Chris Young — “You”
Unless you’re the candy aisle at Walmart, the children’s section of Target or Chris Young’s new single “You,” it’s still a little early to be getting ready for Halloween.
And while the commercial push for the ghoulish holiday at your local big box chain is a little off-putting in the midst of 100-degree summer days, the fact that this song is already playing dress-up as a mid-nineties Alan Jackson ditty is a welcome addition to the first subtle hints of fall.
At least that’s what the happy-go-lucky, opening strains of fiddle bring to mind when coupled with the easy drawl Young delivers with a wink. “You” glides along on Young’s natural charisma, turning the dubious metaphor “Girl, you rock me harder than some downtown band” into a catchy set-up for the song’s hook.
As a follow-up to the controlled ballad “Tomorrow,” the first single off Young’s new album Neon, “You” aims for the feel of the four-years-in-the-making overnight success of “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song).” He channels the smash hit’s sex appeal here, when he stops singing to croon “Just remember that…” before the song’s closing chorus.
An examination of the song’s lyrics doesn’t reveal any uncharted depths; instead, the culmination of its sound and singer makes “You” shine. Producer James Stroud keeps it country on his end as well, mixing dobro and electric guitar in with the fiddle. And while his sex appeal and rugged good looks certainly don’t hurt, Young’s biggest asset by far is his unabashedly and unmistakably country voice. The singer uses it to his full advantage, massaging the hook until it’s neo-traditional putty in his hands. That commanding sound gives Young leeway for the song’s lame title and the occasional coasting that creeps up when his song choices sacrifice substance for style.
If “You” makes it to the top of the country charts, it will be Young’s fifth number one song in a row – no easy trick for a consistently traditional-leaning artist, even at the height of Jackson’s popularity. Its catchy sound should help keep Young on radio airwaves well past October 31, a treat all of its own.
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