Song Review: Brothers Osborne, “It Ain’t My Fault”

Some musical acts grow on you as you hear more of their material. Brothers Osborne is not one of those acts—in fact, the more I hear from them, the less I like them.

I was pretty ambivalent about the brothers’ breakout hit “Stay A Little Longer,” and never heard their follow-up single “21 Summer” because it stalled before reaching the Top 20 on Billboard’s airplay chart. “It Ain’t My Fault” is actually the fourth single off of the brothers’ debut album Pawn Shop (“Rum,” released in 2014, only made it to #27), and…holy wow, this was a lot worse than I expected it to be.

The production is primarily percussion-driven, with some electric guitars added for flavor. The song starts with a drum set with some strange effects applied to it, and makes a jarring switch to synthetic hand claps (which feel completely out of place) during the chorus. The guitars combine with the upbeat tempo to give the song a slight Outlaw-esque vibe, but the drums are too often left out on their own (save for the vocals), and they start grating on your ears by the end of the first verse. By the third minute, you’re just begging for the song to end.

The lyrics bother me for two reasons. First, they’re lazy as all get out. I mean, just check out these witty lines:

Blame the heart for the hurtin’
Blame the hurtin’ on the heart
Blame the dark on the devil
Blame the devil on the dark
Blame the ex for the drinkin’
Blame the drinkin’ for the ex
Blame the two for one tequilas
for whatever happens next

So…you’re just flipping the blame between two objects three times and calling it good? You couldn’t have put just a little more effort into this song?

Second, the entire song is basically the narrator absolving themselves of any and all blame for what might have happened after a night out at the bar, when they’re obviously culpable for the whole darn thing. The song was supposed to come off as playful and tongue-in-cheek, but lead singer TJ Osborne’s vocal are too stiff and serious-sounding to make the song any fun, and he just sounds like he’s in denial about the whole thing and needs to grow up and take responsibility for his actions.

Overall, “It Ain’t Might Fault” is a frustrating song that should have been better on so many levels. Instead of a fun, clever, rough-edged ode to hard living, the Brothers Osborne turned the song into a dour, lazy, sloppy mess. These bros need to step up their game fast, because the radio won’t put up with junk like this for long.

Rating: 3/10. Avoid this one at all costs.

 

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