Single Review: Chris Janson, “Buy Me a Boat”

Chris Janson Buy Me a Boat

“Buy Me a Boat”
Chris Janson

Written by Chris DuBois and Chris Janson

It’s about time that Eric Church’s sound started showing up on other people’s records.

Chris Janson’s “Buy Me a Boat” is lyrically something you would’ve expected from Alan Jackson back in the day. He’d have done it with a goofy smile. Janson does it with the same amount of twang, but it sounds like he’s grimacing instead of grinning.

As Church becomes more experimental, Janson sounds like someone who learned a lot of good lessons from Church but is sticking with the mainstream, a logical choice for a still new artist that’s had some success as a songwriter, but has been bubbling under as a recording artist for a good six years already.

I liked the juxtaposition of the biblical verses with the material things he’s coveting, and his ability to let working class resentment seethe underneath the surface. Hey, before there was Eric Church, there was Johnny Paycheck.

If he can make his entire album this interesting, he’ll be one to watch this year.

Grade: B+


  1. Ugh…I’m not hearing it. It does sound sort of Eric-Church-y, but certainly not the Eric Church that I like. The drum machine and messy guitars just grate on my ears, and lyrics that advocate for buying away your troubles and running from all your problems on some boat are disturbing to say the least.

    For me, this is pretty much an F. If he HAD sung it with a “goofy smile”, I might have been able to get behind it.

  2. Yeah this song comes off way too boring and predictable bad production yeah I’m with SRM in giving an F and why does he get On The Verge and Mickey Guyton Brothers Osborne Ashley Monroe Jana Kramer Cam all of which cream this song in comparison.

  3. Well, I’ll disagree with SRM and Raymond. The lyrics are genuinely clever and immediately draw the listening in, holding our attention to the end. Sure, I’d prefer a more traditional style of instrumentation, but it is hardly offensive (like every Cole Swindell song). It’s a good summer song, and I hope it does well on the radio. In an interview, Janson said, “I just wanted to write a blue-collar song — not change the world.” Of course, I’m sure that every bro-country artist would say the same, but Janson actually did it.

  4. I wrote on SCM that this song is an attempt to save his floundering career. It is, but the song has clever verses and an understandable setting. Sometimes, I feel the same way. Who wouldn’t?

    It is a solid summer song.

  5. My one pet peeve is that he butchers the “money is the root of all evil” verse.

    The correct version:
    (1 Timothy 6:10, KJV): “For the love of money is the root of all evil.”

  6. Eh, I would probably give it a low C or D. The production is annoying, but then again very few mainstream Country artists production ISNT annoying right now.

    The lyrics are okay at best for me, it’s not terribly written, but it also has about as much depth as a FGL song.

    Janson’s whole career to date has been pretty uninspiring for me, I have seen some Youtube videos of him at the Opry doing some good performances, but to date none of that charisma or talent has translated to the various EP’s and Singles he has released. This is more of that same formula, with Janson essentially putting out a song that will be forgotten by the listener after it ends. That’s a fine formula if you just want a hit single or two are Country radio, but building any sort of lasting career with that formula is damn hard and unless Janson shows me something more I’m not sure he will ever fully rise above that.

    Honestly though, couldnt we say that about every young/up and coming mainstream Country artist right now? FGL, Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett, etc. all have the feel of artists that will quickly be forgotten both by Country radio and the Country fan base once the hits stop coming.

  7. Maybe a C+.

    This song is not terribly original, nor is it terrible but the production is annoying. His voice sounds country but he’ll need better material than this in order to sustain his career

  8. Goodness, that production is awful. After watching this performance ( )I think the song works much better live, which makes me wonder why they screw it up so much in production. I get that they want to make it punchy for the radio, but there should be some middle ground here. His dry vocals just don’t work with bro country beats.

    And I do like the dry and kind of sad humor in the song. I don’t think he’s advocating shopping away all of your troubles. But this is the time of the year when affluent weekend warriors from the city infiltrate rural areas with their shiny boats, campers, and trucks. The divide between tourist and townie becomes all the more obvious, and he could change that with a couple million dollars. I can appreciate that sentiment.

  9. Excellent analysis Cora. You captured the point that I was looking for.

    As a Florida sportsman said: “Why do they call it tourist season when you cannot shoot them?”

  10. When it comes on the radio while I’m driving my truck I find myself singing along and usually don’t even realize it. I think that’s a pretty good when a song can make you do that.

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