Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021

Parmalee x Blanco Brown – Just the Way

If they’d added “You Are” to the title they could’ve averaged at least two points higher


John Seroff: Even before Morgan Wallen put his whole damn foot down his gullet, Nashville was already husting to make 2021 the year of a more integrated pop country landscape. A more savvy insider than me can split the percentage of impetus to be attributed to moral righteousness and to financial motivation, but my inner cynic believes no one in the post Lil Nas X-era will ever again be told that they can’t be country if they want to… especially if helps expand the demographic. One of the most outsize early examples of country’s sudden willingness for parity-with-benefits was Blanco Brown’s briefly inescapable “The Git Up.” Matching Brown with the deeply mediocre Parmalee for a twangy, extra-straight take on “Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup” turned out to be a surefire route for a feel-good gold record and a panderingly multi culti video that is, in the words of one of its top YouTube commenters, “awesome content.” It’s the sort of song the Nashville machine will point out as a sign that the times they are a’changing. It’s also bland, patronizing and taking up space that should (and hopefully soon will) be reserved for better music.

Katherine St Asaph: Would it kill songwriters to come up with a song for someone special that sounds like something special? Parmalee and Blanco Brown have a goofy rapport that boosts this a bit, but nothing, whether details or sound, is any different than the last thousand country love songs. Point off for the parade-of-non-models video, glurge designed to conceal the fact that the industry doesn’t put these people in their other videos.

Al Varela: Okay, first some positives! I like how the video showcases a lot of variety as the targets of affection, including one person with vitiligo and even someone who I believe might be a trans woman? That’s awesome! I love seeing this kind of thing normalized! Shame that the song itself is fucking garbage in the most generic, flat, basic possible way, but hey, at least you tried! Just on the video though. You didn’t try at all on the song.

Samson Savill de Jong: At least this doesn’t fall in to the Meghan Trainor / Sir Mix-a-lot “positivity” trap by just replacing one arbitrary beauty standard with a different arbitrary beauty standard, avoiding comparisons with other women altogether. It’s still a cringey song (“never looked so hot” does not fit in to this song at all), and I don’t care for the sound of it at all (generic bro country shlock which would have had to do a lot to ever appeal to me) but it could’ve been a lot worse, which is the exact kind of ringing endorsement every artist craves.

Alfred Soto: With the video a model of twenty-first-century integration, “Just the Way” remains a memorandum of understanding instead of a song: every note as tightly proofread and fought over as a legal document. Parties representing Parmalee and Blanco Brown are pleased, sources say.

Thomas Inskeep: I want to love this — the presence of Blanco Brown in the Country Airplay top 5 with this record, his first such visit, matters — but good lord, this is such a generic slice of “I love you just the way God made you”-core (which is the actual chorus). It could be Florida Georgia Line, or Rascal Flatts, or even fucking Dan + Shay. Brown’s vocal at least sweetens the pot just a little, but only a little. This song, unfortunately, is trash.

Reader average: [3.33] (3 votes)

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2 Responses to “Parmalee x Blanco Brown – Just the Way”

  1. If what Al is saying is correct than double points for including a trans woman in a video for a song so Biblically linked. Just like they said though, no extra song points.

  2. for the record, this is “Girl You Don’t Need Make-up”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyeTJVU4wVo