Michael Ray, a pretty face from Florida singing pop country, somehow got a number one song in country music with his debut single. Ray was pushed, pulled, molded and thrown up to the number one spot on the airplay chart with “Kiss You In The Morning”, an ultra-cliché, paint by the numbers bro country hookup anthem. Naturally, with a successful debut single, it makes sense to release a follow-up single to radio. And Ray picks a song that’s even more cliché and stupid: “Real Men Love Jesus.”
I don’t even know where to begin to dissect this lyrical train wreck. I guess the easy place to start is how many cliché “country boy” tropes Ray sings about. Excuse me, these are tropes about “real men” not country boys. (I’ll get to this in a bit). Writers Lance Miller, Adam Sanders, along with Brett and Brad Warren hit on just about every single piece of country cliché imaginable. Fishing, fast cars, football, cowboys, outlaws, living life too fast, dancing, pretty girls dancing, cold beer, blue-collar pride, mama, fighting when necessary, charming, and never giving up. Oh, and a reference to a classic country song. It’s like they only listened to the third verse of “You Never Even Called Me By My Name” to learn how to write a country song. Honestly, the only thing that’s missing here is American pride. Quite frankly, I’m glad we’re spared a shoehorned line about loving the troops, unlike another Adam Sanders penned song.
But here’s the kicker of it all. According to the song, if you don’t like or do any of the things mentioned, you’re not a real man. If you prefer beer and conversation on the patio with a buddy over a dance club, you don’t exist as a man. If you work a white-collar job where your hands don’t get dirty, might as well hand in your man card now. And if you don’t believe in Jesus, then you’re a fake man. This song is 100% pandering bullshit to southern white males. All the damn tropes these writers toss into this mess have all been used to describe country boys, but have simply changed the description to “real men.” That’s got to be the most close-minded view of gender since RaeLynn. I can’t even put into words how terrible this damn song is without turning this review into an f-word infested essay, and even that might be a better read then these dumb-ass lyrics.
This song flat-out sucks. I don’t care that the instrumentation is a mid-tempo acoustic melody that actually resembles country music. Johnny Cash could sing these lyrics and it would still be a terrible song. In fact, if Cash wrote and sang a song called “Real Men Love Jesus” then it might actually be good. Cash has a better head on his shoulders than the five people who wrote and sang this song combined. After I heard “Kiss You In The Morning” I didn’t think there could be a more clichéd song in existence. And I can’t believe I’ve been proven wrong. “Real Men Love Jesus” is shit and Michael Ray should stop making music if he’s going to continue recording cliché-ridden, boring, stupid, pandering, shitty songs.
I’m not linking this garbage. Instead, here’s a better song about being a “real” southern man.