Danny Gokey – “My Best Days Are Ahead of Me”

Karlie Justus Marlowe | January 7th, 2010

danny-gokey-my-best-days-are-ahead-of-meSongwriters: Marv Green and Kent Blazy

Danny Gokey is at a crossroads, both literally and lyrically.

Like other reality show finalists, he must find his niche in an over-saturated market without alienating the fans he picked up through the television airwaves. And while he was originally billed as a contemporary Christian singer with a built-in inspirational message, he is attempting to channel that momentum into the country music world Carrie Underwood, Bucky Covington, Josh Gracin, Kellie Pickler and Kristy Lee Cook have each made their own, to varying degrees of success.

Fittingly, then, his first single also reflects a man caught somewhere between Wade Hayes’ “Old Enough To Know Better” and Garth Brooks’ “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old).” There’s nary a honky-tonk reference or expletive, of course, but “My Best Days are Ahead of Me” shares those songs’ sense of self-awareness: “Blowing out the candles on another birthday cake/Old enough to look back and laugh at my mistakes/Young enough to look at the future and like what I see.”

The result is a believable, earnest effort that’s bland and entirely forgettable. In fact, the single finds Gokey stripped of everything but his clean-cut, positive image. Gone is the core of his soulful American Idol performances that gave songs like Lee Ann Womack’s pop-country standard “I Hope You Dance” the fiery T. Graham Brown treatment. What remains is less Lionel Ritchie and more Match.com: “I’ve got sunsets to witness/Dreams to dance with/Beaches to walk on/And lovers to kiss.”

However, the most glaring omission from the song is its lack of narrative, the backbone of country music that pulls listeners from beginning to end. Save its dreadful bridge, the only image Gokey paints is one of glowing candles on a birthday’s cake, leaving only a string of vaguely uplifting clichés like “age ain’t nothing but a number” in its wake.

Much has been made about Gokey’s insta-leap into the country genre; however, traces of Ronnie Millsap-grade charisma shine through on “My Best Days are Ahead of Me.” Perhaps the rest of his upcoming album Best Days will better showcases it, if only in hopes there are at least some good songs ahead of the singer.

Thumbs Down

  1. Nicolas
    January 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I hate Danny Gokey, so I hope he fails so he can go away like Phil Stacey and Kristy Lee Cook

  2. Stephanie Rehder
    January 7, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    This song is actually worse than I was expecting from Danny Gokey. This song is so cheesey! I feel like I need to wash my ears out after listening to that.

  3. Sam G.
    January 7, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I always thought his voice was pretty bland and forgettable on AI, so in that sense, he’s found a perfect song for him.

  4. Todd
    January 7, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    wow, hate, that’s a strong word. I don’t hate him, but my feelings are like the old Hank Williams Jr Video of “We are Young Country,” That ain’t country.
    He could have been the next adult contemporary sensation, but country music will embrace him just like everyone else. It will not surprise me if he is popular or not.

  5. Rick
    January 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Wow, not a lot of Danny fans here! I think this song is a perfect fit with all the other sonic tripe that flourishes on Top 40 AirHead Country radio these days. I expect this song to be a hit as mainstream country continues its de-evolution into a mediocre offshoot of the Adult Contemporary realm…

  6. Nicolas
    January 7, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    ^ The entire American Idol season, him having a dead wife was a recurring thing, sort of like he knew he sucked so he played the sympathy card

  7. Sam G.
    January 7, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Thanks for the simultaneous laugh/shudder, Kelly.

  8. Vicki
    January 7, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Whoa…there is hate for him here. I like Danny but I think he needs to go the Contemporary Christian route. He will have fans there and honestly, country music has enough American Idol finalists. I think he has a chance in CC.

  9. Jim Malec
    January 7, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I moderated (removed) a couple of comments here because jokes about a person’s “dead wife” are never funny or appropriate.

  10. Jim Malec
    January 7, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Additionally, comments that are unfounded and unreasonably personal will not be tolerated.

  11. Joe
    January 7, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I agree with this review, and I love the Match.com line. When I first heard this song I got the impression that the writers had Keith Urban’s “Somebody Like You” in mind, with the simple chorus, positive hook line, and the narrator’s desire to move ahead of a past he regrets. But unlike the verses in Urban’s tune, which capture the singer’s emotional crossroads, the verses in this song carry no personal meaning whatsovever and suggest that the writers presumed that if Gokey sang the hook line frequently enough, no one would hear them.

  12. Charles Murphy
    January 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    When the entire music industry STOPS looking for it’s “artists” on game shows and starts signing/supporting actual talent is when the record sales will turn around and acts will actually start to see some kind of career longevity.

  13. stormy
    January 7, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Carrie Underwood, Bucky Covington, Phil Stacey, Josh Gracin, Kellie Pickler and Kristy Lee Cook have each made their own, to varying degrees of success.

    Why do we always get stuck with the worst ones?

  14. Dan E.
    January 7, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    This song really isn’t all that bad.

  15. SusieQ
    January 7, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    I really like the song. It’s happy, it’s upbeat, and it has a good optimistic message which is a nice break from the usual tears in your beer, unrequited love and songs about tractors (green OR sexy) that inundates country music today.

  16. Ebeth
    January 7, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Hmmm…well, while I do like the other songs I’ve heard from his album better than this one, My Best Days, for me anyway, is a nice, feel good song. Sure, it’s not lyrically provocative, but it does have a nice beat, and I think Danny does a good job singing it.

    It’s one of those songs you just like to sing along to. I really like Danny’s voice a lot, but of course it does shine through moreso on his ballads. He does have some beautiful ballads on this album, from what I’ve heard.

    I wish him all the best!

  17. francis
    January 7, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    I love Danny’s “My Best Days are Ahead of Me.” It is a song about the rebirth of hope–a story line very appropriate for Danny. The song makes me feel good when I hear it. (I also love the other songs Danny has introduced on his radio tour, especially “I Will Not Say Goodbye” and “Be Somebody.”)

