Almost-All-Country Tuesday, y’all! And I’ve not properly checked the archives, but this might be the big feller here’s first-ever Jukebox appearance…
Matt Cibula: “No thought, no action, no movement, total stillness: only thus can one manifest the true nature and law of things from within and unconsciously, and at last become one with heaven and earth.” Lao Tzu thinks Tim McGraw, future Democratic Senator from the great state of Tennessee, is simply DREAMY.
Chuck Eddy: Wanna claim that this is the Commodores’ “Still” inside out, but I’d be stretching the truth. Still, Tim’s a really good relaxer — Stillness is his move, or one of them anyway. He also knows the power of subtle wordplay and string schlock.
Anthony Easton: Tim McGraw has a mastery of the studio, of his band, of his message, and story; his voice has grown into a mature growl, and he slides thru all the cliches while suggesting a profoundity of meaning. Beautiful work.
Michaelangelo Matos: Christ, I always forget just what a cornball he is. Craggy opening verses, Don Felder guitar, strings not intrusive enough to hate because what else would come in, a zither?
Martin Skidmore: He’s hugely successful, but he doesn’t do much for me, and since watching American Idol regularly I’ve got more and more sick of classy American AOR, even when it’s well made as this is.
Doug Robertson: Ever wondered what Nickelback would sound like if they did a country song? No, of course you haven’t. That would be like wondering what would happen if you woke up with a wooden barrel where your neck should be. This is the answer though, and it’s as uncomfortable an experience as the neck barrel would be.
Alfred Soto: Multiplatinum-encased power ballads remain the genre of choice for American Idols, but McGraw wants to remind you that he can belt’em probably better than any of those poseurs, thanks. As the religiosity on display here flirts with bathos, the unforced sincerity with which Timbo infuses the line “I can close my eyes wherever I am” undercuts it, and this chugs nicely to its preordained epiphany.