “Alright”

darius-cma2I swear I’ve heard this song somewhere before, but that’s probably just because every writer in Nashville already has a version of it. You know the jist: “I don’t need luxurious things, ’cause I got the sun and the moon and you, sweet baby.”

And you know, I don’t think there’s an inherent problem with that theme. It’s good stuff, the kind of mentality I definitely subscribe to personally and am willing to buy into when I listen to music.

Problem is, precious few songwriters seem able to flesh it out without resorting to the same trite, dumbed-down approach. Pretty much every song of this persuasion just throws out some examples of what is unattainable, then says, “but no worries, I’ve got…” and then throws out some examples of that. There is no room for interpretation or thought on the listener’s part; these songs are designed to feed you a sentiment rather than allow you to unpack one yourself.

So it’s no wonder, really, that the language and examples used in “Alright” could be exchanged with those in dozens of songs that have come out over the past few years; they all have such a one-dimensional approach that it’s hard to look at the details as anything but random fillings in a template. (And if you’re wondering why else it sounds like a familiar formula, check out how it rips its arrangement directly from Taylor Swift’s “Our Song.” Nice.)

The lone saving grace is Rucker’s performance, which demonstrates the kind of infectious character that could be spent making new-gen country classics instead of so many shallow forgettables. Now that he’s broken at radio and retail, let’s hope he’s given the chance to flex his real artistry next time out.

Written by Frank Rogers & Darius Rucker

Grade: D+

Listen: Alright



  1. Darius has never done a thing for me musically. I find his voice incredibly monotanous and that alone gets the radio dial turned every time.

    I’m also so tired of these formulaic templates raging thru country music anymore. Not only the one mentioned above but the “three stages of life where we can repeat the same catch-phrase; celebrity name-dropping; the one where you could have been dead or are just getting old so let’s start appreciating every minute from here on; and the “let’s not get up when the alarm goes off and stay in bed all day” … to name a few.

  2. There’s a much more serious problem with this song: it’s “all right,” not “alright.” “Alright” isn’t a word.

  3. Preach it, Soul Miner’s Daughter.

    “Alright” vs. “all right” is actually one of the few English battles where the wrong one isn’t a big pet peeve of mine. “Alright” has become so common that it threatens to completely overthrow “all right.”

  4. This is one of the weakest songs on his album, IMO. I much prefer ‘Drinkin and Dialin’ myself – even if it’s a recycled theme too. I would have guessed ‘I Hope They Get To Me In Time’ or the title track would be released next.

    And I couldn’t agree more with your review.

  5. Why on earth is the new release not “All I Want” a country to the bone song that without references to cell phones and such sounds like it could have been written in the 1950’s with the honky tonk shuffle production. This new release is one the weakest song on the CD.

    On the other point brought up:

    Country music is all about emotion and true to life lyrics and it seems that the industry has recycled themes over and over again. They used to do this by simply recording new versions of classic hits over the years but right about the time albums became available on CD, very few songs seemingly got recycled that way. Instead the labels recycled music by borrowing similar melodies and re-writing the same ten, then 5 songs over and over again. It became a copycat industry in many cases, following whatever label hit big with an original artist.

    “Don’t Blink” becomes “Your Gonna Miss This” which becomes ” It Won’t Be Like This For Long” and on and on and on.

  6. I like this song (and like all of the album) but I still can’t help but feel a distinct “Hootie” party vibe to this song (not even taking in the lyrics).

  7. Wow, Darius is deciding to take Eric Church head-on in listing things someone in a relationship likes/loves/wants, but as a “love song”. Recently Dierks Bentley was challenged by Church, but “Feel that Fire” ultimately found victory on the charts over “Love Your Love the Most”, but the latter is living to fight another day. Prior champions include “The World”, “She’s Everything”, and countless other pop-country “hits”.

  8. For the record (since I didn’t put it in my original comment, and since I’m going for my personal best in comments on this blog in one day), I am a big fan of Darius Rucker, from his Hootie days especially, and he immediately won me over with “Don’t Think …” and some of the audio I heard pre-album from his radio tours. This song just does nothing for me.

  9. “I still can’t help but feel a distinct “Hootie” party vibe”

    You know why? Because he established his name in “Hootie”. The thing is, if you never give him a chance to do his own thing you will always hear the “Hootie” vibe.

    The song, along with ALL music of this “genre”, is generic; in style, structure and feel. Honestly, there’s no real country music now-a-days. It’s just become pop with steel guitars, mandolins and banjos.

    I happen to like both Darius and the song. It just infuriates me when someone says that a single particular song has a “recycled theme” when they praise a different song for the exact same theme.

  10. edit

    It just infuriates me when someone criticizes a single particular song for having a “recycled theme” when they praise a different song for the exact same theme.

  11. Music is admittedly full of recycled themes; it’s inevitable. The trick is for songwriters and singers who sing them to find ways to make them seem fresh, which is what’s missing in this particular recycled themed song.

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