What’s the Deal With the Boring Lead Singles?

gary-allanI encourage you to read that title in your best Jerry Seinfeld voice.

There are quite a few major albums set to come out in the second half of 2009, which also means that there are quite a few lead singles hitting radio now. I don’t know if I’m getting old and cranky or if all of Nashville has signed some pact to lead with the blandest stuff possible in 2009, but wow, this is discouraging.

Recent singles that have bored (and sometimes disappointed) me, many from artists I count among my mainstream favorites:

Gary Allan – “Today”
George Strait – “Living for the Night”
Jamey Johnson – “My Way to You”
Joe Nichols – “Believers”
Sara Evans – “Feels Just Like a Love Song”
Blaine Larsen – “It Did”
Brooks & Dunn – “Indian Summer”
Miranda Lambert – “Dead Flowers”

If it were up to me, I think I might scrap these artists’ new singles and release the following songs from their most recent albums in order to give them time to rethink their new material. Granted, this is pretty far-fetched since some of their “most recent albums” came 3 or 4 years ago, but humor me for a minute anyway:

Gary Allan – “Half of My Mistakes”
George Strait – “House With No Doors”
Jamey Johnson – “Women”
Joe Nichols – “My Whiskey Years”
Sara Evans – “Missing Missouri”
Blaine Larsen – “Let Alone You”
Brooks & Dunn – “Ballad of Jerry Jeff Walker”
Miranda Lambert – “Dry Town”

Whose new material has disappointed you? If you had to pull one more single from that artist’s last studio album to buy them time to work on the new stuff, which song would you choose?

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  1. says

    It’s funny, I was just working on a discussion for My Kind of Country about artists who didn’t make much of a first impression. Two that immediately come to mind with their debut singles are Gretchen Wilson and the Zac Brown Band. It wasn’t until Gretchen Wilson released her third single, ‘When I Think About Cheatin’, that I gave her a chance. The same with ZBB, I didn’t like ‘Chicken Fried’ at all, but when I did buy the album on the strength of the second single, I became a big fan.

    I wasn’t impressed with ‘All I Want To Do’ from Sugarland’s latest, but the album is a masterpiece as a whole. And I feel your disappointment for the new singles from Gary Allan (‘Half of My Mistakes’ is one of his finest tracks), Sara Evans, Miranda Lambert, and Blaine Larsen. Brooks & Dunn’s new one is pretty much what I’ve come to expect from them, however, so I can’t say I’m too disappointed.

  2. says

    “Dry Town” Was supposed to be the next single (it one the poll she had a little while back), but was replaced with “Dead Flowers”, a song I really love.

    I haven’t heard “My Way To You”, but it sounds cliche and boring to me, so I have a feeling I’m not going to like it.

  3. says

    Lambert junkie though I may be, “Dead Flowers” is still my fave single of the year. Of course, competition is slim. If I could have my way, though, I would’ve loved to see “Guilty in Here.” (I think J.R. agrees with me on this one.)

  4. says

    It’s a reflection on the horrible taste of radio programmers these days that they think the worst songs on any given album would, of course, make the perfect choice as singles.

  5. says

    Great topic. This had crossed my mind too. I’d add Brad Paisley’s “Then” to my list of boring lead singles. The album is much better than that song, but the single concerned me about what the album would be like. All of the songs that you mention concern me about the upcoming albums as well. To that end, I’d add “Reba’s “Strange”, even though she’s not one of my favorites, I’d hoped for something better, anyway.

  6. Steve Harvey says

    I’d take issue with Lambert’s track being on your list, but otherwise yeah, what’s up with this? I though hit singles were meant to be exciting and hooky – I can barely remember most of these tunes five minutes after hearing them.

  7. says

    I would have stuck in “Yesterday’s Rain” for Gary, but otherwise, you called it. I might have kissed Brooks & Dunn if they had released that quirky JJW duet, if only for of all the catalog sales it would have spurred for him.

  8. says

    And yeah, I’m eternally peeved that Miranda didn’t release “Dry Town.” I hope against hope that she’ll pull a “Waitin’ On A Woman”/”You Look Good in My Shirt” and bring it out in a few years.

  9. says

    I actually really like Gary’s new song “Today”. However, if I had to pick a different single I’d have to say “Like It’s A Bad Thing” off his last album or maybe even “No Judgment Day” off of his second album.

    I thought that “Indian Summer” and “Livin For The Night” were alright, but B & D and Mr. Straight are so over played on the radio it isn’t even funny. I haven’t even heard the other songs yet!

  10. says

    PS. I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t like Strait’s “Living for the Night.” Most people disagreed with my negative review. Boring.

  11. Claudia says

    Strait’s single sounds like a dozen things he’s done before. You could swear you’ve already heard it. I would have released “House of Cash”, his dynamite duet with Patty Loveless.

    As for B&D, Ronnie’s voice, good as it is, is starting to get boring. More Kix! I would have released “Chance of a Lifetime”. All of Kix’s quirky stuff goes unreleased.

    I agree about “Missing Missouri”, Sara was real good on that one. The track list on Reba’s new album looks real interesting. Fingers crossed….

    • Bign max says

      Wow, what a discouraging conversation. I like all these artist, and i like most of the songs on both lists (Still haven’t heard Jamey Johnson’s or Blain Larsen’s new songs). Sara Evan’s new one is a throwback to “Perfect” and others songs along those lines, so it disappoints. However, the others songs on the BORING list are the BEST SONGS OF 2009 so far. “Dead Flowers”, “Today”, and “Living For The Night” are great. As for “Indian Summer”, it may not have the best lyrics of the bunch, but Ronnie Dunn’s delivery more than makes up for it. Should be a #1 hit. You should add the debut single from the new band Love and Theft, “Runaway”. It sucks, sounds like bad pop- mid 70’s rock trying to be country.

  12. Bign max says

    As for the bad, boring (sometimes nauseous) singles check these out – Kacy & Lacy “Dreaming Love”, Love and Theft “Runaway”, Craig Morgan “Bonfire” , Rascal Flatts “Summer Nights”,

  13. Debbie W. says

    I would vote for “Guilty In Here” for a single off Miranda’s last album…but I love “Dead Flowers” and can’t wait for the rest of the new stuff on the “Revolution” album.

  14. Wade H says

    While i really hoped Dry Town was gonna be released off of CXGF, I strongly disagree with Dead Flowers being in the list… Also i like >Today> by Gary Allan. I havent heard Jameys new one yet but im looking forward to it.

  15. James S. says

    I agree with most of these, especially the Brooks & Dunn, Miranda Lambert, and Brad Paisley tunes. I love “Living For The Night” though.

    The main problem with Gary Allan’s “Today” is the way it’s produced. I wish he’d go back to the more stripped down arrangements of his earlier albums.

    • says

      I agree! I think Gary’s earlier work is his best work. The song “No Judgment Day” off of his second album “It would be you” is as stripped down as you can get. It gives me chills each time I listen to it. Gary has the ability to make an absolutely heart breaking song beautiful. Like I said I prefer his earlier work but I also love the guy’s voice so much I keep buying and listening to his new work.

  16. says

    I think Billy Currington’s new single “Pretty Good At Drinking Beer” is a great song. He has a knack for singing what people want to hear. I wrote a song which I wish he would sing called “I’m The #1 Fan Of Me”. Unfortunately, I have been unable to submit it to him yet. The song is on my website at: donaldstephanjones.com. Give it a listen, and if you agree let Billy know.
    Take Care and Be Safe!

    Donald Stephan Jones
    Country Songwriter


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