David Nail – “Turning Home”
2010 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.
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