Blake Shelton Wants to Nail You in a Nice-Guy Sort Of Way: Rating the Top Country Hits
Every couple weeks, we take a hard listen to the music in which millions of Americans soak.
Blake Shelton will rock your world and help you take back the night
Questions raised by this round of top country music singles: Did you know country stations are the only radio home for new songs (like Blake Shelton's) built on Babyface-style slow-bump R&B heartbeat rhythms? Did you know that Nashville drummers (like Lady Antebellum's) love a James Brown breakbeat just as much as DJ Premiere does? And did you know that pretty much every country hit today (including both of the above and Darius Rucker's latest, too) works that Broadway/American Idol trick where most of the instruments drop out to create a dramatic hush just before the final chorus? And, shit, what if the top three country singles right this moment were, seriously, representative of all the best American pop has to offer? These three are good, people.
"Sure Be Cool If You Did"
Current Chart Position: 1
Blake Shelton's bar-room pick-up splits the difference between Conway Twitty-horndoggery and Nashville's newfangled pragmatism about the fact that it's only women who bother to buy CDs anymore. So, here's some straight-up woo-pitching from a slab of Harlequin-cover prime.
This one is all about you, the one-in-a-billion girl Shelton's rummy is chatting up at some Applebee's someplace: how just sitting near you has already healed and purified him better than any tent revivalist could. How it's enough to watch you toss back your shots and get to know you. And how, maybe later, after your fascinating self has been moved by all this and can't help but want to hear more, it would sure be cool if you went ahead and gave him the goods -- and/or picked up a copy of Based On a True Story, his new album, just out on Warner Music at a list price of $12.99. Shelton promises "a night that you'll never forget," just like Twitty might, but before that he promises "It's your call/ Ain't no pressure at all," like maybe at some point he took some seminars at Smith College.
Besides serving as a welcome post-Steubenville reminder that consent is something even he-hunks should solicit, the song's a strong one on its own merits. The chorus is easy listening in the best sense, as in it coats your mind like Pepto coats a tummy, and it takes some serious willfulness not to sink into those pillowing guitars. There's almost nothing else this laid back on contemporary radio, save George Strait's great "Give It All We Got Tonight." Also, all Shelton's talk of beauties in neon is a reminder that, seriously, if "Purple Rain" -- the song, not the the LP-- came out today, it, too, would only get airplay on country radio.
Hint that Country Music Is Now Cool With Recreational Marijuana Use: "Now you're standing in the neon/ Looking like a high I wanna be on."
Lyric That Proves It's Country, Not Pop: "Let your mind take a little back road."
Verdict: Play this gem twice, and you'll give Shelton anything -- maybe even that $12.99.