Song Review: Morgan Evans, “Day Drunk”

How convenient: After I’m done drinking, this song will put me to sleep until the hangover wears off.

Country music always seem to make room for generic young male artists, and despite the “bland production, sketchy-yet-generic writing, and…unremarkable vocal performance” I found on Evans’s official US debut “Kiss Somebody,” his label managed to parlay the track into a Mediabase #1 over a year after its release. Emboldened by their “success,” Evans and company have returned to the charts with his follow-up single “Day Drunk,” and frankly, I feel like I could just copy-paste my entire review of “Kiss Somebody” here, because this track suffers from the exact same problems. It’s both a “lightweight pop-tinged snorefest” and an uninteresting ripoff of Little Big Town’s “Day Drinking,” and if I had to describe it in one word, it would be “unnecessary.”

All of the usual suspects return from “Kiss Somebody”: The choppy acoustic guitar, the drum machine (which sounds a bit busier and more conventional this time around), and electric guitars and real drums that are added in over time. The only noticeable additions are some stabs from a  70s-era waka-chicka guitar on the verses, which aren’t enough to really affect the song’s atmosphere. To its credit, the mix has slightly more energy this time around, and its upbeat, happy vibe is a better fit for the writing than it was on “Kiss Somebody” (although it still falls far short of the romantic feel it’s shooting for). Beyond that, however, there really isn’t much to say: It’s the same old midtempo guitar-and-drum sound you’ve heard a hundred times before, with nothing to really make it stick in the listener’s mind (on the contrary, that simple alarm-clock-esque guitar solo is so uninspired and boring it makes the song more forgettable), and you’ll spend most of the song yawning and waiting for it to end.

Evans’s voice sound a shade more distinct this time around, but he’s still seems a bit too close to yet-another-male-singer types like Granger Smith and Tyler Rich to stand out. His performance here is best described as “necessary, but not sufficient”: His range is passable and his flow is okay, but neither is really tested by the track, and while he feels believable in the role of a carefree narrator, he does not the character feel romantic, or even terribly interesting. Once again, Evans fails the “would this sound any different is sung by somebody else?” test, as the most memorable part of the performance is the background chorus shouting “Who cares?” all the time. The truth is that no one cares, and nothing Evans does here changes that.

Stop me if you’d heard this story before: The narrator suggests to their significant other a temporary reprieve from reality in favor of drunken dancing, lovemaking, and…showering? It’s a topic that’s been done to death from every possible angle, but if we set aside the pseudo-plagarism from LBT’s “Day Drinking” for a moment, this song fails primarily for two reasons:

  • In the absence of any romantic flair from Evans, the song never answers the question “Why exactly are we drinking again?” Most tracks in this vein at least reference the problems that they want to escape in passing, but this one never does, making the whole event feel superfluous and pointless.
  • I’m really struck by how nihilistic the lyrics feel. The narrator essentially throws up their hands and declares “I’m going to party and I don’t care what happens,” and while the choice doesn’t feel quite as dangerous as Randy Houser’s “What Whiskey Does” (the relationship here at least sounds longstanding and consensual), the “who cares?” attitude makes the narrator look immature and selfish. The “bottle of whiskey” line is a perfect example: The dude doesn’t even care that the liquor is a birthday present for someone else—he’s thirsty, and that’s all that matters. This shortsighted me-first act is just plain annoying, and they certainly doesn’t come across as someone I’d want to share a drink with.

Basically, I see no point in either “Day Drunk” or Morgan Evans himself hanging around in country music. There are dozens of other artists who could make a song like this sound more interesting and less aggravating, but Evans and his team do not appear capable of anything beyond forgettable sounds and thoughtless writing. Either Evans need to step up his game, or he needs to give up his seat on the country music bus to someone who deserves it.

Rating: 4/10. Keep your distance.