“The Guitar Song” album is so good, so packed with great songs I had no idea what the boy’d release next for chart radio airplay. Here ’tis. Now that he’s singled it out, I think he made a good choice.
Poor Aaron. Timin’s a bitch. This here’s an interesting record, a new-day Country boy can surive kinda’ lyric mixed in with reminiscence about lessons learned from bein’ screwed by the slicks in the city of lost angels. And he’s got Charlie Daniels and George Jones both doin’ a turn with some drop-bys in the groove. Problem? He opens the song confessin’ he likes weed. He closes sayin’ he likes his guns and anybody who tries to screw with his world’s gonna have some serious problems. Guns and weed and veiled threats of violence. Not exactly the concoction a guy should be sounding off about at this particular moment in the time continuum.
I saw that title and said WHAT!! What to expect? Since I stopped following the Pop charts years ago, I was unaware this is a remake of a Beyonce song. And, if you haven’t heard it yet, whatever you think it might be, it’s gonna be a surprise, I bet. Okay, if you haven’t yet, here’s the spoiler: If she were a boy, she wouldn’t be an ass like he is, wouldn’t take the girl for granted, wouldn’t cheat, wouldn’t break the heart of the one who loves him. This is a dramatic record. A crowd-pleaser it will become overnight. Most fine.
It’s not a happy record and it fits the national mood like a surgeon’s glove. I get to talk to a lot of people, a lot of strangers and whenever the conversation strays from the initial subject that sparked the converstation, they invariably start shaking their heads and sayin’ what a freakin’ mess this nation’s in. I talked with two different people this week already who are packin’ up and moving across country, looking for work. One is going from the east coast to California, the other going from California to Texas. I talked with a guy who’s living in the South and said he’s glad of it because his electricity is off, couldn’t pay the bill. At least down here it’s not so cold. A couple of extra shirts and a jacket’ll get you by. Hate to think what it’d be like if I was back up North. And these are smart, educated and hard working people. Without them guv’ment fudged figures, we’re sitting on a true unemployment rate of twenty percent now. One out of five. If we look behind the happy-talk, head-in-the-sand PR machine that masquerades as network news, there are stories everywhere about families living in their cars and people with advanced degrees dumpster-diving for food. I’m not off on some random tangent here, this song relates to all of that. The very first line, Why do bad things happen to good people is precisely what so many of our listeners are asking themselves every day. I don’t like to play depressing records, they don’t have long legs and we’re in the entertainment business. But this is an honest and true Country song. I think hearing it a few times, at least, will maybe comfort folks, hearing it and knowing it’s not just them that’s on the ropes and thinking such thoughts.
I don’t know yet if it was Bradley who wrote this or Rodney all by his lonesome, but his marks are all over the record. While he’s not been charting Country as he would in a sensible world, Crowell’s made some truly excellent records in recent years. His “Sex and Gasoline” album is still sitting on my faves stack over there in by the big CD machine now 27 months after it first hit my desk. The gentle but insistent chugging beat on which this is built has Rod’s DNA all over it. The song comes from a guy making a late night call to his Ex, needing to talk, yearning for her, knowing in his mind it is truly over, begging her to be cruel and shut him down hard so his heart might finally accept the truth. The writing here is exceptionally intelligent and poetic. There are enough colorful phrases in here for five songs. I’ve been blistered by the never ending sunshine of your smile. How’s THAT for a line?! It came into my in-box yesterday. I’ve heard it a dozen times now. It is quite brilliant.
Sounding remarkably like James Taylor 1975, Zac gives us another piece of sweet listening here. The song’s about a man who’d rather roam, talking with the woman who may be coming to the sad conclusion that he ain’t gonna settle down soon enough for this relationship to survive. The song is easy on the ears, easy to spend time with.