Friday, August 12, 2011

Eric Church, "Drink In My Hand"

Songwriters:  Eric Church, Michael P. Heeney, Luke Laird
No album by a self-proclaimed country music "outlaw" could ever be complete without the requisite drinking song, now, could it?

Eric Church has it covered with his new single "Drink In My Hand," from his recently-released third album Chief.  In terms of lyrics, "Drink In My Hand" doesn't cover much ground that hasn't already been covered.  If you're Johnny Paycheck, you tell your boss man to "Take This Job and Shove It;"  If you're Jason Aldean, you flip him off and say "Screw you, man;"  And apparently, if you're Eric Church, you tell him to "shove that overtime up his can."  The awkwardly-placed line "You be my Lois Lane, I'll be your Superman" sounds like it could have been culled from Blake Shelton's insipid "Honey Bee," while a dance floor reference a tattoo "playin' peeky-boo on your back" recalls a certain slightly-creepy Brad Paisley hit.

And yet, in listening to Eric's vocal performance, he seems fully convinced that "Drink In My Hand" is the greatest song ever.  He comes impressively close to making me believe him.  Uneven lyric aside, what makes "Drink In My Hand" work is the way it bottles all the energy of a live show into one three-minute musical package.  The production is predictably loud and rocked-up, but it still doesn't drown out the wit and personality in Eric's delivery as he "ooh ooh ooh"s his way through the song, and bends his notes around the wildly catchy melody. 

If Eric Church sounds like he's having this much fun singing the song, then what can we do but have fun listening to it?  All things considered, Eric Church has effectively delivered an upbeat, rowdy, and oddly-charming party anthem that somehow succeeds in spite of itself.

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