Friday, September 24, 2010

Tim McGraw, "Felt Good On My Lips"

Hearing this new Tim McGraw song makes me long for the days when his music had well-constructed lyrics, strong production, and a semblance of a country identity.  It's hard to believe that this dud of a single is coming from the same guy who was one of the most consistently entertaining male country artists of the nineties.

"Felt Good On My Lips" follows the typical songwriting formula in which loosely connected verses each culminate in a common title hook.  In the first verse, the song's narrator describes the origin of his lover's name, which I frankly couldn't care less about.  It's a strange-sounding name of Spanish origin, but he has to admit that it felt good on his lips.  After the first chorus, he describes a drink that also feels good on his lips.  By the time he reaches the final verse, he gets his first kiss.  Surprise!  Her cherry lip gloss feels good on his lips too.  Sure as heck didn't see that one coming.

Tim is basically delivering another variation on nostalgia-themed songs like his past hit "Something Like That."  It's the kind of song that Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley have practically built their careers on.  That concept has at times been known to work well, but "Lips" is done in by the fact that it waits to darn long to get interesting, and ultimately never does get interesting.  The song goes absolutely nowhere with its rote descriptions of Spanish names, bubbly beverages, and cherry lip gloss.  We are given no insight into the development of this romantic relationship, the qualities that make this woman special, or how these experiences have shaped this man as a person.

A disjointed melody runs the song further into the ground with the help of some messy and chaotic production choices.  Though Tim McGraw has released a few stinkers in recent years, I was still holding out hope that he might soon pull out of the quality rut he had fallen into.  But hearing yet another downright stupid Tim McGraw song makes me wonder if this time he has finally jumped the shark for good.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)