Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Maren Morris – I Could Use a Love Song

But we’ll settle for one by Maren Morris…


Thomas Inskeep: Morris is three-for-three on the singles from Hero. “I Could Use A Love Song” is cleanly written (Morris is a co-writer), simply produced (she co-produced, too, with busbee), and sung with a little understatement. Where Carrie Underwood might belt, Morris coos, and that makes plenty of difference.

Josh Langhoff: I like her better when she rolls her eyes.

Alfred Soto: The reflexive instinct suits Maren Morris, who can inflect her yearning with a shit-happens catch in her voice. On its host album “I Could Use a Love Song” disappointed me; tracks like “Sugar” and “Rich” took shit from nobody, persuasive declarations of independence. As a single, though, it has a pretty plaintiveness that may lure the curious to Hero in anticipation of more — better — goodies.

Katherine St Asaph: I don’t really buy the Maren Morris hype, but I do hear a lot of nice things in this: Suzanne Vega, Tanya Donelly’s country-inflected tracks (mostly in how she ends phrases), the windswept country-pop tracks of the early 2000s. If anything, this could be more restrained.

Crystal Leww: Though you can name brackets of women slightly younger (e.g., Kelsea Ballerini) and slightly older (e.g., Miranda Lambert) who sing about the same themes with the same maturity, I think Maren Morris is peerless in modern country music. Hero was one of two albums that I rinsed last year, and much of the album is about the first truly meaningful relationship and heartbreak she’s been through. “I Could Use a Love Song” sounds like meaning, a contemplative moment of sadness that pangs of slight jealousy but ultimately feels like hope. This sounds like a song an adult makes: Morris never lays blame, instead centering on herself, her own heartbreak, and her own self-discovery and growth. It is a rush of complex emotion packaged in a straightforward way.

Ryo Miyauchi: Maren Morris wrote the year’s two best songs about the power of the car and the stereo, so it’s no surprise for her to sing a brilliant one about how the two work together. “I Could Use a Love Song” is understandably more somber: she has come to church to grieve, not to celebrate. But it only writes home the healing power of music that much more. I’ve took the long way on many drives home so I can let the record run a little longer, too. Singing along to it always feels like salvation, or at the very least a better alternative than hammering down bad alcohol.

Reader average: [7] (1 vote)

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