Thursday, May 13, 2010

Montgomery Gentry, "While You're Still Young"

"Life is too short to put if off anymore/ You gotta live it before it's too late." That is a truth universally acknowledged, especially in the world of country music. We have heard numerous country songs on that very topic - Jo Dee Messina's "Was That My Life," Kenny Chesney's "Don't Blink," and Darius Rucker's "History In the Making," just to name a few examples. We now have another song to throw into the category - Montgomery Gentry's new single "While You're Still Young," from their upcoming seventh album Freedom.

At first, this song sounds like your average country-rock throwaway. We hear repetitive guitar licks throughout the verses, with a few distracting pedal steel fills added to make it sound like country, and a fiery guitar solo to keep it from sounding too country. Unfortunately, the song's melody is somewhat ill-suited to Troy and Eddie's voices, and they fall short of pulling it off.

Listen more closely to the song's lyrics, and you will realize that this song is your average country-rock throwaway. As noted before, there is a long list of country songs about the shortness of life, but "While You're Still Young" fails to measure up with the rest of them. Most songs of this type encourage us to savor the special moments in life, and not to take anything for granted. But the message in this song is "Do something crazy and dumb while you're still young." That may go well with Montgomery Gentry's party-animal image, but it's not the best message for this type of song to have. Depending on what "crazy and dumb" things a person does, such things could have lasting consequences on a person's life. Do you really want to ruin your life "while you're still young?" In that case, one would be wasting his youth instead of getting the most out of it.

The song goes a step beyond that and urges young adults to "Go on and tie the knot/ Start a new life/ Take turns getting up when the baby cries." Getting married and having kids is not necessary something to do while one is very young. Instead of letting someone get the most out of his youth, it only forces him to grow up faster. Furthermore, not everyone is prepared to meet the demands of marriage while still young. With this in mind, we can see that this song encourages young ones to make choices that may prove unwise.

I can see that the songwriters attempted to write an inspirational song about living life to the fullest, but "While You're Still Young" has serious flaws. The biggest flaw is that it fails to paint a realistic picture of life in the real world.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)