Friday, February 19th, 2021

Gabby Barrett – The Good Ones

Just imagine your own subhead here…


Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Last decade, country-pop productions leaned towards ghastly sounding rock. Here, Barrett instead works in front of production that sounds like Marshmello’s pale imitations of power pop. Her vocal performance and lyrical presentation are just as one-note as the production — you’d expect there to be some twist, some nuance or tragedy here just based on how bland everything starts out, but the blandness of “The Good Ones” is an unstoppable force, a wall of very boring sound.

Thomas Inskeep: Pop-flavored country is the order of the day here, and this has a definite early Carrie Underwood flair to it, especially when the beat kicks in on the chorus. Lyrically it’s pat — I mean, theoretically, who doesn’t want one of the “good ones”? — but Barrett does her best to sell it. Unexceptional, but sturdy enough.

Al Varela: I saw so many people trashing “I Hope” on their year-end lists, and while I’m not going to die on that hill, I much prefer vengeful, bitter Gabby Barrett over nuclear family, good Christian wife, whitebread adult contemporary Gabby Barrett. I can’t imagine liking this song unless you went to Catholic school by choice.

Alfred Soto: It’s possible Gabby Barrett realizes the racial dog whistles behind the title phrase but presses on anyway because she can, and she can’t distinguish between a Bible by the bed and a wet T-shirt contest.

Jeffrey Brister: Growing up biracial in a very diverse community makes “one of the good ones” a phrase that sets my ears on fire. It’s a phrase born of soft, polite bigotry, something you hear when people want to let you know that you’re still below them, but not too far below. Combining that with lyrics describing guys that are “not like other guys” (which is a related issue on the axis of sexism and just describes dudes that practice basic decency)? Folks, it’s not pretty. If it wasn’t such a limp ballad, I might be able to overlook it, but… yeah. Please make better word choices.

Katie Gill: It’s a little depressing to see this follow “I Hope,” a song with such chutzpah, personality, and enough vindictiveness to punch its way out of the country music quarantine to pop radio. This honestly feels like a step back. It’s the same dime-a-dozen slow-dance song that every female singer has put out. Granted, Barrett is allowed to put out boring stuff. But when it feels so exceedingly boring compared to the smash hit, I can’t help but feel a little let down.

Samson Savill de Jong: Wedding DJs eyes across the land gleam as they find a new banker song to suggest as first dance material for years to come.

Katherine St Asaph: The glurge is potent enough to corrode the pipes of a whole nation, and the arrangement dilutes fine with whatever. If you want to be very charitable you could point out that “the good ones” is gender-neutral; indeed, the lyric contorts itself to keep it that way. By the bridge, one (pun intended) almost begs for the heteronormativity back, if that’d mean she’d just stop saying “one.” Also, not for nothing, multiple guys have told me that when they hear from girls that they’re “one of the good ones” they don’t feel complimented but uncomfortable, like from now on they have to continually pass a test they don’t even have the questions for, let alone answers. But judging by the comments on this thing, maybe I just know the outlier ones?

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One Response to “Gabby Barrett – The Good Ones”

  1. The only thing Gabby has on Meghan Trainor based on this song is her sports allegiances (