Gather up the Brat Pack. We’ve got the song they need for their third act montage.
“Just a Kiss” is pure eighties power pop, which translates into nineties adult contemporary and, sadly, twenty-first century country.
Like all hand-me-downs, there’s a comfort to be found in the well worn, but look closely and you’ll see the stitching is coming apart and the comfortably familiar is nearly worn out.
Written by Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dallas Davidson
Listen: Just a Kiss
The song is pleasant, inoffensive, and I wouldn’t change the station if it came on the radio – but I rarely listen to radio. It’s way better than the I’m country name dropping songs that make me cringe but that’s not saying much. It looks like a sure #1 hit.
About the only really good thing about this song is Charles Kelley remains the best overall vocalist in the group.
I liked “Just A Kiss” better when I heard it on AI Thursday night then the first time I listened to it earlier in the week. I think it’s growing on me. But my reservation is the light, safe, and bland production. It isn’t keeping them country in the least bit.
Based on this song, it seems like Lady A are following in the footsteps of everyone from Faith Hill, LeAnn Rimes, and Shania Twain to Sugarland who are expanded their sound away from fiddles and steel guitars in favor of appealing to the mainstream pop audience.
It’s too bad that when an act keeps their sound COUNTRY (i.e. Jamey Johnson and Dierks Bentley) it sells significantly less and garners far less airplay than songs in this vein. It would be nice to turn on country radio and find country production every now and then. While country can still be found, it’s getting less and less recognizable as the months go on.
I’m not as excited about Lady A’s third album, based on this, as I feel I should be given the level of success they’ve achieved over the last year and a half. They need to find and write stronger songs then this.
But as Bob said, “Just A Kiss” is pleasant and inoffensive. Compared to the latest offerings from Jason Alden and Luke Bryan (country-rap at its most cringeworthy), it’s not really that bad. But isn’t leaps and bounds above them either. But it’s far from mind blowing.
I think I was expecting a lot more.
It’s growing on me. I’d probably hate it if anyone else sang it, but their voices, Hillary’s especially, make it enjoyable for me. The song actually sort of reminds me of the more organic-sounding ballads on their first album.
…”need you now” was the point of no return for lady a. they never really were a serious “country-project” to beginn with. now, that they’ve managed to enter the more lucrative pop-stages successfully through the sidedoor, they have to deliver what their audience is looking for: pop-infused easy listening like this. not bad, but not particularly good, either. mostly playlist-fodder, really.
I like it well enough. It’s not country, but Charles and Hillary’s performances sold me on it. I wasn’t blown away by it, but I thought it was good enough for a seven.
(Dallas Davidson also has a writing credit on this, by the way)
Dallas Davidson and/or Rhett Akins seemingly have a co-write on everything these days.