David Nail – “Turning Home”

Juli Thanki | January 5th, 2010

david-nail-turning-home2010 just might be David Nail’s year. The Missourian spent the latter half of 2009 gradually developing a presence on country radio, drawing attention with his soulful voice. His second single, “Red Light” earned him his first Top 10 hit, and it seems that after its fair share of fits and starts, his career is finally picking up speed.

Written by Scooter Carusoe (“Better As A Memory,” “Anything But Mine”) and Kenny Chesney, “Turning Home” treads some of Chesney’s favorite ground. No, not the sandy shores of the islands, but high school hallways. Like a lukewarm seeking missile, the lyrics hit on all the usual images: Friday night football games, drinking on the tailgate of your buddy’s truck, school dances with your first love. There’s a really nice moment where the lyrics state that those times are “Glory days [you] can’t relive/Stories [you’ll] never forget,”, giving the song a sense of self-awareness about our collective fascination with and desire to re-experience the carefree days of youth.

Unfortunately, the song’s potential nosedives around the halfway mark. Clocking in at just under five minutes, “Turning Home” drags during the second half thanks to an overblown, overloud, overcrowded arrangement that completely overshadows the best part of the song: Nail himself. However, the first two and a half minutes of “Turning Home” are actually quite nice, accented by gentle piano and pedal steel.

“Turning Home” isn’t a bad song. But it’s nothing particularly special either, and it’s one of the weakest tracks on the otherwise solid release I’m About to Come Alive. David Nail has a strong, pleasant voice and he certainly gives his all here; it’s just not enough to compensate for the song’s shortcomings.

Thumbs Down

  1. Emgee
    January 5, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Geez, what is it with The 9513 and their opposition to long songs?

  2. Andrew
    January 5, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Probably the fact that more often than not, as Juli puts it, “the song’s potential nosedives around the halfway mark.”

  3. Nicolas
    January 5, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Personally myself, I like long songs =) I don’t think this is a bad song – I really like his album – but I think that “Strangers on a Train” should’ve been released (so long as Miranda Lambert gets credit on the single). And I’d really like to see a music video for that song w/ Nail & Miranda.

  4. Rick
    January 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Gosh, sounds like a “radio only” edit version cut at the 2:30 mark would have been about perfect. Isn’t it sad that its become a trend for labels to release some of the weakest cuts off any given album based upon what they perceive as the most “radio friendly” tracks. Its like they have a meeting and say “Well let’s pick the most mediocre commercial sounding song for our next single. Those radio programmers will love it…”.

    Since mainstream country radio has become one big popularity contest these days, its likely a good looking hunk like David Nail has become a favorite of the majority female listeners and gayboys too. That’s just freakin’ awesome…

  5. Emgee
    January 6, 2010 at 10:23 am

    “Strangers on a Train” is a great song. His album is very very strong. I’d also like to see “Clouds” released as a single.

  6. Deb
    January 6, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I think they don’t like it because Kenny Chesney co-wrote it. Seems like no one on this site likes Kenny Chesney. JMO!!

  7. Matt B.
    January 6, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    “Strangers” would’ve been a good single and I know David Nail would like “Missouri” released at some point too.

  8. Leeann Ward
    January 6, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    David Nail has become a favorite of the majority female listeners and gayboys too. That’s just freakin’ awesome…

    And you’re just freakin’ ridiculous…

  9. Leeann Ward
    January 6, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I think Juli’s right on with this review. I like the song over all, but it does drag after awhile. Plus, the shadowy background vocals thing is distracting to me too. The album is only $5 at Amazon right now, so I bought it. I know I’m taking a big chance though, since I did not like the first two singles from the album.

  10. Emgee
    January 6, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    So you bought an album that you know you don’t like the first two singles from merely because it’s on sale? And let me guess, then you’re going to come on here and complain about it, right? I guess it never occurred to you to check it out of the library first and listen before deciding whether or not to buy it?

  11. Matt B.
    January 6, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Rick Said:David Nail has become a favorite of the majority female listeners and gayboys too. That’s just freakin’ awesome…

    Really, Rick? So you think that female listeners and ‘gayboys’ only listen to artists they find attractive? If this is so, why is Lady Gaga popular? or Madonna even?

  12. Leeann Ward
    January 6, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    You got me pegged.

    To be more serious though, I’m always hoping to find a few good songs from artists that I haven’t roundly decided that I dislike. For instance, the jury is still out on Nail for me while I would not buy a Rascal Flatts album for even $1.99. I will listen to the album and make my judgment. I may or may not like the album as a whole, but paying $5 for it is a way for me to give it a chance. I can guarantee that my library would not have a David Nail album in it. I like his voice and think he’s got potential. I just did not like the title track or “Red Light.” This single, as I said, isn’t bad.

  13. Leeann Ward
    January 6, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    PS. A few people that I respect have said that the album is at least pretty good, which is another reason that I bought it at it’s sale price rather than completely dismissing it. I hope that my justifications are enough for you. I think David Nail would probably prefer to get my money either way though.

  14. CMW
    January 6, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    It’s nothing I’ll be listening to much, and its relation to country music is sometimes pretty tenuous, but even I was impressed by the soul on Nail’s debut. Definitely a cut above the run-of-the-mill Nashville release.

    But, as a couple others have been saying, they won’t have made the most of it until they release “Strangers on a Train” as a single.

  15. Leeann Ward
    January 6, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    CmW is one of those people I was referring to.

  16. Emgee
    January 6, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    That’s fair enough Leann. I just would never buy an album which I already know two singles from it that I dislike. That’s what’s beautiful about my Rhapsody service. 25 free streams a month lets me listen to an entire album before buying it (though certain artists I don’t need to listen to the material first–I’ll buy anything from my favorites (e.g. Rascal Flatts), and there’s artists who you couldn’t pay me to buy the music of (i.e. Toby Keith).

  17. Leeann Ward
    January 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    I will buy an album if it’s a good deal, because I’m a sucker for good music deals. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by taking some chances at times.

  18. Razor X
    January 6, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    I didn’t like David Nail’s album at all.

  19. Emgee
    January 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    There’s a surprise Razor X. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you comment on anything you DO like. Which fits you in quite well with the writers of this site…

  20. Leeann Ward
    January 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Razor actually writes for a site that mainly focuses on music that they like/recommend. So, your characterization of him isn’t fair.

  21. Emgee
    January 7, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    My characterization of Razor is completely fair based on what I’ve seen from him.

  22. Razor X
    January 7, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    There’s a surprise Razor X. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you comment on anything you DO like. Which fits you in quite well with the writers of this site…

    Wow, I am honored to be thought of with such esteemed company. That’s the best compliment I’ve had all day. Thank you very much, Emgee.

  23. Emgee
    January 8, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    If you sincerely believe that was a compliment you are a fool.

    However, I think you’re just using the oldest turnaround joke in the world, one that’s been around since the 15th century.

  24. Mike Wimmer
    February 6, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    I actually really like this song. I kinda dismissed David Nail when I first heard him, but Red Light grew on me as time went on and he’s actually got some pretty decent album cuts.

    I can understand some of the criticism of the song hitting on the “typical” small town/high school imagery, but I like that it does it in a way a person doesnt really notice it.

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