Dear Frankie Ballard: Do you need some advice on how to get someone to accomp’ny you on your life’s journey?
I reviewed Pitney’s debut album back in October, and gave it high marks for its detailed songwriting and unique topics. “Everywhere,” however, was singled out for exhibiting neither of these traits, and at the time I called out Pitney’s team for not doing a better job picking singles for the radio. (His airplay peak currently stands at a measly #35.) Yet despite being perhaps the worst song on Behind This Guitar, “Everywhere” still holds up a lot better than a lot of songs currently on country radio.
To its credit, “Everywhere” feels a lot more modern and spacious than many of the songs on Behind This Guitar. While the sound is quiet and restrained, the drums and electric guitars get a lot more leeway here than anywhere else on the album, as more-traditional instruments are either left out or shoved into the background of the mix. It doesn’t sound bad, but it isn’t particularly memorable either—in fact, I’d label it “aggressively generic.” It lacks the punch needed to stand out amongst its peers on the radio.
The generic label also applies to the songwriting, which describes the singer’s vision of the future with their special someone. Consider the wording of the first chorus:
Everywhere, every step
Every sunrise, every sunset
Every word I say, every night and day
Every single move, everything I do
Everywhere, everywhere, everywhere
The song is overly reliant on broad, sweeping terms such as these, terms that simultaneously refer to everyone and no one. While this technique maximizes the number of people who will relate to the song, it minimizes the number of people who will remember it.
So what makes “Everywhere” better than Ballard’s “You’ll Accomp’ny Me”? It’s the difference in tone between the songs: Ballard’s plea comes across as aggressive and demanding, minimizing the amount of input his target has. Pitney’s tune, on the other hand, offers a dream-like vision of the future, one that comes across so smoothly that the other person may not even realize what’s being asked of them. “Everywhere” implies that the other person has already affirmed their decision to be with him, whereas Ballard was trying to get someone to change their mind. It’s a small change in the framing, but one that makes all the difference. (It’s also doesn’t hurt that Pitney has one of the most charismatic, believable voices in music today.)
Overall, while “Everywhere” is not Mo Pitney’s best work, it’s still a step up from many songs on the radio today. Despite its blandness, its restrained production and smooth delivery make the song go down easy. Whether this song will streak Pitney’s streak of failed singles and finally catch on with the listening public, however, remains to be seen.
Rating: 6/10. Give this one a look and see what you think.