Single Review: Tim McGraw, “How I’ll Always Be”

“How I’ll Always Be”
Tim McGraw

Written by Chris Janson, Jamie Paulin, Jeremy Stover

Tim McGraw revisits the sound of his Everywhere-era hits, if not their substance.

“How I’ll Always Be” floats along dreamily like the best McGraw records of yore, and he even sings in that higher register we’ve barely heard this century. The song itself wouldn’t have done much better than album filler back then, even when he was pulling six hits easy off of a studio set.

He’s just done too many songs that better express his personal philosophy and core values than this lazily assembled list. It sounds better than most of what’s on the radio right now, but that’s an awfully low bar for an artist of his caliber to clear, isn’t it?

Grade: B-


  1. Kevin:

    You’re on a roll this week. For which I say Thank You! I really enjoy reading your commentary. I have not really enjoyed a lot of Tim McGraw’s output for a while. He has done some much better recordings lately though such as Lori McKenna’s song, Humble and Kind. (And Lori did a nice recording of it on her wonderful album, too.) I also enjoyed the single he did a couple of years ago with Faith Hill. Forgive me, I think the name of it was Mama’s Place. (I am drawing an unfortunate blank on the actual song name.) This new single is quite enjoyable though and provides some nice memorable phrases such as “old stray dogs and guitars playing”. While it might not be brilliant, it is pleasing to hear on the radio, and it is, as you say, much better than most else one hears on the airwaves these days. For those reasons, I’ll notch it up to a straight B. I might even download it on my Kindle.!

  2. Decent song. I would just change the lyrics a bit. I’d substitute Hal Ketchum for Hank Williams, slow SUVS for fast cars and motorcycles (i hate motorcycles) and ditch the Cool Hand Luke reference.

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