Review – Trent Harmon’s “There’s A Girl”

trent-harmon-theres-a-girl

So it turns out Trent Harmon was the final winner of American Idol. Who knew? I stopped paying attention to that show once Simon Cowell left (even those final few seasons I was drifting off). Since I assume most others did the same, here’s a primer for those who don’t know Harmon. Originally he tried out on The Voice and was rejected. So with one music show rejection down, he turned to American Idol, where originally he auditioned and came off as an R&B/pop artist. Oh boy. As the show went on he started to perform some country and by country I mean a couple of Chris Stapleton songs. The rest of the songs he performed were soul, R&B and pop. The winning song he performed was called “Falling.” It was written by Keith Urban, Brett James and Dallas Davidson (ugh). Naturally Big Machine Records President and Idol adviser that season Scott Borchetta signs him to be a country artist because of course Borchetta would do this. It’s said that Harmon’s debut album will be country with indie-soul influences. When Borchetta was asked about it, he said it would be like the country album Justin Timberlake plans to make. Now I don’t know about you, but I see some red flags here. Based on these facts, it sounds like Harmon is just another pop artist cashing-in on country music.

Nevertheless I did my best to keep an open mind as I dug into Harmon’s debut label single, “There’s A Girl.” And after listening to it multiple times, it’s actually not terrible as I expected it to be. I was expecting heavy R&B and little to no country. Instead there’s actually some pedal steel guitar in the song. An actual pleasant surprise! Don’t get too excited though because there’s definitely some pop influence within the song too. But it’s not overbearing though and works for the most part. The light, up beat acoustics work well blended with the steel guitar. The song itself is about how guys are driven by girls and how they drive guys to do things they normally wouldn’t do like drive hundreds of miles to see them, clean up their vehicles and spend money they don’t have. On the surface you could look at this cynically, saying the song paints guys as being controlled by their dicks. But I really don’t see the song this way and the song doesn’t really indicate these intentions. It’s more a light-hearted look at the age old phrase of “love makes you do crazy things” and this is quite true. As far as first impressions of Harmon’s voice, it’s solid, yet unspectacular.

Overall Trent Harmon’s “There’s A Girl” isn’t half bad. You could do much worse for debut singles that’s for sure. Hell I think this song actually has some chance to stand out and be remembered by listeners. I wouldn’t call the song good either, but then again most debut singles usually aren’t because most play it on the safe side. You just hope for something decent and taking this song for what it is, that’s what you get with “There’s A Girl.”

Grade: 6/10

 

Recommend? – Sure it’s worth one listen, especially if you like pop country


Written by Trent Harmon, Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz

Album Review – Maddie & Tae Make A Fantastic Debut With ‘Start Here’

Maddie & Tae Start Here

“Being the girl in a country song, how in the world did it go so wrong?” This is the signature line of the song that introduced new country music duo Maddie & Tae to the world. If you’re a fan of country music, you have surely heard this bro country bashing song that catapulted Maddie & Tae into mainstream popularity. The duo, made up of Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye, are the brainchild of Big Machine Label Group’s fearless founder Scott Borchetta. While Borchetta has made his name by giving the world Taylor Swift and Florida Georgia Line, he’s earned his reputation to make a profit by offering something for pretty much every country fan out there. Look at Big Machine’s group of artists and you’ll surely find an act you enjoy. While I feel the majority of the artists he has served to the country music world have harmed the genre more than help it, Maddie & Tae may just be his greatest gift he has ever given the world. I’ve been waiting in anticipation for their debut album and it was set to come out originally in June, but unfortunately it was pushed back to now. But I’m happy to say it was well worth the wait because Maddie & Tae’s debut album Start Here is fantastic.

Start Here opens with “Waitin’ On A Plane.” Maddie & Tae do a lot of harmonizing on this inspirational and upbeat song. Much like their current single “Fly,” which is later in the album, this song is about chasing dreams and achieving goals. They sing about waiting for a plane, which symbolizes their chance to spread their wings and fly. It’s a very appropriate song for them and it shows how they’ve been waiting for this opportunity that’s been given to them and they’re ready to now capitalize on it. Next is their aforementioned smash hit and the single that put them on everyone’s radar, “Girl In A Country Song.” Over a year after reviewing it, this platinum certified single still holds up pretty well for me. Any song that throws shade at multiple bro country artists is great in my book. At the time I remember questioning (along with several others) if this was a wise song for Maddie & Tae to kick off their career with. After having a year to think about it, I can definitively say yes. And this album backs my sentiment up because it just gets even better as you go deeper into it.

