Song Review: Filmore, “Slower”

Because apparently another young male artist trying to entice their partner into intercourse is exactly what country music needs.

Tyler Filmore, who uses just his last name professionally, is a Missouri native who’s been kicking around Nashville since 2011, and despite making some noise on the streaming circuit over the last couple of years and releasing a full-length album in 2016, he’s never managed to break through onto mainstream radio. Now, however, Filmore and Curb Records are making their move with “Slower,” a song that was officially released over a year ago but is only now advertising an impact date. After a few spins, it’s not hard to see why Filmore is having trouble reaching a wider audience: “Slower” is a reheated Metro-Bro “let’s have sex!” track with no distinguishing characteristics, and Filmore comes across as a sleazy-yet-nondescript artist whose most-unique characteristic is his hairstyle.

The production seems to start with good intentions, as it tosses a bright, spunky banjo atop a clap track to try to give the mix some personality. Alas, the experiment only lasts for a verse, as the chorus brings in the usual slick electric guitars, pushes the drum loop to the forefront, and shoves the banjo into the background, making the mix sound like every paint-by-numbers Metropolitan arrangement we’ve heard over the last few years. The faster tempo and energetic arrangement feels like an poor fit for the subject matter: If the narrator wants to slow things down and set the mood, why does the mix insist on driving the song forward and encourage the listener to move more quickly? The whole thing feels more like a generic dance track instead of a song you would want to make love to, and ultimately it fails to interest the listener and leaves no impression when it’s over.

Vocally, Filmore’s voice falls in an awkward spot between Sam Hunt and Kip freaking Moore, and listening to him try to carry a tune when the sound drops away pre-chorus is the most painfully-awkward thing I’ve heard in a long time. I’ve generally noticed that artists seem to sound more comfortable when they’re turned loose on a chorus instead of constrained on a verse, but Filmore is the exact opposite: He shows off some decent tone on the lower-ranged verses, but it all gets thrown out when he tries to stretch out on the choruses (and frankly, it’s doesn’t seem like a huge leap sonically, suggesting that his range is severely limited), and the combination of his slightly-raspy voice and choppy flow is just not pleasant to hear. There’s certainly a lot of positivity and enthusiasm in his delivery, but it makes him feel shallow and sketchy when he spends the whole song asking for sex over and over, and he certainly doesn’t make his audience feel whatever love is in the air. Even by the low standards of the generic dudes rolling off of Nashville’s assembly line these days, this showing is really disappointing, and isn’t an experience I’m interested in repeating.

The writing here is a mess of contradictions, as the narrator claims to want to make things move “slower” while doing everything they can to make things move faster. Consider the opening verse:

I could pull in, kill the lights in your driveway
Walk you to your door and kiss you in the porch light, like a gentlemen
Or we could chase a little magic before the sun comes up
Oh girl there ain’t no reason we gotta rush…

In other words, he could step back and let the relationship slowly build towards more physical interaction…or he could try to skip the line entirely and drag the object of his affection off right now for a little side-of-the-road makeout session. It’s pretty clear the narrator is gunning for option #2, and it’s not the “slower” one.

Beyond that, the song is yet another nighttime drive/sexual escapade cribbed straight from the Bro-Country playbook, and the speaker is yet another horny meathead looking to score like Steph Curry. I’ve heard all this drivel before, and I don’t like it any more now than I did then.

“Slower” scores below-average on nearly every front: The production is bland and boring, Filmore acquits himself poorly on the vocals, and the writing tries to say one thing while obviously doing another. This slimy track missed its window of opportunity by at least three years, and even at the height of the Metropolitan era this would have been subpar. If Filmore is really interested in getting some traction on the radio, he’s going to have to do better than this.

Rating: 4/10. Skip it.