Single Review: The JaneDear Girls, “Merry Go Round”

There isn’t much to love about The JaneDear Girls’ debut album, and that’s putting it lightly.  It’s a set characterized by uninspired, derivative songwriting, not to mention screechy vocals and tin-eared production choices. (John Rich – Who’da guessed?) But there was one song on the album that almost made all the other songs look good by comparison.  Surprise!  It’s their new single.

To say the least, if you didn’t like Trace Adkins’ “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” you won’t like this either.  Apparently, “merry” is a new word for the female tush, which leads to the eyebrow-raising hook of “Make your merry go round.”  Beyond that hook, and the calling for listenters to “Bend those curves to the groove of the fiddle” and “Throw your hands up, make your headlights shimmy,” the lyrics are typical paper-thin party song fare.  So instead they’re going to go for a catchy melody and production, right?

Wrong!  “Merry Go Round” crumbles under the weight of a bloated, overblown arrangement that makes it sound like fingernails on a chalkboard.  But what drives it further into the ground is the excessive use of auto-tuning in Susie and Danelle’s vocals.  It’s an unnecessary, in-your-face addition that moves the song down from just plain bad to outright unlistenable.  When thin, weak vocals are the least of the problems, you know you’re in trouble.

What was the label even thinking when they released this?  The fact that such a terrible record passes for country music in 2011 is extremely depressing.

In a career that’s already consisted of some astonishingly bad singles, this is the worst one yet.

Written by Danelle Leverett, Peter Amato, and Oliver Leiber

Grade:  F

Listen:  Merry Go Round



  1. Since the Yankees are losing 7 to 1, I thought that this might be a good time to see if you were exaggerating about this song. You weren’t.

  2. “So instead they’re going to go for a catchy melody and production, right?


    This made me smile.

    I hate to gang up on them, but yeah. They make me miss SHeDAISY.

  3. This is not only the biggest abomination of “country” music I’ve ever seen, but it’s up in the running for worst song I’ve ever heard.

    I had the misfortune of hearing this often on The Nashville Channel from satellite radio about 6 months ago. It’s still that awful. I can literally find no redeeming qualities about it. I really don’t know that a simple F is good enough, because it does a disservice to every other song reviewed on this site that also received and F.

  4. Maybe they should start giving percentages to the F’s like this one would be “F (0%)” and another could be “F (40%)”? It would be a fix to your dilemma Devin, but not for how god awful this song is.

  5. …i hate most of what they sing and play, but then i look at what susie brown can do to a pair of blue jeans and western-style shirt and all of a sudden…

    …fair enough the red high heels do not destroy the picture either.

  6. The Jane Dear Girls can’t help themselves that they’re so vocally inadequate, and have far more attitude than actual talent. But then again, given who is producing them and is for all intents and purposes their Svengali, it’s not so surprising in the end. John Rich, you’re no Owen Bradley.

  7. The Im a Wildflower song was almost tolerable but my God the JaneDear girls are releasing some bad music. At least they aren’t as bad as “BOMBSHEL” and the “BOMBSHEL Stomp.”

  8. OMG, that is the most sound I think I’ve ever heard. If this doesn’t top the list for Worst Singles of the Year, I will be flabbergasted! Yuck, please for the Love of God, keep them away from me and all I hold dear!

  9. Gag me.

    ….I’ve given up hope, I no longer follow any mainstreamed “country” acts as intensely as I used to; Country music is at defcon one (at least in my opinion).

  10. Wow, this is harsh. I love this song. It would be a great song for a party. The Janedear Girls sing fun songs, ones that aren’t about taking life too seriously and living a little.

  11. They arent that bad. This song is a dance song. They have good voices, but theres not much room in this high level/bouncy song to show their voices. Give them a softer one and they’ll do just fine. Quit raggin on them. They are just trying to get somewhere in their life doing something that they love.

  12. If and when they are able to figure out what it is that has made other all-female country duos and groups work, then maybe they’ll get taken seriously. But unless they lose John Rich and ditch the hillbilly Katy Perry image, it’ll never happen (IMO).

  13. I don’t think the girls have good voices, but that’s not necessarily an insurmountable hurtle, so long as they learn to work with their vocal imperfections instead of against them. Unfortunately, their songwriting is every bit as much of a liability as their vocals, not to mention the fact that John Rich’s production consistently does them no favors at all. I’m not ragging on them; I’m just reviewing them by the same standards as I would any other artist.

    I did listen to their entire album (including the softer songs, which were few), so my opinion of their output thus far is quite well established.

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