“Smoke” is about a woman giving up on a man who is clearly bad for her, but she can’t seem to get rid of him from her mind. Just like smoking, it’s bad and something you shouldn’t breathe in, but she can’t help it. There’s lots of acoustic instrumentation throughout the song and it’s a love ballad that’s very catchy. It’s kind of got a different sound, but it’s very much country and a song that I think will grow on listeners with each listen. There are a lot of great songs throughout this album, but the one I enjoy the most is “Shut Up And Fish.” The song is about a girl going fish with a boy from the city who clearly hasn’t went fishing before. Right away though the girl realizes he has “more than bass” on his mind. He immediately starts to compliment her, touch her and flirt and just full on try to seduce her. But she isn’t going to put up with this bullshit. She just wants him to shut up and fish. Finally she has enough and shoves him in the lake and ditches him. This song wouldn’t sound out-of-place in the mid to late 90s, as it’s a fun and catchy song with traditional instrumentation. It’s also nice to hear a song like this from the female perspective, as there have been many songs like this from the male perspective (Brad Paisley’s “I’m Gonna Miss Her” immediately came to mind). This is one of those songs that are impossible to hate and definitely needs to be a single.

Their current single “Fly” follows. My opinion of this song is largely unchanged since I originally reviewed it back in November when they released an EP. From that review: This song is an inspirational song about not giving up and pursuing your goal. This is the first slow tempo song from the duo and I think it’s a solid showing. The theme of the song is a little generic, but I’ll take generic inspiration over a lot of other themes on country radio. While many disagreed with this as a single choice, I think it ultimately proved to be a good choice, as they needed a safer song after their incendiary first single. The song everyone said should have been the second single, “Sierra” is next. I agree that this would make a great single and it very well could be the third single as it’s catchy and I think it could appeal to female listeners. My original thoughts are again unchanged: The song is about a girl named Sierra and according to Maddie & Tae she’s not a very good person. The evidence of this is Sierra dumping her friends, being cruel hearted and treating boys like crap. Now some people might find the topic of this song to be a little juvenile, but keep in mind this is coming from two teenage girls. This song sounds like it’s genuinely coming from them, which some people didn’t feel with “Girl in a Country Song.” Another good thing they do with this song is they utilize their harmonies well and is something I want to hear from them more. 

“Your Side of Town” is another song that appeared on their EP from last November. Unlike the previous two songs, my opinion on this song has changed from what I originally wrote. It’s a heartbreak song that’s upbeat and fun featuring a good amount of fiddles. It gets a tad pop in places, but maintains a decidedly country song. I originally said this sounds like a Miranda Lambert song, but I think I was wrong. Lambert has never made such a catchy heartbreak song that was this country. Again I could see this is as a good single to release to radio. Maddie & Tae sing about falling in love in “Right Here Right Now.” The woman in the song has been waiting in anticipation for the moment her love finally kisses her and it’s finally arrived she realized, as there is no better time than right here and right now. Is this song deep? No. But it doesn’t matter. It’s a feel good love song that’s easy to connect with and has a youthful exuberance that fits the duo. Fiddles and acoustic guitars play in “No Place Like You.” It’s another song where it wouldn’t have sounded out-of-place in the 90s and would have been a smash hit. It’s a love song about travelling all over the place and seeing many great things, but being with your loved one is the best place of all. Again it’s a very country song with clever songwriting, something this album is chockfull of throughout it.

Just when you thought this album couldn’t get anymore country, “After The Storm Blows Through” proves to be the countriest song on the album. Not only that, but it’s the best song on the album too. It’s a song about standing by your friend or perhaps a loved one through thick and thin, vowing to be by their side in the toughest of times or giving them space if needed. Regardless it’s about a vow to stick together. It’s beautiful and touching. Maddie & Tae deliver a grand slam with this song and it’s the biggest “Wow” moment of the album. This is without a doubt one of the best country songs I’ve heard this year.

