Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Luke Bryan – Rain Is a Good Thing

Thinking about this – we’ve not actually reviewed “Water” yet, have we? Need to get that sorted pronto…


Jonathan Bogart: Out West our heads have been buzzing for weeks, clouds coming in low from the Pacific but then just squatting there, tantalizingly dark. The humidity’s up, the heat scalding where it’s not sticky. If only something would break. Meanwhile, Luke Bryan is unaware that there are psycho-spiritual dimensions to the weather, caring only about the friskiness of his woman. It’s a sociable enough tune, hitting the appropriate soaring notes, but it’s that chorus that sticks in the back of our minds, day after day. Hopefully. Longingly.

Chuck Eddy: A song for radio to play to celebrate occasions when it’s raining (useful for drought season here in Central Texas), in a tradition of rain and storm songs dating back at least to the Doors and Creedence (and probably long before). Otherwise, indistinctive and ignorable but halfway tolerable Nashville who-caresness, notable for amusingly racing Brad Paisley’s much more thirst-quenching, almost philosophical “Water,” about the same subject, up the country chart in recent months.

Anthony Easton: Has this not been on the radio for a couple of years now, or does it just seem like it? I wonder if all of these rural signifiers are a way of historically placing new music in old spaces. That and some minor nit picking — do you really need to hunt yr babies down? Also, adding an r to “wash” still strikes me as an affectation — make this less enjoyable than it should be. One point for rhyming whiskey and frisky.

Martin Skidmore: A trad country arrangement with added rock guitars, this lively number links rain to corn to whisky to his girl getting frisky. It all sounds very pleased with itself, but it bounces along pretty well, and his voice is warm and friendly.

Mallory O’Donnell: I’m wary of this light-hearted antagonism between city and country being mined here, but it’s tough to resist a hoedown this fierce, not to mention the agrarian philosophy re:whiskey. And for a song whose central message is that the whole point of existence is getting drunk, dancing and fucking, it doesn’t ever make you feel skeevy. How’s that? It’s a good thing.

John Seroff: “Rain Is a Good Thing” is a slightly naughty double-dutch rhyme for farmers’ sons and daughters that jumps pretty lively but never manages to impart its childlike energy without feeling forced. Bryan’s joy is never close to infectious and, given enough time, it starts to get annoying.

Jonathan Bradley: Bryan seems to be trying to jam together two separate songs here, and the stitching isn’t quite seamless. “Rain is a Good Thing” starts off as a farming folks’ drought lament, and there’s earnest potential in “It clouds up in the city; the weatherman complains/But where I come from rain is a good thing.” But when the chorus hits, the rain turns into a flimsy pretext for a bawdy booze-up celebrating whiskey, women, and buddies piling in the pick-up truck. Any excuse for a party, I guess, but the connection seems a bit tenuous, and there’s no real link between the opening images of sun-scorched fields and the eventual theme of plying partners with plonk. As a rave-up it’s forgettably fun, but it’s too loosely structured to retain much in the way of replay value.

Alfred Soto: No sociopolitical import here: Bryan after all rhymes “whisky” and “frisky.” Both as metaphor, object of nostalgia, and sexual enabler, this tune is, well, dry beside Brad Paisley’s “Water,” but the good cheer is harmless, not gormless.

10 Responses to “Luke Bryan – Rain Is a Good Thing”

  1. Plz post “Water,” Will.

  2. Pretty sure this is the first Nashville country song where I gave the lowest score on the Jukebox. (Might have come close with the Band Perry, had I reviewed it, but I didn’t even realize they were considered country until yesterday. And hearing their song, I’m still not really sure why they’re considered country. Haven’t quite decided what I think of that one yet.)

  3. You’d give “If I Die Young” a 2? (Well yeah, you only said “might have come close,” but close isn’t good enough when it comes to going under the limbo bar of low Jukebox scores.)

    Rather impressively, I was the low score on LeAnn Rimes’ “Swingin’.” The Jukebox has no fury like a disappointed fan, I guess.

  4. you only said “might have come close”

    Right, and I’m also distinguishing “what score I might’ve given it had I graded it on time” from “what (presumably higher) score I might give it now,” or whenever I’m brave enough to actually form a opinion worth sharing about it.

  5. Since I wrote that blurb we’ve had a couple fantastic days of rain, and now the clouds are gone and the heat’s oppressive again.

    “Warsh” is typically a Central Midwestern pronunciation; Bryan’s from Georgia, which would tip the scales towards it being an affectation, but these things are less regional than they used to be.

  6. i think that the midwest/georgia split is what i was talking about–but once again ymmv

  7. This must be one of the most unanimous “s’okay” shrug responses we’ve ever had.

  8. drought season’s over in central texas, chuck, or did you miss the past eight months or so? just sayin’

  9. Well, we haven’t had much rain here in Austin. The wife’s plants are dyin’. Or well, if we weren’t watering them every day, they would be. Though maybe this isn’t considered “central” to some Texans? (I’ve only lived here a year and a half, so to be honest I’m not sure how it usually works. But last year, the drought — more drastic than this year’s — was definitely mid-summer, right? And anyway, I gave the song a low grade. So I’m not saying it’s needed all that much this year.)

  10. well, i live in austin too. you’re right about the relative lack of rain, but the drought has *technically* broke and surely you’d agree we’ve had it easier than last summer, which was just horrible. i heard this song on the radio at summer camp and thought it was cute but not great. it would almost sound mystical or ritual if it didn’t use the word “frisky”.