Review – Chris Janson’s “Power of Positive Drinkin'”

Chris Janson Power of Positive Drinkin'

One of the breakout artists in mainstream country music this year has without a doubt been Chris Janson. His smash hit “Buy Me A Boat” went #1 on the Mediabase Country Airplay chart and as of October has sold over 740,000 copies in the United States. In addition it landed him a major label deal with Warner Nashville and is set to release his first album with them of the same name on October 30. So it’s been a pretty good year for one of the co-writers of “Truck Yeah.” It’s just a shame he wastes his talent on terrible songs like “Buy Me A Boat.” If you go back and read my review on that single, you’ll see I got plenty of criticism for calling the song bad. While it is better than a lot of schlock at country radio, that doesn’t make it a good song and I still stand by my review. But I concede that Janson does have talent and is capable of making good music. So with the announcement of Janson’s second single “Power of Positive Drinkin’,” I came in listening to the song with an open mind in hopes that maybe he stepped up the quality on this single.

Unfortunately it’s not much better than “Buy Me A Boat.” The song is about a man whose truck has broken down, his air conditioning has broken and his woman has left him. So what does he do? He goes down to the bar and drinks his problems away. And that’s pretty much it. He doesn’t allude to why she left him nor does he learn his lesson. Nope. The moral of this song is basically all of your problems can be solved by drinking excessively. So there’s hardly any meaning behind this song. The mark of a good drinking, heartbreak song is an underlying lesson learned from being dumped and feeling blue. There’s a sense of sorrow and darkness about it, as you go to a place you never fathomed you would. This song comes off as cheery and paints being dumped by your woman as some excuse to party. This is why I didn’t like Kenny Chesney’s “Save It For A Rainy Day” as much as many of you readers did. A drinking, heartbreak song is sad and a partying, drinking song should celebrate getting a break after busting your ass off at work. This song tries to be both and you can’t do this.

The other big issue with this song is the production, or the lack thereof. The vibe I immediately got from this song was it sounded almost just like Blake Shelton’s “Neon Light.” The production (and even the lyrics) sounds so much alike, from the overall slickness to the unnecessary machine sounds. It feels more like a pop rock song than a country song. And when you throw this half-assed production behind half-baked lyrics (written by Janson, Chris DuBois & Mark Irwin), you get this generically mediocre song. Not to mention Janson’s vocals are butchered by the production too. This makes absolutely no sense and is unnecessary, especially when Janson has a good voice. It’s another example of mainstream country producers getting too cute and trying too hard to pander to the current trends of country music.

I really wanted to enjoy “Power of Positive Drinkin'” from Chris Janson, but I just can’t. There are so many issues going on with this song, that I wouldn’t blame you if you disliked it more than “Buy Me A Boat.” On top of these issues it’s just such a forgettable song. It’s also completely overshadowed by Mickey Gilley’s “Power of Positive Drinking.” Maybe on Janson’s new album there will be some quality songs, but so far I haven’t been impressed by his first two singles. I’m pretty positive that this drinking song is one of the mediocre I’ve heard from mainstream country music in 2015.

Grade: 2/10

11 thoughts on “Review – Chris Janson’s “Power of Positive Drinkin'”

  1. ame006 October 19, 2015 / 11:12 am

    “Buy Me A Boat” was a clever, insightful song.

    This isn’t.

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  2. ame006 October 19, 2015 / 11:18 am

    I enjoy this site, but I have to disagree with your opinion of criticism on your “Buy Me A Boat” review. I went back and read the review and the comments and to be honest, I didn’t find much vocal disagreement on calling the song bad.

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  3. Raymond October 19, 2015 / 11:19 am

    I do agree this song ranking as I am left just wanting more.

    I still see Save It For A Rainy Day in a different light due to the fact that in the song the narrator says “Gonna take this heartbreak and tuck it away.” I might have overthought it but it just meant for now he’s going to be happy and when everything is down in general he will grieve the relationship that fell through. But that might be I really like Kenny Chesney music in general.

    Do you guys plan on reviewing Jansons album when it comes out. I wouldn’t blame you if you decided not too.

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    • ame006 October 19, 2015 / 11:35 am

      “Save It For A Rainy Day” has been on repeat for me for the last 4 months.

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    • Josh Schott October 19, 2015 / 11:42 am

      Yes we plan on it. Not a lot of releases coming up, so we’ll have time to review it.

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  4. Lisandro Berry-Gaviria October 19, 2015 / 12:18 pm

    Yeah, I thought this was worse than “Buy Me A Boat.” I would’ve graded that a 1/10 because at least it wasn’t meant to be a serious song, but this is just crude and dumb to my ears, not to mention the unnecessary vocal effects and pseudo-rapping. I understand your grade, but this is a 0/10 for me.

    I wonder how this will perform on the charts.

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  5. Kevin Davis October 19, 2015 / 1:47 pm

    I thought “Buy Me a Boat” was a rather harmless bit of summer indulgence, as I commented in the review. To be clear, I didn’t think it was a particularly good song, and I would probably rate it now a 3/10 or maybe a 4/10 in a generous mood.

    But, this new single is definitely worse, in my opinion. If a song is going to be this generic and lame, it should at least be catchy and not boring as hell. I would be very surprised if it does well on the radio — which is something that I’ve said before and regretted!

    “Buy Me a Boat” was goofy and brought a smile, which is why people liked it and connected with it. There is nothing endearing about this new single.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. NoahHibiscusEaton October 19, 2015 / 10:30 pm

    I dislike both of his singles considerably thus far.

    While I do get where some here are coming from in comparing “Buy Me A Boat” to one of Brad Paisley’s cheeky signature novelty hits, I just don’t think Janson sticks the landing nearly as well: between the lack of a playful zest reflected in Janson’s delivery and more closely reflecting the self-seriousness of Eric Church, to the lack of a sprightly melody. On paper, I can understand why some would come to Janson’s defense as to it nor meant to be taken seriously and is all for good humor, but it just doesn’t sound fun. And that’s where he loses me and the whole sounds like a superficial ode to consumerism and self-indulgence.

    “Power of Positive Drinkin'” suffers a similar fate, I feel. It does present tidbits of ideas that could work well on paper, but rather than mold and finesse them, Janson and his fellow writers instead settle for the lowest common denominator that is your run-of-the-mill “Hell yeah, let’s put our cups in the air, forget about the bills, break-ups and politicians and have a damn good time tonight, woooooooooooo!” anthem.

    It just screams “Insert Corporate Liquor Brand Sponsorship Here” much like “Buy Me A Boat” screamed Kawasaki sponsorship. It’s about selling something rather than saying something. Nothing necessarily wrong with commerce, per se, but my complaints are to a lack of balance between art and commerce on the radio and where country radio has basically become a parade of sonically – driven commercials, the auditory version of cable television advertisements.

    I’m not interested in this. There may be an audience for that, but I demand the restoration of balance in mainstream country music.

    At the very least, the production is recognizably contemporary country. That elevates it from the worst of the year, in addition to the lack of misogyny in the lyrics. But it isn’t good enough to where I’d recommend this either, or even consider passable. In other words, if this were a football team at the moment, it certainly isn’t Jacksonville Jaguars awful, but also not passable a la Buffalo Bills. It would be below average a la Oakland Raiders or St. Louis Rams.

    I’m thinking à Decent to Strong 3 for this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ame006 October 22, 2015 / 2:13 am

      Careful there, I’m an Oakland Raiders fan (more like a fan of Derek Carr.)

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  7. countryheartbeat December 23, 2015 / 2:42 pm

    This has changed my opinion of the song! Although I did really love Buy Me A Boat! This one lacks substance.

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