Memorable Songs From forgettable Albums: March 22nd

So, I honestly just thought of the idea for this feature while I was sitting here for what has to be at least the fifth time trying to articulate something intelligent to say about Josh Turner’s latest album, Deep South. That album is not really a bad record, but fell short of the expectations of a lot of Josh Turner fans, including myself, and honestly, after this review, the only song I’m probably ever going to listen to again is “Lay Low.” It’s very hard to sit down and write about an album like this because it’s not bad enough to warrant a rant but it’s not good enough to praise and if it’s not worth my time to listen to, it’s difficult to make it worth my time and energy to write about. The same is true for Little Big town’s latest effort because, while it’s definitely a step in the right direction after Painkiller, it’s not something I want to listen to again. The problem is that the good songs on these albums get overlooked when the records don’t get reviewed. So I think I’ve found a way to highlight standout songs on less than stellar albums in a way that benefits the artists and better serves the music, all while saving myself and you the time of discussing mediocre music. You can expect these features whenever, well, I feel that there have been enough songs sliding through the cracks to warrant one. 🙂 let me know what you guys think!

Natalie Hemby: “Cairo, IL”

Yes, I know, this album came out in January, and I should have talked about it then, but I couldn’t think of anything to say. The overall album has a very sleepy feel to it, and I didn’t have much to put to paper. But this is one of the best songs of the year, and it’s better to recognize it late than never. It’s a beautiful, stripped-back song about a Mississippi river town, now a shell of what it once was. If you haven’t heard it yet, do it now. You will fall in love with it.

Natalie Hemby: “Time Honored Tradition”

The other standout of Puxico that shouldn’t go overlooked. Just an easygoing, nostalgic track where once again, the production and lyrics really work.

Little Big Town: “Better Man”

I will go right ahead and say strict traditionalists aren’t going to like this because it’s way more pop than country. It’s the songwriting that got to me on this, and it’s no surprise that Taylor swift wrote it. That’s going to immediately turn some people off and immediately make others hit play. I almost didn’t even include it because most have already heard it since it was a radio hit, but it did stand out for me on their album, so here it is.

Little Big Town: “Beat UP Bible”

This one is the most country on their otherwise pop/adult contemporary album and tells the story of a Bible that’s been in the family for generations. It’s also one of the most interesting moments on The Breaker. Kimberly Schlapman can’t be anything but country, and if they’d give her the lead on more songs, they’d be going in a much better direction.

Alison Krauss: “You Don’t Know Me”

Alison Krauss’s classic covers album Windy City is an interesting one. There’s nothing wrong with it at all, and by placing this song here, I’m really kind of calling the album forgettable. It’s really quite good but sleepy. It’s not really for me, and it’s something I respect more than I enjoy. I thought there were some good covers, especially “Gentle on my Mind.” However, this one really stood out above the others and stood out more than as a great cover, it stood out as a great Alison Krauss song.

Josh Turner: “Lay Low”

Well, you probably all know this one too, as this came out ahead of an album meant to be released in March 2015, but as it was the very song that inspired this feature in the first place, I thought it deserved to be here. As far as Josh turner’s album, there are probably Josh fans who are going to get behind it more than I did, but basically it was just underwhelming and lackluster, and then you had this great song “Lay Low” sticking out like a sore thumb to remind you of better days.

7 thoughts on “Memorable Songs From forgettable Albums: March 22nd”

  1. This would b a cool feature to do as a regular thing I like it. Plenty of albums I have forgotten about or overlooked over the years that have some great songs. A great example is Ronnie Dunns newest album which is mostly forgettable but it has 3 fantastic songs.

    1. Yeah, I will be doing more of these. You’re right, there are a lot of albums like that, and I’ve let a lot of good music go unmentioned because either it was on a bad or mediocre album or just on an album I really couldn’t think of anything to say about mostly.

  2. Really cool feature idea! It reminds me of that “album that got away” thing I did once back in January. Although let’s be honest, this is better. It’s easier to recommend individual songs as opposed to full length albums lol.

    As for Turner’s album, I’ll admit a little bit of bias comes into play for me in regards to that album. I mean, he was one of my favorites back in the day, and the album as a whole was fairly solid (in my view), but I’m sure my view is skewed in some way. I’ll admit that. Still, “Lay Low” was also my favorite track as well followed by “Hawaiian Girl” and “Wonder” (even though this would have worked so much better as a ballad).

    For LBT, I’ll admit, I LOVE “Night On Our Side”. It’s not a song of the year contender or anything but damn it’s catchy. It brought a life to this album that I wish we had more of since, yeah…it’s kind of boring as a whole. I gave both this and Turner 6.5/10, and I’d still say I fall there.

    For me personally, if I were doing this with albums I haven’t covered, I’d do something like this:

    Shinyribs – “I Don’t Give A Shit” (from I Got Your Medicine) – As a whole this band really isn’t for me, but that right there is a fun song.

    K Phillips – “Hadrian” (from Dirty Wonder) – A weird album. Nothing inherently wrong with it, just got nothing to say on it. This is a nice track though.

    1. Cool, glad you like it. Yeah, I wanted to like Josh’s more than I did, and I feel like a lot of people probably will which is another reason why I don’t really want to talk about it lol. I forgot about “Night on our Side” as I actually really liked that one too, it was very catchy. I still may talk about Shinyribs before it’s all over with which is why it wasn’t here.

      1. The thing about Shinyribs is that he’s so fun and charismatic live, and really nice when we met him, too. I saw close to two dozen acts last week at SXSW, including Shinyribs twice, and audiences love him. It’s hard to translate his strengths into just recordings.My only problem with Nat Hemby’s song is that most pronounce that “Cairo” differently from the Egyptian city- a minor quibble, I guess.

  3. First time commenter, long time reader.

    This is an awesome feature! Those two Natalie Hemby songs were really good. I want to like her album more but to me it was super boring with the exception of these two songs. Josh Turner’s album was decent, Little Big Town’s album was alright.

    1. Glad to have you, Amanda! Super boring is a pretty great way of describing my thoughts about Natalie’s album. She’s a great songwriter, but I felt instead of saving her best for herself, she gave her better songs to other artists. I also liked “Return” although I didn’t put it here. It was a nice lively moment on that album and grew on me after awhile.

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