Thursday, December 27, 2012

Song review: "Beer with Jesus" by Thomas Rhett

Going to start off by saying that I hope had everyone had a very Merry Christmas! And here's wishing everyone a better year in 2013. If you've caught my tweets on twitter, you may have seen me mention coming up with my top artists and albums of 2012. I'm still thinking about it and deciding who and what I want to include. In addition to my top artists and albums, I'll also be coming up with a list of which new/relatively new artists to keep an eye on in 2013. And maybe they'll be some other lists in there too. I haven't decided. I'm open to suggestions if anyone has any. But now it's time for a song review.

I usually try to review songs pretty soon after they get released to radio or, in some cases, when the video comes out. "Beer with Jesus" has been out of radio for a couple of months now and the video came out just over a month ago, if I remember correctly. I was debating not reviewing it because of that, but obviously changed my mind. For a few reasons. One being that I really wanted to write about it. And another being due to all the controversy it's apparently sparked. Controversy that I find pretty ridiculous, to be perfectly frank with you all. I understand not liking a song and people are, of course, free to have their own opinions about it. This post isn't in response to those who simply don't like the song. It's in response to the people who say that they are offended by this song or even outraged by it and it's so silly to me. We can have songs about getting drunk or popping pills and that's fine, but sing about drinking with Jesus and we have a problem. For the record, I'm not trying to condemn songs about getting drunk or popping pills. I just find it odd that I never seem to hear about controversies surrounding those kinds of songs.

Here's the thing about this song: the problem is not that there's a song about drinking with Jesus. It isn't. The problem here is that the people who are so outraged have completely missed the point of the song. This is not a drinking song. People want to focus solely on the beer and in doing so they miss the message. If this song had been titled coffee with Jesus, no one would be complaining. But it's not. So I come across discussions where people are arguing that Jesus deserves more respect. Saying that Jesus would never sit down and have a beer with someone. It is that argument that's making me do something I never imagined myself doing in any of my posts.

Fasten your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen. It's about to get Biblical up in here. Slightly so. I'm not going to be quoting verses or anything like that. Just putting things in a different light and getting a little theological. So if you're cool with that, keep on reading.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Song review: "Don't Ya" by Brett Eldredge

I've decided that Brett Eldredge is my new Chris Young. And now you may be wondering if I've lost my mind. Let me explain.

I was first introduced to Chris Young when he was on Nashville Star in 2006. I liked a few of the other contestants that season, but the week he did "Drinkin' Me Lonely" he became my favorite. So I was so happy when he won and was fully expecting him to take off. And he didn't. It wasn't until 2009 when he got his first #1 with "Gettin' You Home" and things have been going pretty good for him since. So what does any of that have to do with Brett Eldredge you're wondering?

Easy. I spent so much of the time just waiting for Chris to have that hit that would launch him into the next level of his career. I had so much faith in him as an artist and I just knew that he was a superstar in the making. He had everything - a great voice, a great personality and, as his female fans would probably agree, he's pretty easy on the eyes. He was the total package as far as I was concerned. And so's Brett. He too has a great voice, personality and looks. I've loved every song of his that I've heard and that faith I talked about having in Chris, I have in Brett.

My introduction to Brett was his video for his very powerful first single "Raymond". That song was so beautifully written and seemed to hit such an emotional chord with listeners. I was expected him to really start taking off from there. That was in 2010. We're now fast approaching the end of 2012. "Don't Ya" is Brett's third single and he has yet to release a debut album. It feels like he has a lot riding on this single, much like ever other newcomer out there. The good news? This song seems to be getting a very good response based on what I've seen and a video is on the way.

So what do I think of the song? Well, keep reading to find out.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Album review: Christmas with Scotty McCreery by Scotty McCreery

First things first, I'm wishing everyone who celebrates a happy Hanukkah! Perhaps that's a strange way to kick off a review of a Christmas album, but it wouldn't have felt right not to include it. And really, when you really think and learn about what each holiday is about you see that in a way the first Hanukkah is one of the things that made Christmas possible. So once again, happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate.

Those of you who have read my album reviews know this, but the way I do album reviews is to give my overall opinion and then look at each song individually after the cut. Which means that album review posts can get pretty long. Just a warning.

This album came out back in October, but I never listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. Hence why there hasn't been a review until now. So what do I think? I think that releasing Christmas albums can be a little risky. The majority of these songs are so well known and loved already. They've been recorded by who knows how many artists over the years. There's a need to know when to stay close to the original and when you can take these songs in a different direction. This is where I feel Christmas albums are most likely to go wrong. And then if you're going to include originals, well, they better be good and they better be sincere. No one appreciates a phony Christmas song. Scotty is still a pretty new artist and some might argue that it was too soon for him to release a Christmas album. I feel like there's a bunch of ways this album could've gone wrong. But you know what?

It didn't. Quite the opposite in fact. I think that this is a great album from start to finish. Great collection of songs, each one placed right where they belong. Christmas with Scotty McCreery features two original songs and I loved them both. The production is basically perfect; I've listened to it a lot by now and there's really nothing for me to nitpick on that front. I have to give all the musicians a lot of credit because I absolutely love the playing on this! There's really some beautiful playing on this album. Not to mention it's full of strong solos and a solid energy. As far as Scotty himself? Vocally, I'd say he's grown since his first album. What impressed me the most, however, wasn't so much the vocals themselves as the delivery. I really enjoyed the way he sang these songs. He sang them with so much sincerity and even warmth, which might be an odd word to use but is one that kept coming to mind as I listened. I put this in my albums that get better with each listen category and it's one I'd strongly recommend.

Now, to talk a little bit about each song separately.