  18. Joshua
    January 7, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    This is just a fun positive song, not meant to change the world or show every aspect of what Danny Gokey is capable of. He’s doing half a dozen new songs now, I think, which collectively have a lot of variety and range.

    I was at a country music music/dance club where he appeared live with Phil Vassar, David Nail and Mallory Hope last month. Whether in general you think the AI association is a plus or a negative, as an individual Gokey really is a pretty powerful singer and effective, honest live performer. That country crowd of several hundred people enjoyed this song and the others he performed.

    ps – always seems funny to me when singers are slammed for some perceived defect in a song someone else wrote. Don’t get it, or the rest of the hatin’ I see here about a pretty harmless song all things considered.

  19. K
    January 7, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    I was never a Danny fan on American Idol, but I have listened to the song. I think he gave a decent vocal performance, but the song itself is bland and forgettable. It may do OK on the charts, but it certaintly won’t help him become memorable.

    I too was one of those people who thought Danny just jumped in country without giving it much thought. He recently gave an interview that turned me off to his “descion” big time. He made himself look like someone who doesn’t know anything about country, nor does he seem to respect those who came before him. He basically chose country because he won’t fit in as a pop or rap artist, and he won’t gain enough noteriety as a Christain artist.

    I’d probably have much more respect for him if his remarks hadn’t come off as ignorant, greedy and vacuous.

  20. stormy
    January 7, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    was at a country music music/dance club where he appeared live with Phil Vassar, David Nail and Mallory Hope last month. Whether in general you think the AI association is a plus or a negative, as an individual Gokey really is a pretty powerful singer and effective, honest live performer.

    What I thought in general about his AI association just got completely dwarfed by his Phil Vassar and Mallory Hope associations.

  21. Steve Harvey
    January 7, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    ps – always seems funny to me when singers are slammed for some perceived defect in a song someone else wrote
    He chose to record and release it. He should be held accountable for the song he’s putting out to represent who he is as an artist.

  22. Randy
    January 7, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    I like this song. Not a heavy song, but heh; sometimes I just like something catchy, upbeat, happy and easy to sing along with.
    Don’t always like my country full of angst or sad stories!
    Guys got a nice voice.

  23. Joshua
    January 7, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    I don’t actually think this is a terrible song, so that makes it even more amusing to me really that there is so much negativity over this innocuous song. I didn’t find this to be a terribly profound song the first time I heard it on radio, but neither are many country songs that reach considerable success singing about less than profound topics. Will also say in person with the acoustic backup this song was a much better showcase for Gokey’s vocals than comes through on the recorded version with all the backing instrumentals.

    It’s a challenge for anyone to break into the music business, no matter how they do it. Coming from AI has some advantages and some downsides, certainly this article and discussion show both sides of that. People here know who Danny Gokey is, even those spending their time dissing him for their different reasons–apparently including who is also appearing doing separate performances at locations where he performs, too funny.

    Just like with any performer, those who don’t like him won’t support him–so what. Judging by what I saw in person when Gokey performed live before a decent-sized country crowd, more than a few others are out there who will give him his chance to succeed in his country debut.

  24. Jean
    January 7, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    My favorites from Danny’s album are actually his more soulful numbers like Jeffrey Steele’s “Tiny Life” and “I Will Not Say Goodbye” as well as the bluesy “I Still Believe”.

    But variety is the spice of life. And I love plain, simple ditties too; country is full of them. Not every good country song is full of “deep” lyrics or detailed “stories”. Some just make you feel good, and this song for me is one of them.

    I mean, come on -ridin on a big green tractor??? Sexual innuendo aside, not great lyrics or story there; yet fans love it. Some songs are just meant to be fun and singable.

  25. Pam
    January 7, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    I like the song. I guess not everyone will like a song, but wow, what’s with all the personal remarks about the guy here?

    I guess interesting people inspire passion of one sort or another. Or else some of these people have some sort of agenda? Comments about his deceased wife?!- Come on people, have some class.

    I’m glad Gokey is doing some lighter, fun stuff. He seems mostly like a ballad, inspirational type of guy, so this is a nice change of pace from what I’ve heard from him.

  26. Kelsey
    January 7, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Who are all these mean people not only putting down Gokey, but Carrie Underwood, Phil Vassar, Mallory Hope, Josh Gracin? Wow!

    Maybe its because I’m younger, but I welcome new trends in country- I for one am sick of break up songs, cry in your beer songs (like someone else here mentioned), my honey cheatin on me, etc. Yes, I love my story line songs too, but I def. don’t want every song to be like that!!!

    I like some songs like Carries C. Casanova and this one, Best Days that just have great music, are energizing and fun to sing with!

  27. Bella
    January 7, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    why do people have to bring up the dead wife comments how old are you people 5? seriously you need to grow up.

    i love this song it’s better then some of the songs that’s on the radio about a tractor and cheating on you’re wife etc. atleast this song has a positive message in the song.

  28. Andrew
    January 8, 2010 at 12:26 am

    I’m pleased to say I’ve never heard of Danny Gokey and don’t expect to hear his name again, because let’s face it, the guy isn’t going to go anywhere.

    However, I’m disappointed to see Kent Blazy’s name on this song. He’s capable of doing so much better as evidenced by “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” “Somewhere Other Than The Night,” and more recently “Gettin’ You Home.” Hopefully it’s just a hiccup for an otherwise stellar writer.

  29. stormy
    January 8, 2010 at 6:21 am

    Who are all these mean people not only putting down Gokey, but Carrie Underwood, Phil Vassar, Mallory Hope, Josh Gracin? Wow!

    People who like country in their country music. I guess that would also make me someone who remembers when pop music didn’t suck so hard they had to make country pop too so it didn’t have any competition.

