Written by Sarah Buxton, Jesse Frasure, & Abe Stoklasa
Combining the absolute worst lyrical tropes of peak bro-country with the faux R&B production Sam Hunt and Thomas Rhett have popularized, Chris Lane’s “Fix” is the harbinger of another dreadful year at country radio.
Lane drawls a leering, “Hey girl,” to open the song before he immediately starts speak-singing a series of unimaginative pick-up lines (“Know what you’ve been missing? Me”) and stultifying forced rhymes (“I got that love medicinal / I make you feel invincible”) that butcher both human logic and basic English syntax. The song’s central conceit— that Lane is the drug that whatever “girl” he’s addressing is addicted to— is yet another reiteration of the overdone metaphor of love as a vice. Indeed, if there’s anything contemporary hired-gun pop songwriters seem addicted to, it’s that one beaten-to-death idea.
Repeating simple words to fill-out its not-at-all complicated meter (“Listen, baby baby baby baby girl / Let me make you feel better / Please please please / I’m what you need”) “Fix” reduces to a single protracted whine stretched out over three minutes. Moreover, the song embraces the residual misogyny of the countless bro-country acts who ruled country radio in 2014, as the lyrics condescend to and deny any agency of the “girl” in question.
Basically, the song re-imagines this anti-smoking ad as told from the POV of the cigarette:
And that cigarette? Is really into Maroon 5.
That the production on “Fix,” courtesy of Joey Moi to the surprise of exactly no one, doesn’t scan as country music in any recognizable, let alone meaningful, way is a given in the contemporary landscape, and that is a ship that has long-since sailed. But “Fix” is no less dreadful as an example of pop music: The melody has little range (other than a high note that Lane sure does try hard to hit at the middle eight), the rhythm section is muddy and lifeless, and the EDM signifiers would have sound dated on Hot AC or CHR radio five years ago.
Lane lacks the charisma or the vocal skill to elevate the song with a compelling performance. He has a less adenoidal tone than Rhett and a less asthmatic timbre than Hunt, but those comparisons would damn anyone with the faintest of praise. He may be capable of more, but “Fix” demands nearly nothing of him or, for that matter, of the country audience.