“Speak to a Girl”
Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
Written by Shy Carter, Dave Gibson and Joe Spargur
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill preview their upcoming debut album with a remarkable single that showcases both vocalists at their best.
Let me talk a little more about that. Faith Hill and Tim McGraw haven’t sounded this great on record in years. Maybe ever. McGraw is soulful, stripped of all those horrible vocal effects that rob good singers of all of their personality. Hill has lost none of the power and nuance that she showcased so well on Fireflies, her last solo release from twelve years ago.
The song’s message is a refreshing respite from the dudebro mentality, still seeing a woman as an aspiration, but because she is a fully realized person worthy of respect, not just an ornament to objectify.
It is a smart, deliberate choice to have Faith Hill sing the first verse. (Truly, the billing on the record itself should have followed suit.) The terms that make a suitor suitable are defined by the woman, with the man who has been wise enough to embrace her approach reinforcing the message in the second verse.
I like the simplicity of the production, although it’s so stripped down that there isn’t much here to define it as a country record. It’s more in the adult R&B vein, the type of blue-eyed soul that might find a warmer reception from Adult Contemporary stations than any other format.
But even playing it as is would make country radio a more pleasant listening experience. It’s an excellent song performed exquisitely by two legends of the genre, and easily better than most of what’s on the dial right now.