  30. CJ
    January 8, 2010 at 6:36 am

    “I moderated (removed) a couple of comments here because jokes about a person’s “dead wife” are never funny or appropriate.”
    Thank you, Jim. I also think those kinds of comments/jokes are not funny and crass. If you don’t like the artist’s work, comment on that, not on the artist’s personal life. That is just too insensitive.

  31. Kelsey
    January 8, 2010 at 7:00 am

    “People who like country in their country music. I guess that would also make me someone who remembers when pop music didn’t suck so hard they had to make country pop too so it didn’t have any competition.”

    Proves my point!!! Can you say bitter, provincial and agenda?!

    Anyway, back to the topic-

    Not everyone will like everyone; the Beatles, Dolly Parton etc, etc all had their vicious critics.

    This is a sweet song and I’m glad I added it to my IPOD after hearing it here.

  32. Karlie
    January 8, 2010 at 7:05 am

    This is just a fun positive song, not meant to change the world or show every aspect of what Danny Gokey is capable of.

    As a new artist in a new genre, wouldn’t he want to show everything he’s capable of with his lead off single?

  33. sam (sam)
    January 8, 2010 at 8:10 am

    I’m kinda with Kelsey in that I just buy into the “its not country enough and it sucks” arguments. I do think people who want “country with country” and pop that “didn’t suck so hard” deserve music that they like, and i feel for them in that sense, but personally I like much of the newer stuff and I like the stuff with a pop flavor to it. I prefer Taylor Swift to Jamey Johnson, anyday.

  34. Charles Murphy
    January 8, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Kelsey,

    For me, it’s not so much liking country/pop/rock or any certain genre…It is being a fan a good songs and THEN good performances by an artist when I go to see them live. There are too many songs that come out of Nashville that are just plain BAD not matter how great the singer might be live. Personally, I found Danny Gokey to be an alright karaoke singer…just like most on AI…Not a big stage performer with a live band behind him.
    Now, Taylor Swift has great songs that speak to a certain generation and that is absolutely fine. The problem is, when you go to see her live, it is AWFUL. Others have good songs but the live performance is pitiful.
    If I hear a recorded performance that is fantastic and then go see the act live and it is really abvious that technology is used to make them sound good (in tune) on record but can’t sing live, I will NEVER support that artist again.

    The bottom line for me is you better have the WHOLE package for me to buy into you being legitimate as an artist and being something good to the musical marketplace in both CD/Download sales and Ticket sales.

    As a side note and addressing the influx of AI rejects into Nashville….STOP IT!!! They run to Nashville because the record execs are going to take a chance that Idol’s publicity is going to traslate into a big career. The record execs also realize that these “contestants” are willing to do ANYTHING to “make it.” This makes the contestants easy targets to be puppets for those in charge. How many times has this worked outside of Carrie Underwood?? NONE!!!!
    (Be mindful when you want to argue this…Because making a record doesn’t count…having one chart single PAID up the charts doesn’t count. More have been gambled on and dropped…Bucky’s time is about up too…Thank god)

  35. Thomas
    January 8, 2010 at 11:52 am

    …too much sound meets too little substance. but believing that the best days are still ahead of him, he really seems to be destined for a career in the churchyard section of the genre.

  36. Randy
    January 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    “As a new artist in a new genre, wouldn’t he want to show everything he’s capable of with his lead off single?”

    Like every great artist, Danny has many dimensions to his music; you can’t show fun, soulful, unique voice, mastering difficult vocals, toe tapping, tear jerking all wrapped up in one single, lol. I would worry about an artist who showed everything they are capable of in one single! I think the point of this single is that its fun, radio friendly, singable, danceable and introduces more than the AI audience to his great voice.

    “If I hear a recorded performance that is fantastic and then go see the act live and it is really abvious that technology is used to make them sound good (in tune) on record but can’t sing live, I will NEVER support that artist again.”

    Agree with you here; my same problem with Taylor.
    I happen to think Gokey has a good recording voice and from what I’ve heard live on utube from the radio tour and from what peeps in the know heard at the Nashville Christmas concert, he’s an excellent live performer.

    “They run to Nashville because the record execs are going to take a chance that Idol’s publicity is going to traslate into a big career.”

    Agreed that happens, but IDK; Gokey was a 3rd place finisher (first one signed from what I hear); RCA took a lot of pains to sign him and they are going through a lot with this radio tour and trying to do grassroots PR; they certainly give the appearance of being invested in him for the long run.
    As for me; I could care less where the music I like comes from.
    If I like it, that is what matters (and I think the majority of people are like me).

  37. Kelsey
    January 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Yeah Sam, I’m not afraid to say it, I like Taylor recorded.
    She does suck live though.

    I don’t know why a small minority of “traditionalists” seem so afraid of country broadening its horizons. If the traditional country singers put out good stuff and there are people who like that then it will sell and they will be able to put out more music.

    But, obviously there are a lot of people who like the direction country has gone and are buying the stuff.
    Keith Urban got hate too.
    I welcome new voices and style like Danny Gokey; I get tired of the same old generic male country voices with the same old sad story lines.
    I think he’s got a great voice. And its a fun song; I could see it on a soundtrack for a movie. When my friend heard the song she said “That’s a really good song, but its a little too country for me”. Huh.

  38. Charles Murphy
    January 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    For me, this is not an argument about country broadening it horizons…it is an argument of GOOD or BAD. Those that pull all the strings in Nashville (the label) has consistently put out bad repetitive crap. The majority of the songs sound the same, same players, same arrangements, same, same, same… Yes, there is good out there but you have to look past the Top 20 to find it. Music Row only wants to push what they think is gauranteed to hit…even for a short time. Very rarely nowadays do they sign acts who have put in the time playing in clubs and let those acts do their thing. The labels can’t control those acts. They already have their own identity because they have been working in clubs all over their region or the country for enough time to have their own ideas how things should be done and those ideas are likely very valid. Gary Allan is a great example of that. MCA tried to form him to their mold AFTER signing him for what he did BUT he resisted and did it HIS way. Allan may have taken a alot longer to get to where he is now, but he is a true artist that didn’t follow the herd. Eric Church is another, Jamey Johnson is another. Look for the good songs and acts. They are out there.

