Song Review: Granger Smith, “You’re In It”

Sorry Granger Smith, but I know what trouble sounds like, and “You’re In It.”

In lieu of the inevitable earache that is Chase Bryant‘s annual single release, Granger Smith seems to have decided to step up and become the new face of regular generic mediocrity. Since breaking through with “Backroad Song” in 2015, Smith has dropped a solitary single every year, and the numbers are trending in the wrong direction (“If The Boot Fits” peaked at #6, and last year’s “Happens Like That” didn’t even happen to break the Top Ten). Now, Smith is back with “You’re In It,”the second single off of his When The Good Guys Win album, and while he at least tried to clean up his act and shake up his formula, the results are no more interesting or memorable than his previous work: It’s just another song from just another singer whose time in the spotlight is running out.

Coming off of the Metro-Bro mix of “Happens Like That,” the production was at least a step in the right direction. The track opens with a spacious electric guitar and washed-out banjo that’s reminiscent of Brad Paisley’s “Officially Alive,” and does a nice job maintaining that expansive feel as louder guitars and real drums are eventually tossed into the mix. To its credit, the mix also does a great job capturing the celebratory exuberance of a blooming relationship (something that a surprising amount of tracks in this lane fail at), and thus complements the tone of the writing very well. The major problem, however, is that even this atmosphere doesn’t make the track feel terribly unique or flavorful, and I just can’t shake the feeling that I’ve heard this song a hundred times before. It just needs something more (another instrument? A less-bland guitar solo? Replacing the post-chorus “whoa-ohs” with some sizzling instrumental sorcery?) to stick the landing and really leave an impression on its listeners. As it is, it’s a nice idea that’s just a bit too bland to really fulfill its potential.

Don’t expect any miracles from Smith here, as he remains the same undistinguished, indistinguishable vocalist from songs past. While he at least sounds more convincing in the narrator’s role this time around, this is mostly due to the lyrics, which prop him up by rarely putting him in questionable circumstances. (Whenever Smith starts mentioning things like “you’re in” certain articles of clothing, that old slimy Bro persona from “Happens Like That” jumps right back into the spotlight.) Beyond that, there isn’t a lot to talk about here: His range is passable, his flow isn’t tested, and he just isn’t distinct enough as an artist to really own the song. Put “You’re In It” in the hands of any other male singer in the genre, and it sound the exact same. (In fact, it would probably sound better.)

While the lyrics deserve credit for keeping Smith from falling straight into the gutter, they do so at the cost of being so unoriginal that you can basically predict where the song is going before it gets there. The hook is that the narrator is telling his partner that they’re in every good memory for the past, and he knows that they’ll be in every good memory in the future. Once you know that, you can pretty much guess where the song is going and what the other person is going to be “in” (Shotgun seat? Moonlight? Church? Rocking chairs? Check, check, check, and check!) I understand that the writers are protecting Smith or not (whether intentionally or not), but they could have at least tried to be clever or interesting about it. Instead, it’s a montage of the same old places that every modern love song takes us, and it just flows in one ear and out the other.

“You’re In It” is the kind of forgettable, sounds-like-everything-else song that Granger Smith really doesn’t need right now, because it’s not going to do anything to stop his slow slide into oblivion. There are just way too many people in this lane right now for a lightweight, weakly-written love song like this one to make an impression on people. Smith needs to find some stronger material, or the next thing Smith will be in is deep…well, you know the rest.

Rating: 5/10. No thanks.