Blake Shelton Releases New Single “Sure Be Cool If You Did”: Review.
It was shrouded in secrecy and only announced a week or so prior to release, but January 1st saw Blake Shelton release his brand new single, “Sure Be Cool If You Did“. This follows the huge success of his 2011 album “Red River Blue“, with the charting “Honey Bee“, “God Gave Me You“, “Drink On It“, and “Over“, all of which reached #1 on the Billboard Country Charts. To add to that, his 2012 Christmas album, Cheers, It’s Christmas reached #8 on the Billboard 200 and has so far sold around half a million copies, not bad for a Holiday album that’s only been around a couple of months! So
after all this success and personally enjoying Red River Blue immensely, I had high expectations for Blake’s new single to start 2013 off with a bang. And it did start off with a bang, if you consider a bang to be not as loud as you thought and trailing off a little at the end. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a solid track, but it’s sincerely lacking where I think for someone who is so talented and successful.
Not So Country.
The song errs on the side of country pop, with smooth strings and a nice solid guitar and drums
unit that is equally smoothed over. This is accompanied by finger snaps, little acoustic guitar licks,
a chorus and echo effect on his vocals during the second verse, and lead guitar dropping in every
now and then to play the riff. That and the occasional note of steel guitar are the only things which
really make me think COUNTRY country, but that’s not really my issue with this because the country
charts these days are full of songs that don’t sound as typically country (it’s just a measure of this
era in country music).
A Little Too Safe.
Mainly, I feel that the song is very safe. It’s a nice track, the line ‘and
you’re standing in the neon, looking like a high I wanna be on’ is one of my favorite parts of the song
for no other reason than it sounds nice the way they’ve constructed it, lyrically and musically. It’s similar to “God Gave Me You“. It’s very smooth, polished, pop with guitars and a touch of twang which was fine in “God Gave Me You” because that was a really catchy, lovely song with a
great chorus. This new song is equally as sweet but there’s just something missing for me.
Just A Little Boring.
It’s not the lyrics, which tell the story of someone falling in love with a girl in a bar, and saying that
she doesn’t have to stay, or carry on, but it’d sure be cool if she did. That kind of “I’m a man, I’m so
casual… PLEASE COME HOME WITH ME” that I’ve definitely heard before. It depicts how a real man
would say it pretty well, and I like that attention to detail. “Got me falling apart with my heart talking
out of my head” is a nice interesting metaphor too. Despite all its niceness, this song doesn’t
grab me, it doesn’t make me feel, it doesn’t punch me in the face or hurl me around a room. It’s one
of those songs that I enjoy at the time and that a few months down the line I forget about it because
I’m bored. And that’s kind of what it is. It’s a little boring.
So if I find it a little boring, there is bound to be someone else out there feeling the same (there’s
another country blog in particular that does, and a quick scout of online forums tells me something
similar). Though I love Blake Shelton, this simply doesn’t do a lot for me, it’s not enough to keep
me going for years on end, continuously returning to it time after time. Country music has to always
produce music like that, because otherwise there’s no point to it. It has to be timeless, it can’t just
be for the hit parade because that’s when we know it’s finally sold out to pop music, beyond all the
issues in instrumentation etc.
I’m not saying that’s what Blake has done, but I’m saying we have to be careful. I do hope this song
does well, and that the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year pulls out all the stops for his
new album this year. The song is expected to be on iTunes later this month, so look out for it.