  39. Randy
    January 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Yeah, for me too, its all about GOOD vs BAD.

    Some posters hear bring up the tired argument of “not country enough”.

    But I like GOOD music, and to me, this is a GOOD song.

    I don’t like other people telling me what is GOOD or BAD, I judge for myself. Its a good thing there is such a variety out there for all different tastes.

  40. Charles Murphy
    January 8, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Randy…Apple and Oranges sir.

    And to me, this is just more lame, formulaic crap pushed out of the anus of Music Row.

  41. Ben Milam
    January 8, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    wow. i can’t think of a synonym for mediocre that does this song its bland justice. “this ain’t country and western, it’s just soft rock feminist crap”. there, thought ought to do it.

  42. Wendy
    January 8, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Well, I guess I just must have awful taste according to some people here!

    Because I like it. Nice guitar work, catchy hook, and he has a nice melodic yet raspy voice.

  43. Steve M.
    January 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    This isn’t country, its warmed over pop shoved down our throats by record executives and Clear Channel. But as the song goes, I guess the Hag wouldn’t make it today.

  44. Elie
    January 8, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    the song sucks. I thought he’d have a stronger 1st single!

  45. Pam
    January 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    This is the kind of country I like. I’m more of a casual country listener; a little radio and buy some crossover. Lady antebellum, Underwood, Gloriana.

    I like a little twang sometimes but some of the twangy guys all sound the same to me.

    This song is what I like and I”ll have to check out the album too.

  46. nikki
    January 8, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    I particularly like the message of this song. I would like to be reminded regularly that there is a better future out there, that’s why I listen to this song everyday. It gives me a positive perspective. I agree, it is not lyrically or melodiously heavy but sometimes I just want to hear something light and easy to listen to.

    As for those who think this song is bland, well we have our own take on what we hear. If you’re looking for something heavy or dramatic, I’m sure Danny has one or two up his sleeve, just wait and see.

  47. Glen
    January 8, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    I have always loved Danny’s rich, smoky, bluesy voice. My Best Days is an upbeat, positive song – much like Danny’s personality. I think this song would be great on a movie soundtrack. Can’t wait to see the video.

  48. Brad
    January 8, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Congratulations to Danny. If the songs that Danny has previewed during his radio tours are any indication, I think it will be one heck of an album. Really looking forward to what else A-list producer has in the works.

    Danny’s single My Best Days Are Ahead Of Me and his album can be ordered on his official website.
    http://www.dannygokey.com/

  49. Tim
    January 8, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    I just love the positive message of My Best Days.

    I have always loved Danny’s attitude when it comes to those who try to bring him down. He has always said they are completely useless to him. That they are basically very unhappy people who prey their misery on others. And he will never allow them to stop him from doing what he enjoys. Because they will never be happy regardless of what he does.

    So true.

  50. Adam
    January 8, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I have already pre-ordered Danny’s album, “My Best Days”.

    Congratulations to Danny’s great debut at the Grand Old Opry tonight. His voice was strong and clear; he took command of the stage. And I love where he spoke to the audience.

    Danny has really worked hard and should be very proud of all that he has achieved. Danny’s best days are definitely ahead of him.

  51. stormy
    January 9, 2010 at 12:25 am

    The other problem with this song is that is serves to remind all of us that Gokey’s best days are behind him since AI won’t let him on again. Unless, maybe, he can pull off doing the X-Factor.

    Randy:
    Like every great artist, Danny has many dimensions to his music; you can’t show fun, soulful, unique voice, mastering difficult vocals, toe tapping, tear jerking all wrapped up in one single, lol.

    Well, maybe Danny Gokey can’t.

    Kelsey
    I don’t know why a small minority of “traditionalists” seem so afraid of country broadening its horizons. If the traditional country singers put out good stuff and there are people who like that then it will sell and they will be able to put out more music.

    How does it broaden country’s horizon’s to make it sound like pop music? All that does is completely remove country music from the picture entirly. I’ll make a small confession to you–I’m 35. I’m really old. I am SOOO old I can remember a time when:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tS772hQEva4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxzJAF1BxP4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gho0lsR-zeY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79WNoVyZ1fE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjI5wotM_ZU
    All got played on the same station, and that was called country.
    I remember a time when rock ranged from:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYPSZiE0OAs to
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVxiHC9AJQw to
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wa2nLEhUcZ0
    I remember a time when pop ranged from:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5nE1J0lKpY to
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWyeVfuolT4 to
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tov22NtCMC4

    What calling music Like Danny Gokey’s country does is push all music towards a mushy middle where everything sounds like everything else. It not only reduces diversity in country, it reduces diversity in all genres of music. And it hurts the industry, not in a small picture I-can’t-find-music-I-like sort of way, but in a very real big picture the-music-industry-cannot-sell-enough-music-to-keep-itself-in-business way. Which makes it less likely any of us will keep getting the music they like.

  52. Mike
    January 9, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Congratulations to Danny on his great performances at the Grand Old Opry. The mc called him “excellent” and said “he definitely has a future in country music”.

  53. Jake
    January 9, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Actually Danny is slated to debut his album on Season 9 in Mar. That will be a huge platform for him. And in Mar, they would have only started the Top 10.

    I listened to his Grand Old Opry debut – and Danny was definitely a hit. The audience was going wild. And it was such an affirmation when they said he was excellent and that they definitely saw him having a future in Country music.

  54. countryfan
    January 9, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Who said Danny was the first one signed! LOL He got signed right at the cutoff! Danny stated country would be his last resort. Well I guess it was country or bust! Danny has a nice voice, no doubt, but to me he is not using it where he would shine. He is all about competition and wanting to be best. He wants the fame and brags that his fans think his covers sound better than the originals! Of course his fans will tell him that! He doesn’t just want success, he wants FAME! I can see him watching Idol with his wife saying “Ha listen to that, I BET I COULD TRY OUT AND OUT SING EVERYONE! I THINK I WILL TRY IT!” Never in any interview did he ever say it was a long time dream of his to become a country singer, or any type of career in music for that matter. He tried out for idol just to challenge the others, that is all!

