Chris Young — “You”

Karlie Justus Marlowe | September 6th, 2011

chrisyoungSongwriters: Luke Laird and Chris Young

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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  1. Hoggy from Oz
    September 6, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I like this song, but I would have preferred “I Can Take It From There” or “Lost” released as the second single instead. Regardless, as long as they release the title track to radio I won’t complain :)

  2. Ben Foster
    September 6, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I always thought this song sounded pleasant enough, but beyond that, I couldn’t really get into it. I didn’t think it had enough of a hook, and I thought it mostly sounded filler-ish. You made a good case for it though.

  3. Jon
    September 6, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Sorry, but all the Halloween stuff is a little lame, not to mention being a distraction. Is there something wrong with just, you know, reviewing the record and talking about the music?

  4. Pronouns Abound
    September 6, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Next up, songs with the following titles:

    “Me”
    “They”
    “Them”

  5. Sam G.
    September 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Not bad, but nothing special. I’d still prefer Gram Parsons’ “She” or Jem’s “They.”

  6. Barry Mazor
    September 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    And who’s on first?

  7. Occasional Hope
    September 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I love Chris Young’s voice, but this is the dullest song on the album.

  8. Mike Wimmer
    September 6, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    I want to like Chris Young more than I do, he has recorded some really good songs here and there and released probably my favorite mainstream single of the year in “Tomorrow”.

    That being said, it is a bit frustrating the growth as an artist and writer he showed with that song doesnt translate more onto the Neon album.

    This song is totally professionally made, Young sings the hell out of it which is to be expected and there is nothing wrong with it in a lot of ways. It’s a solid New Traditional Country song which is becoming rarer and rarer to find on the radio.

    That being said, the song itself is incredibly boring lyrically and is just another “Love is awesome and let’s not explore the human relationship anymore than we need to” that is common fodder found on Country radio these days.

    Honestly to me “Flashlight” would have made more sense as a follow up or if they wanted a more up tempo song, Neon is one of the most pleasant sounding songs on the album.

    I just wish Young’s material would match his vocal talents, but that seems to be a common trend in Nashville, incredibly talented vocalists like Young, Josh Turner and Trace Adkins seem content to cut material that doesnt have a whole lot of emotional weight behind it. It may not be totally their fault, obviously the industry plays a huge part, but it is frustrating no less.

  9. Jeremy Dylan
    September 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Like this tune a lot. Hope the title tracks ends up on the charts at some point too.

  10. Josh
    September 7, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Makes sense as a single release; certainly shouldn’t break his streak of number ones. Reminds me of Josh Turner’s “So Not My Baby” – just a pleasantly catchy song from a great singer.

    I’m guessing Neon will be the next single, which just feels like a smash – thought it might be the second single. ‘Tomorrow’ was a little risky though, so I don’t mind a little nice-sounding filler to keep his momentum rolling with the soccer moms…

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