Review – Chris Janson’s “Buy Me A Boat”

Chris Janson Buy My BS

Over the past few years in mainstream country music, the songwriting for the lack of a better word has mostly sucked. It’s been full of clichés, overused themes and lyrics so mind-numbingly dumb that it sounds like a first-grader wrote it. But that would be an insult to even first-graders. I bet they could come up with better songs. In addition there have been countless songs that pander to brands of beer, trucks, boats, boots and jeans. It’s the kind of stuff that makes corporate America executives cream their pants when trying to come up with an advertising scheme for the summer. Enter Chris Janson’s new single “Buy Me A Boat,” which is a wet dream come true for those same executives. Janson has been built up as this unknown, independent artist out of nowhere with a surprise hit single. But don’t fall for this line of bullshit. Janson is not unknown and has been involved with several high-profile artists in Nashville. He co-wrote the mega-bro hit, Tim McGraw’s “Truck Yeah.” Janson knows exactly what he’s doing, so I wanted to clear this up before I ripped thing song apart.

As I said above this song is a dream come true for corporations looking for a hokey country song to put in their boat commercials this summer. Brad Paisley is about the only one who can pull off hokey summer songs, but even he has lost his magic touch in this department. I digress. “Buy Me A Boat” is what it says it is. It’s a song about wanting to buy a boat. Janson sings throughout about all of the clichés about money not being the most important thing in the world, but immediately dismisses by saying he wish he had money to buy a boat. The lesson he’s sending out is that money is everything and that the only way to move up on the social ladder is buying expensive stuff like this. See what I meant about corporate America loving this song? Bass Pro Shops could film some tasteful B-roll footage, slap this song onto it and then plague television all summer long because this song screams buy our shit.

If you don’t want to hear this song and quite frankly I don’t blame you at all, read the chorus of this song:

But it could buy me a boat, it could buy me a truck to pull it
It could buy me a Yeti 110 iced down with some Silver Bullets
Yeah, I know what they say, money can’t buy everything
Well, maybe so, but it can buy me a boat

Later in the song he sings about buying a “brand new rod and reel.” Seriously if Bass Pro Shops doesn’t use this song in an ad I’ll be completely shocked. The lyrics are just plain horrible as you can see. The instrumentation is almost just as bad. It’s a generic, Adult Contemporary arrangement with one of the most annoying beeping sounds in the background. I guess this is Janson making sure he has a shred of metropolitan influence in this song. Once again machines don’t belong in country songs.

Chris Janson without a doubt has a hit on his hands and it should do really nice on country radio throughout the summer. It appeals to the lowest common denomination of intelligence when it comes to listeners. Throw in the whole underdog story being pushed about Janson, his hunky look and he’s the perfect image of what labels want. Warner Nashville swooping him up was one of the most unsurprising news stories in country music this year. For the rest of us, “Buy Me A Boat” is a huge insult to our intelligence. It’s nothing more than a corporate jingle with laundry list lyrics. I definitely recommend avoiding this song. Janson may be pulling the wool over the mainstream country fans’ faces, but he isn’t fooling me. “Buy Me A Boat” is a long-plotted monstrosity wrote specifically to pander to country radio.

Grade: 0/10

58 thoughts on “Review – Chris Janson’s “Buy Me A Boat”

  1. Raymond May 9, 2015 / 1:14 pm

    Too bad this get On The Verge and Mickey Guyton Cam Jana Kramer Brothers Osborne and Chris Stapleton didn’t. look for this song to enter the Top 30 this week I mean Jana Kramers excellent song is struggling on radio and this stuff gets a free pass.

    To this song it’s an overproduce trash and well check out this review.