Start Here concludes with “Downside of Growing Up,” a song about going through the pain of growing up. At the beginning the duo sing about moving out on your own and not having your parents there to help you get unstuck and feeling helpless. But it’s all okay because it’s just part of the road you have to take to learn and live your life. I’m sure older listeners are nodding their head in approval of this, while young listeners are experiencing this as they listen. I have to point out this too: The Band Perry, a veteran group, is releasing party, pop fluff like “Live Forever” to connect with young people. Meanwhile Maddie & Tae, the fresh-faced duo who aren’t even old enough to legally drink yet are releasing a heartfelt, traditional country song about growing up that actually relates to real life. Just saying. By the way, am I the only one who heard this and immediately thought it sounded like something out of Alan Jackson’s catalog? This is another gem and a strong close to the album.

Maddie & Tae deliver in spades with Start Here. I was a little worried that the delay meant that album would be more “pop infused” and thankfully it proved to not be the case. While there are tinges of pop influence, it’s more of in the 2000s pop country area and not in the 2015 blatantly pop area. Really the great majority of this album is pure country, instrumentation-wise and thematically. Maddie & Tae’s vocals are dynamic, engaging and just flat-out rock. The songwriting is well thought out, as well as clever and witty (they helped write every single song on the album). People have been looking for a great hope in mainstream country music that could signal a changing of the tide back to the roots of the genre and we may just found it in Maddie & Tae. I know this is really high praise, but I honestly got Dixie Chicks vibes from this album. They’re that damn good. Maddie & Tae couldn’t have made a better start than they did with Start Here.

Grade: 10/10

 

Jekyll + Hyde: How One Album Turned Zac Brown Band From Heroes to Villains

Zac_Brown_USO_tour

“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” This is the famous quote uttered by Batman in the Dark Knight. It’s a quote people have used in situations hundreds of times and it’s a quote I feel applies to the current situation with Zac Brown Band, or more candidly frontman Zac Brown. He was once a beacon of hope for country music and someone we could count on to uphold the values and roots of the genre. It showed in his music and in his interviews. He practiced what he preached. Then everything changed. But I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s start from the beginning.

Zac Brown Band burst onto the country music scene in 2008 with their lead single “Chicken Fried,” a number one hit and double platinum single. It launched their careers and they’ve been an impactful force on the genre ever since, racking up ten more #1 hits on country radio. Now this first single was certainly not indicative of their full talent and they proved that with pretty much every single that followed it. Many consider “Chicken Fried” the worst single they have ever released, but it was excused because it was a foot in the door for them. Without this mega hit, we may have never gotten so many other great songs from them like the Grammy-winning collaboration with Alan Jackson, “As She’s Walking Away.” We wouldn’t have gotten what I consider one of the best country albums in the last decade, their 2012 album Uncaged.

Needless to say, any fair critic would say Zac Brown Band have produced their fair share of quality music. Not only that, but quality music that gets played on country radio. So up until this year, you could certainly call the majority of the music Zac Brown Band produced to be of high quality and something that respects the true intentions of country music. Zac Brown Band has certainly pointed out how they’re not strictly country, as they’re more in the vein of southern rock and country music has always accepted them. This is a fair and honest assessment. Speaking of fair and honest assessments, Zac Brown gave one in August of 2013. He was asked about what he thought of Luke Bryan’s newest mega-hit “That’s My Kind of Night” and the bro-country movement. Here’s a refresher on what he said (emphasis mine):

“There’s not a lot of the country format that I really enjoy listening to. If I hear one more tailgate in the moonlight, daisy duke song, I wanna throw up. There’s songs out there on the radio right now that make me ashamed to be even in the same format as some other artist.

“I love Luke Bryan and he’s had some great songs, but this new song is the worst song I’ve ever heard.”

“I see it being giant commercially, successful within what is called country music these days, but I also feel like that the people deserve something better than that.”

“I’m opinionated because I care so much about the music and the songs.”

This is was like heaven to the ears of disenfranchised country music fans everywhere who had grown disgusted and ashamed of the genre’s new direction. Finally, here was a mainstream artist standing up for them and being their voice of reason. This was an artist you could get behind and expect people to listen to them when they speak. Zac Brown Band was a group that made quality music and provided leadership to a genre that needed it. The criticism of course fell on deaf ears, but it was the attempt that meant so much.

