Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chris Young, "Voices"

"Voices" was originally released as the first single from Chris Young's current album, The Man I Want to Be, only to tank in the lower reaches of the Top 40.  Two back-to-back number-one hits later, the label has re-released the song to give it a second shot at the charts, since it now seems that Chris Young has become one of Nashville's hot properties.

Like many of Chris Young's songs, "Voices" has a sound that is unmistakably country, further bolstered by strong vocals.  The lyrics describe how one man has been shaped by the words of wisdom passed on to him by his elders.  The song makes a pun out of the concept as the narrator says that he "hears voices all the time" - implying mental retardation.  That touch of cleverness doesn't have to detract from the song's appeal, but it is slightly overdone on this song, as it forms the main concept of the first verse.

When the chorus kicks in, Chris gives us a summary of all the little bits of advice he has been given:  "Work that job, but don't work your life away."  "Drop some cash in the offering plate on Sunday."  Each chorus is different, with different words of advice included - a nice touch.  Unfortunately, the jumble of typical advice does sound a bit cliched.  But to Chris's credit, the sincerity is still evident, and he does come off as introspective and respectful.  He ties everything together in the bridge, declaring that he is thankful for such voices, because they have made him who he is today.

"Voices" is definitely far from perfect.  The concept could have been better executed.  Still,  the song does have some strong points that should not be ignored.  Considering the song's positive qualities, as well as Chris's high popularity on country radio, I would guess that I'll probably be hearing "Voices" all the time.  If it doesn't become a hit this time around, I suppose his label will keep re-releasing it until it does.

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