    This is what always makes me question CountryUniverse because they also have Better Than You Left Me a B- same guy did both. While a different person gave an A to Miranda Lamberts Little Red Wagon


    • SRM May 9, 2015 / 5:39 pm

      I think you went too far with this comment, man. Just because one critic on Country Universe likes this song doesn’t mean the site is incompetent. Further, it’s perfectly natural for people to disagree about music. For example, you like “Trouble” and “Love Me Like You Mean It” and are very vocal about that. I don’t like either song, but I don’t question your legitimacy as a music listener because of that. Similarly, I love Dan + Shay, my favorite country artist is Keith Urban, and I like all of Sam Hunt’s singles far more than I like “Better Than You Left Me”. I don’t think there are very many people on these sites that would agree with me about any of those, and that’s fine with me. But does that make you question my legitimacy? If so, I think you misunderstand how this whole thing works.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Raymond May 9, 2015 / 6:50 pm

        I never said it was incompetent but it’s just puzzling to me I understand disagreeing opinions but I just don’t see any positives in this song. Because there’s nothing country here or in Sam Hunt Take Your Time and yet they give that a C.Trouble I just like because of the perfect blend of country rock and pop plus Rachel owns it. Kelsea just comes off so happy and carefree in her song and she hits my pop sweet spot. I do like Dan + Shays new song but it feels like they’re just there as the inferior FGL like Gloriana to Lady A. Keith Urban is definitely an artist I like more than dislike. Ok please explain the Mickey Sam thing if it’s comparing Sams music as pop and then Better Than You Left Me as a song comparing songs alone I can understand but comparing them both as country just Mickey blows her out of war. I respect others opinions but in that review Kevin didn’t really defend his stance.


      • SRM May 9, 2015 / 8:53 pm

        I’ll save my defense of Sam Hunt for a more appropriate time. Maybe on a “House Party” review or a Current Pulse of Mainstream… article.


      • Raymond May 9, 2015 / 8:59 pm

        Fair enough I’m curious to see what people have to say about Sam Hunt that makes him good for me I’m lacking to see it but I’m looking forward too when we discuss it. Like I said I like pop in my country but I have a limit.


      • NoahHibiscusEaton May 11, 2015 / 3:23 pm

        I used to contribute a few reviews for Country Universe………….but between struggling to find time to write on a recurring basis and not really feeling like I meshed with the group well enough, I just abruptly stopped as the site was going through a transition itself.

        There are definitely decent, passionate individuals that run that site, but I think one too many reviews there lack meat. Particularly those Kevin writes. They often don’t really read like reviews and more like YouTube comments. Josh is by far my favorite contributor there because he backs up everything he says.

        At any rate, their views aren’t any less valuable than any other reviewer: ourselves included. Many of their reviews are fluffy, but then again we all are capable of producing fluff and it isn’t Roughstock, Taste of Country or The Boot gossip fluff either. 😉


        Anyway, I personally think BOTH of you are crazy! 😉

        You and your defense of Sam Hunt’s debut album and its singles, and Raymond’s defense of Kelsea Ballerini’s debut single! Then again, as much as I certainly don’t enjoy Florida Georgia Line, Josh probably thinks I’m crazy for admitting they’re far from the worst out there and “Anything Goes” was hardly the worst album of 2014! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Raymond May 11, 2015 / 3:42 pm

        Like I said Noah Kelsea song is a total guilty pleasure I mean yeah I know it’s pop but for some reason I can’t help but love it. Josh? Are you talking of the Josh here because well I don’t remember seeing a Josh on the site. The writers I like on that site are like Ben and LeeAnn even if me and her argued on what was better James Otto Just Got Started Loving You Easy or Gary Allan Hangover Tonight. It’s not quite as fluffy as Taste Of Country because I can’t wait to see how they can possibly defend Haley Georgia. But I mean I like this site most because this site doesn’t hold back but I still comment on CountryUniverse and I don’t mind disagreeing.

        No ok Kelsea song well I think maybe it was Taylor Swift being the first country artist that I’ve ever listened to which btw the first song I truly remember was Our Song a song that in my opinion is one of the best pop-country songs ever so maybe that’s it. I mean come on everybody has a guilty pleasure I mean I’m not proud that I love Kelsea but I can’t help it.


      • NoahHibiscusEaton May 11, 2015 / 4:10 pm

        You’re right. =P

        I meant to say Jonathan. Jonathan Keefe.

