Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jason Michael Carroll, "Numbers"

After accruing a modest catalog of Top 20 hits, Jason Michael Carroll joins a number of country crooners taking the Cracker Barrel route.  His third album Numbers will be released on July 25 via Cracker Barrel, with the title track being shipped to radio as the first single.

Here Jason offers a song that is exactly what its title promises, with a hook that means exactly what is says on paper - nothing more, and nothing less.  "Numbers all around, flying by up and down" he muses against the backdrop of your typical country-but-not-too-country instrumental line-up.  "Most of them mean absolutely nothing, but some of them mean everything."  Unfortunately, that's about as deep as the lyric gets, with the bulk of it made up of randomly-strung-together number references, ranging from "doin' seventy-two in a '65" to "We were both nineteen, and she was a perfect ten."  Some of the numbers are related to some life experience, but the height of the song's cleverness comes with a namecheck of "Highway 101 on 102.5."

There are instances in which "Numbers" offers a half-hearted attempt at lyrical depth, such as the second verse's account of when the narrator first met his significant other.  But instead of completing the storyline, the song offers one more chorus and guitar solo, and then regresses to superficial references of "John 3:16" and "the second coming."

"Numbers" briefly touches on the numbers that "mean everything," but spends way too much time on the numbers that mean nothing.  It ends up being a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The end result is a song that means "absolutely nothing."  With an abundance of inanity, and a lazily-constructed narrative, "Numbers" is only three and a half minutes of pure boredom.

So here's one more number for you, Jason.  Sorry, but you might not like it.

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