Gloriana – “How Far Do You Wanna Go”

Brittney | September 16th, 2009


Gloriana is a band that has polarized country music fans across the board. Is it country? Many would offer a resounding, visceral “no.” Is it pop? Maybe, but the mandolin is not an instrument necessarily considered standard Top 40 fare.

Labels and genre arguments aside, the group’s eponymous debut has charted well and already produced one successful single, the poppy and polished young love anthem “Wild At Heart.”

“How Far Do You Wanna Go,” the album’s lead-off track, leans on that same “Wild At Heart” framework, starting the record with an upbeat, driving chord progression on the acoustic guitar before the first verse comes in with a vocal melody that somewhat mimics that of the guitar.

The chorus picks up from the more subdued verse and highlights Gloriana’s signature harmonies, all leading up to the climactic moment where the band begs the question, “how far do you wanna go?”

The lyrics target the Taylor Swift generation—images of best friends, fast cars and hitting the open road are intertwined with drumbeats and palm-muted power chords. “There’s an open sky/staring back at us/and it’s daring us to tear it up/bury that town in a cloud of dust” are lines that speak to the teenager in all of us. You know, the one who wanted nothing more but to break free of parents and tests and rules of any kind and often daydreamed about the day that freedom would finally come.

A short breakdown towards the end of the song lets mandolin player/vocalist Cheyenne Kimball show off a few of her 8-stringed licks, but that bit of traditional instrumentation quickly segues into a spoken interlude by vocalist/guitarist Tom Gossin that is, well, a little cheesy.

The song is slick, highly produced and clearly geared to a certain demographic. That being said, if you’re willing to look past its gloss and its shine, there’s a catchy and fun tune waiting underneath. Roll down your windows, crank up the volume and give it a shot—it probably still won’t make you want to preach the gospel of Gloriana, but you just might find yourself humming along while on your morning commute to work, especially in these last few weeks of warm summer weather.

Thumbs Up

  1. Steve M.
    September 16, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Its not a bad song. Its not country and sounds like 90s pop, but not horrible. Just not country music.

  2. Mando
    September 16, 2009 at 9:42 am

    It really sounds like 90’s pop indeed.
    Dont care for the lyrics or the production – thumbs down!

  3. Razor X
    September 16, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Its not a bad song. Its not country and sounds like 90s pop, but not horrible. Just not country music.

    That’s enough to earn it a “thumbs down” in my book. It’s not that it’s a terrible song; music like this has its place. I just don’t think it should be on country radio.

  4. Karlie
    September 16, 2009 at 9:47 am

    On the heels of Chris’ article on loudness vs. volume, I feel like Gloriana is yelling at me during the entire song. It stresses me out more than it hypes me up.

  5. Chris N.
    September 16, 2009 at 9:55 am

    That, too, is one loud-ass record.

  6. Brady Vercher
    September 16, 2009 at 9:59 am

    I feel like Gloriana is yelling at me during the entire song.

    That’s the way I feel about a lot of the current mainstream country music. Either the vocal gets lost amongst everything else or it sounds like the singer is shouting just to be heard.

  7. Rick
    September 16, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Gloriana is tapping into the “power pop” loving country radio audience whose fans also like Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, and unfortunately Fast Ryde (to a point) among others. They are young, hip, and good looking and that pop culture appeal is part of why they’ve been accepted so quickly by country radio.

    The production choices many find annoying actually increase their appeal to their target audience. I guess all those teenyboppers with iPods think it sounds cool.

    Welcome aboard Brittney. Have you been assigned to reviewing the “Young Country” stuff the other contributors would rather not listen to? (lol)

  8. Sam G.
    September 16, 2009 at 11:16 am

    If a band is going to go pop, I’d prefer that they do pop-rock like this instead of pop-schmalz like so many other acts. So if this song isn’t a step forward exactly, it’s at least a solid step sideways.

  9. Laurah
    September 16, 2009 at 11:19 am

    “How Far Do You Wanna Go” is absolutely AMAZING!!!! Gloriana is amazigggg!!!!!!

  10. Marcy
    September 16, 2009 at 11:33 am

    This is a great song! I love Gloriana! They’re an awesome band :)

  11. david
    September 16, 2009 at 11:57 am

    This is my favorite song on the CD! Gloriana will be around country music for many years!

  12. Marcia
    September 16, 2009 at 11:59 am

    I’m sick of these pretentious not country people

  13. Noeller
    September 16, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    While this song doesn’t annoy me to the degree of “Wild At Heart”, which sounded like a church choir bellowing something as non-sensical as hymns, it does reek of a track Bon Jovi would’ve been pitched circa 2000.

