Single Review: Dan + Shay, “19 You + Me”

Dan + Shay 19YouandMeCurrently ticking the “Summer Romance Nostalgia” box at country radio is this almost-Top 10 debut single by new duo Dan + Shay.

Good news – the first forty seconds are actually listenable!  The melody has an organic quality to it, and duo members Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney deliver the opening verse with likable harmonies against the gentle pluck of mandolin strings.

Then the song ticks past the forty second mark, and all subtlety and restraint are abruptly thrown out the window. A storm of production noise rolls in. Dan + Shay’s vocals are smothered in gaudy reverb effects as they scream their way through the cacophonous chorus.

And just like that, the summery ballad devolves into one big hot mess.

Written by Dan Smyers, Shay Mooney, and Danny Orton

Grade: C


  1. Agreed!

    Though this is still a great song for the summer, I feel that if it was more restrained with a simple production, the song would have a greater impact.

    I actually first heard of this track as a cover on YouTube from New Heights and Colton Haynes:

    I prefer the cover version better, though when Dan + Shay do an acoustic cover of this song, it’s great!

    A nice change of pace for country radio from the beers, trucks and bro-country that’s out there.

  2. Just plain do not like this song at all. On the first listen it was a turn off! But then again, there are a lot of songs being played on Country Radio these days that I do not like!

  3. Heard the song. Not impressed in the least. Call me set in my ways, old fart or whatever, or maybe I’m just terribly jaded by the precipitous decline of country music over the last few years, but…no. Just, no. If Wikipedia is to be believed, Dan Smyers was a member of some indie-rock band and Shay Mooney was a solo artist on a label owns by T-Pain. Dunno about Mooney’s artistry, but the first part of that last sentence would explain a lot about this song. A certain Alan Jackson song comes to mind, and I am sure you all know which one.

    As far as it being better than bro-country…well, I’m just going to have to disagree. I honestly think it’s just as bad — it’s just that it’s a different kind of bad than the bro-country. Who’s gonna fill their shoes, indeed…

  4. As a pop song, I honestly have no real issues with it. It sounds sincere, effectively melancholy and is a step up from the cringe-inducing insincerity of recent pop hits like Passenger’s “Let Her Go”. Splices of lyrics are somewhat questionable (“T-shirt drippin’, drippin’ wet…” might come across as leering, for instance) but all in all I see no reason to complain and it fits hand in glove with the often-traversed trope of wistfulness that comes with summertime romance memories.

    The problem is, this is being marketed as a COUNTRY single. And that automatically is the deal-breaker for me. You’d be hard-pressed to make out the token banjo and extraordinarily brief whiff of pedal steel toward the very end of the track: for everything else about this track one-ups Rascal Flatts in Xeroxing the boy band template.


    As a pop song, I actually kind of like this and would give it a B-, perhaps. As a “country” song, though, this is a doggone D: spared only by its sincerity from a failing grade.

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