Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

Darius Rucker – For the First Time

Okay but which R.E.M. song do you think it is…


Alfred Soto: Yet another entry in a series of blandly digestible and country tunes sung in Darius Rucker’s blandly big voice, “For the First Time” is more beach party bingo on the order of Kenny, Keith, and Luke. Yet he mentions R.E.M. in the first verse — when was the last time anyone mentioned R.E.M. for the first time?

Iain Mew: Pick one: leaning back on a jet black Chevy, dancing and singing R.E.M. vs. dancing on the hood of a Mustang singing the algorithmic chorus of 1998-2003? The winner would be this one except that doing a song about trying something new and taking so evidently few risks with it is self-defeating.

Ryo Miyauchi: The lone, exciting first-time that Rucker brings to the table might be his choice of an R.E.M. record to soundtrack an otherwise tired scene set by well familiar country-music narrative props. That said, surely unintentionally, the very lack of freshness in a song selling freshness ends up speaking less about Rucker than the futility of searching for something electric as an idea as the Very First Time.

Juan F. Carruyo : Somewhere around 2008, Darius Rucker went country; finding the Nashville grass much greener, he just kinda stayed there, banging out hits at a reasonable rate. I enjoy that his idea of a good (first) time involves both R.E.M. and two dollar wine, but overall this comes out just on the wrong side of corny and it could stand being 45 seconds shorter.  

A.J. Cohn: Normally dudely come-on’s don’t do it for me, but this dorky dad-core with its references to smoking and listening to R.E.M. together is slyly sweet. 

Thomas Inskeep: Funny how in some ways Hootie & the Blowfish (like John Mellencamp) have become a touchstone for plenty of today’s country, because this most definitely isn’t what pop-country sounds like today (Hunt, Rhett, et.al.). This great single, the second from Rucker’s 2017 album When Was the Last Time, references the past (its first line mentions dancing to R.E.M.) without wallowing in it, and musically, it stays in Rucker’s lane of easy-going, amiable (almost to a fault) country rock. In 2018, this is what I want country radio to sound more like.

Reader average: [8.5] (2 votes)

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One Response to “Darius Rucker – For the First Time”

  1. I mean, it’s not a great song, but it’s done nothing to deserve that video.