  55. stef
    January 9, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Danny actually is expected to appear on AI9, probably in March when his album is due out. He is signed to 19 Recording / RCA Nashville — no reason in the world to think that AI would not support Danny, they always liked him and thought he had a great voice.

    I was at the Opry show last evening (both of them). While the big star was definitely Hank Williams, Jr., Danny sounded strong and was in excellent voice. He was very humble and was warmly welcomed and the crowd loved the four songs he sang. Of the younger generation performers, he got an equal or better reception to all of them except maybe Chris Young who’s had a top hit and is from TN.

    At least three of the hosts/announcers on the Opry stage emphasized how it was their goal to recognize and present a variety of styles and sounds representing country music, from very traditional to what one called “contemporary country.”

  56. CarolinaGirl
    January 9, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Atually I have now heard 6 of the songs slated for the CD. If you want narrative there are other songs that will fit the bill. The decision to come out with an upbeat feel good song was made by the record company.

    What I am concerned about this review is that there is no separation between the the actual song and the delivery of the song. I understand that the song may not be to your liking but how was the delivery. How is his performance of the song?

    As Danny fans go we tend to stay away from negative reviews. We have been beaten up with some of the most vile, hateful, hurtful, and vulgar non-fan attacks that we tend to lurk in the shadows. Some fans have even been personally cyber attacked so forgive us if we are gun shy to expose ourselves and make ourseves targets of attacks.

    This is one fan who is poud to say I like the song, the performer and the other songs on the CD.

  57. Brad
    January 9, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Someone mention Gary Allen. I LOVE Gary Allen! Now there is some talent! And many may not know this but Gary Allen lost his wife VERY tragically, but you know why many don’t know? He didn’t SHOVE it down our throats!

  58. FIREFLIES
    January 9, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Hey come on guys!! Danny Gokey is certainly NOT a karaoke singer! I have seen performances of him singing live – all his new tracks!!
    He can give most singers a run for their money in the ‘live’ concert atmosphere.
    This new single is as it is – a catchy, upbeat song! He sings it very well and with emotion. Danny is a performer and has an amazing, expressive voice!!
    You may not like this song – but come on – please, this guy can SING!!!
    Also – stop the pathetic and hurtful comments on this guy as a person.
    I can’t believe how awful some of you people can be….
    This guy has buckets of talent and I for one hope he has continued success in all he does.
    THUMBS UP for ‘My Best Days Are Ahead Of Me’ :)

  59. Cheyne
    January 9, 2010 at 9:45 am

    What a honor it is to be invited to perform at the Grand Old Opry – especially for a new artist. But Danny definitely rose to the occasion. He did himself proud – and from the cheers and applause, it sounded like the audience was loving it.

    I love My Best Days Are Ahead Of Me. I agree, I can see this song being played in the background of a movie. Really looking forward to Danny’s album.

  60. Randy
    January 9, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Stormy, since you personally addressed my comments I will address you back:

    The other problem with this song is that is serves to remind all of us that Gokey’s best days are behind him since AI won’t let him on again. Unless, maybe, he can pull off doing the X-Factor.

    Randy:
    Like every great artist, Danny has many dimensions to his music; you can’t show fun, soulful, unique voice, mastering difficult vocals, toe tapping, tear jerking all wrapped up in one single, lol.

    “Well, maybe Danny Gokey can’t.”

    Now, if you are going to diss someone; at least be intelligent about it, not juvenile. I think my comment states well, that every song has a purpose and doesn’t fulfill every emotion/show all dimensions to their artistry. You really, think all artists should have a song that shows fun, tear jerkining, toe tapping all in one song, REALLY?

    “The other problem with this song is that is serves to remind all of us that Gokey’s best days are behind him since AI won’t let him on again.”

    Get your facts straight if you want to go on record in print. He will be on AI9 again. Say what you will, but the producers and judges obviously loved Gokey- you will see that if you watch the reruns.

    If you are old, 35, (LOL, you need to take a hint from this great song- “Age aint nothin but a number”!)
    then you are old enough to have learned enough in life to know it is a waste of time to to spend such massive amounts of time being negative. You will have no effect on Danny Gokey’s career, so why don’t you do something positive with your short time on earth here?

    Your option not to like the guy, don’t buy. There are many who will like him.

  61. PPSUNCHINA
    January 9, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I LOVE My Best Days Are Ahead Of Me,IT’S GREAT.THERE R SO MANY DANNYFANS IN CHIAN.WE LOVE THE GUY!

  62. Sherry
    January 9, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I think this is a great uptempo song with a positive message. Danny Gokey is an incredible singer. I like modern country. I have heard some other cuts from his upcoming cd and they are all very, very good. One of the songs Tiny Life is written by Jeffery Steele. There is room in country for all styles. Danny’s cd is going to be fantastic. I love Danny and as a country listener am extremely happy he has chosen country music as his home.

  63. sam (sam)
    January 9, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Although I am not a Gokey fan, and I think the review makes some valid points, I am in sympathy with most of Randy’s comments three posts above. Some of the extreme disdain shown for Gokey in the posts seems unnecessary and unreasonable to me.

  64. nina
    January 9, 2010 at 10:59 am

    “just love the positive message of My Best Days.

    I have always loved Danny’s attitude when it comes to those who try to bring him down. He has always said they are completely useless to him. That they are basically very unhappy people who prey their misery on others. And he will never allow them to stop him from doing what he enjoys. Because they will never be happy regardless of what he does.

    So true.”

    Tim – Well said and I totally agree!

