To say I’ve been disappointed in Billy Currington’s latest music would be an understatement. Currington has never been one of the “A-list” artists, event though he’s been around for over the last decade on country radio. As I said, I’ve been pretty disgusted at his latest singles. His last single was “Drinking Town With A Football Problem,” a song that I really didn’t like for its pandering bullshit. Fortunately it was pretty much a bust at country radio, as it hung around the top 40 for a while, reached #30 and then promptly went away. Before that was “Don’t It,” another boring party song that surprisingly reached #1 on the airplay charts. We didn’t review his 2015 album Summer Forever because it was so bland and unimaginative. Apparently many listeners felt the same, as it’s only sold a paltry 40,000 copies. However there was one song on that album that was memorable and worthy of being heard. The good news is Currington and his label recognized this too, as Currington has released “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” as his new single.
“It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” is a heartbreak song from the point of view of a man whose woman just left him. He’s trying to cope with it by drinking it away and telling the story of it to his friends. He repeats this over and over, as he just can’t shake the memory of her away. It’s the only coping mechanism he can come up with to feel better, as the rest of the time he says he’s “climbin’ the walls” and marking days off on the calendar. He says he can “lie and say it’s all okay,” which he does as he says it doesn’t hurt as much like it used to and he’s met a new girl now. But you can see right through it and know he’s still hurting. The songwriting is pretty good, as it tells a clear story and establishes the hurt the guy is feeling. The only thing that drags it down are the annoying “heys” and “ohs” throughout, but it doesn’t hurt it too much. The song would also be better if the production wasn’t as cheery, as a more-stripped down approach would have suited the song more.
It’s a surprisingly good song from Currington, as it feels like ages since we’ve gotten something good from him. It’s even more surprising when you see two co-writers for the song are Cary Barlowe (co-writer for Florida Georgia Line’s “Sun Daze” and Dustin Lynch’s “Where It’s At”) and Shy Carter (co-writer for Sugarland’s “Stuck Like Glue”). The third writer is Currington himself, which is important to point out as it was the only song on Summer Forever where he was a writer (which explains the beginning of the lyric video). It gives more credence to my suggestion to that all artists need to be involved in writing their music. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see Currington putting out likable, non-pandering music again. This type of music is what suits him best and hopefully he sticks to releasing singles like this one.