        Jonathan Keefe used to be a regular contributor for Slant Magazine, but must have discontinued presumably and now, when I do see his name surface, it’s on Country Universe. I don’t think he’s one of the core team contributors, but he is definitely a recurring guest reviewer. And he is by far one of the best music reviewers out there (of most any genre), but has a genuine understanding and appreciation for country and roots music.


        I also miss Jim Malec. A lot.


      • SRM May 11, 2015 / 4:15 pm


        How can you judge my defense of Sam Hunt if I haven’t even posted it yet?


      • Raymond May 11, 2015 / 4:20 pm

        Well Noah lately the site has basically been Kevin and LeeAnn for the latter part of this year mainly Kevin with the occasional Sam Ben or Jonathan I’ve always followed the site and only start the comments recently like I said I somewhat like the site but some reviews usually leave me scratching my head. Because some songs that get an A like Little Red Wagon Drunk Americans Gunpowder Lead. Or like Cole Swindell songs get a B- or a B and I mean like Mickey Guyton from Kevin gets a B- or Jana Kramer I Got The Boy gets a C- it just leaves me scratching my head at least they love thrashing Lady A especially along with Chase Rice FGL but then again they do praise Luke Bryan except that’s That’s My Kind Of Night so I do check the site and comment but I more often disagree then agree.


      • Raymond May 11, 2015 / 4:21 pm

        SRM it’s defending Sam Hunt come on. JK but seriously just give us a reason now.


      • NoahHibiscusEaton May 11, 2015 / 8:28 pm

        SRM: I haven’t. But I already have a crystallized opinion of “Montevallo” as a full-length debut album, and so if you’re going to post a defense not so much about Sam Hunt, but “Montevallo”, I’m sure I’ll find a whole lot to disagree with.

        Granted he’s only one full-length album deep into his career, and there remains the possibility he can surprise me with subsequent releases. But regardless of genre, “Montevallo” was among the worst albums of 2014 in my opinion, and I fail to see where all the “Sam Hunt may not be country, but he’s sure talented!” remarks stem from if they’re using anything off “Montevallo” as a case-in-point. From the unabashedly sterile production to self-obsessed and arrogantly toned songwriting on one too many tracks (the worst offenders being “Ex To See”, “Single For The Summer” and “Breakup In A Small Town”, but also leaking into “Take Your Time”) while coming across as metro-bro on others (“House Party”, “Raised On It”, “Speakers”) and a serviceable but unremarkable vocal and personality on record…………”Montevallo” certainly did not leave a flattering first impression for me.

        Still, I’m open to reading what you have to share at any rate.


      • NoahHibiscusEaton May 11, 2015 / 8:32 pm

        Raymond: Truth be told, I don’t step into Country Universe that much anymore. I did leave some remarks on four single reviews last week……………but all in all, I’ve kind of phased them out.

        This site, Saving Country Music and Farce The Music is where you can generally expect to find me now. I also like to peak into another community I used to be affiliated with, Pulse Music Board, out of curiosity (they have excellent, knowledgeable chart-watchers who offer a lot of quality commentary, though their contributions are contrasted by a lot of that Taste of Country/Roughstock/The Boot kind of fluff)


      • Scotty J May 11, 2015 / 8:52 pm

        Country Universe has a real ‘cliquey’ feel to it to me. If you disagree with one of their reviews the contributors often seem to jump on you right away. Gives off an unwelcoming feeling and that is one of the main reasons why I’ve only commented there a couple of times.

        Everybody is just offering their thoughts and opinions so as long as things stay civil I don’t get when the proprietors start getting real critical with their customers (and that is what we are). One of the things I really like about this site and SCM is that the writers join in the comments and are generally respectful even when readers disagree.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Raymond May 11, 2015 / 8:53 pm

        I don’t follow Saving Country Music because I do try to be more of a mainstream guy but I’ve recently started following Pulse Music Board and there is some quality writers like jhomes87 sabre14 those guys if you follow their posts daydrinker and heck when .indulgecountry isn’t talking about how much he likes Raelynn his posts come off pretty nice as well.


