Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jerrod Niemann, "One More Drinkin' Song"

Songwriters:  Jerrod Niemann, Richie Brown

"Hey hey hey, what's so wrong with one more drinking song?"  Nothing at all, provided that it's a good drinking song.  Especially one that goes beyond simply identifying itself as "One More Drinkin' Song," and that actually manages to distinguish itself among all the other drinking songs in country music.

The trouble with this particular drinking song is that is that it doesn't aspire to be anything more than... well... "One More Drinkin' Song."  It declares itself to be a drinking song, and asks its listeners to sing along, but brings no distinctive characteristics of its own.  Leaning on "hey hey hey" hooks wrapped in a singalong melody, it reaches the height of its cleverness in a tacked-on line about "bartenders tryin' to get paid while the rest of us are tryin to get..." which substitutes a hokey sound effect for the word "laid."  But since the song fails to offer its own fresh take on its theme, it's as if where listening to the sonic equivalent of a skeleton with no flesh.

Then the song devolves predictably into a canned barroom singalong chorus, which adds an uncalled-for layer of cheesiness.  I'm just going to put this out there while we're on the topic, but I absolutely hate crowd singalongs.  Passionately. (I might even like Brad Paisley's "I'm Gonna Miss Her" if not for that danged singalong) Whenever I hear one, I always feel as if someone is trying to convince me to like a song because other people like it.  It's a measure that often reeks of desperation.  I say if you want to convince me to like a song, try writing a song that's actually good.

While there's still nothing wrong with a good old drinking song, it's easy to see why one might gravitate toward a drinking song that's more unique and memorable than this one.  Jerrod's "Drinkin' Song" may be palatable on the first listen, but it's overall a weightless track that leaves hardly enough of an impression to garner a replay.

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