Blake Shelton – “She Wouldn’t Be Gone”
Songwriters: Jennifer Adan and Corey Batten
While the recording of “Home” could be considered an artistic endeavor for Blake Shelton, he reaches a little too far on his next single, “She Wouldn’t Be Gone.” After reviewing Pat Green and Toby Keith’s latest offerings, I made a remark about expecting to see more singles of their nature released. By that remark, I was referring to songs that place style over substance, and this song continues that trend. It’s all about nailing the melody rather than providing a legitimate interpretation that accentuates the lyrical content, although Shelton does do a pretty good job of injecting what limited emotion he can.
Nevertheless, this is the kind of performance and song that won’t be remembered a couple of years down the road, much less when Shelton is no longer recording. Rather than play the game and achieve temporary success, Shelton has the talent to leave behind a legacy if he chooses the right material, and that’s what makes a release like this disappointing.
Thematically, “She Wouldn’t Be Gone” would have fit well on Pure BS–give “What I Wouldn’t Give” a listen and notice the similarities–so it doesn’t make much sense to release a single from a new album when the previous album had plenty of better songs that might have helped push it to Gold status, just like his previous three albums. It’s also odd that WB would only have two planned single releases from the original album before allowing Shelton to record “Home” and issue a reprint.
In addition, Shelton’s phrasing and breathing are awkward enough to not make the song easily memorable or singable, decreasing it’s chances at chart success. He certainly doesn’t have the advantage of automatic spins like Rascal Flatts or Kenny Chesney, so this comes across as pandering to the radio audience, but considering the direction producer Scott Hendricks went with Chris Cagle’s latest album, it’s nothing new.
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