Retro Single Review: Tim McGraw, "My Best Friend"

1999 | #1

Some songs live or die on the strength of the artist's vocal interpretation.  Tim McGraw's “My Best Friend” could be considered one such song.

The funny thing is that's not necessarily an indication of poor songwriting.  Sometimes it just takes the right vocalist to find the layers of emotion woven into a lyric that could scan as pedestrian in the hands of another performer.  In this instance, Tim McGraw indeed proves to be the right vocalist.

Lyrics like “I don't know where I'd be/ Without you here with me/ Life with you makes perfect sense”  could very easily come across as rote statements with no real emotional heft.  When Tim McGraw delivers them, you get the sense that he means it from the depths of his soul.

McGraw's heartfelt performance is bolstered by a pleasant lilting melody and a laid-back arrangement featuring generous amounts of fiddle and steel guitar.  Thanks to such fitting treatment, the song exudes such an irresistible warmth that it's easy to see why it's become a dance floor favorite in the twelve years since its release.

Written by Bill Luther and Aimee Mayo

Grade:  B+

Next:  Some Things Never Change

Previous:  Something Like That




  1. Don’t want to be the downer here but seeing these retro reviews leaves me more in disbelief how Tim could go from great songs like this to the present day “Feel Like a Rockstar”.

  2. I kinda see where Jake J is coming from, and “Feel Like A Rockstar” is pretty weak in my mind. But I also think the opposite could be said. “Better than I Used To Be” is in my book better a lot better than “Refried Dreams,” “Indian Outlaw” (which I liked when it came out but find unbearable now), “Don’t Take The Girl,” and the like.

    In my mind, Tim has been fairly consistent throughout his career. I think in all stages he has released some great songs, some okay songs and a some clunkers (of course what I find a clunker you might think is awesome). I think that’s typical of most of the bigger stars.

  3. @Sweetcheeks: Also very true. I guess what I really miss is how consistent he was from around 1997 to about 2002 with his single choices.

  4. This song came out when I was in middle school. I took to it immediately because it explained love in a way that really resonated with my 14-year-old self. It doesn’t carry the same weight for me now, but I still think there’s something to be said for the way it describes love in simple, unfussy terms.

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