DISClaimer Single Reviews: Carly Pearce Shines On Newest Single, ‘What He Didn’t Do’
Different is good.
I like it that there are so many quirky, left-field tracks in today’s edition of DISClaimer. Whether it’s the delightful reworking of “Heads Carolina” by Cole Swindell, the psychedelic pop of Pillbox Patti, the Dirt Band’s all-star Bob Dylan homage or the “Mary Wanna” wordplay of DISCovery Award winner Jason Nix, it’s all good.
We have three Disc of the Day honorees. The male winner is Dalton Dover, who is singing his face off on “Hear About a Girl.” The female winner is the sublimely gifted Carly Pearce. The group award goes to the lovely “Never Til Now” duet by Ashley Cooke & Brett Young.
WADE SAPP / “Smoke”
Writers: Wade Sapp; Producer: none listed; Label: WS
–The backing is southern-rock lite, with a nifty electric-guitar riff and punchy percussion. His vocal, however, is solidly backwoods country rather than rock. The two elements of this sound just don’t seem to mesh.
RONNIE DUNN & JAKE WORTHINGTON / “Honky Tonk Town”
Writers: David Chamberlain/Jacob Lyds/Robert Howett/Ronnie Dunn; Producer: Ronnie Dunn; Label: RD
–It’s perfectly okay twanger, but nothing really special as a song. Vocally, however, this record is outstanding. As great as Ronnie is, tenor newcomer Worthington holds his own as a bent-note phraser, high-note reacher and old-school champion.
DALTON DOVER / “Hear About a Girl”
Writers: Adam Craig/Michael Carter/Jim McCormick; Producer: Matt McV; Label: Droptine
–Beautifully done. I loved his prior single, and this confirms my belief that we’re in the presence of a master country talent when this man sings. The power ballad gives him the space to stretch his range and volume. Make him a star. Now.
CARLY PEARCE / “What He Didn’t Do”
Writers: Carly Pearce/Ashley Gorley/Emily Shackleton; Producers: Shane McAnally/Josh Osborne; Label: Big Machine
–Everything she touches shines like polished gold. As always, her country vocal is a burning arrow of emotional truth. Still the queen of my heart.
LAINEY WILSON / “Heart Like a Truck”
Writers: Dallas Wilson/Lainey Wilson/Trannie Anderson; Producer: Jay Joyce; Label: Broken Bow
–Okay, the simile is totally weird, and no matter how many times she sings it, a heart and a truck are not even remotely comparable. That said, she performs the tune with loads of hillbilly soul.
TY HERNDON / “Till You Get There”
Writers: Ty Herndon/Jamie Floyd/Erik Halbig/Jimmy Thow; Producer: Jimmy Thow; Label: Pivotal
–He still sings so splendidly. This driving, uptempo outing has a cool, uplifting message as well as rampaging rhythm. Soaring, pulse-quickening and radio ready.
JASON NIX / “Mary Wanna”
Writers: Jason Nix/Driver Williams; Producer: Chip Matthews; Label: Jody Williams Songs/Warner Chappell Music
–He’s falling for a rebel girl who’s gonna do whatever she wants. And, yes, that means, “Mary wanna get me high/Mary wanna free my mind.” Funky, rocking and fun.
NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND, ROSANNE CASH, STEVE EARLE, JASON ISBELL, & THE WAR & TREATY / “The Times They Are A-Changin'”
Writer: Bob Dylan; Producers: Ray Kennedy/Jeff Hanna; Label: NGDB
–The new Dirt Does Dylan album is just stunning and perhaps nowhere more so than on this stirring, all-star revival of one of its greatest songs. Jeff Hanna kicks it off, then each of the brilliant guests takes a shot at this timeless masterpiece. Essential.
COLE SWINDELL / “She Had Me at Heads Carolina”
Writers: Mark Sanders/Ashley Glenn Gorley/Cole Swindell/Thomas Rhett/Jesse Frasure/James Timothy Nichols; Producer: Zach Crowell; Label: Warner
–Wonderfully clever. The song adopts the rollicking tune of Jo Dee Messina’s 1996 smash “Heads Carolina, Tails California” “(written by Mark D. Sanders & Tim Nichols) to tell the tale of a barroom guy who falls in love with the gal singing it on karaoke night. Bopping and joyous.
PILLBOX PATTI / “Young and Stupid”
Writers: Nicolette Hayford/Aaron Raitiere/Ashley McBryde/Park Chisolm/Benjy Davis/Connie Harrington/Joe Clemmons; Producer: Park Chisolm; Label: Monument
–Pillbox Patti is the stage name of tunesmith Nicolette Hayford, who has penned songs for Ashley McBryde, Lainey Wilson, William Michael Morgan and more while en route to her 2021 win as MusicRow‘s Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year. Her disc debut is kinda psychedelic, with echoey electronics and soft, stacked vocal harmonies. It’s all airy, gentle, pastel colored…. and thoroughly intriguing.
ASHLEY COOKE & BRETT YOUNG / “Never Til Now”
Writers: Matt Roy/Ashley Cooke; Producer: Jimmy Robbins; Label: Big Loud/BMLG
–Gorgeous. Ashley takes the lead, with Brett shadowing her in pitch-perfect, flawless harmony. She never dreamed of settling down, until now. It’s love, love, love in every note of this exquisitely produced performance. Listen and believe.
TYLER HUBBARD / “5 Foot 9”
Writers: Tyler Hubbard/Jaren Johnston/Chase McGill; Producers: Tyler Hubbard/Jordan Schmidt; Label: EMI
–Breezy. Bubbling tempo, drawled vocal, acoustic picking and sunny attitude are all in the recipe of this soundtrack song for summer.
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