Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Billy Currington – Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer

A man with all the moves – and eyebrows – of Bear in the Big Blue House…


Doug Robertson: Dear Mr Currington, I write in reply to your recent letter, undated, but written on the back of what appears to be a Budweiser label. We’d like to thank you for the interest you’ve shown in our company. It is with regret that I have to inform you we have decided not to pursue your application any further as we currently have no need for someone whose skill set consists entirely of the ability to drink beer at a pretty good level while simultaneously writing pisspoor country songs, and find it unlikely that such a position will be opening up soon or, indeed, ever. We wish you every success in your future endeavours and politely ask that you never, never write to us again.

Chuck Eddy: I relate to the unmanly avoidance of manual labor (concept reminds me of Stanley Holloway’s “With A Little Luck” from My Fair Lady), and I relate even more to the beer drinkin’, and I like the laid-back ease that Currington’s actually much better than pretty good at — when every other ass-kissing Nashville male pretends to a son of Hank and Merle and Johnny Cash, Billy admits his biggest influence is Kenny Rogers, which is extremely cool even if I’ve never been a big Kenny fan. Problem is, in this song’s case, his laziness might detract as much as it adds — and sorry, I just don’t buy that anybody who loves drinkin’ beer enough to do a song about it would settle for Bud Fucking Lite. Docked a notch for repeated product placements for piss water.

Anthony Easton: Pleasure for pleasure’s sake, and the redneck libertine instinct can’t even move the song past saunter — perfect summer at dusk song.

Iain Mew: Is this meant to be comedy? It only really has one punchline, and that one’s none too greatest. So instead I try to read for the slightest of, I don’t know, regret or sadness or self-awareness or something, but I’m definitely looking in the wrong place there. There is nothing other than an easy-going, unquestioning celebration of being good at drinking and at nothing else (or at least nothing else worth mentioning in three minutes). If the music didn’t slip down so easily, this would be downright infuriating.

Rebecca Toennessen: Eh, I was disappointed in this. I loved the song title and was hoping for a silly, self-aware slice of country rock, but this is just as MOR radio-friendly commercial country as it gets. Billy’s voice isn’t terrible but it’s not special, and I really hate that in so much corporate country, the southern accent sounds if not affected, then a wee bit forced. The lyrics aren’t very clever and I can’t help but think someone like Drive-By Truckers or Lucinda Williams could do a hell of a lot more with their guitars and voice respectively.

Pete Baran: I though Billy had himself here a song that I could finally use to replace “I Love This Bar” as the ultimate night ending song. But he is a counterpoint chorus and a little bit more comedy short, so this ends up as a one play wonder, a single note gag that doesn’t convince. And I bet I am better at drinking beer than him.

Martin Skidmore: Second only to heartbreak, this is THE country topic. I like the steel guitar, and it skips along pleasantly enough, sung with likeability, even charm, but it rather lacks the depth and ambiguity of the great country drinking songs, thanks to sounding all too pleased with itself. Still, endearing enough.

Alfred Soto: Brad Paisley’s cornered the market on sly drinking songs, but even he can’t avoid a certain defensiveness (like the one about facials and back rubs in which he assures us that he’s “still a guy”). Thanks to his deep drawl, Currington’s tune is dumb-cool instead of stupid-cool, but it isn’t exactly smart either, despite “I love the nightlife/I love my Bud Lite.” When will these guys understand that doin’ windows and drinkin’ beer will probably increase their chances of gettin’ laid?

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