Single Review: Mo Pitney, “Boy & a Girl Thing”


“Boy & a Girl Thing”
Mo Pitney

While it can be tempting to give a free pass to an artist who sounds identifiably country, the fact is a good country song does not live on steel guitar alone.

“Boy & a Girl Thing” tracks the development of a romantic relationship from youth on. Boy and girl fall in love, get married and have babies, have a few fights, fall back in love and grow old together. There’s a certainly a world of potentially great country song concepts within that framework – just ask Tanya Tucker or Alan Jackson. The problem is that the characters in this song are about as realistic and believable as the male/female silhouette icons which appear on the single’s cover.

The narrative progresses from “He’s gross, she’s got cooties” to “makin’ plans to say I do” until finally the two nameless, faceless protagonists are in their eighties and it’s (spoiler alert) “still gonna be a boy and a girl thing…a girl and a boy thing.” Nothing about their story feels genuine, authentic, or specific to its characters, such as might move listeners to connect the story with their own personal experiences. While the arrangement is restrained, unobtrusive, and does not make me want to put my head through a wall, it likewise plods along without any particular depth or richness. There’s no substantial reward for the listener who sits through all three minutes.

While Pitney has obvious talent and a palpable regard for country music tradition, fulfilling his potential will require material that’s good – as in clever, interesting, intelligent or compelling. This is tolerable at best.

Grade: C-


  1. I don’t know that it’s necessarily fair to Mo Pitney to be given only half a letter grade higher than The Band Perry’s worst radio single to date. Even King George has had a few less than detailed, cliche, or otherwise predictable songs (a la “I’ve Got a Car” or “River of Love”). I agree that it’s less than memorable, but it still has to earn him at least a C+ or B- because he doesn’t want to make me turn it off after the first verse.

  2. I was grading the single on its own merits, not necessarily in comparison to other recently reviewed singles, and while I probably would have reviewed “Live Forever” similarly to Kevin, reviews by different writers don’t always go by the same metrics.

  3. I’m surprised that this song was chosen as the follow-up single to “Country”, which didn’t chart well. I thought
    surely that the next single would be “Clean Up on Aisle Five”.

    I saw Mo a few months ago at the BB Cafe and I thought he sang well and was very personable. The crowd really seemed to like him.

  4. I just don’t think he has enough life experience to adequately chronicle a lifelong romantic relationship, and that certainly comes through in the song.

    That said, I don’t find it particularly off-putting. His heart seems to be in the right place, but he needs some help fleshing out his vision. I’d agree with Brian and give him a B-.

    I get what you’re saying about the free pass though. It’s an unpopular opinion for sure, but I often feel this is largely the case with Kacey Musgraves. I imagine if Florida Georgia Line went ahead and released just about any of her songs, people would be tearing apart the lyrics as short sighted and juvenile.

  5. Cora,
    I completely disagree! If FGL sang songs like Musgraves’ songs, I’d be impressed, though not if they stuck with their production choices. If they would sing anything as good as “Follow Your Arrow” or “Dime Store Cowgirl”, or even “Keep It To Yourself” and “Blowing Smoke”, I promise you I’d be singing their praises. I actually think that I’d give them even more credit than I give Musgraves, since I’d be so surprised.

    As for this song, I agree with Ben’s review. I think he has potential, but the song is lame.

  6. I would probably give it a C+ or B-. It’s a generally inoffensive song, but Pitney has shown much better material.

    It says a lot about modern culture and radio that a guy with so much promise, basically has to release his worst/most generic song to date to try and catch on at radio.

  7. I keep seeing Pitney’s name bandied about as one of the best of the newest crop of up-and-coming country artists. And I can see what he’s getting at, artistically, but I honestly just haven’t connected with him thus far. I definitely agree that this particular song doesn’t impress, and I have a hard time imagining that it’s going to make much headway commercially, given what’s most popular at radio at the moment.

  8. I’ve heard much worse, although this is by no means top grade material. I’d put this in the C+/B- range. Unless he sells out like Craig Morgan did after his excellent first album, I don’t see a lot of chart success ahead for Pitney

  9. I personally like the song. I think it is kind of catchy and I hope it is being released in an effort to turn the bubble-gum country fans on to a traditional country sound.

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