Saturday, May 23rd, 2020

Luke Combs – Six Feet Apart

Next week: James Arthur’s “Three Fridges Away”


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[5.33]

Juana Giaimo: I guess we’re all going to have to listen to hundreds of songs about being socially distanced, but I hope some of them are less corny than this. 
[4]

Katherine St Asaph: Please submit emotionally moving Songs that evoke a sad, melancholy, and/or somber mood. Think of the kinds of Songs you might hear in a scene when someone is at a cemetery visiting their loved one’s grave, or what might play when the protagonist is in a desolate town that’s been heavily affected by the virus! LYRIC Tip: Lyrically, your Songs should have themes about hopelessness, isolation, loneliness, fear of the unknown, needing others, needing help, missing friends or loved ones, needing friends or loved ones, relying on others to get you through tough times, these crazy times we’re living in, the end of the world, about to lose a loved one, the loss of a loved one, etc. Depressed yet? That’s what your Songs should do to viewers — underscore the sadness in the scene!
[1]

Katie Gill: This is so fuckin’ hokey. Like, god bless Luke Combs’s heart, you can tell that he’s trying his best to do some sort of inspirational pick-you-up ballad, but this has more cheese than a Kraft Singles warehouse. This is like, baby’s first songwriting. These are lyrics that my high-school self who was in the fuckin’ poetry club like a big nerd would look at and go “ehhh, I don’t know, that’s a little too on the nose.” And that’s why I love it. So much modern radio-focused country music is generic, play-by-numbers and positively pandering that you rarely get anything good. This is technically so bad it’s good, but that still counts as good. And the best part about it? I had come up with this mental narrative about Combs self-quarantining and writing this by himself but then I Googled it and THERE WERE THREE PEOPLE WHO WROTE THIS SONG. Three people worked on this piece of Vermont cheddar and we somehow still ended up with “I miss my mom / I miss my dad”?! How the hell did that happen!
[7]

Thomas Inskeep: I wish its second verse weren’t quite so list-y, but I’m behind the sentiment 1000%. I love the chorus line “There will be light after dark/Some day when we’re not six feet apart,” the production is nicely tough, and Combs’ voice sounds great. Nothing for me to dislike here, really. And this feels like a grower, too.
[7]

Steacy Easton: The list making is a little lazy (Billy Bragg’s version of this trope works better), and the production could stand to be starker, but it’s a lovely song, and one whose sentimental hope is much needed right now. 
[6]

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Now that quarantine music is starting to become its own genre, I’m trying to develop my own criteria about how to critically engage with it. Do you judge songs based on traditional, subjective measures (sound, innovation, idea and execution, etc) or does how this music exists in this particular moment in history matter? “Six Feet Apart” bores me sonically: it sounds like a simulacrum of every other hit on white male-dominated country radio. But I can’t help but give this song a [7] — as a documentation of this moment, it feels genuine and hopeful, the type of art that could really give hope to people going through a hard time. “I miss my mom, I miss my dad, I miss the road, I miss my band” is devastating in its simplicity and its sentiment, and Luke Combs paints an incredibly hopeful image of what life will look like after all this coronavirus stuff is behind us. Bonus: it doesn’t even feel gimmicky or cynical like any of the other celebrity gestures. I can’t imagine listening to this in a couple of years, but for the moment, it feels just right.  
[7]

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