    Danny is one excellent and talented singer who connects to his audience everytime he sings. His voice is just so powerful and he is not afraid to bare his soul and emotions when he sings and I admire him for that.

    True, there will always be some who won’t like him (he can’t please everyone, you know) but please be mature enough to not attack him as a person. I’m sure people who negatively comment about him as a person have not even met him personally. And I bet those who say that he’s so-so singer cannot even sing themselves. If you don’t like him, just leave him alone and support those who you like.

    Oh, by the way, he’s single is out and his album can be preordered at:
    http://www.dannygokey.com and http://www.amazon.com

  65. stormy
    January 9, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Randy:
    Now, if you are going to diss someone; at least be intelligent about it, not juvenile. I think my comment states well, that every song has a purpose and doesn’t fulfill every emotion/show all dimensions to their artistry. You really, think all artists should have a song that shows fun, tear jerkining, toe tapping all in one song, REALLY?

    I don’t think that all singers have to, I just know that better artists than Gokey can.

    Get your facts straight if you want to go on record in print. He will be on AI9 again. Say what you will, but the producers and judges obviously loved Gokey- you will see that if you watch the reruns.

    I apologize. I should have clarified that they would not let him on for the sustained publicity that being a contestant gets you. They also let the old contestants come back on and pimp their products–even Brooke White. We saw how well that worked out for Brooke.

    If you are old, 35, (LOL, you need to take a hint from this great song- “Age aint nothin but a number”!)

    Real country singers have a great sense of humor, sarcasm and irony. Their fans know how to make and take a joke.

    You will have no effect on Danny Gokey’s career, so why don’t you do something positive with your short time on earth here?

    Actually, most artists careers are more affected by the fans that don’t buy their albums than the ones who do. Not being able to sell to people who aren’t your rabid fan base if the difference between having a recording contract or not. Smaller, indie artists can afford to carve out a niche and stay there, but Gokey can’t make it on the smaller promotion budget of an indie artist.
    As for being positive, when you look at the negative impact someone like Gokey calling themselves country does for the entire industry, fighting against that is the most positive thing you can do.

  66. Randy
    January 9, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    The post above just once again reiterates my point about people having an agenda and going out of their way to personally attack a performer. Only people who are threatened by someone are so personally invested.

    Thank you Sam (Sam)for your sympathy, lol; as an objective observer you really do get it.

  67. Coriellen
    January 9, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    I have 4 of Danny’s albums pre-ordered thus far. I have no doubts that it will be a hit. He has so many great songs on it, don’t know which I like the best….let’s just say I love them all.

    Congratulations Danny – Don’t change what you’re doing. You’re already a star IMO!!

  68. cyntx
    January 9, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Gokey’s voice has a quality that transcends genre lines. Definitely will be buying the cd and seeing what the kid can deliver. If AL 9 is any indication, I won’t be disappointed.

  69. Marilyn
    January 9, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    I’m completely confused by the above article. Are you dissing Danny Gokey or are you dissing his music?

    Are you against contemporary country music or just this “bland” song?

    As a life-long (in my 60’s) country music listener, the last few years I have quit buying cd’s and just listen on the radio, mostly while I’m driving to work.

    And the reason for that is,I think, that I have lost interest in country music. I’m tired of the sameness and lack luster songs. But actually I like “My Best Days”.

    Songs that I’m very tired of are like: White Liar(sounds like White Lightening) and is a really stupid song and there are tons of those out there similar to that one. Most songs are sounding too much the same, except I really do love Lady Anebellum’s “I Need You Now” and Reba’s new song, “”Consider me Gone” is good. Carrie’s new song, “Temporary Home” is growing on me==but most of the other stuff does not even register when I listen. I don’t really like it!

    To me, Danny Gokey’s music is refreshing. I will buy his music– and that will be the first for me in years!

    Thank you for your article though, it made me think why I quit enjoying country music so much. Not “bland” songs, but bad songs all sounding country but not good.

    Mr. Gokey has a refreshing sound and when I hear it I try to say to myself, Yeah, My best days really can be ahead of me.

  70. Kelsey
    January 9, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Marilyn, awesome post above!

    I am young and can completely relate to what you say, lol. That is why I like a lot of the newer stuff, it is different. So many country songs(esp male voices) seem generic and lyric material the same.

    This song is lyrically simple, yes, but to me he has a sweet different voice, the guitars are great and it just gives me energy and I sing along.

    Wow, its funny how many posts are on this article! I bet this blog doesn’t usually get so many comments, lol

  71. Razor X
    January 9, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    I bet this blog doesn’t usually get so many comments, lol.

    You’re on. How much do you want to bet?

  72. stormy
    January 9, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    You have to be pretty new to the internet not to expect anything about AI Contestants to get response from their people:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4649112/

  73. Billie
    January 9, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    I agree with you Cyntx, you stated it very well; his voice did transcend geners. I wasn’t a big fan of country music even though I sang it for almost a decade (country/rock) with a very good band. But this kind of country is something I could get into. My daughter pre-ordered Dannys’ new CD; from all that I’ve heard, it going to be a great album. Go Danny, I wish you all the success you can handle!

  74. Steve M.
    January 9, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    What I find sad is this clown’s review got over 70 comments while Reckless Kelly only has about 6. But hey, why listen to a band who learned and perfected their craft by touring when you can find someone via a televised karaoke contest.

  75. Kelsey
    January 9, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Stormy, I am new to the internet, actually, and just started frequenting some country blogs. Don’t know if I will continue though; there are some pretty nasty people on some of these. Goes beyond just giving an opinion I think.

    I like all different kinds of music; including pop country.

    Cyntx, not really sure by what you mean about Danny’s voice transcending genres, if that means he can sing anything, I agree! I just love the tonal quality of his voice; he makes anything sound good.
    I usually go for more alternative rock, but am starting to be introduced to more country because of Danny and am finding I like some of it like Lady Antebellum and Gloriana.

