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Josh Kelley’s “Georgia Clay” became the pop-turned-country singer/songwriter’s first top 20 hit on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart. Kelley hopes to further that success with the follow up single, “Gone Like That,” from his Georgia Clay album. Does the single have enough appeal to help Josh break through into the top 10?
Having already dabbled in the nostalgic aspect of country music with “Georgia Clay,” Josh Kelley is now tackling the ever popular, and almost must-have, break-up portion of country music with “Gone Like That.” However, instead of simply singing about the heartbreak and pain that a break-up usually causes, Kelley, along with co-writers Nicholle Galyon and Clint Lagerberg, has penned this song about an unexpected meeting with an ex who simply left without an explanation.
“It’d be hard to say hello to her, when she never said goodbye,” Kelley sings about the thought of having to say hello, “it would take every bit of strength I’ve gained to not get lost in those eyes.” The lyrics depict the emotional struggle one goes through during this situation. “Oh but I can’t take another gone like that, can’t take another hurt so bad that I can’t breathe, I can’t sleep, don’t wanna eat…man I want her back but I can’t take another gone like that.” The narrator knows that he wants the girl back, yet he doesn’t want to go through the hurt and pain that she’s already caused him again, so does he ignore her or does he talk to her? Ultimately the ending is up to your interpretation as the song never reveals how the chance meeting ends, which I happen to love about the song.
The guitar heavy production is considerably less country than “Georgia Clay” and finds Josh returning to his former pop centered roots. The electric guitar is the most dominant instrument in this song along with the drums and keyboard. There are slight hints of a steel guitar in the song, but other than that the instruments that made “Georgia Clay” more country are all but gone. Once again Kelley delivers a fantastic vocal performance that oozes soul and emotion, a vocal aspect that he (and brother Charles Kelley) has mastered.
“Gone Like That” is just as, and maybe even more, relatable than “Georgia Clay” which increases its chances at going further than top 20. However, I think the production could hurt it considering country radio might not like the guitar flavored sound. But nevertheless Josh Kelley is proving once again that he has potential to become a great country singer.
Hunter Hayes is one of the newest artists to emerge onto the country music charts. He’s already close to entering the top 40 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart with his debut single, “Storm Warning.” Is this uptempo country/pop ditty the best song choice to introduce him to country radio?
If you were to say that Hunter Hayes is talented would probably be an understatement. This kid is one of the most talented musicians country music has seen within the past ten years. Hunter played every single instrument on his debut single, “Storm Warning,” which includes drums, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, and the keyboard. Not to mention he is also a talented vocalist who had the opportunity to share the stage with Hank Williams Jr. when he was just a toddler. Oh yea and he’s also a talented songwriter whose credits include co-writing Rascal Flatts’ song “Play.” Not bad for a 19 year old kid from the bayou of Louisiana.
“Storm Warning” is an interesting song lyrically, to say the least. The single, written by Hayes along with Gordie Sampson and busbee, compares a girl to a storm. The song’s verses include various lines that map out the comparison: “have you ever noticed every hurricane gets its name from a girl like this, she’s a Cat five kind keeps you up at night hanging on to the end of a kiss.” “I’m gonna wish I had a storm warning, I’m gonna wish I had a sign,” he sings during the chorus, “gonna wish I had a radar system locked in on love, I got a feeling by the time the night finds the morning I’m gonna wish I had a storm warning.” The subject matter is a bit odd, but the end result is rather catchy and contains a hook that stays in your head long after the song has ended.
The production is also an interesting one. The acoustic guitar introduction gives it a country feel while the electric guitar and drums give it more of a bubble gum pop feel. Then you have the mandolin thrown in which almost gives it a bit of a bluegrass feel to it. It is a rather unique production that would fit perfectly into the play lists of country radio stations across the country.
The vocal performance Hunter delivers shows off his talents as a singer. From the lower range he uses during the verses to the higher notes he belts out during the chorus and the bridge, he does a great job at showing nearly every aspect of his vocal ability. You can tell from the tone of his voice that he is a youngster who hasn’t quite developed that more polished and refined tone that usually comes with age, which leads me to believe that his voice could only get better with age.
Hunter has already been hit with the inevitable Justin Beiber comparisons since, just like the Beibs, he is also a fresh faced youngster the girls will swoon over. However Hayes is considerably more talented that Justin which is why I think he has the potential to become a bona fide country star. I’m looking forward to hearing more from this talented kid as he continues to build his career.
Brad Paisley’s new single, “Remind Me,” finds himself paired with one of country music’s biggest superstars, Carrie Underwood. Will the Entertainer of the Year giants produce country magic or will the duet fall flat of expectations?
Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood have become two of the most popular and successful artists in country music. Brad continues to be one of the most popular male vocalists (he has several CMA and ACM Male Vocalist trophies to his credit) while Carrie has proved that she is one of the most gifted and talented vocalists (Proof here) country music has ever seen. So theoretically a collaboration between the two should be nothing short of spectacular. So why doesn’t “Remind Me” live up to those expectations?
I don’t think the problem rests in the song’s lyrics. The words depict the story of a husband and wife who are trying to rekindle the flame in the bedroom. “Remember the airport dropping me off, we were kissing goodbye and we couldn’t stop I felt bad that you missed your flight but it meant we had one more night…remind me,” the couple sings as they beg one another to remind them of the love they use make. Lines about “making out” im public and being told by other people to “go get a room” also depict the image of how in love and unafraid to show it the couple used to be. Lyrically, this is the best song to come off This Is Country Music.
The vocal performances Brad and Carrie deliver are some of the best we’ve heard from them. Carrie once again delivers a fantastic vocal that allows her to show off her tender side then at the song’s end she shows off her amazing higher register as she belts out some big notes. Brad, not wanting to be overshadowed by Carrie, also delivers one of his finest vocal performances. He breaks away from his comfort zone at the end of the song which finds him wailing and belting out some high notes right along with Carrie. Together their voices blend nicely and Brad does a great job at providing the lower harmony notes to match Carrie’s higher key. So the problem doesn’t lie within the vocal performances.
I think the song’s Achilles heel is its production. I’ve mentioned before that some artists and producers believe that the best method of evoking emotion is by using an escalating, loud, booming production. Here, it doesn’t work. The production is quiet and tone downed during the first few verses of the song. By the song’s bridge all you hear is the blaring guitar from Paisley, drums, and all kinds of vocal runs and wails from the two singers that make for an overwhelming sound that is a bit too much. The production on this song is rather surprising considering the production from the album’s previous singles have been fantastic. Had the production stuck to the understated production of “This Is Country Music” (or even the pair’s first duet, “Oh Love”) then the song could’ve had major potential to become one of Brad’s best artistic moments.
This song is no doubt going to hit number one considering Brad and Carrie’s track record at country radio has been superb (between them they have over 30 number one hits). But, the expectations were set high for this song and it, unfortunately, fell flat of those expectations.