A Country Music Conversation, Day 22: “Take a Little Pill” to “Wake Up Older”

A Country Music Conversation: Introduction and Index

Previous Entry: Day 21: “She Can’t Say That Anymore” to “Strawberry Wine”

Day 22 features tracks from Brandy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Randy Travis, Shania Twain, and Julie Roberts.

“Take a Little Pill”
Brandy Clark

Written by Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, and Mark D. Sanders

Call it a “Bottle Let Me Down” for the medicated generation. Brandy Clark’s exploration of how we numb our pain these days will cut right through anything that you might have floating around in your system. Best songwriter to come along this decade.

Other Favorites: “Just Like Him,” “What’ll Keep Me Out of Heaven,” “Since You’ve Gone to Heaven”

“This Too Will Pass”
Rodney Crowell

Written by Rodney Crowell

“This Too Will Pass” takes what is often a milquetoast, greeting card message and returns it to its biblical roots, reinvigorating its power to bring comfort while the world falls around you. I expect it to be in heavy rotation for a good long while.

Other Favorites: “After All This Time,” “Things I Wish I’d Said,” “God I’m Missing You”

“Three Wooden Crosses”
Randy Travis

Written by Doug Johnson and Kim Williams

Even country radio couldn’t deny this one. It’s a country gospel song, to be sure, but it’s in the traditions of those great old story songs like “Wreck on the Highway,” only with a lot more redemption in the end.

Other Favorites: “Out of My Bones,” “Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart,” “On the Other Hand”

Shania Twain

Written by Robert John “Mutt” Lange and Shania Twain

This is Shania Twain in concentrate form. All the joy, all the hooks, all the exact rhymes, all the exclamation points. It’s been fourteen years since this song kicked off her most recent studio album. Far too long.

Other Favorites: “She’s Not Just a Pretty Face,” “You’re Still the One,” “I’m Holdin’ On to Love (to Save My Life)”

“Wake Up Older”
Julie Roberts

Written by Lisa Carver

This is a great song and performance that hinted there was more to Julie Roberts than the girl next door image. I wish she would’ve explored it more, and I bet she would have if radio had kept it in rotation like “Break Down Here.”

Other Favorites: “If You Had Called Yesterday,” “Paint and Pillows,” “Break Down Here”

Up Next: Day 23: “Walking Away a Winner” to “Whiskey Lullaby”


  1. Brandy:
    Hold My Hand, What’ll Keep Me Out of Heaven, Just Like Him, Love Can Go to Hell, You Can Come Over
    I agree that she’s the “best songwriter to come along this decade”.

    Three Wooden Crosses, Forever and Ever Amen, I Told You So, Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart, Deeper Than the Holler

    Julie: You Ain’t Down Home, Unlove Me, Rain on a Tin Roof, The Chance

  2. It occurs to me that we’re at the ‘W’s and we still haven’t seen Kenny Rogers, Ronnie Milsap, Anne Murray, or Earl Thomas Conley.

    Here’s hoping that maybe we’ll see You Decorated My Life, What a Difference You’ve Made In My Life, You Needed Me, and Your Love’s On The Line coming up soon. Fingers crossed.

    Regardless, this has been amazingly fun and nostalgic. Thanks so much for this enjoyable trip down musical memory lane.

  3. For Randy Travis, I’d say my favorites are Are We in Trouble Now, Whisper My Name and Spirit of a Boy, Wisdom of a Man

    I have all of Shania’s music, but I don’t really ever find myself going to play it… maybe the result of oversaturation in the 90s or it just feels too specific to that era. Also, her voice was never one that I LOVED.

    I have music by all the other artists in this batch too, but no songs that I feel the need to single out. Some of Crowell’s compositions are among my favorites by other artists though (Please Remember Me, Ashes by Now, Song for the Life).

  4. My favorite Brandy Clark song is her solo version of ‘I Cried’ from 2009. Simply stunning. ‘Love Can Go To Hell’ has a high rank on my favorite singles of the year list, too.

    It looks like Shania Twain’s new album has a release timeframe of late spring. She didn’t work with any country associated producers, so I doubt the album will lean heavily our way this time around. I just hope it’s worthwhile and NOT overly processed.

    I have to give my Julie Roberts albums a spin again. Kevin and I share the same favorite tracks of hers, although I would add ‘Too Damn Young’ to the mix (which Luke Bryan, of all people, covered in 2011). Her version of ‘Rain on a Tinroof’ is far superior to Little Big Town’s from 2010.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.