Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ronnie Dunn, "Cost of Livin'"

Songwriters:  Ronnie Dunn, Phillip Coleman

Ronnie Dunn's second post-B&D single is a great deal better than his first.  In discussing his current release "Cost of Livin'," many critic's have cited the tune's potential to become the song of 2011, similar to "The House That Built Me" in 2010.  Such predictions are not off base, as "Cost of Livin'" carries a level of understative poignance similar to that which made Miranda Lambert's career hit reasonate across the board with such a wide audience.

"Cost of Livin'" is sung from the perspective of an unemployed man applying for work.  It begins with him giving the usual facts about himself, but the lyrics build in intensity.  The song conveys the desperation of this man, as well as his strong work ethic and willingness to do whatever it takes to provide for his family.  Backed by little more than an acoustic guitar, Ronnie sells the lyric with the conviction of one who's been in such a situation himself.  While "Bleed Red" fell victim to the trap of overdramatizing, "Cost of Livin'" utilizes a much simpler approach, and the result is much more rewarding.

Will it match, or even outdo the chart success of its predecessor?  Hard to say, though it's already managed to crack the Top 30, which is a good sign.  Chart prospects aside, however, "Cost of Livin'" is a remarkable artistic triumph that any artist would have just cause to be proud of.

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