Review – Dan + Shay’s “Nothin’ Like You”

In the short time Dan Smyers and James Shay Mooney have known and worked together, they’ve managed to score a top 10 single, a number 1 country album, and three Vocal Duo of the Year nominations. Dan + Shay’s lead single, “19 You & Me” offered fans a distinctly different sound than the bro country domination of the charts, and allowed the duo to thrive early. Their follow up effort, “Show You Off” stalled in the top 30, and now they are bringing fans a third single to radio called “Nothin’ Like You.” So does this Hunter Hayes/Rascal Flatts/One Direction esq. pop duo offer something new with this single?

The short answer, no. “Nothin’ Like You” begins easy enough with two guitar rhythms setting a mid tempo beat over an obvious, yet small drum machine loop. The chorus cranks up the production and guitars. If you’re looking for country music, you won’t find it here. Sure Dan + Shay sound natural on country radio when you compare them to Sam Hunt, but this is still polished boy band pop music aimed at teenagers. And the solo isn’t the faint mandolin or banjo you hear in the background. The instrumental solo is an electric guitar. Sonically, “Nothin’ Like You” hits all the beats established by the hair band power ballads of the 1980s.

But in an attempt to even further separate themselves from the Florida Georgia Lines and Jason Aldeans they’ll compete with for playtime, Dan + Shay try to sing about something different from tailgate love sessions. These pretty boys fall in love with a free-spirited woman they see across a coffee shop. She sits there reading, while she wears a rock and roll t-shirt, shades, purple untied shoelaces, and worn out jeans. Ah! Dan + Shay, you were so close to describing something original there! This unique girl caught his eye right away and as he sings, “you’re my kind of different and I never seen nothin’ nothin’ like you.” She’s so different, that he “just had to stare/for a minute or two.” I know that’s not intended to be creepy, but it sounds creepy as all get out. I said this was an attempt, but Dan + Shay still simply sing about a beautiful girl they just meet and fall for. And still, these two guys, no matter how sweet and innocent they sound, show little respect for this girl once they’ve made up their minds. “Hey beautiful girl, in your own little world let me in it.”  Even that cover photo for the single sexualizes a “hot female body.”

Overall, this is just yet another bland pop song trying to find its way onto country radio. Dan + Shay have always been a boy band type pop duo. They offer very little country in their sound, and (thankfully) don’t name drop country superstars in this song to justify how country they are. If I didn’t know any better, I’d guess One Direction sang this song. “Nothin’ Like You” is very safe in its sound and vanilla in its lyrics and story. Yet this song is structured to accomplish what it’s meant to do: swoon the hearts of teenage girls listening to country radio.

Grade: 3/10

39 thoughts on “Review – Dan + Shay’s “Nothin’ Like You”

  1. jb March 22, 2015 / 12:06 pm

    I get the whole trying-to-get-the-girl-by-being-sweet-and-sensitive vibe. (I used it myself back in the day.) But these guys come off so pussified all the time that you figure they wouldn’t know what to do with the girl once they got her. They make Rascal Flatts sound like Ted Nugent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Raymond March 22, 2015 / 12:41 pm

    I agree on a 3/10. Honestly these guys just sound way too bland and uninteresting for me to like the pop production feels a little to forced. Their vocals sound way too screechy or they sound a little bit uninterested. What these guys have is what in large part what makes them a D artists they’re way too bland too make fun of them. If this song bombs which it very well could they could lose their record deal. There’s potential there but there clearly being marketed as country musics One Direction or Rascal Flatts in general.

    Overall Grade: 3/10 which = a D. Or at Saving Country Music 1 3/4 Guns Down.

    Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Scotty J March 22, 2015 / 12:47 pm

    Yeah this is pretty bland and boring. The interesting thing to me is that there doesn’t seem to be a market for this type of ‘country’ music right now. Hunter Hayes’ last album was a big disappointment sales wise and the singles all flamed out and these guys despite being pushed hard with undeserving award nominations and the like have not really caught on. What could be happening is that acts like these were designed to target the Taylor Swift fans but since she has left country I suspect that many if not most of those fans just don’t follow country music because they were never country music fans to start with they were Taylor Swift fans.

