Overall mainstream country music has been a mixed bag in 2015. You know what? Let’s be more honest about it. Mainstream country music has been mostly garbage in 2015. The amount of terrible songs that have been produced this year are staggering and there are still several more bad songs yet to come out. But it hasn’t been all bad. There have been a few bright spots and arguably the brightest of them has been Jon Pardi. After releasing his underrated debut album Write You A Song in 2014, he followed this with a surprise EP earlier this year, The B-Sides, 2011-2014, which was even better. These were songs that didn’t have to be released to the public, but Pardi wanted to release them. It was a sure sign to me that Pardi cares about this music and most importantly keeping it rooted in the traditional sound. But we haven’t got a single released to country radio from Pardi yet. Until now of course. Pardi just released his new single “Head Over Boots” last Friday and it goes for adds on radio soon. So with this new single does Pardi continue to prove he’s country and plans to stick this way? Yes!
I’ll admit I was a tad nervous about it before listening because of his slightly underwhelming past performances on country radio, but after one listen that nervousness was wiped away clean. And I shouldn’t have been nervous because it’s pretty clear Pardi wants to make traditional, 90s-styled country music. “Head Over Boots” opens with the sounds of an acoustic guitar and steel guitar. These are the main instruments used throughout the song, with some fiddles sprinkled in too. It’s country through and through. The song itself is a love ballad, which is proving to be a strong suit for Pardi. It’s a fun, lighthearted song with lyrics that are easy to get stuck in your head after several listens. Yet the song is also not your standard mainstream “love ballad,” which is usually just a song about a one-night stand in the back of a truck under the moonlight. No, this song is about a man who truly loves his woman and just wants to dance with her on an “old dance floor.” Not only this, but also be with her forever, as evident in these lyrics:
The way you sparkle like a diamond ring
Maybe one day we can make it a thing
Test time and grow old together, rock in our chairs and talk about the weather
To me these are some of the most important lyrics in the song, as it establishes it as a mature song that is intended to be a love song and not a hookup song. Sure some of the lyrics come off as cheesy and a tad cliché upon first listen, but I think the intent of the song and it’s sound reinforce that it’s heartfelt and true. In a way this song kind of reminds me of Brad Paisley’s “We Danced,” a solid love song that isn’t some all-time classic, but a feel good song that anyone can enjoy.
“Head Over Boots” is the exact kind of song country radio desperately needs right now. It’s traditional and has solid songwriting (co-written by Pardi and Luke Laird), yet it’s also fun, catchy and easy to dance along with (something that made 90s country so popular). Pardi proves once again that traditional country music can be just as fun as pop music and a fiddle can convey a lot more to the viewer than a drum machine. With the timing of this release to radio, I think this song has a good chance of performing well on the chart and eventually breaking into the top 30. Within a month most of the summer songs will be gone and allow room for more serious, traditional songs such as this one. “Head Over Boots” is a song I definitely recommend checking out. It’s a song that’s easy to enjoy and further proof of Jon Pardi’s dedication to making great country music.