Newcomer Canaan Smith is trying to find his place among the diluted crowd of solo male acts in country music. Smith’s debut single, “We Got Us” charted poorly, but a follow-up single and new EP has a few spotlights on Canaan Smith. He’s earned himself an opening slot on Dierks Bentley’s Sounds of Summer tour, he’s written a few songs with the likes of Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard and Cole Swindell, and Smith’s current single, “Love You Like That,” is slowly climbing the charts, floating around the top-15 mark.
“Love You Like That” is your average, mid-tempo love power ballad. There’s nothing noteworthy in the production of this song. It’s a generic electric guitar riff complemented with a banjo, a drum loop, and a faint ring from a steel guitar. The drumbeats are the most prevalent instrument on the whole track. The solo of the song is not even that interesting or different from the rest of the song. Safe doesn’t even begin to describe the production of this song. However, the content of the song draws ire.
The lyrics of “Love You Like That” are a calculated, cliché-ridden pile of junk. Smith wrote the song with Brett and Jim Beavers, and it’s almost as if they were working off a work sheet provided by Mercury Records: Answer these questions right, and you’ll have a summer hit!
Question 1: What famous singer do you name drop? “steady as a Tom Petty track.” Good job. Tom Petty hates us, so we’ll gladly include him in another country song.
Question 2: What time of day are you and your love together? “All night ‘til the sun comes back.” Perfect answer.
Question 3: Do you compare this love to alcohol? “stronger than a fifth of whiskey…..sweeter than muscadine wine.” Oh! Two booze references, you get extra credit.
Okay last question, how does this girl know you’re a country boy? “I could never do it like a pretty city boy. I’m more a fishin’ in the dark nitty gritty boy.” Excellent! And more bonus points for a name-dropping a famous country song in the process. Congratulations, Canaan Smith. We may have a spot for you in the revolving door that is country radio one-hit wonders.
Overall, “Love You Like That” is just a boring, uninspired country love song. Not one ounce of creativity was put into this song from the production to the writing. It’s not terrible and there are certainly worse songs that have been released this year. Yet, the song is far from good. I’ll be shocked if Canaan Smith doesn’t crack the top ten soon with this song, which is astounding to me that a boring song such as this appeals to so many people.