Monday, May 10, 2010

Kevin Fowler, "Pound Sign (#?*!)"

Kevin Fowler has been active in country music for a whole decade now, and he has yet to make a splash at radio. He caught my attention with his 2008 release "Best Mistake I Ever Made," but he has repeatedly failed to crack the Top 40. His latest single, "Pound Sign," shows some signs of desperation.

The song pokes fun at certain choice words that some may be tempted to use, but avoid for fear that their may be "little ears" around. The tag line spelled out is "I feel like pound sign, question mark, star, exclamation point," referring to censoring one's unsavory speech. Is the song relatable? It definitely is. We all have days when we feel like "#?*!" I will admit that the song did tickle my funny bone a bit, especially at the end when he throws in "percentage sign, 'at' symbol, backslash, squiggle thing." But beyond that, the song doesn't have much of a punchline. All of the song's substance is contained in one silly line in the chorus. If an song is really going to give me a good laugh, it needs to have witty lines included throughout the verses. But in "Pound Sign," the verses merely describe being tired and needing a shower in a matter-of-fact way that it not clever or funny.
The song's production is decent, employing the usual line-up of country-rock instruments, but it is not outstanding enough to elevate such an unimpressive set of lyrics. Kevin does manage to breathe some life into the song through his vocals. He puts personality into the lyrics with a delivery that is playful and energetic. Nevertheless, the song still has great shortcomings.
Kevin may have potential, but he has not yet fully lived up to it. He may be trying to give us something humorous, but it sounds more like a bid for attention. With such weak lyrics, "Pound Sign (#?*!)" may very well be described as #?*!
(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)