Eh, he’s a thing, I guess…
Anthony Easton: Rucker has a really smooth voice, it fits much better into the metric of current chart country then I ever thought possible. This should be interesting at least, but knowing the notes and singing the song are not the same, and he still does not play the emotions with very much skill — it’s too happy for a heart break song, and not angry enough for a fuck you.
Martin Skidmore: The acoustic guitar on this is very nice, but everything else is competent and bland, country with soft-rock leanings and zero pain in the performance, which is a killer for a lost-love song like this. He sounds self-satisfied rather than brokenhearted.
Alfred Soto: Rucker’s widescreen warble is ideal for country, and ideal for the asides and one-liners here (he makes a pot of coffee and pours it down the drain). Although this doesn’t cut very deep, I don’t think Rucker intends it as such: he’s so guileless that I can be listening to a decent guy describing his relationship trouble, albeit one who surprises me with his instinct for finding the joke just when I fear he’s getting mawkish. If Brad Paisley and John Rich wrote songs for Rucker, it’d be a real American Saturday night.
Michaelangelo Matos: I confess, all I can keep thinking throughout this song is where the line “Yeah, the dolphins make me cry” could fit best. The answer, of course, is everywhere, even if the scenario it lays out wouldn’t allow it in without it blowing the whole thing. Points for maturity, I guess.
Alex Ostroff: This is the first time I’ve heard one of Rucker’s country singles without thinking of Hootie & the Blowfish, which I suppose makes this a type of success. That said, “Come Back Song” is indistinguishable from any number of midtempo country songs. It’s pleasantly anonymous, save for some nice guitar flourishes here and there. Is it better to sound out of place on CMT, or to fit in so thoroughly that you’re barely noticeable?
David Raposa: I don’t know whether that blink-and-it’s-gone faux-Harrison guitar solo is a stroke of genius or just stroke-addled, but the rest of this song — from its inauthentic burnt-coffee aw-shucking to its half-ass attempts to pitch some baby-come-back woo — is the sort of offensively inoffensive (middle of the) road-pizza that Herr Hootie is more than happy to serve to today’s country music listener. Madam, if Darius is singing about you, I hope you know enough to stay the hell away.