While the current crop of mainstream country acts dominating the country radio airwaves certainly aren’t my cup of tea, a lot of the new and upcoming country acts though are certainly catching my attention. Among them are Jon Pardi, Eric Paslay, Cam, Maddie & Tae and Mo Pitney. The biggest qualities about these artists that they all share that I like are their dedication to sticking to the roots of country music’s sound and songwriting. Pitney has certainly demonstrated this in every song I’ve heard from him. His debut single with Curb, “Country” wasn’t able to crack the top 30, but it caught a lot of people’s attention due to its traditional sound and Pitney’s golden voice. He also released the non-single (that should be a future single) “Clean Up On Aisle Five” for digital purchase, a song that I consider one of the best I’ve heard in country music this year. Pitney is now releasing his second single to country radio, “Boy & A Girl Thing.”
Once again Pitney reaffirms his traditional country sound with this single. A combination of an acoustic guitar, drum and steel guitar drive the sound of the song, along with a lingering organ in the background throughout. It makes for a catchy rhythm that is decidedly country. The song itself (written by Pitney and Don Sampson) is about how boys and girls grow up from an early age until their later years and how they’re feelings change for each other through the years. Pitney sings about how at an early age boys and girls have no interest in each other and both think each have “cooties.” They then grow up and slowly start to notice each other more and become attracted to each other. They then start to date and before you know it marriage and children come. Ultimately it’s a song about life and love.
Personally I think it’s a good and simple theme that a majority of listeners will be able to relate with. This is what the average boy and girl go through as they grow up and fall in love and start their lives. Of course not everyone adheres to this life timeline, so these listeners won’t be able to connect with it as easily, if at all. Another thing I’ll point out about this theme is it’s easily relatable, but then again it’s also a little too simple. It doesn’t feel very personal and can definitely come off too broad to some. This prevents the song from ultimately being a great song in my mind, instead of just simply good.
Regardless this is a step-up for Pitney from his first single “Country.” The lyrics have more meaning, despite being a little cliché. There’s a solid story and theme here that I think will allow the song to perform better at radio ultimately. The biggest pros of this song are without a doubt the instrumentation and Pitney’s voice. The instrumentation is proof that country music can stick to its roots and be catchy. An organ and steel guitar are more palatable to the ears than drum machines and club beats too. Hopefully “Boy & A Girl Thing” is given a chance at radio because it’s certainly deserving and would add quality when it’s been lacking it for several months now. Mo Pitney continues to prove why I think he’s one of the most promising country acts rising up.