Single Review: Pat Green, “While I Was Away”

Pat Green While I Was Away
“While I Was Away”
Pat Green

Written by Zane Williams

Pat Green forgoes the big productions of his big label days and blessedly revisits a more organic sound on “While I Was Away.”

From the perspective of a father to his child, Green solemnly sings of how difficult it is to miss so many moments while his child is growing up without him there to watch it:

For every dollar I earn there’s a lesson you learn without me there
And every day I’m on the go I’m prayin’ that you know that your daddy cares
‘Cause the hardest part about workin’ hard ain’t the bills I gotta pay
It’s you growin’ up while I was away.

With Green’s emotional performance and the song’s sympathetic production, “While I Was Away” is both sweet and heartbreaking. It’s Green’s best single in at least a decade and it will likely be the most moving single of 2015.

Grade: A


  1. Nice song. I like it – reminds me how lucky I was that my job required very little traveling. It may be as you say the most moving single of 2015, but it’s highly unlikely that it will do much moving up the country charts

  2. Wow, talk about coming back with a bang!

    I was definitely frustrated with Pat Green for a while. I mean, I can understand we all have larger aspirations and there’s nothing shameful about striving for mainstream success in itself.

    What irked me about “What I’m For”, however, was how he tried way too hard to have it both ways and how disingenuous it came across and, in the thick of it all, the songs suffered. Sure, I get that he was playing “Country Star” with tongue planted firmly in cheek, but it still doesn’t excuse how sloppy and forgettable the song itself was. Then there were other songs like “Lucky” and “Let Me” that reverted to sappy fluffy cliches, an embarrassing attempt to rhyme “theologer” with “psychologer” on “Footsteps Of Our Father” which itself just sounded dopey……………..and don’t get me started on the face palm of a title track.

    And here’s the thing: the end result didn’t even size up with some of his earlier success anyway. “Wave on Wave” remained his biggest hit and the album of the same name his best-selling album. So I’m absolutely relieved he learned the lesson in “What I’m For”, and has apparently returned home to his truer sound.


    “While I Was Away” is just gorgeous and heartaching.

    There’s no lyrical gimmicks, no Dan Huff-esque schmaltz, no cluttered production. It’s just as intimate and gut-punching as can get, and though lyrically there’s not a whole lot to dissect, sometimes less amounts to a whole lot more when it inspires populist appeal and allows the listener to draw one’s own impressions. It’s not insular, nor heavy on Hallmark card cliches. It hits exactly the right balance.


    Yeah, I concur this deserves a solid A.

    Well done Pat, it’s great to have you back! ^__^

  3. I actually found this single a bit dull. Just didn’t grab me at all.

    In contrast to what has been written above, I actually really liked “What I’m For” and was (deep intake of breath) hoping for more of the same! I think Footsteps Of Our Fathers and Lucky are two of his best songs to date.

    That said, I still think Cannonball is still his strongest album yet.

    His output is generally hit-and-miss…and this single falls firmly into the latter category I think.

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