  76. Kelsey
    January 9, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    BTW Razor-Re # comments:

    I looked back just at recent Album reviews and comments only numbered 5-37; except for one notable exception:
    Carrie Underwood- another one of those “Karaoke” American Idol people.
    So I don’t think my comment about 70 comments being a lot was too strange, when one blog about one single generates that many comments compared to all the other full album reviews? (except for of course who many people call the new queen of country, Carrie)

  77. stormy
    January 9, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Kelsey: You will probably find comments quite nasty if you insist on talking up pop acts on country websites. You really don’t want to know the board consensus on Gloriana.

  78. Kelsey
    January 9, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    OOOkaay; guess I am done with this one. Will try another one where open discussion is welcomed.

    Re Board Consensus: Have fun agreeing with each other that you all know what is good and no one else does. It must feel good to be so right in your little world.

    Bye.

  79. Razor X
    January 9, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    I wonder if this is the same Kelsey who dissed Patsy Cline on Amazon, comparing her unfavorably to Taylor Swift:

    http://www.amazon.com/Patsy-Cline-12-Greatest-Hits/product-reviews/B000002NVT/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_1?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&filterBy=addOneStar

  80. Steve M.
    January 9, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Razor, but Patsy Cline has that annoying twang. So does Hank Williams. And Mel Tillis stutters. And Willie Nelson is old and wrinkly. Kelsey just wants to listen to the pretty people.

  81. Razor X
    January 9, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Razor, but Patsy Cline has that annoying twang. So does Hank Williams. And Mel Tillis stutters. And Willie Nelson is old and wrinkly. Kelsey just wants to listen to the pretty people.

    Oh … well, that’s all right then.

  82. stormy
    January 9, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Razor: She also recommends Ashley Simpson over Cat Power, Carrie Underwood over Janis Joplin and Transformers over The Godfather.

    We are failing the youth of America.

  83. Steve M.
    January 9, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    I blame the new math.

  84. stormy
    January 10, 2010 at 12:01 am
  85. Steve M.
    January 10, 2010 at 12:03 am

    I must have missed that. My face was always buried in a book. And my headphones full of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin in the 80s.

  86. Steve M.
    January 10, 2010 at 12:32 am

    I needed to add, I have to think that those Amazon reviews had to be written, tongue in cheek. I mean, Tranformers over The Godfather?

  87. Dan E.
    January 10, 2010 at 1:19 am

    Steve M.: Maybe you, Stormy, and Razor X can make some pointless conversation on Reckless Kelly’s review to increase his numbers. You obviously don’t mind doing to it to someone you don’t like. (therefore giving him more time in the spotlight and higher numbers)

    Kelsey: You have done nothing wrong. You can like whomever you like. A lot of people may disagree on certain blogs, but hopefully most will be respectful about it. Once you find one you like, posting things can be a lot of fun.

  88. Steve M.
    January 10, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Well Dan, your long nightmare is over. Football is over and American Idol is back. You can have viewing parties again assuming you don’t have school in the morning.

  89. Dan E.
    January 10, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Steve M.: Actually, football is still going on. American Idol isn’t back until Tuesday. So, this pointless conversation is still going on, but at least it’s helping Danny out. Thanks a lot!

  90. Steve M.
    January 10, 2010 at 1:37 am

    How exactly does it help this talentless hack? Does it warm his cockles? Build his fragile ego? Replace the love his father never gave him? Or allow him to stop living in the Hyundai?

  91. Dan E.
    January 10, 2010 at 1:46 am

    I know Kelsey is long gone probably at this point, but she can surely find a blog site that doesn’t include mean-spirited people on a regular basis such as Steve M. Here’s hoping anyway!

  92. Steve M.
    January 10, 2010 at 1:50 am

    Well I am sure she can find a place where that nasty Patsy Cline’s music won’t bother her. And where no one has ever heard of Hank Williams.

  93. Steve Harvey
    January 10, 2010 at 7:11 am

    This thread makes my head hurt, almost as much as this song does. ‘country music’ is really in a shocking state these days.

    And to all the people who say they like this song due to its ‘positive message’ – really? Personally, I don’t listen to songs for their messages, I listen to music for entertainment. That requires a distinctive artistic personality, songs with character, distinctive production. The ‘country music’ industry seems to offer this less and less these days. I mean, The High Cost of Living offers a positive lesson about living your life, but in a far less nauseating way than this bilge.

  94. sam (sam)
    January 10, 2010 at 9:01 am

    I have to agree with Kelsey when she says, “guess I am done with this one. Will try another one where open discussion is welcomed.”

    Although I am no Gokey fan, its quite reasonable for her to like Gokey and its quite reasonable for her to like the particular song.

    Many of the attacks on Gokey come across to me as hysterical and overdrawn. Some are downright mean-spirited. Many of them go beyond listing legitimate criticisms of the song (and there are many – I basically agree with most of Karlie’s review) and come across as sinking to the level of personal attack for the sake of personal attack.

    And there’s more. This only takes into account the comments that didn’t get removed. Apparently there were some removed comments about Gokey’s wife, who has died. So not only are commenters who like Gokey being subjected to unnecessary and mean attacks, it seems that so is Gokey himself.

  95. Pam
    January 10, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Sam (Sam)

    I think a lot of these negative attacks are the result of juvenile American Idol fans who like others and are jealous of Danny’s appeal.

    And I must say, if some of these self-righteous country snobs posting here are indicative of a large proportion of country fans; WOW, you sure give country fans a bad name.

    Insinuating you are an idiot and have no taste just for liking a performer or song (I also happen to like Best Days- not song of the year, but love to listen to it and it makes me feel good) is incredible.

  96. Jon
    January 10, 2010 at 10:55 am

    @Steve M. my headphones full of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin in the 80s.

    What a surprise, not. Folks who “converted” to country from rock usually find the most obnoxious ways possible to “defend” their new fave.

    @Pam if some of these self-righteous country snobs posting here are indicative of a large proportion of country fans;

    They’re not, honest.

