Song Review: Dustin Lynch, “I’d Be Jealous Too”

WANTED: Mediocre country singer seeks likable personality for new single. Must be OK with drum machines, minor chords, and vocal effects. Interested parties should contact Dustin Lynch as soon as possible.

I absolutely hated Lynch’s last single “Small Town Boy” (it was my least liked song of the first half of 2016), so naturally the track rocketed up the charts, spent a month at No. 1, and became the biggest hit of Lynch’s career. For his encore, Lynch decided to switch to an unabashed Metropolitan sound for “I’d Be Jealous Too,” a braggadocios “look how great my girl is” track that accomplishes the amazing feat of making Lynch even less likable than before.

The production here is so blatantly synthetic that it makes you wonder if the producer included any real instruments at all. Yes, some real drums crop up on the chorus, and a muted electric guitar does it darnedest to carry the melody, but the drum machine is the featured instrument here, littering the verses with fake snaps and claps in an (mostly failed) attempt to inject some sort of energy into the song. As with most of Lynch’s work, the song is plagued by minor chords that set an overly-serious tone and drain the song of whatever fun it was supposed to have, and the switch from the slow-jam-esque verses to the faster, more-conventionally-structured chorus keeps the song from establishing any sort of groove (or any consistency at all, really). In short, it’s just a mess.

I have little regard for Lynch as a vocalist, and “I’d Be Jealous Too” does nothing to change my opinion. While the writing admittedly doesn’t give Lynch a whole lot to work with (more on that later), Lynch’s complete lack of charisma keeps him from elevating the song to a respectable level, and he comes off as a unsympathetic sleazeball who takes pleasure in watching other people leer at his girlfriend. His range is fine and his flow is decent, but his voice doesn’t have a lot of tone to it, and his super-serious delivery just makes him seem even creepier than usual. To be honest, I don’t really understand this guy’s appeal at all.

The writing here features a narrator gloating to an unnamed barroom creeper about his girl, and saying that if their positions were reversed, “I’d be jealous too.” It’s not exactly a novel topic in country music, but the topic is usually approached in a much more endearing way, with the narrator marveling at the woman’s appeal (think Blake Shelton’s “A Guy With A Girl,” or Thomas Rhett’s “Star Of The Show”). Here, on the the other hand, the narrator just feels like he’s lording his girlfriend’s awesomeness over his audience, and getting a kick out of their jealous reactions. Instead of feeling jealous or amazed, the listener just feels sorry for the woman for getting stuck with this jerk. The lyrics themselves aren’t terribly witty or clever, and feature some truly bizarre comparisons (“She comes on stronger than a bourbon street hand grenade?” Really?), and while they don’t venture into explicitly misogynistic territory, they’re still fairly shallow in their descriptions (for example, she has an “hourglass body like a guitar”). Combine poor writing like this with an annoying delivery like Lynch’s, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Overall, “I’d Be Jealous Too” is yet another terrible track from Dustin Lynch, featuring the 1-2 punch of poor writing and a poor delivery. If forced to choose between “Small Town Boy” and this tire fire, I’d ask if I could have my ears cut off instead. After Michael Ray’s last single ended up being kind of tolerable, Lynch may have just stolen his title as my new least favorite artist in the genre.

Rating: 3/10. Don’t touch this one with a ten-foot pole.