Patty's new song "Drive," which she wrote along with her producer/husband Emory Gordy, Jr., is a charity single meant to raise awareness of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), the disease that her older sister Dottie succumbed to at the age of 48.
When the purpose of a song is to draw attention to a debilitating disease, I would often expect the artist to deliver a melodramatic tragedy. Thank you, Patty, for not doing that. On the contrary, "Drive" is a fun, upbeat, and positive number. The lyrics urge the listener to enjoy life's moments to the fullest. Granted, there are a few vague lines that are not particularly special ("Live life/ Breathe it in/ Don't stop; don't quit... Breate deep and drive") However, it is noteworthy that the lyrics mention breathing a number of times, and COPD is a disease that greatly hinders one's ability to breathe. Thus, the lyrics seem to have a hidden message declaring that everyone should be able to 'Live life and breathe it in.' The song could be heard as a description of the kind of life that COPD sufferers should be able to enjoy.
As usual, it is impossible to find fault in Patty's vocal performance. Her voice is still just as beautiful as ever, and her delivery is full of energy and enthusiasm. She sounds like she's having a blast singing this song. The style of this song is catchy country-pop, similar to the sound of "That's the Kind of Mood I'm In," Patty's equally-catchy hit from ten years ago. While Patty's recent work in the traditional country and bluegrass fields was excellent, it is still enjoyable to once again hear her do something more in the vein of mainstream country music. This could be a fun song to listen to while jogging, having a barbecue, or say, driving.
Now don't get your hopes up too high - "Drive" is not quite at the same standard of excellence as Patty's past hits. Furthermore, it is unlikely to find its way to country radio. But Patty's main goal here is to draw attention to COPD, and to give us a fun and catchy song to rock out to, and she succeeds on both accounts.
PATTY'S SCORE: 7
(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)