Charlie Robison – “Reconsider”
Leo Tolstoy’s famous beginning of Anna Karenina, “Happy families are all alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” can certainly be applied to country music, a genre known for—among other things—its extensive library of songs about various depressing things. Often it’s these unhappy songs that fascinate listeners the most. After all, how many “Outside My Window’s” can you hear before it all starts to run together, leaving you jonesing for “A Good Year for the Roses” or “Whiskey Lullaby?” Sometimes you just want to wallow in someone else’s soulcrushing misery.
“Reconsider” is one of those wallowing songs. For the gossip lovers out there, it also has that extra voyeuristic oomph to it due to Robison’s 2008 divorce from wife Emily. You may recall that the sweet smash “Cowboy Take Me Away,” co-written by Emily’s sister/fellow Chick Martie, was based on the couple’s courtship, making this song about a marriage’s disintegration even more depressing. Robison didn’t write “Reconsider,” (it was penned by Keith “El Cerrito Place” Gattis for his 2005 album Big City Blues) but it sure seems he’s lived every word when he despairs “was I ever good enough?” It’s a departure from the goofy swagger of his better known songs “Right Man for the Job” or “Life of the Party,” but this vulnerability seems to suit Charlie Robison.
Gattis’ version is good, but Robison’s interpretation is excellent, a standout track on an album bursting with standout tracks. Of special note is the chorus, in which he pleads “If I tried would you reconsider/Would you reconsider coming home/If I cried would you reconsider/Would you reconsider coming home,” sounding as though he knows it’s a futile hope, but it’s all he’s got to hold on to as the world crumbles at his feet.
No, “Reconsider” isn’t the carefree hit of the summer; but it’ll stick with you long after your suntan has faded.
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