Before we dig into this review, I have to ask: What’s it going to take for Billy Currington to get a little respect in country music?
Going by the numbers, Currington has carved out a pretty solid career in the genre, with ten No. 1 hits since 2003 (including four out of his last five singles). His debut single (“Walk A Little Straighter”) was a surprise hit, he’s had several songs (“Good Directions,” “People Are Crazy”) that could be considered ‘career’ singles, and he even has a Grammy nomination on his resume! Yet for some reason, Currington remains a B/C-list artist with a single award win to his credit (and does winning “Hottest Video of the Year” really count?), and is regularly overshadowed by the Bryans, Sheltons, Aldeans, and even Sam Hunts of the world. Could Currington’s new single “Do I Make You Wanna” change this? Well…I doubt it.
Production-wise, the song is driven primarily by drums and electric guitars, but does a nice job of incorporating some acoustic guitar and other quieter elements into the mix. The melody itself is a strange blend of lighter and darker tones, with minor keys setting a dark foundation for the song and brighter guitar riffs overlaid on top to give it a more positive spin. It’s unexpected, but it actually comes together nicely.
The lyrics themselves borrow heavily from the Bro-Country playbook: The object of the narrator’s affection is either “girl” or “baby,” and some of the usual tropes are present: Staying up all night, riding around in trucks, skinny-dipping, etc. There are also some lines that are completely nonsensical here, such as when Currington asks about “blow[ing] all our money on some sugar at the truckstop.” Is he planning on buying out the place’s homemade donuts? Also, the line about playing truth or dare seems a little out of place (unless the narrator is actually a twelve-year-old, in which case he’s going to have a hard time paying for the Vegas flight he mentions later on.)
What sets this song apart, however, is that the entire song is framed around what the woman wants: The narrator may be making some strong suggestions about what they should do, but the implication is that nothing happens without the woman’s consent. There’s also no mention of the woman’s appearance—in fact, the only part of the woman the singer calls “beautiful” is (gasp) her mind! I didn’t think this was allowed in country music anymore, but it’s certainly a refreshing take coming off of the Bro-Country era.
Overall, “Do I Make You Wanna” is a decent song with some nice sentiment and some bizarre lyrics. I wouldn’t call it a great song, and it likely won’t change Currington’s status as the Rodney Dangerfield of country music, but it’s a nice addition to the radio regardless.
Rating: 6/10. It’s definitely worth a listen, and if you like it, check out the rest of Currington’s discography too!