Sorry Jordan Davis, but I’ve taken about as much of you as I can stand.
Davis’s debut single “Singles You Up” may have ended up at No. 1 on the airplay charts, but it also ended up at the very bottom of my 2017 country single rankings, fending off Walker Hayes and a pair of Dustin Lynch releases to claim the inglorious honor. When an artist drops a single that putrid, there’s really nowhere to go but up, but Davis’s follow-up single “Take It From Me” falls short of even the low bar of generic mediocrity. It’s a sex jam with absolutely no sex appeal, no to mention no groove, no wit, and no compelling reason to keep listening.
The production here is a paint-by-numbers Metropolitan effort that stands out only in how much it doesn’t stand out. It’s got the usual acoustic-verse/electric-chorus guitar split, the usual combination of real and synthetic percussion, and above all, the usual dark, serious attitude that seems to plague every freaking song on the radio these days, regardless of how it meshes with the writing. In the case of “Take It From Me,” it doesn’t mesh at all: The opening electric guitar has a bit of a raunchy feel to it, but otherwise there’s nothing sexy about this sound. After Aaron Watson demonstrated just how powerful a “dark-sexy” track could sound, this thing just feels weak and half-baked in comparison. There’s still some energy in the tempo and a few of the guitar riffs, but they’re just empty sonic calories that you’re better off wasting on better songs.
While Davis mercifully ditches the sleazy, unsympathetic narrator from “Singles You Up,” he still doesn’t come across as someone you want to spend time with, much less someone worth getting it on with. It’s tolerable from a technical perspective (his range isn’t really exercised, but his flow is actually decent), but he just isn’t able set the proper mood for the song. Instead, he feels like just another club-hopping dudebro hitting on an uninterested woman, begging them to be his partner for the night without even a hint of charm or chivalry. Davis’s lack of charisma means he’s simply not able to interest the listener in his escapades or convince them to ride shotgun with him. Personally, I had my fill of performers like this during the Bro-Country and Metropolitan eras, and I’m not looking to revisit those times with meaningless songs like this one.
The writing here is essentially an alternate telling of Thomas Rhett’s “T-Shirt,” where the narrator offers to trade a night of sexual bliss is exchange for…their favorite T-shirt? Davis’s tune falls short of Rhett’s mostly because it lacks both context and detail, and the whole thing feels vague and sleazy as a result.
- In “T-Shirt,” Rhett gives the listener enough detail to set the scene (right down to the “Christmas lights in the middle of June”) and give them a sense of the current relationship (the impromptu foreplay was a reoccurring theme of an existing relationship, and was at least consensual).
- “Take It From Me,” in contrast, provides nothing but an inferred club scene and a shot of a woman in a hallway “running your finger down the wall” (because that’s apparently a sexy thing to do). While the lack of relationship context can be framed as “oh,the narrator is just trying to start something by dropping some pick-up lines,” outside of his T-shirt, the speaker offers absolutely no benefits for the potential partnership besides saying “I got what you need.” There’s no mention of love or commitment or even “hey, you’ll really enjoy this!”—it’s basically a horny guy asking for a one-night stand, regardless of how it makes the other party feel.
Frankly, if someone dropped these lines on me, I’d say “Oh no, I’ve got what you need”…and then throw my drink in their face and kick them in the crotch.
At its core, “Take It From Me” is an unsexy, unimaginative throwback to the lowlights of the Bro-Country era, and I want absolutely no part of it. With generic production,one-sided writing, and a poor showing from Jordan Davis, the song is underwhelming at best and revolting at worst, and it has no business being on the radio. If Davis’s label had any sense, they’d hire Aaron Watson to slap Davis in the face and teach him to write a real sex jam.
Rating: 3/10. Weaksauce.