Are you even trying anymore, Jake? I ask this half in jest, but half me is serious when asking this question. It’s well-known of course that Jake Owen made his bread and butter on summer, party songs. “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and “Beachin'” is what put Owen on the radar for several country music fans and took his stardom to another level. But after all of this success he started talking about making more quality music and he appeared to put his money where his mouth was when he released “What We Ain’t Got” as a single. It was critically acclaimed, yet didn’t do much at radio and didn’t really sell well either. So obviously he went back to the cliché well and released “Real Life” as a single. Not only did I rip it apart, but it bombed even worse than “What We Ain’t Got” at radio. So after two singles failed to perform to expectations at radio, Owen returns with a new single, “American Country Love Song.”
If you took one look at the title and rolled your eyes, I don’t blame you. Written by Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley and Jaren Johnston, “American Country Love Song” is about as predictable as it sounds. There’s really no theme to the song. It’s a giant checklist song about America, summer and every other cliché that country radio has beat us over the head with over the last five to seven years. There’s Daytona Beach, pretty girls, blue eyes, trucks, American flags, fireworks and other summer-y themes throughout the song. The best way to describe this song is Kenny Chesney’s “American Kids” meets Owen’s previous mega-hit “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” minus the catchy instrumentation of those two songs. Those other songs weren’t much better in avoiding typical country clichés, but the instrumentation made it okay. The instrumentation on this song simmers somewhere between half-baked and safe. Whatever you want to call it, I would say it’s boring and uninteresting. Oh and Owen is still doing spoken word. I don’t feel like rehashing why this is terrible, but if you want to see why just read this review.
Jake Owen is set to release a new album sometime this year and based off the first two singles, I’m not really looking forward to it. The goodwill he built up with me when he released “What We Ain’t Got” as a single has long evaporated and at this point in time I view his music as a big waste of time. Keep in mind this is not on commentary on him as a person, but solely as an artist and the outputting of his music. Owen had a chance to lead the way in bringing back substance to country radio, but instead he would rather play it safe and go for hits. “American Country Love Song” is perfect for you…if you happen to be Walmart or another corporation looking for a generic country song for an upcoming summer commercial. In fact that should have been the title of this single: “Generic Country Love Song.”