Sorry Mr. Beathard, but as much as you want to be an outlaw rock star, I don’t think “Momma And Jesus” is going to get you there.
Beathard burst onto the scene earlier this year with “Rock On,” which his label proclaims is “the highest charting debut single released in 2016.” The song didn’t leave much of an impression on me, but at least it had an acoustic foundation for the melody and had some decent wordplay with the title phrase. His follow-up single, on the other hand…
The production on “Momma And Jesus” is several huge steps backward from “Rock On.” The melody is nothing but loud, overbearing electric guitars that are more reminiscent of 90s-era rock than anything else. The drums (a mix of real instruments and drum machines) help to lend some punch to the song, and the entire mix strikes a defiant, rebellious tone, which might work if the rest of the song could deliver the goods. (Spoiler alert: They don’t.)
The lyrics…well, it’s mostly someone declaring that they’re going to do whatever they want whenever they want, and the only people they have to answer to are “Momma And Jesus.” We’ve heard this sort of eff-the-world ode to destructive lifestyles a hundred times before, but what struck me the most about this song is just how oversold the vices they describe actually are. I mean, we’re supposed to think someone is an outlaw badass just because they drink, smoke, and cuss? That’s as ludicrous as Dan Quayle comparing himself to Jack Kennedy. (Senator, you’re no Merle Haggard.) Furthermore, I found the second verse very confusing: It addressed a lover that had spurned the narrator, but the lyrics were so confusing that I couldn’t tell who was apologizing to whom!
Beathard’s vocal delivery does nothing to help the cause. His rough, raspy tone just doesn’t seem to fit the song, and while he gets an A for effort is trying to inject some attitude into the song, he just isn’t able to sell the listener on his rough-and-tumble credentials. When combined with the not-terribly-rebellious lyrics, he just comes off sounding like a poser.
Overall, this is a mediocre song that just doesn’t deliver on its promise. It’s a good thing Beathard only cares about what “Momma And Jesus” think, because I think this song’s time on the radio will be short-lived.
Rating: 4/10. You’re safe to skip this one.