That was the Zac Brown Band and Zac Brown of old times. Now let’s talk about the current Zac Brown Band and Zac Brown. The new Zac Brown Band began in the fall of 2014, when they announced they formed a strategic partnership with Big Machine Records, Republic Records and John Varvatos Records. Derek wrote an excellent piece breaking the deal down. It’s definitely worth a read if you haven’t read up on the details of it. At the time, I agreed with Derek that this would be a good deal for Zac Brown Band and didn’t necessarily mean they were selling out to Scott Borchetta, although Derek rightly pointed it out as something to keep an eye on (emphasis again, mine):

Admittedly, there is one aspect to be weary of with this partnership. Much like how we may see writers from Southern Ground getting songs cut by Republic and Big Machine artists, we may also see writers from those two labels getting songs cut by Southern Ground Artists. Scott Borchetta has a lot of power in country music. While I don’t think he’ll have the same level of control over Southern Ground Artists like he does his own, it’s possible he may find ways to influence Zac or other Southern Ground groups to record a Republic or Big Machine written song or two for future albums. And recently there has been some questionable songs coming out of these two labels, think “God Made Girls,” “Lookin’ For That Girl,” or “This is How We Roll.” Now, I have faith that Zac Brown won’t compromise his vision for the band or his label by recording songs like that, but it’s one thing to keep an eye on.

Derek expressed a faith in Zac Brown and the Zac Brown Band the majority of us felt at the time. There was no way he would let this new business situation affect the quality of their music. There was a proven track record to back this faith up. But it was really the first sign that change was coming to Zac Brown Band. We just didn’t want to see it. Another hint that things were about to change was a quote in an interview with Rolling Stone. Brown said this in the interview in November 2014:

Brown points to one new song titled “Beautiful Drug” as a step in this new direction. “Believe it or not, it’s about a girl,” says Brown. “But she’s the guy’s beautiful drug. I think that’ll be a big crossover tune for us.”

The words, “big crossover tune,” should have set off the alarm bells in our heads. But once again we reminded ourselves that Zac Brown Band are the “good guys” and we should have faith in them. A few months later this faith seemed to be confirmed, as they released the first single from the album, “Homegrown.” From my review:

I think this is a great choice of the first single from Zac Brown Band’s new album. It’s fun and vibrant, yet has a great sound (it sounds like it belongs in country music) and solid lyrics. “Homegrown” should get a lot of radio play and do well on the charts. I’ll be shocked if this isn’t a #1 hit. People in the industry love to talk about evolving the sound of country music with the incorporation of rap remixes and EDM elements, when really it’s just devolving it. If you want a true example of evolving country music, “Homegrown” is a perfect example. Incorporating rock elements into country music works well as long as it’s balanced and clearly Zac Brown Band know how to balance it.

This is kind of scary to read in hindsight, no? Not long after this it was confirmed that Zac Brown Band would be cutting “Dress Blues,” a Jason Isbell-penned song on their new album. And they performed it on national television. This was unbelievable. They released a quality single to country radio and cut a song from one of the most respected and beloved Americana artists in the country on their new album. This was like a love letter to the disenfranchised country music fan. This caused the hype for their new album Jekyll + Hyde to really go through the roof. Many people in the industry and country fans I knew were pre-ordering this album without hesitation, including yours truly.

ZBB Jekyll + Hyde

Then Jekyll + Hyde finally arrived to our mailboxes and we ripped off the plastic wrap as quick as we could for an album we all anticipated to be great. The first track on the album? The song Zac Brown predicted to be a crossover hit, “Beautiful Drug.” And then it happened. The moment Zac Brown Band took the metaphorical knife and stabbed it in our backs. Of course we didn’t recognize it yet, as the faith was still there, despite it being reduced. My ears didn’t know what to think. The rest of the album was rocky too. It took several listens for the anger and realization to sit in: Zac Brown Band cut an EDM song and blatantly led the album off with it. Betrayal and disappointment immediately came to mind. There were good songs on the album of course, but there were so many bad songs too. I ultimately deemed Jekyll + Hyde a mixed bag with no direction.

There was a lot of backlash online against these EDM songs, but eventually it died down. The reason? We all convinced ourselves that they wouldn’t release them as singles. Zac Brown and the group surely would see the criticism and choose to ultimately keep it away from country radio. After all they care about the music, as they feel the people deserve better. They ended up releasing “Loving You Easy” as the second single of the album, a Motown influenced song. While not one of the best songs on the album, it was a decent enough song and the band actually pulled off a Motown country song well, much better than Thomas Rhett. It’s not a terrible song and one of the better ones on country radio, which really isn’t saying much, but the point stands. As this song continued to move up the charts in the past few weeks, speculation began on what their third single from the album would be. “One Day?” “Castaway?” Nope. It’s “Beautiful Drug.”

