Friday, December 10, 2010

Josh Thompson, "Won't Be Lonely Long"

After releasing an entertaining-but-indistinctive working man's anthem and an "I'm way countrier than you" tune that reeked of pandering, Josh Thompson returns with neotraditional tale of getting over the ex.  "Won't Be Lonely Long" begins as a weepy acoustic ballad.  When Josh reaches the song's bridge, he realizes how lucky he is that his woman said goodbye "at seven o'clock on a Friday night."

Kapow.  Then we're hit with a heavy uptempo arrangement that abruptly kicks in.  Plucky steel guitar licks and a barroom piano hammer home the narrator's declaration that he "won't be lonely long," because he's headed out for a night on the town.  He and his buddies will be "singing along with those done-me-wrong drinkin' songs," and when a woman asks if he's with anyone, he'll relish his newfound freedom as he happily says "No, ma'am!"  He gets a bit snarky near the end of the song, as he triumphantly brags that there "Ain't an empty space in the parking lot/ Look how many friends I've got."

It might not be a future classic, but "Won't Be Lonely Long" earns points for being full of personality.  This shameless ditty stays true to what it is - a shameless ditty - by being simple and to-the-point without pretending to be more clever than it actually is.  But although it is simple, it's not simple to the point of being cliche.

Josh's debut single "Beer On the Table" was a pleasant introduction to a talented new artist, but he greatly disappointed with the follow-up "Way Out Here."  In the future, I hope to hear Josh recording material with more of an edge to it.  "Won't Be Lonely Long" doesn't represent a huge artistic risk on Josh's part, but it is a clear step in the right direction.

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