Jimmy Wayne featuring Whitney Duncan – “Just Knowing You Love Me”

Karlie Justus Marlowe | February 11th, 2010

jimmy-wayne-just-knowing-you-love-meSongwriters: Jimmy Wayne, Brett Beavers and Tony Martin.

Don’t let Jimmy Wayne’s smooth delivery fool you: The singer’s life story is stuff of country music songwriters’ dreams. Between an absent dad, trigger-happy stepfather, near-death experience, bout of homelessness and a job as a prison guard, it would make sense for Wayne to easily fall rank and file into country’s honky-tonk niche.

Instead, Wayne has made his name on easy-listening ballads “Do You Believe Me Now” (which reached number one on the country charts), “I Love You This Much” and “Sara Smile,” the title track of his latest album and a throwback to 70s-staple Hall & Oats. He continues that trend with “Just Knowing You Love Me,” a phone-in performance that never quite lives up to what it could be.

The song’s premise is a nice, relatable shout out to the quiet strength of true love, despite life’s uncertainties. The lyrics, while neither groundbreaking nor original, easily convey that comforting relief: “Just knowing you love me, no way that’s never gonna change/That’s what keeps me going/Knowing I can just call your name and your arms will open/That’s all the strength I need.”

Unfortunately, “Just Knowing You Love Me” suffers from bad execution: While its focus on the stability of love is certainly warm and fuzzy, any real emotion behind the lyrics is drowned out by its noisy, driving production choices. Even Wayne, whose vocals are particularly lackluster and bland here, sounds like he has no investment in what he is singing.

The bright spot in the song is Wayne’s almost-duet with Whitney Duncan, a former Nashville Star contestant whose singles “When I Said I Would,” “The Bed You Made” and “Skinny Dippin’” have yet to stick with country radio. She adds a much-needed spark to the otherwise bland tune, despite slipping into Miley Cyrus mode with awkward “yeah yeahs” and “mmm-hmm” insertions.

Duncan’s contributions, however small, offer a glimpse of what the song could have been if fleshed out to better show the dynamic between the man and woman featured in the tune’s lyrics. As it stands, “Just Knowing You Love Me,” unlike the everlasting love it describes, will come and go without much of a fight.

Thumbs Down

  1. Vicki
    February 11, 2010 at 5:43 am

    I get some emotion out of Jimmy but don’t feel it out of Whitney..but then I’m female. This song might get the award for most annoying fiddle solo.

  2. waynoe
    February 11, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Reviews of singles year-to-date.

    Wilcox – Coldwater Jane – DOWN
    Deusner – Todd Jones – DOWN
    Malec – Fast Ryde – DOWN
    Boldt – Katie Armiger – DOWN
    Gazdziak – Jo Dee Messina – DOWN
    Justus – Taylor Swift – DOWN
    Thanki – Jewel – DOWN
    Boldt – Lady Antebellum – DOWN
    Wilcox – Craig Morgan – UP
    Justus – Alan Jackson – UP
    Gazdziak – Emily West – UP
    Boldt – Reba McEntire – UP
    Deusner – Carter’s Chord – DOWN
    Justus – Danny Gokey – DOWN
    Thanki – David Nail – DOWN
    Boldt – Martina McBride – UP
    Justus – Trace Adkins – DOWN
    Boldt – David Ball – UP
    Thanki – Brandi Carlile – Up
    Justus – Sammy Kershaw – UP
    Malec – Jaron Lowenstein – UP
    Justus – Jimmy Wayne – DOWN

    Some artists are not considered mainstream. Of the mainstream artists, you have seven “down” and 4 “up”. By mainstream I mean those that are relevant as far as exposure goes.

    Overall – 13 down and 9 up. It was looking like a landslide there for a while.

    By the way, my post is just as useless and trivial as the “expert” bloggers. But hey, I’m in good company. Right?

  3. Stormy
    February 11, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Waynoe: Thank you for your careful analysis. Until I saw that I had no idea how many bad songs had been released this year.

  4. Razor X
    February 11, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Exactly. Don’t shoot the messengers, Waynoe.

  5. Dan E.
    February 11, 2010 at 11:09 am

    This is a very good song!

  6. AtlantaFan
    February 11, 2010 at 11:50 am

    The best part of the song is the chorus with Whitney. I agree that the Jimmy’s voice is drowned out. As a performer, his passion comes across in a live performance. I don’t hear that same passion in this song.

  7. Thomas
    February 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    …a barking dog, a train whistle and some yodelling would have also been nice in this fine example of a cacophony.

  8. Rick
    February 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    If Jimmy can help Whitney gain any traction at country radio, more power to him in spite of this poor excuse for a contemporary country song…

  9. Nicolas
    February 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I thought this was alright… but I agree that the production is bad

  10. Todd
    February 11, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    The production is too pretty. I don’t understand why the fiddle is used to double the lead. The doubling reminds me of that god-awful Shania Twain song “Don’t Be Stupid.” The fiddle should always be complimentary, but should have it’s own path, musically. Just shoddy arranging. The vocals are superfluous. Technically Wayne and Duncan are ok, but how can you convey emotion when the song has none. The single sounds like it is filler, and should have never been released. In my opinion, to quote the lyrics, the song is not quite good enough and it definitely falls short.

  11. waynoe
    February 12, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Glad to be of assistance and add my 2-cents worth of which happens to spend just as well as other’s 2-cent opinions.

  12. Bob
    February 13, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    I really like it actually. Not a huge fan of Jimmy, but the song is cool. I love Whitney, so maybe that’s why. I can definitely tell it’s her voice since she sounds like no one else. I would’ve said thumbs up on this one. The production is a bit much, but what production that gets radio airplay isn’t these days?!

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