It’s been awhile since I listened to country, and yet here I am listening to a Blake Shelton song. Blake’s song, “Lonely Tonight” featuring Ashley Monroe was surprisingly good. I couldn’t gauge if it was the pop style and feel good vibes from the song that were getting me into it. I ended up mid-chorus singing along with the lyrics: “We don’t have to be lonely tonight.” It has the elements of a country song, but the catchiness of a pop song.
Growing up in a home of music, I heard all sorts of music. Country was definitely on the top list of music that I would hear my step-dad playing daily. When I review country compositions, I need to take a few things into consideration. Does the mix have a slide guitar? Is there a telecaster riff nearby? Is there a country accent in the vocals? Is it about love, and being close with someone? Is there a lead solo after the second chorus of the song? Got a male and female duet singing the chorus? If you have at least a few of those things, then yes, you have a country song.
Blake Shelton pumps out an excellent, strong lead vocal. I especially love it because he isn’t trying to be fancy with it. It is straightforward and packed with emotion. Forget the riffs and runs that you could be doing; Blake pumps it out hard, and that’s what you need. It’s all about jumping into that truck and cruising down that countryside. Sunsets to new areas of adventure; this is the song you listen to for that. Let’s not leave out Ashley Monroe, either. A perfect harmonizing vocal to Blake’s voice is what Ashley downright nailed. Straight from the diaphragm into that studio mic, you can just feel that power in the vocals.
A solid fact about country songs that I’ve really liked is the way they tell a story. It can sometimes be the simplest details, but it’s something we can relate to. Relating to a piece of music is where we form that connection; synapses in our brain triggering our reward center as the song clashes with our ears. It’s an amazing feeling when you feel that connection. If we didn’t feel it, I don’t think there would be as many listeners out there today. I recommend this song to the lonely tonight. There is always someone out there for you.