Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

Carly Pearce & Lee Brice – I Hope You’re Happy Now

I hope it brings you bliss…


Thomas Inskeep: A remarkable song sung to an ex, cleverly done as a female/male duet and sung from both sides. The woman (Pearce) seems to sincerely sing “I hope you’re happy now” to the man (Brice), while he’s a mess and comes off as more bitter/sarcastic while singing the same line. The songwriting here is so sharp (Pearce co-wrote with Luke Combs (!) and two others), and Pearce and Brice’s voices harmonize beautifully — this is ace. 

Alfred Soto: Oh, it’s not an Elvis Costello cover? Dang. Deluxe regret, which means the principals think it unseemly to show much emotion.

Katherine St Asaph: Emotions, I guess, described and molded to the adult-contemporary specs of “The First Cut Is the Deepest” or “How to Save a Life” or — sorry to remind you — “Two Is Better Than One. Like a bed carefully handwrought in the 1800s fashion, none of that tacky fiberglass or cardboard, thank you, and also none of what beds are for. To millions of people this is the epitome of real music.

Brad Shoup: They each try to shade the title differently, but I dunno how successful it was. They’re too concurrent for this to be a real two-hander, and it’s up to the impatient backbeat to really put the angst over.

Kylo Nocom: A self-destructive meltdown song that’s consciously trying to keep its rage inside. Brice’s yelping is appropriate for the pain, yet the gentleness of Pearce’s voice is necessary to build up to the second chorus’s glorious catharsis.

Michael Hong: It’s nice to hear duet partners who sound like they’re on the same page, but the reading of the titular line feels more reserved, with the spiteful bite of a bitter ending rather than the amicable split its video would suggest. It’s certainly a shame that we’re left with this numb uncertainty, as the pair have considerable chemistry on the track, and their pleading voices suggest closure that’s overturned by Pearce’s final lilt.

Edward Okulicz: The verses here are wonderful, built on two measured performances, lovely harmonies and an air of gentle care about the whole production. The first run-through of the chorus sounds a bit clumsy, as if it’s too small for those boomy drums, and the whole thing sounds like it’s going off the rails. But the switch to Big Pain and Big Emoting actually works wonderfully the second and third times through. Filing this away for karaoke purposes.

Reader average: [8.5] (2 votes)

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