Song Review: Drew Baldridge, “Guns & Roses”

The Country Aircheck ads for this song promised “a brand new Drew.” After hearing this song, my question is: Can we have the old Drew back?

Baldridge has been in “throw things at the wall and see what sticks” mode for some time now, but neither the disco-tinged “Dance With Ya” nor the Emily Weisband collaboration “Rebound” managed to find any traction on country radio. Now, Baldridge has decided to play the Bro-Country card with his latest single “Guns & Roses,” and frankly, his throw doesn’t even reach the wall this time. This song is easily his worst single to date.

When I reviewed “Rebound,” I was very critical of the percussion, and thought it should have been turned down and made a less-dominant part of the mix. “Guns & Roses,” however, goes in the opposite direction: This song is basically all percussion, and it’s once again dominated by an in-your-face (yet incredibly generic) drum machine. There’s a slick electric guitar here as well, but outside of an Eddie Van Halen-esque solo near the bridge, it’s mostly shoved into the background and ignored. (Note to the producers: Forcing your bass guitar to try to carry the melody is generally a bad idea.) The song tries to generate energy by cranking up the noise on the choruses, but it’s only partially successful, and the carefree, summer-like tone the mix sets would have made a lot more sense three months ago, but not for a song that’s going to reach its peak in the middle of winter. In short, the production is bland and uninteresting, and doesn’t compel the listener to pay attention.

Vocally, Baldridge actually pulls off a nice Eric Church impression on this track, right down to the unnecessary audio filters that make the recording sound older than it is. However, while Baldridge can reach a little deeper than Church with his lower range (and actually sounds pretty decent when doing so), the choruses push him into his higher range, where he lacks Church’s vocal tone and texture and just doesn’t sound as good. (In my “Rebound” review, I said Baldridge “would better off with a song that pushed him into his upper ranges more often.” I was wrong.) Baldridge’s biggest issue is that his voice lacks a unique quality to make him stand out from his radio competition—I’m forever comparing him to other singers, but there’s nothing here that makes you say “Hey, it’s a Drew Baldridge song!” His performance here is okay, but ultimately it’s forgettable.

The writing here, in a word, is lazy:

  • The song is unusually short, featuring one-and-a-half verses and a two-line bridge.
  • The topic of how the narrator and his significant other fit together despite their differences has been done to death in country music. (For example, Alan Jackson’s “Blue Blooded Woman” is a better song than this one on nearly every level.)
  • The imagery here consists of a single shot of someone waiting by the side of the road to be picked up. How unique!
  • The chorus is mostly a laundry list of pairs that either “fit” or “don’t fit” together, and some of these are truly bizarre: Do “dust and diamonds” really fit together? Is there any relationship at all between a 12 gauge and a wildflower? (Seriously, he could have said “I’m a refrigerator; she’s a bowling ball,” and it would have made just as much sense.)

Overall, “Guns & Roses” is a weak song that features generic (not to mentioned outdated) production, uninspired lyrics, and a nondescript vocal delivery. It’s a major step backwards from “Rebound,” and makes me question whether Drew Baldridge has any future in this business at all. “Dance With Ya” was kind of fun, and “Rebound” was kind of thoughtful, but this is just annoying.

Rating: 4/10. As Mark from Spectrum Pulse would say, “Next!”

One thought on “Song Review: Drew Baldridge, “Guns & Roses”

  1. Wow I thought song was pretty good guess this jerk did nt think so. Can’t do the same old thing evertime.Not a bro country fan but a Texas country fan. You know real country.

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