It’s not every day that a good song cracks the top thirty on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, so now that one has, I feel it deserves to be reviewed. Jana Kramer has flown under the radar somewhat, and although she has broken the airplay barrier, she has not had consistent chart success. Her debut single, “Why You wanna” hit No. 3, but since then, she hasn’t had one single crack the top twenty. Enter her latest effort, “I Got the Boy.”
“I Got the Boy” features a more traditional sound than most of what we’re hearing on mainstream radio. In fact, it’s even different among the current list of women getting airplay lately–there’s Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town’s 80’s pop/soft rock “Smokin’ and Drinkin’,” Kelsea Ballerini’s straight pop “Dibs,” and Carrie Underwood’s pop rock “Little Toy Guns” (that’s nothing against “Little Toy Guns,” as that was actually a great song.) This is more similar to Cam’s “Burning House” and Maddie & Tae’s “Fly.” The acoustic guitars blend nicely to make this something I could picture playing on the radio ten years ago. In other words, it sounds modern without taking the giant leap that the last few years have introduced. The instrumentation also allows the listener to focus on the lyrics, which is something that I have said many times is a lost art in country music.
A song like this especially benefits from the traditional arrangement because it tells a story. Jana sings about seeing a “picture in the paper” of her high school boyfriend getting married to someone else. She recalls how she knew him when he was young and fearless, with “fake ID’s to get into those Spring Break bars.” Now he has grown up and is “cleaned up with a haircut, nice tie and shoes.” The song talks about how the man has changed so much, and Jana reflects, I got the boy, and she got the man.” She does not seem to be jealous of the other woman; it’s more of an acknowledgement that each of them got to have a part of the guy’s life that the other will never experience.
The only drawback with this song is the vocals. Sometimes it seems like some of the words are forced. That seems to be true in most Jana Kramer songs, and I have actually never liked her voice until this song. This is easily my favorite song she has ever done, and I hope it stays around on the charts for awhile.