Eric Church — “Creepin'”

Karlie Justus Marlowe | August 20th, 2012

Eric-ChurchSongwriters: Eric Church, Marv Green

Like a rattlesnake’s trademark warning, Eric Church’s new single “Creepin’” starts off like a spare, swampy threat. With only an acoustic guitar and a tangle of vocal effects, Church sets an ominous tone for a love story fit for a Louisiana voodoo queen.

Of course, it’s only a matter of time before the artist’s patented country crazy comes out, plowing full force through a wall of banjo, electric guitar and drums with a high-octane chorus: “Head to the future, run from the past /Hide from the mirror and live in a glass /What dreams forget the whiskey remembers /Kinda like molasses in late December.”  But the slinky, dirty crescendo makes the singer’s rocking blow-out even more enjoyable.

It’s a fantastic ride and an unlikely success. The number of directions the song attempts can be overwhelming, tied together only by a string of colorful, interesting verses about the effect of love on one’s sanity. Like Church himself, it can be over the top – by the song’s end, his distorted plea to “Break it down, down, down, down…” is grating – but consistently entertaining.

“Creepin’” is Church’s most ambitious single since “Smoke a Little Smoke,” both songs sharing a need for speed and inventive country instrumentation. As mainstream darlings Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift push the envelope at country radio with edgier singles like “Good Girl” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” Church has managed to broaden the industry’s horizons in a very different direction.  And while he has always experimented in a genre uncomfortable with change, Church has never pushed boundaries further than on his latest album Chief. The eclectic take has resulted in his two highest-charting singles to date, as the peppy “Drink in My Hand” and soft, piano-tinged “Springsteen” reached Number One.

An excellent addition to his storied live shows, “Creepin’” continues Church’s tightly crafted knack for modern, experimental country music. And like its title suggests, it’s another example of how that brand of music can slowly worm its way into a listener’s head and heart.

Thumbs Up

 

  1. Saving Country Music
    August 20, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Great review, and I agree, Eric Church is pushing country’s horizons with this song without resorting to the cheap vehicles of pop or hip-hop. Still can’t stand the dude as a human being, but this is a good, fun song.

  2. Ben Foster
    August 20, 2012 at 10:27 am

    This is such a cool record.

  3. Jon
    August 20, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Review and comments demonstrating yet again that discussions that purport to be about what is or ain’t country are actually expressions of preference for rock-influenced country over pop-influenced country – or simply for rock over pop. Which, to someone who doesn’t really prefer one of those over the other, aren’t very interesting at all.

  4. Karlie
    August 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Jon, not sure where in the review I talk about what is or isn’t country music, or express preference for rock over pop country – I said artists are pushing country in different directions, Eric’s newest being different than Carrie/Taylor’s latest. I haven’t negatively reviewed the pop-flavored singles, so not sure why you’d think I favor this single over those.

  5. luckyoldsun
    August 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    “Still can’t stand the dude as a human being,…”

    Huh?!
    Have I missed something? Has Church been involved in a scandal of some sort or done something really horrible?

  6. SunsetPark
    August 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    He talks a big game and it’s obnoxious to some. Some of the other blogs pick on him quite a bit for it (and it’s very entertaining).

  7. MIke M
    August 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    @ Luckyoldsun

    No. The only thing you have missed is people mistaking not liking someone’s personality for them being a terrible person. It’s something akin to a watered-down version of Hank Jr. calling President Obama “Hitler” because he disagrees with his politics. I have met Mr. Church twice and I can personally tell you that he is a very nice man and he truly loves his fans.

    P.S. Check out Kevin’s recent post over at Country Universe for a very well written and interesting take on some of Hank’s more recent comments. I would advise “Saving”CountryMusic to do the same.

  8. Mike Wimmer
    August 20, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    His public persona is a little annoying, but the guy has been one of the better and more consistent current mainstream Country artists on radio.

  9. Richard
    August 20, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Best song off of Chief in my opinion. Ballsy single release too. Or maybe it would have been three years ago. Either way, glad it’s on the radio.

  10. Rick
    August 21, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Holy cow, that song(?) is craptastic! Rather than pushing the boundaries of country music, I’d say its skirting the limits of bear-ability. It sounds to me like the Montgomery Gentry boys on a bad acid trip. Just pathetic…

  11. Dave W.
    September 18, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Liking this song now but it took several listens. Parts of it are ‘creepy’ but a catchy song overall.

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