Alabama, what were you thinking? I can’t even believe I had to write the above title. You gave us “Mountain Music,” “Love in the First Degree,” “Roll On,” and so many other great songs. You had a remarkable career as one of the most successful groups in country music history. You haven’t produced a studio album in fifteen years, and this…thing is what we get? Did you hear Florida Georgia Line say “Alabama on the boom box,” or Jason Aldean say he was “jammin’ to some old Alabama with you baby” while he was “burnin’ it down” and think, “We can make cool music too?” Or was it the collaboration with Brad Paisley who was “listenin’ to old Alabama, parked somewhere in Tennessee” that made you think this would all be okay? Whatever it was, this thing is pathetic…you had no reason to sell out, and you won’t be successful doing it. The recording of this song will have been nothing but an embarrassing stain on the great legacy of Alabama.
Okay, as everyone can see, Alabama’s new song “Southern Drawl” sucks. The intro sounds exactly like “We Will Rock You.” They added in fake applause which go oh so nicely with the blaring rock guitars. Then the vocals start, and I can’t tell if this is a bad parody of checklist/bro country or just an ill-advised attempt to be cool, but this is some sort of song listing all the things that make them Southern. “Life sounds better with a Southern drawl” might sound more convincing if they had a Southern drawl while singing it. Their vocals are terrible and not Alabama quality, and they can’t keep up with the track. Then the bridge comes, and with it the only redeeming quality in this song, the piano solo. That might have moved it up to a 1, but then Alabama actually raps. Yes, I wrote that sentence…Alabama raps. And with that, I don’t know what else to say about it, it’s just awful, and I wish I had never heard it and could erase this from my knowledge/memory of Alabama. This song has received virtually no attention except for its bad reviews, so there was literally no point in selling out like this. Their album, also named Southern Drawl, is due out September 18th, and it can only be better than this. Then again, I never thought I would hear this train wreck come out of the Alabama that I loved. If this is what was coming after fifteen years, they should have never made another album.
Here’s a live version–and it should tell you something about the recording that I had to listen to most of this to tell that it was indeed a live version. It doesn’t sound all that different.