Single Review: Thompson Square, “Testing the Water”

thompson_square_3_0There are at least three things we can always count on:  death, taxes, and the inevitable swamp of summer songs that overwhelm country radio annually beginning around this time of the year.

There’s nothing wrong with a good summer song, and one would think that a duo with as much natural charisma as Thompson Square would certainly be capable of delivering one of the better ones. As it turns out, “Testing the Water” is the type of song that lives or dies based on what the performer brings to it. The hook comes off as a weak attempt at clever wordplay and generally contributes nothing to the song as a whole. The lyrics that are consistently dull as a brick right down to the predictable rhyming of “water” with “hotter” – unmistakably identifying the song as the product of a three-head Nashville songwriting committee.

Equally unfortunate is the fact that the Thompsons’ efforts to sell the song are mired by tin-eared production and tastelessly processed vocals, offering little redemptive value for the disposable song material and contributing to an overall grating listening experience. Verdict:  a definite station-changer.

Written by Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, and Hillary Lindsey

Grade: C-


  1. I think the fact that it took three people to right this song is pretty sad. In-fact, it is probably more sad and sorry than the song itself.

  2. Agree with Ben’s rating. I keep expecting TS to do better but it doesn’t happen. Outside of “Glass”, I think their material has been disappointing.

    @MM: I’ve been to about 80 songwriter shows over the last 7 years. On quite a few occasions I’ve heard a song I really like and find out later that no one has recorded it or that it’s been recorded but never been released as a single. It must be a bit frustrating to songwriters to have some of their best efforts dismissed. Having a piece of fluff succeed may ease the pain and obviously helps the wallet.

  3. As far as modern duos/groups with females go I’ll take a Sholves & Rope, The Trishas or The Secret Sisters any day of the week over Thompson Square. Their material is consistently milquetoast and weak. As well, for a vocal duo that has been singing together as long as they have they have next to no blended harmony. Someone get this couple a tape of The Judds debut album “Why Not Me” and push play if they ever are interested in what a good duo, with real harmony, sounds like.

  4. I’d probably grade a bit higher, low C+ to high C.

    Just an odd choice for radio IMO, especially with material that is so much more radio friendly than this one. And much higher quality.

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