Song Review: Mitchell Tenpenny ft. Seaforth, “Anything She Says”

Hold on…why am I getting such a sense of déjà vu right now?

Consider the opening statement from my last Mitchell Tenpenny review:

“The bar for a young male singer fresh off of Nashville’s assembly line to score a ‘debut’ #1 is absurdly low, so the fact that Tenpenny’s mediocre debut ‘Drunk Me’ spent nearly nine months on the radio just to settle for a Mediabase-only #1…should have set off some warning lights over at Columbia Records.”

This is what happens when you ignore the warning lights: Tenpenny’s toxic follow-up single “Alcohol You Later” was completely ignored by country radio and didn’t even crack the top forty on Billboard’s country charts. (The only list that tire fire has a chance of making is my “worst songs of 2019” list next month.) After taking some time to lick their wounds, Tenpenny and Riser House/Columbia are back with a third single “Anything She Says” featuring fellow nobodies Seaforth (who I straight-up forgot existed after reviewing “Love That” back in May), and…well, let’s let past Kyle sum things up:

“This song is an exact copy of a track I reviewed a mere four days ago…except that it’s appreciably worse in every category…”

Four days ago, I reviewed Dillon Carmichael’s surprisingly-good “I Do For You,” and what do you know? “Anything She Says” is pretty much the exact same song, and it’s also appreciably worse in every way. It would honestly be a little spooky if I wasn’t so annoyed by Tenpenny’s incompetent attempts at plagiarism.

Tenpenny better hope this surprise reboot of the Metropolitan sound sticks, because that’s the only chance production like this has got at getting any airplay. The arrangement is exactly what you would expect from a song like this: Choppy electric guitars greased up and tuned for maximum slickness and raunchiness, a Wurlitzer piano tries (and fails) to add some old-school R&B flavor and atmosphere, and a simple snap track that eventually gives way to some forgettable drum set work on the choruses and bridge. (However, I’ll give them a small slice of credit for the jingle bells on the “Christmas in July” line.) It’s yet another attempt to inject some sex and sensuality into a mostly-standard love song (seriously, the raunchiest thing the narrator and their partner do here is hold hands), but the thing that stands out the most here is just how incredibly boring this mix is. There’s no groove, minimal energy, and the instrument work is so basic and uninteresting that the listener struggles to stay awake through the entire song. For an artist in desperate need of some buzz and attention, this is about the worst mix they could throw onto a single.

Similarly, Tenpenny has absolutely zero presence behind the mic here, and completely fails to sell the audience on the story. On the technical side, while he’s got just enough range and flow to cover the song’s meager demands, his voice comes across as thin and raspy, and lacks the power and the emotive ability to allow the listener to share in his good feelings. I certainly buy that he’s madly in love with this other person, but he fails to convince me to actually care about this relationship. As far as Seaforth, I have one question: What are they doing here? It sounds like both Tom Jordan and Mitch Thompson get a turn on the lead vocals here, but the three singers sound so similar that it’s really hard to tell any of them apart, and Jordan and Thompson provide no more presence or charisma than Tenpenny does. (I mean, at least Justin Bieber raises the Q rating of Dan + Shay’s “10,000 Hours”; these jokers have less name recognition than Tenpenny does, and certainly aren’t going to help push records out the door.) It’s a good thing Gordon Ramsey isn’t here, because there are too many cooks in the kitchen here, and the main course is woefully undercooked.

On the surface, this song is the exact same as Carmichael’s recent track: The narrator has found the partner of their dreams, and they will drop everything to do “anything she says.” Dig a little deeper, however, and the cracks begin to show. Where “I Do For You” had some actual story progression and had a real sense of maturation to it, this track decidedly does not: Where Carmichael would “get a real job, move across town” and “grow up and settle down,” this guy will…go to the beach and go with their friend to “get drunk, get waffles at two-in-the-morning.” (Yes, the marriage twist is here just like with “I Do For You,” but it’s only briefly touched on and feels a bit hollow in comparison, as if it were just a throwaway lone for the bridge.) Outside of the waffles line, there’s nothing particularly interesting in the imagery here either (we’ve got the beach, we’ve got holding hands in an undisclosed location, and that’s basically it). It all adds up to a character that, while it seems like they’ve been in love for a while, doesn’t generate enough sympathy or interest for anyone to pay attention to their love story.

“Anything She Says” is a song that utterly fails to justify its existence, especially in the face of far stronger material like “I Do For You.” The production is bland and boring, the vocals from both Mitchell Tenpenny and Seaforth are weak and uninspiring, and the writing lacks depth and detail. It does manage to clear the low bar that is “Alcohol You Later,” but it’s far from being a good or even mediocre song. No one affiliated with this track acquits themselves very well, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the whole kit and caboodle booted out of Nashville sooner rather than later.

Forget “a penny for your thoughts”I’d be more than happy to give Tenpenny ten pennies to keep his thoughts to himself.

Rating: 4/10. Pass.