    Insinuating you are an idiot and have no taste just for liking a performer or song… is incredible.

    Not really – it’s easy to give credence to; all sorts of people – though, interestingly enough, few musicians – do it all the time. I expect that the explanation is to be found somewhere in the realm of psychology; it’s certainly not located in the realm of aesthetics.

  97. Steve M.
    January 10, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Who said I didn’t also have Hank Williams and George Strait records? In the Southwest, rock and country go hand in hand. But no pop allowed.

  98. stormy
    January 10, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Sam: I can understand liking Gokey for what he is, a middle of the road easy listening pop singer. Saying that Danny Gokey is a good country singer is as nonsensical as saying that my favorite color is cookie dough and then saying that I don’t care that cookie dough isn’t traditionally a color I like it because it tasts good.

    BTW: I like American Idol. I think it is a fun show that introduces decent pop singers to the music scene. I don’t support passing off everyone who ever hit the top 10 as country.

  99. stormy
    January 10, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Jon: I believe that Steve was using listening to classic rock in the 1980’s as a reason he might have missed out on Sassy, a feminist girls magizine from the 1990’s. Not to imply that he did not listen to country in the 1980’s. I know in my childhood I listened to everything from Ricky Skaggs to Bratmobile.

  100. Pam
    January 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    “Saying that Danny Gokey is a good country singer is as nonsensical as saying that my favorite color is cookie dough and then saying that I don’t care that cookie dough isn’t traditionally a color I like it because it tasts good.”

    Actually this statement is nonsensical (and not just because “tastes” is spelled wrong).

    I don’t see people on here raving that Gokey is “A Good Country Singer”. They happen to like him and his music and speak up about it. If enough people buy his music, then he will continue on as a singer in the country genre, and heaven forbid, may wind up enriching it, bring something fresh.

    One phenomenon that is nonsensical is people having vendettas against people they don’t know.

    The USA is a capitalist market, and the market will decide what sells, not some angry bloggers with their own opinions.

  101. stormy
    January 10, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Pam: The music industry is miles away from a free market economy.

  102. Steve M.
    January 10, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Wait-you mean Clear Channel and other media giants are anti-competitive? I am shocked, just shocked.

  103. Jon
    January 10, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    It seems a bit much to expect that folks who see “Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin” should read it as “Hank Williams and George Strait.”

    Furthermore, anyone who doesn’t see connections between country and pop that go back to the former’s earliest days and run consistently throughout its history is ignorant when it comes to country music.

    Still furthermore, anyone who doesn’t see a connection between free markets and the development of monopolies and oligopolies is ignorant when it comes to economics.

    Sheesh!

  104. Steve M.
    January 10, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Yes, monopolies and oligopolies are not so much as a result of the free market, but de-regulation.In fact one might say that we lost sight of the reasons in 1990s that large trusts had been forced to break up in the first place during the Gilded Age. Just as Standard Oil and American Sugar Refining Company kept prices artificially high because anti-competitive practices, Clear Channel and other modern media giants do the same with the music industry.

  105. stormy
    January 10, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Yeah, to a degree. When the officals doing the deregulating are that closely involved with the industry its an act of business not an act of law.

  106. Jon
    January 10, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    “Deregulation” means just what it says. Deregulated markets are more free, because they are less regulated (d’oh), and that inevitably leads to concentration. It was free markets that led to the trusts of the Gilded Age in the first place, and a truly free market is indifferent to the matter. If you favor free markets, you favor the inevitable creation of monopolies; if you favor regulation, you are against genuinely free markets. What part of that is so tough to understand?

  107. Steve M.
    January 10, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Because the lessons of the Gilded Age is that capitalism NEEDS regulation to prevent trusts and monopolies, which are actually horribly inefficient. They are far more likely to create a Windows Vista then a Linux.

  108. stormy
    January 10, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Jon: I’m about 60% socialist. I don’t favor free market economies. I do favor the public airwaves being returned to the public so that the public can freely hear a wide variety of music in all genres and actually get a choice in what they like or don’t like.

  109. Steve M.
    January 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    I am in favor of free markets, but simply re-reading “The Jungle” is more then enough to convince most people of the need for government regulation and oversight. And the fact that radio has become so generic (does a station in your town have Delilah after dark?)speaks to me that media de-regulation was a tragic error.

  110. Rick
    January 10, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Stormy said: “Jon: I’m about 60% socialist. I don’t favor free market economies.” Well its nice to see a leftist Obamavoter type be honest and admit that in public. Chairman Odumbo himself is a 100% committed socialist (he admitted it openly in his biographies) but when he speaks in public he makes sure the propaganda rhetoric he utters is moderate/centrist bullsh*t to pander to the uninformed/misinformed “useful idiot” masses who voted for him! The mantra of the elitist jackasses running the Demoncrap Party remains “Never Underestimate The Destructive Power Of A Very Large Group of Government Dependent Stupid/Misinformed/Evil Useful Idiots!” That’s just freakin’ awesome…

  111. Steve M.
    January 10, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Do have any facts to back your polemic?

  112. Nicolas
    January 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Rick said it, therefore it must be 100% factual

    [/sarcasm off]

  113. stormy
    January 10, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    RICK: For the last time I VOTED FOR CYNTHIA MCKINNEY.

  114. Steve M.
    January 10, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Stormy, that made me burst out laughing. I myself voted for Bill the Cat.

  115. stormy
    January 10, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    But, I’m not a democrat. I am WAYYYYY to liberal for that.

  116. TexasVet
    January 10, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    I didn’t see much point in voting since Gov Perry plans on appointing himself El Presidente of Tejas and secede from the union.

  117. Amy
    January 12, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    If you are not danny fans then why the hell did you come read this article?

  118. Dan E.
    January 27, 2010 at 9:23 am

Tagged In This Article

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  • Barry Mazor: OK, Jim. The record's more or less out of Austin. But I'm sure they're also good in El Paso...

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