      • NoahHibiscusEaton May 12, 2015 / 3:50 am

        I wade between both mainstream and independent milieus. And Saving Country Music actually covers quite a bit of mainstream fodder in-between its coverage of the broader country banyun tree and other commentary on preserving our cultural identity via appreciating music.

        I left Pulse Music Board over two years ago, but even so there are still some quality contributors there. 43dudleyvillas is, personally, my favorite contributor there. She’s not among the more prolific contributors there, but when she does speak, she’s on point and most everyone listens. jhomes87 is indeed one of the most incisive and dedicated chart-watchers I know and I highly respect him. I also respect sabre14, Ten Pound Hammer and Marv to name a few other examples (not diminishing those I haven’t mentioned here, just that those names stand out in particular)

        Anyway, the reason why I ultimately left was that it started to feel quite a bit of the moderating team was babysitting everyone too unnecessarily. I get why they have, for instance, strong anti-trolling standards and guidelines set, and also believe they have the right idea when it comes to staying focused on the topic. But over the years it nonetheless felt that some moderators were stifling commentary regarding the songs themselves that wasn’t related to the logical and quantitative side of it that was chart-watching. The discussions felt weighed too heavily towards the commerce side of the scale and music critics had the short end of the stick. And as I grew increasingly disillusioned with the trends I was observing in corporate country music, it stood to reason I would damn well grow increasingly outspoken of my displeasure with all that was transpiring. And even though I made a concerted effort to back up everything I said like I always try to do, I was just too much to handle. As was the more outspoken music critics among the community.

        Pulse Music Board still serves a most valuable purpose and I have no misgivings with the community itself. But let’s be blunt here: they’re more concerned with the business side of the industry and artistic discussion is secondary. Which leads back to what I was saying beforehand in that there is also a lot of that Taste Of Country/Roughstock/The Boot-esque fluff crossover that permeates the discussions. They have a purpose and place for sure too, but I don’t have time for the gossip end of conversation.


    • GoodVibrashawn July 28, 2015 / 4:49 pm

      I love this song…but hey what do I know, I’m just a fan 🙂


  2. Kevin Davis May 9, 2015 / 1:51 pm

    Hey, don’t hold back, Josh! I agree with you almost all of the time, but I didn’t have this reaction at all when I heard the song. Rather, I think the “clichés,” as you say, are clever enough and fun enough. You conclude, “The lesson he’s sending out is that money is everything and that the only way to move up on the social ladder is buying expensive stuff like this.” Umm, okay, I really don’t think that’s it. There’s no “lesson” here at all. I can rip apart American consumerism (or “idolatry,” as we seminary students prefer) with the best of them, but a silly summer song is not the place. I agree that the production is messy and uninspired, but maybe I’m just used to that now…an admittedly sad commentary on the state of country radio today.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Scotty J May 9, 2015 / 1:52 pm

    One of the major changes that has somewhat flown under the radar with all this junk of the last 4-5 years is the proliferation of the use of brand names and slang terms in mainstream country music songs. In the past this was pretty rare because a singer or songwriter was tethering themselves to that moment in time when that company was culturally relevant or that term was the catchphrase of the time but in a few years your big hit is now a joke because it sounds so dated and hence your song will disappear from the public’s consciousness.

    When you think of all the great (and even not so great) country songs of the past they are still very relatable because they are about more universal themes which we all still deal with as much as they did decades ago. It is one of the main things that made country music as an art form different from many other genres of popular music.

    But now as the country music genre has imploded these trends have totally infected mainstream country music to the point that virtually every big hit on country radio has a shelf like comparable to a loaf of bread.

    Really this entire era of mainstream country music will be sent down the memory hole never to be spoken of again. Does anybody seriously believe that any of these songs will be cherished and fondly remembered in 5 years? 3 years? One year?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scotty J May 9, 2015 / 2:00 pm

      And I’m not someone that really cares one way or another about consumerism or whatever you want to call it I just think it’s so damaging when so much of a genres focus is on short term gain at the expense of careers.

      Basically country music has devolved into an entire genre of novelty songs.


    • NoahHibiscusEaton May 11, 2015 / 3:27 pm

      I respectfully disagree.

