Gloriana – “How Far Do You Wanna Go”
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.
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