Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Midland – Burn Out

Yeah, we’re tired. What of it?


Joshua Minsoo Kim: The chorus’s vocal melody is distinctive enough that it should be treated as such. That we hear it for the second time by the 40 second mark only dilutes its worth. By the time “Burn Out” ends, the chorus becomes a detriment, the song mired down by imagery that becomes banal through sheer overexposure.

Alfred Soto: Helped by the indefatigable Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, Midland turned “Drinkin’ Problem” into a tolerable drinkin’ lament, the most persuasive in an increasingly desiccated field. This time out the same crew, shootin’ the shit with their guitars and smokes, rely on a stupid conceit. Usually McAnally and Osborne set these ideas on fire. If these pros were studying their audience, they’d know that adults under 30 are vaping.

Thomas Inskeep: Midland so perfectly nail a certain strain of twangy-yet-smoothly-produced ’80s country, it’s why they were the perfect guys to play Jerry Reed’s “Eastbound and Down” in tribute to Burt Reynolds at last year’s CMA Awards. And it’s also why their debut album On the Rocks is such an ace replication of the Urban Cowboy era — hell, these guys could’ve been the house band at Gilley’s. Lead singer Mark Wystrach’s voice isn’t far from John Anderson’s either, giving them even more honky-tonk bonafides. “Burn Out” is a great encapsulation of it all.

Iris Xie: I feel burned out listening to this song. I really dislike country like this, because it sounds rote, practiced, and a parody of itself, and pulled from a contemporary country starter track. Having elongated vowels with a very prominent guitar melody and an extremely predictable arrangement doesn’t convey anything of meaning to me. It just sounds like a series of mediocre reaches, failed attempts, and anemic responses to some attempt at writing about love. Midland, take a vacation, get some new life experiences….something, anything.

Nicholas Donohoue: Yee-Naw Country.

Edward Okulicz: Yep, this is a vivid evocation of something. But that something is a night that’s dragged on a little bit too long (like an album campaign, eh?) and I don’t want to listen to that.

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4 Responses to “Midland – Burn Out”

  1. I expected to be the high score on this, but not by quite so much. Dayyyyyyum.

  2. Drinkin’ Problem set the bar too high imo!

  3. Iris absolutely hit the nail on the head, here – that blurb sums up both my reaction to this song and why I couldn’t even muster up a blurb myself.

  4. Thank you Ian!!! Super sweet for you to say. I’m glad that learning me how to write about the existential pain of listening to this song was helpful for you too!

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