Song Review: Billy Currington, “Details”

If only Billy Currington had paid more attention to the details of his career…

Despite over fifteen years in the business, Currington has never ascended to to the A-list in Nashville, which has made him vulnerable to trend-hopping as he ages out of Guitar’s Town target demographic. He was able to ride the Bro-Country and Metropolitan with some success, but he’s struggled to find his footing lately, with his previous lightweight (and awful) “Bring It On Over” barely cracked the Top 30 on Billboard’s airplay chart (and it still qualified as his best showing since 2016). Now, Currington is back with a fresh new single “Details,” and…wait, is this yet another attempt at a sultry sex jam? Whatever it is, it isn’t catchy, it isn’t interesting, and it isn’t something I’d recommend wasting my time listening to.

The production gets things off on the wrong foot by trying to take a page from Jake Owen’s playbook (note to self: This is generally a bad, bad, bad idea) by trying to oversell the romantic aspects of the writing. It opens with with the slickest, seediest electric guitar I’ve heard in a while, than drops to nothing but some stiff guitar/bass riffs and a clap track (and the drum machine winds up being the most prominent instrument in the whole arrangement), and mindlessly cycles through those pieces for the rest of the song. (There’s a keyboard in the background as well, but it doesn’t help matters any.) The instruments combine with the slower tempo to give the song a beach-like vibe and try to create a sensual mood for the song…except that if you dig through the lyrics (which we’ll get to later), there’s nothing even remotely sensual about them. The mix comes across feeling like a cheap knockoff of a Marvin Gaye song, and just like all the other attempted sex jams coming out of Nashville, the listener doesn’t feel a thing aside from hoping the track ends sooner rather than later.

Currington’s performance feels pretty “meh” here, as he isn’t able to meet the demands of the song. For one thing, he isn’t the greatest enunciator in the world, and he struggles to get all the lyrics out on the faster sections of the chorus (which really aren’t that fast to begin with). His range isn’t used effectively either, as he tries to inject too much energy into his delivery and thus doesn’t feel terribly sexy or believable in this role. (Compare this to “Must Be Doin’ Something Right,” where his delivery is more relaxed and he uses his lower range to set the mood.) Despite the “details” included in the song, the focus on physical attributes on the chorus makes him feel like just another meatheaded dudebro lusting after a woman, and and even though the lyrics imply otherwise, this doesn’t feel like a particularly deep or longstanding relationship. Put it all together, and the audience doesn’t do a whole lot of swooning as they listen to this track.

The premise of the lyrics (a generally unobservant narrator reviews the little things they love about the object of their affection) isn’t terriblein fact, I get a slight flashback to Brad Paisley’s “Little Moments” as I hear them. The problem is that rather than talking about experiences, the narrator focuses almost exclusively on their partner’s physical qualities, indicating that their thought process on this matter isn’t as deep or thoughtful as they would have you believe. Additionally, the details they actually focus on range in quality from the predictable/boring (height, drinking habits, inebriated behavior) to the just plain weird (freckle placement? The angle they lean at when they kiss?), none of which I have any interest in hearing about. The narrator may be smitten with this person, but they fail to make them interesting in the eyes and ears of the listener, and when combined with the mismatch between the writing and production/vocals, it leaves the audience scratching its collective head more than anything else.

Could “Details” have been a decent song? Sure—just swap in some more organic production, have deeper thoughts before the next draft of lyrics, and insert a more earnest-sounding singer. (In other words, change everything about it.) Unfortunately, we have to work with the song we’re given rather than the song we want, and what we have is shallow writing, a producer intent on making them the next booty-call smash, and a trying-too-hard Billy Currington. I call that a recipe for disaster, not a formula for a hit song, and if Currington isn’t careful, he could find himself getting the Easton Corbin treatment before long.

Rating: 4/10. Stay away from this one.