Joey + Rory – “This Song’s For You”

Juli Thanki | August 18th, 2010

Joey + RoryJoey Martin and Rory Lee Feek are nothing if not straightforward. Their upcoming sophomore album is titled Album Number 2, and their leadoff single–which is available as a free download on their website–is called “This Song’s for You.”

Who’s the “you” that Joey + Rory (joined on the bridge by tour mate Zac Brown, who wrote the song with Feek) are saluting? Honest workers, churchgoers, beer drinkers, hellraisers, patriots, fans of “as real as it comes” country music, concert attendees, and anyone who’s ever lost a friend or had his or her heart broken. So…that’s just about everybody, right?

While the sentiment is a nice one, and all three singers are very sincere in their delivery (a sincerity that’s reinforced by offering the MP3 to their fans for free), the song, which includes the clunker “We’re up on this stage/But you’re the star” is at times cringe-inducing in its cheesiness and, to some ears, nudges a toe over the line separating appreciation and pandering.

“This Song’s for You” is worthy of a sideways thumb, if that were an option: it is well sung–especially by Feek, who, in alternating vocals with his wife, sings on this song more than he did on the entirety of The Life of a Song, and the arrangement, bolstered by plenty of pedal steel, is pleasantly neotraditional. Aside from what’s mentioned above, the lyrics aren’t half bad, with the best being “If you wish we didn’t have to go and send our boys to war/But you still think this country of ours is sure worth dyin’ for.”

There are catchier, better written songs on Album Number Two that might serve as stronger singles, or, at the very least, show a little more of Joey + Rory’s vibrant personalities than this generic song displays. The combo of Martin, Feek, and Brown–who sound excellent together, it must be said–isn’t quite enough to save “This Song” from drowning in syrup.

Thumbs Down

  1. Leeann Ward
    August 18, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Very fair review. I like this song from them better than I likely would from anyone else, but I can’t disagree with your observations. I’ve noticed that this song is what “To Say Goodbye” is to their debut album. It doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the album.

  2. Ben Foster
    August 18, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Yes, it would have been worthy of a sideways thumb, since there are quite a few good reasons to like it. It’s good to hear Rory do more singing.

    But I still think they should have stuck with “That’s Important to Me” as the album’s first single. That one was much better than this.

  3. Juli
    August 18, 2010 at 10:25 am

    That’s how I feel too, Leeann. I really like J+R and I really wanted to like this single, but it isn’t their best work, IMO.

  4. Ben Foster
    August 18, 2010 at 10:42 am

    No, it’s not their best work. But I would guess that they might have thought it was more like what country radio would want, and they do really need to have a hit. If it does get them noticed at country radio, then it might pave the way for some of their better music to get some exposure as well.

  5. Mike Parker
    August 18, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Love J+R, but agree 100% with the review. Really, really cheesy stuff. But my wife, listening over my shoulder, liked it. So, maybe it works – just not for me.

  6. Noeller
    August 18, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    @Juli — I’m in full agreement. Love J+R but this song just doesn’t do it for me. I’m hoping for much stronger material on the disc!

  7. SamB
    August 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Yeah, I find this song pleasant, but ultimately leaves me cold. My boyfriend likened it to We’re Sending Our Love Down the Well from The Simpsons.

  8. Noeller
    August 18, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    @SamB — HUUUUUUGE props for the Simpsons reference!

  9. Juli
    August 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    My boyfriend likened it to We’re Sending Our Love Down the Well from The Simpsons.

    If there were a Comment of the Day Award, that would win. I raise my can of Duff to you and your boyfriend.

  10. CountryFan
    August 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    I love J+R and have listened to their debut album hundreds of times…. but this song is horrible.

  11. Nicolas
    August 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    I like this song, and I really would love to see it do well on country radio for them. Its not my favorite song of their’s, and I’m sure when the album is released that this song won’t be one of my favorites, but I do like it.

  12. Rick
    August 18, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    This song doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of garnering any significant Top 40 airplay. It just drags along at a frustrating pace that is slower than this song naturally should proceed at. Mainstream country radio hasn’t been too big on songs that plod along like a funeral dirge, well since never…

    They should have just lifted “The Cowboy’s Mine” off Joey’s “Strong Enough To Cry” album and sent that to radio! When AirHead country radio programmers reject a great country song at least you know it wasn’t the song’s fault.

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