      Remember Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman”? Or Big & Rich’s “Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy”? Or Rodney Atkins’ “Watching You”?

      Wal-Mart had name-drop ubiquity in country songs as far back as the early 90s. Beer and whiskey brands were already name-dropped often (though not shamelessly as aggressive as now) as well. Same with truck brands.

      Mass consumerism has since accelerated, I agree. But it is disingenuous to claim the issue didn’t exist prior to 2010.


      • Scotty J May 11, 2015 / 3:59 pm

        Well, first of all I never claimed it never happened before I said it was pretty rare which I think is true.

        Secondly, I just picked a ballpark number when I said 4-5 years ago I wasn’t claiming that this was the start point.

        Of course it’s happened before, hell John Conlee mentioned McDonalds in a song in the 1980s. And that was one of his cheesiest songs also so I think my point that these brand name dropping songs don’t stand up well to the test of time is pretty true generally speaking. Exceptions can be found to virtually every point made when talking about these types of issues.


  4. Zack May 9, 2015 / 1:53 pm

    I’ve been doing my best to avoid this, as I heard it was nothing but trouble. I can see why it is an OTV pick, it’s selling like crazy. A 0 from you Josh definitely signals trouble, so I’ll be avoiding my radio best as I can 😉

    Very surprised that this guy would do this, after all I’ve read in several articles/interviews that Merle Haggard really likes this guy. I imagine the respect-o-meter might decrease a bit after this though….

    Liked by 1 person

    • NoahHibiscusEaton May 11, 2015 / 3:29 pm

      It only debuted high from the onset because of the Bobby Bones’ fanboy/fangirl effect.

      Prior to its designation as an “On The Verge” release, it was between #90 and #100 on the iTunes Country chart. I hardly consider that “selling like crazy”.


      • Scotty J May 11, 2015 / 8:42 pm

        And now thanks to ‘On The Verge’ it has gone from 60 to 29 on the Billboard airplay chart.

        What a corrupt looking system.


        • Josh Schott May 11, 2015 / 9:18 pm

          I consider On The Verge a fancy term for payola.


  5. Zack May 9, 2015 / 2:42 pm

    Btw Josh, have you heard Jason Michael Carroll’s new album?


    • Zack May 9, 2015 / 2:51 pm

      Ugh, sorry for derailing the review, I meant to post that in the Billboard Country Album post….


      • Josh Schott May 9, 2015 / 3:01 pm

        Haha you’re good. I haven’t heard it yet, but I hope to soon.


  6. Pete Marshall May 9, 2015 / 9:11 pm

    I don’t really care for this song that much it is pure garbage 0/10 indeed -1. Chris Janson has 2 good songs when he was on Bigger Picture. I really like his first single when he was on BNA records at that time as well. I like some pop country too but I have a limit but rap country that’s a different story.


  7. John in Georgia May 10, 2015 / 3:58 pm

    I’d give this song a 4/10, maybe a 5/10 if I’m being generous. While this song is by no means great or even good, I personally wouldn’t put it on the same level of awfulness as “1994,” “Doin’ Country Right,” or “Sun Daze.” The production actually bothers me more than the lyrics; there was obviously an attempt to follow the Eric Church mold, but instead it comes across as cluttered more than anything.

    Janson is an excellent harmonica player, which of course is nowhere to be found on this single.


  8. Tracy August 26, 2015 / 12:17 pm

    Do you have ANY fun at all in your life? Doesn’t sound like it….


    • Josh Schott August 26, 2015 / 12:20 pm

      Plenty! Not when I listen to this terrible song though. But hey if you enjoy basic crap like this, good for you. I’ll be listening to Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson, two artists who actually care about making quality music. Have a nice day!


      • Tracy August 26, 2015 / 12:29 pm

        Lol, I do enjoy basic crap sometimes…it makes me smile once in awhile to just listen to a FUN song! But I also enjoy deeper lyrics and quality music. Variety makes the world go round, and to each their own!
        Not fair to judge people based on their music choices…
        “It appeals to the lowest common denomination of intelligence when it comes to listeners”
        Your words did make me chuckle tho. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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