Jo Dee Messina – “That’s God”
Jo Dee Messina is having a hard time catching a break. Her “new” album, Unmistakable, has been sitting on a shelf somewhere in Curb Records’ headquarters for about two-and-a-half years while sporadic single releases failed to make an impact on radio. Now, when the album has an alleged release date and a single goes out to radio to drive interest, it ends up being a clone of Lee Ann Womack’s “There Is a God.” That song is struggling to make a dent on the charts as it is, and it’s questionable how dueling devotionals are going to be good for either one.
The way these God songs work is, you make a list of a bunch of good things, and you attribute it all to Him. You might want to throw in a verse about how the non-believers just don’t get it, too. George Strait made the formula work with “I Saw God Today,” because he was talking about one specific, miraculous event. This song isn’t about one thing, it’s about everything.
God is a mountaintop. God is a really good song. God is the wonderment of a small child. God is love. God may be an earthquake that levels an entire city too, but we’re only mentioning the good stuff here.
“It doesn’t have to be a miracle, it might just be the little things,” Messina sings, and that’s fine. However, there’s no context of why the singer is thinking about all these little things, making the song just a vaguely related bunch of stuff tied together by putting God’s name in the lyrics repeatedly. He deserves a credit as a co-writer, as much as His name gets thrown around.
It would be nice to have a profession of faith that’s compelling and not a pandering attempt to court the Christian country music demographic with a simplistic song that isn’t close to Messina’s best vocals. She’s never sounded particularly good when she stretches out monosyllabic words, and she does it repeatedly here with the line, “That’s God.” After having her sit idle since 2007, there needs to be a better reason to make country radio care about Jo Dee Messina again.
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