To add insult to injury, this quote was uttered by Zac Brown Band member Clay Cook in an interview with The Boston Globe:

“With ‘Jekyll + Hyde,’ we were really starting to think of how this would play in a show,” he explains. “We’re not really an album band. The album is basically a business card to get people to see us play live.”

And with that the turn of Zac Brown Band to the dark side was complete. It was this quote that finally drove the point home. The Zac Brown Band that said they cared about the music and the fans deserving better than the stuff on country radio was gone. The faith of the fans in the band doing the right thing for country music has evaporated. Zac Brown Band is no longer in it for the fans, but rather the money and the business only. Scott Borchetta’s influence is as plain as day. The yearning for fame and crossover success is evident and the appeal to serve the roots of the genre has disappeared. “Homegrown” and “Dress Blues” were simply ruses to get us all to buy the album and dump EDM songs onto us. It was bait-and-switch advertisement at it’s finest. How is it not? When you dangle these two songs in front of fans they expect the album to be in a similar vein. When you for year after year release music that upholds the integrity of the genre, people expect to hear the same again. When you publicly admonish the trends plaguing country radio and your promise to make better music, the fans expect something good. They don’t expect EDM music. Zac Brown Band could have been open and candid about this change of direction, but instead they wanted to get your money first before springing this surprise on us. This is the definition of a crook and someone who values money over honesty.

“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

Zac Brown Band chose not to fall on their sword, but instead surrender to the mainstream country agenda and laugh their way to the bank. They put their new suits on with a smile on their faces. While their wallets may have just gotten bigger, my respect for them had dwindled significantly. I no longer have faith in Zac Brown Band to do the right thing. They’ve now lived long enough to become the very thing they once spoke out against. Sure they can go back to their old sound on the next album, but they’re seemingly sterling track record and penchant for honesty through their music and words is damaged forever. This is a permanent scar on Zac Brown Band and possibly the sanctity of country music, something they may never live down again.

Review – Ronnie Dunn’s “Ain’t No Trucks In Texas”

Ronnie Dunn Ain't No Trucks In Texas

When it comes to Ronnie Dunn’s career, it’s been a tale of two halves. In the first half, it was quite a wild and successful ride for Dunn. He was one half of one of the most iconic duos in country music history in Brooks & Dunn. Dunn and Kix Brooks racked up multiple #1 hits, platinum albums and numerous awards. Their mark on country music is no doubt impactful and will be remembered for years to come. In 2010, the group broke up and thus began Dunn’s second half of his career as a solo artist. He released a self-titled album in 2011, his first as a solo artist. It reached #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and in my view was a pretty solid album. The standout from it was “Cost of Livin’,” a song about a military veteran trying to find employment. In June 2012, Arista Nashville dropped him from his label and released an album last year under this own label, titled Peace, Love And Country Music. I did not get a chance to review this album, but I did listen to it and I offered some commentary on it last year when I wrote a response to Dunn’s Facebook post on older country artists. I thought the albums was a rocky listen and tried too hard to appeal to mainstream and quality at the same time. It didn’t have a clear direction at all.

Despite not really being a fan of that album (save a couple of songs), I have admired Ronnie Dunn’s tenacity and determination in recent years of making country music the right way and fighting for older artists. If you follow him on Facebook, he always has something on his mind and interacts with his fans all of the time. He truly cares about the business, his fans and the state of country music. Dunn has also endorsed several up and coming artists, including Sturgill Simpson. The great news for Dunn is his persistence paid off, as Scott Borchetta officially announced he signed him to his new label NASH Icon in January 2015, a label for older country artists still active in making music. For Dunn this was the opportunity he appeared to be seeking and his chance to continue to make an impact on the genre with his music. A few weeks back he released his first music through NASH Icon, the first single from a new upcoming album, titled “Ain’t No Trucks In Texas.”