    One of the biggest jokes is the claim that people make that ‘yeah (insert non-country country act here) isn’t really country but once we get their fans they’ll learn all about George Jones and we’ll have a fan for life’.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pete Marshall March 22, 2015 / 1:53 pm

    They won’t last too long.

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  5. Lorenzo March 22, 2015 / 2:05 pm

    I don’t think this song is all that bad, maybe I’d give it a 4.5/10. it’s a boy band pop song and nothing more, still I think it’s way better and different than crap such as jason aldean, chase rice, Thomas rhett and Michael ray. I give this credits for trying to tell a story and to portray the girl in a different way, even though it falls short and feels more like another generic pop song.

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  6. Zack March 22, 2015 / 5:53 pm

    I’m sick of this pop crap, next please

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raymond March 22, 2015 / 6:02 pm

      Yeah this stuff isn’t quite the Sam Hunt garbage but it’s basically the next worse thing. Don’t worry Zack these 2 doofuses will probably be dropped this song isn’t exactly tearing threw the charts. Hey Zack for your blogs are you gonna do any mainstream reviews I follow your review daily really helpful and insightful. Really good job.

      Like

      • Zack March 22, 2015 / 7:24 pm

        Thanks Raymond, I appreciate it! I know I haven’t been as active lately, the last 2 weeks have been really busy, and something unexpected to me came up the other night, but I hope to be back at it this week! It was inspired by the guys here at Country Perspective as well as some other sites.

        And yes I will review mainstream don’t worry! It’s just that there have been 0 mainstream albums this year, (unless you want to count Love and Theft’s), so I have resorted to the underground. Although every song I have reviewed has been mainstream so far! 🙂

        Thanks again for reading!

        Like

  7. ron12274 March 23, 2015 / 11:37 am

    They need to get rid of the vocal duo of the year category or at least combine it with group. There’s so few that just releasing one hit single is almost a lock for a nomination

    Liked by 1 person

  8. SRM March 23, 2015 / 12:18 pm

    Okay, confession: I absolutely LOVE these guys. And I can back it up:

    Shay Mooney has a fantastic voice, they know their way around an unfathomably catchy melody and monstrous hooks (see “Stop Drop + Roll”, “Somewhere Only We Know”, and “Parking Brake”), have a knack for inserting some pretty vivid details (see “First Time Feeling”), their productions are typically organic and have a nice polish, and they have the one thing it takes to sell this kind of cheesy pop music: sincerity.

    …Or it could just be that I really, really like cheesy pop music and no one is making cheesier pop music than these two.

    I think they won’t get a chance to release the best material from the album, but, for my sake at least, I hope they stick around. Their music is too much fun.

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    • Derek Hudgin March 23, 2015 / 12:49 pm

      …I’ll give you the “no one is making cheesier pop music than these two.” 🙂

      I honestly haven’t listened to their album. I tried when it first came out, back when “19 You + Me” was their hit, and I couldn’t get into it, probably due to the fact that it is cheesy boy band pop. Too much NSync and BSB back in the days I watched MTV non stop 😉

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  9. NoahHibiscusEaton March 23, 2015 / 10:45 pm

    This song isn’t terrible to my ears………..but it’s utterly faceless.

    It’s sad when lyricism has gotten so bad so far this year that it is almost a compliment when you say “Well, at least nothing about the lyrics made me cringe!” (sad sigh) -__- Because nothing about the lyrics bothers me, yet they do absolutey nothing to rouse or interest me either. It sounds more like blatant Hallmark Co. marketing than organic songwriting.

    As for the production and vocals……………….well, there isn’t much to say there, either. This is Rascal Flatts 2.0. Competent, but boilerplate.

    *

    The main question I have, in the end, is: “Why did they even bother releasing another single from this album when ‘Show You Off’ failed to go Top Twenty, and the lead single didn’t go Top Ten either?”

    What is the point of following up a song that emulates Rascal Flatts, but failed to make any major impact…………………….with another song that emulates Rascal Flatts? Where is the logic in that? Especially when Rascal Flatts, themselves, have failed to reach the Top Twenty wit their current and previous single releases?

    Hunter Hayes saw the writing on the wall when both “Invisible” and “Tattoo” underperformed, and he has wisely called the “Storyline” era short and is in recalibration mode. Dan + Shay are only accelerating their slide into irrelevancy with this misguided, anonymous single release.

    Liked by 1 person

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