Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Tracy Lawrence, “I See it Now”

“I See it Now”

Tracy Lawrence

Written by Larry Boone, Woody Lee, and Paul Nelson

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

November 4, 1994

Tracy Lawrence returns to the top with another heartbreaking ballad.

The Road to No. 1

After four consecutive No. 1 hits from Alibis, Lawrence scored a top ten hit with “Renegades, Rebels, and Rogues” from the Maverick soundtrack.  The lead single and title track from his third studio album followed, and it became his eighth No. 1 hit.

The No. 1

I wish I had more to say about this specific Tracy Lawrence record, but this is a very typical Tracy Lawrence record.

He’s in full on heartbreak mode as he watches his former love dance with her feet off the ground, as he realizes that the man she is now with is better for her than he ever was.

He sings the hell out of it, just like he did with every other ballad from this era.

It doesn’t quite reach the dizzying heights of “Alibis” and “Can’t Break it to My Heart,” but it’s still good enough to be among the better chart-toppers of 1994.

The Road From No. 1

I See it Now will match Alibis, with three more No. 1 singles from it on the way in 1995.

“I See it Now” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

Previous: Alan Jackson, “Livin’ On Love” |

Next: Clay Walker, “If I Could Make a Living”

 

 

3 Comments

  1. It’s very tough for me to articulate why, but this might actually be my favorite of Tracy Lawrence’s ballads. Something about this just hits me differently, and I say that really liking “Alibis”, “Time Marches On” “Can’t Break it to My Heart”, etc. Those other songs are arguably a bit more interesting/complex, but I feel like the slower pacing of this song and the restrained production gives Tracy some space, and allow his vocal to really shine through here. It kind of reminds me of some of those older forlorn love ballads from the 50s/60s that the high school prom setting of the video references, while still clearly being a country weeper. Great song.

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  2. This is yet another great waltz from Tracy Lawrence, which was becoming one of his signatures (see also “Alibis” and “Stars Over Texas,” plus album cuts like “Dancin’ To Sweet 17” and “Froze Over”). And as usual, Lawrence gives a solid emotion filled performance, and it’s another great “don’t know what you had until it’s gone” kind of song. Thematically, I find it a bit similar to George Strait’s “You Look So Good In Love,” but I personally prefer Lawrence’s song because it’s aged a lot better for me production wise, while I can only mostly listen to the Strait song when I’m in the mood for 80’s style pop country. I also like the more melancholy feel of the melody to this one, which fits the theme better, imo.

    Speaking of the production, sure it perhaps could’ve used a nice fiddle or steel solo in the instrumental break, but the electric guitar solo is fine, too. What fiddle and steel we do get is still a pleasure to hear, and I especially love the steel parts after Lawrence sings “I never saw you dance with you feet off the ground” in the choruses. You can just feel the regret that the narrator is feeling while also realizing that she is much happier than she ever was before and is better off.

    I do actually remember hearing this one a few times, at least, when I was getting back into country in 1995, but for some reason it didn’t seem to get much recurrent play after that. I wouldn’t hear it again until the early 00’s when we were in a hotel room in York, PA, and it was playing on the radio from their local country station, which still played all kinds of 80’s and 90’s recurrents most other stations had forgotten about. The “feet off the ground” line was what I remembered immediately from the song, most of all.

    I’ve always liked the video for this song, as well, and I generally find his time travel videos quite fun to watch, despite most of them being unrelated to the song’s subject matter. I like the 50’s throwback style to this particular video, and it’s cool that they even give him and his band a 50’s group-like name when they are introduced as “Tracy Lawrence and the Little E’s” (Short for Little Elvis, which was his band’s actual name back then). I also always thought it was rather sweet that Tracy’s “task” in this video was to save the unpopular girl from getting splattered by the bucket of paint(?) and asking her to dance. :)

    Once again, I’m reminded of how easy it is to take for granted just how consistent Tracy Lawrence’s output was throughout the 90’s, especially since for some reason, he never quite made it to A-list status. Even the upbeat ditties he was putting out from this time period (“My Second Home,” “If The Good Die Young,” etc.) were of higher quality than most of his peers, and were at least genuinely fun to listen to and were actually pretty cleverly written (especially “My Second Home”). I’m looking forward to the next I See It Now singles, all of which are also solid and bring back great mid 90’s nostalgia for me. :)

    On a final note, co-writer of this song, Woody Lee, also eventually put out an album of his own on Atlantic in 1995’s Get Over It, and it’s actually one of my favorite lesser known albums from that era. Lawrence even returned the favor for him by singing with Woody on one of my favorite album cuts off the album, “King Of Pain.”

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  3. This is just Lawrence continuing to demonstrate how capable, confident, and versatile he is as a singer. This song really does does showcase the nuances and strengths of his singing.

    This is a great run of number ones from some of the era’s best talent!

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