    Bottom line – I wanna strip at least 5 layers of production from the entire disc and see what these guys could do with just acoustic instruments and voices.

  14. Marcia
    September 16, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Noeller: Nonsensical as hymns? Sense when is singing of Christ’s glory nonsensical. You must be a an atheist evil-doer. You forget you are in a country music website.

  15. Marcia
    September 16, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    I meant since not sense.

  16. Noeller
    September 16, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Marcia – I am *fairly* sure you’re joking so I’m going to chuckle out loud at that one. Well played! ;)

  17. Chris N.
    September 16, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    “Amazigggg!!!!!!” is my adjective of the day.

  18. Erik
    September 16, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Yes, Marcia, cause all us atheists are evil-doers out to murder your babies and rape your mothers.

  19. Noah Eaton
    September 16, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    The title sounds like a double entendre to me and, when you read the lyrics of the chorus, the “bigger dreams came from smaller things baby” line saves a large chunk of the hook from being read like a double entendre too! :P

  20. Tom
    September 16, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    gloriana – “how far do you wanna go”
    that’s a rhetorical question, isn’t it?

    still, an amazigggly/triple awesome catchy little number.

  21. Dr. No
    September 16, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Wow. This song completely reeks! Somewhere, there’s a awesomely talented country singer/songwriter that should be filling the spot that Gloriana is sucking up.

  22. Drew
    September 16, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    It’s definitely catchy, I’ll give it that. I’d actually prefer this to quite a bit of what I hear on mainstream radio right now, as sad as that sounds.

  23. idlewildsouth
    September 16, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Is amaziggg a word that originated in describing Danzig?

  24. Dan Milliken
    September 16, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    “Noeller: Nonsensical as hymns? Sense when is singing of Christ’s glory nonsensical. You must be a an atheist evil-doer. You forget you are in a country music website.”

    It’s true. Everyone not raised in or in regular practice of the Christian tradition is either tragically confused or completely malicious.

    Although Noeller’s comment was equally uncalled for, IMO.

  25. Jaime
    September 16, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    IT’S LIKE THEY ARE SINGING IN ALL CAPS. I almost made it through listening to the whole thing–but the yelling was too much.

  26. Brittney McKenna
    September 16, 2009 at 8:54 pm


    Thanks for the welcome! And I actually chose this song myself, though I’m sure some would wonder why I did so given the strong opinions the topic seems to provoke.

    Regardless of whether or not all country fans favor this type of music, it’s not going away anytime soon. If anything, its popularity is growing– quickly. That being said, I’d rather look at it objectively than just dismiss it entirely, which is why I chose the song.

  27. Lucas
    September 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    I’m confused as to how this is on the same website that praises Merle Haggard.

  28. Jon
    September 16, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    “I’m confused as to how this is on the same website that praises Merle Haggard.”

    What’s confusing about it?

  29. Lucas
    September 16, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Merle Haggard sings country music.

  30. Jon
    September 16, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    “Merle Haggard sings country music.”

    So does Gloriana. What’s your point?

  31. Anthony
    September 16, 2009 at 11:28 pm


    I coudn’t agree more! It’s exactly what I thin too.

  32. Anthony
    September 16, 2009 at 11:31 pm


  33. Phil
    September 17, 2009 at 2:53 am

    Reminds me of “The Thompson Twins”…been there done that. At least The Thompson Twins had something to say in their songs. Next.
    I promise I’ll find a song I like from today eventually.

  34. Lucas
    September 17, 2009 at 9:34 am


  35. Charles Murphy
    September 17, 2009 at 10:14 am

    That is friggin’ crazy loud….and AWFUL!!

    I honestly don’t know what the real problem is…Posers like this or the label execs that actually shove this crap down the ear holes of the listening public.

  36. Noeller
    September 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Charles – I’ll top you – I’m absolutely SICK of those among my radio colleagues who LOVE Gloriana. I know one guy, and a friggin’ Music Director to boot, that said the Gloriana debut disc is among his Top 5 for 2009. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  37. Rick k
    September 18, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    This is “wild at heart” with different lyrics.

  38. Charles Murphy
    September 20, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Hey Noeller,

    I wonder how much Payola made him say that. Oh…I’m sorry…Elliot Spitzer banished payola. Yeah, right… LOL

  39. Razor X
    September 20, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    That is friggin’ crazy loud….and AWFUL!!

    It’s definitely loud. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it awful — that is, if you like slick, overproduced pop. As pop music goes, there is a lot worse out there than this. The problem is that this is being marketed under the wrong genre. This is not even remotely country.

    February 2, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    This is regurgitated crap from the 80’s. Sounds like bad Rick Springfield. Isn’t country music lame enough without calling mindless drivel like this country ?

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