All-Country Monday continues with a man whose song is nowhere near as scary as his face…
Anthony Easton: A remake of “She Stopped Loving Her Today”, with nothing added at all. Frustraingly non-descript.
Martin Skidmore: His voice sounds more or less country, but the soft-rock ballad sound is straight out of American Idol‘s MOR AOR style. This is a shame, because he sings this “my love marries someone else today” song (a classic subject for C&W) with real depth and feeling. Trouble is, every time I started to feel a bit moved by him, some other vacuous rock-lite cliche emerged from the music and threw me back out of the mood. I must try to hear more by him — I suspect some of it might be excellent.
Chuck Eddy: Girl-who-got-away-married-somebody-else-today country, like Toby Keith’s “She Never Cried In Front Of Me” or Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Could’ve Been Me” (or Brooklyn Bridge’s “Worst Thing That Could Happen” or Nick Lowe’s “I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock’n’Roll” or the Fools’ “Dressed In White,” minus the “country” part.) Except way less good. (Less good than a few other songs on Allan’s disappointing new album too — definitely masochism metaphor “Get Off On The Pain”, comparably tough rocker “That Ain’t Gonna Fly”; and breakup sex number “Kiss Me When I’m Down”, where he lists stuff she left behind at his place when she dumped him: “A stack of mail/a tube of toothpaste/An empty Zeppelin III CD case.”)
John Seroff: Overblown, hyper-generic and pretty much unnecessary. Allan’s got a nice enough voice though.
Alfred Soto: Allan wraps his sincere pipes around this slab of power-chorded lachrymosity. I couldn’t stop thinking of Tim McGraw, though: he’s a good enough singer not to require the string section.
Edward Okulicz: Glassy-eyed staring through rain-tinted window time once more! Allan’s performance is nuanced and compelling, but the general hokiness is a bit much to overcome. Not so much a man not knowing what he’s got ’til it’s gone, here, it’s a man who doesn’t know what he’s got until it’s been gone for long enough for her to get married — which, as far as lyrical conceits go is a little bit flimsy, and if the strings are probably one teaspoon of sugar too much, I won’t complain. But I will wish it didn’t have so many lyrical clunkers.
Michaelangelo Matos: Wait — it didn’t hit you that she was over you until she was in the middle of the vows. Wow, dude. No wonder your tremulous soul doesn’t quite get to me, even though I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. The strings don’t help, either.
Alex Ostroff: Schlocky strings and melodramatically elongated vowels soundtrack our hero’s gradually dawning realization that his engaged ex-girlfriend’s every waking moment is not still spent thinking about him. Basically, it’s as though the main character from (500) Days of Summer acknowledged in song that he was actually a gigantic tool. Allan is self-aware enough to admit that his inability to move on is on him, and not a problem of hers, which makes “Today” more tolerable than 90% of break-up ballads. That said, insufferable self-pitying schlock, no matter how well executed, leaves me cold.