It’s very much a Ronnie Dunn song, yet it’s also something that could appeal to radio. It has balance. I think one of the problems with Dunn releasing music through his own label was that there weren’t enough people to tell him no or suggest something different with his music. In other words, making music with a major label means there are more gatekeepers to help filter and cultivate the sound of the music. Dunn is a talented artist without a doubt, but even great talents need people around them to help hone in their sound and find the best fit. They’ve done it with “Ain’t No Trucks In Texas.” The song itself is about a bitter man who’s in a state of denial after a breakup. The denial runs so deep for him that he’s denying obvious things such as football in the south and bourbon in Kentucky. While these clichés that will annoy some people, to me it drives home the emotion of the song perfectly. It frames the mindset of the bitter, heartbroken man very well. Kudos to the writers of the song, Wendell Mobley, Tony Martin and Neil Thrasher. The production and instrumentation undoubtedly has some mainstream country tinges to it, but the core is without a doubt country. Like I said, this song does a great job balancing between quality and radio, the biggest problem Dunn had with his last album.

This isn’t the best song we’ve ever gotten from Ronnie Dunn, but it’s pretty solid nonetheless. This is the kind of song Dunn needed to kick off his start with Nash Icon. I think Dunn’s relationship with the label is an ideal situation for both sides and they could do a lot of good together. I’m looking forward to giving Dunn’s new album a listen if this single is an indicator of the direction it takes. “Ain’t No Trucks In Texas” is one of the better singles I’ve heard from mainstream country in 2015.

Grade: 8/10

Review – The Cadillac Three’s “White Lightning”

The Cadillac Three White Lightning

When it comes to American country rock/southern rock trio, The Cadillac Three, I’ve really never formed a solid opinion on them. They certainly exhibit a penchant for rock driven country songs and I can tell they have potential to produce good music. There’s a reason Scott Borchetta signed them to Big Machine Records. So far though the two singles they released previously haven’t showcased the band’s talents. The first single released in 2013 was “The South” which featured guests Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line and Mike Eli of The Eli Young Band. It was a hodgepodge of a song that really didn’t stand out to me. The other single they released last year and it was called “Party Like You.” In Derek’s review of it last year, he summed the single up perfectly, saying it had “shallow, generic lyrics over great instrumentation.” This has summed up the career of The Cadillac Three so far for me. So they just released their third single, “White Lightning,” and they now have another chance to sway my mind. Does the trio of Jaren Johnston, Kelby Ray and Neil Mason impress me this time?

Well….it’s an improvement I guess. The instrumentation is once again pretty good, as they stick to their rock country sound. It’s their sound and they know how to do it. The guitar play in the bridge is solid and I wish this could have been highlighted more in the song. As for the lyrics, they’re pretty basic once again. I’ll say this: at least they aren’t generic party lyrics like last time. Instead they’re just a bunch of clichés about the south repeated over and over. The song starts out with the following line, “she stole my heart.” Okay, so it’s a love song. Now let’s hear about the actual relationship. That should be the natural progression in this type of song, no? Instead we get four lines about clichés from the south that start out each line with “Faster than…” Then the line “Ooh, I saw white lightning” is repeated twice. This is followed by four more clichés. Then the white lightning line again is repeated twice, followed by four more cliché lines. The white lightning line is repeated twice again This is followed by some garbled lines about love and a cliché about moonshine. Then once more the white lightning line is repeated. That’s the song. That’s it. If you don’t believe me, take a look. For crying out loud, can you get any more bare bones songwriting than this? This song says absolutely nothing. It can’t even suck because there isn’t even enough lines to it for it to suck. All they did was insert twelve southern clichés after the phrase “Faster than…” It’s Mad Libs songwriting! Just fill in the blank and you have a song. How am I supposed to connect with this song? Why should I even care about it? It gives me no reasons whatsoever to listen to it.

Elevator music is more interesting than “White Lightning.” I only say this is an improvement over the previous single “Party Like You” because this song is barely anything at all, whereas “Party Like You” was another annoying bro country, party song. I don’t think you could possibly concoct a safer song than “White Lightning.” It’s boring, vanilla and takes absolutely no chances in terms of the lyrics, vocals or instrumentation. I thought A Thousand Horses’ “Smoke” was average, but this song makes it sound exciting. If you want the real “White Lightning,” click here and listen to George Jones show you how it’s done. The Cadillac Three’s “White Lightning” is lazy, formulaic songwriting at it’s finest. I don’t even have a thought on whether to recommend it or not. I’m going to go listen to something that’s interesting, so I can wake myself up after this song nearly made me fall into a nap.

Grade: 3.5/10