Josh Turner – “All Over Me”
Songwriters: Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson and Ben Hayslip.
As per usual, country radio has seen a recent influx of seasonal singles meant to conjure up smells of sunscreen, sights of swimsuits and plenty of summertime sentiment.
What’s different this year, however, is that tunes such as James Otto’s “Groovy Little Summer Song,” Easton Corbin’s “Roll With It” and Josh Turner’s new single “All Over Me” manage to bring the froth and fun these songs require without completely succumbing to tired instrumental and lyrical clichés. Each of these perfectly mainstream songs finds an easy pocket that is safe and expected but far from boring.
Case in point: The musical introduction of Turner’s second single off his latest album Haywire is an intriguing mash-up of guitar and piano that sounds like it was thrown together in the corner of a smoky piano bar. This preamble will stand out in the current radio landscape and catch listeners’ ears with its sheer individuality.
After these opening notes, “All Over Me” morphs into a tune that’s decidedly, completely and comfortably Turner. By speaking directly to his bare-footed lover, Turner offers up a private snapshot into their relationship that seems more intimate and engaging than a third-person recount could offer.
This technique has been the foundation of many of his most successful songs, from “Long Black Train” (”You can look to the skies/You can find redemption staring back into your eyes”) to “Why Don’t We Just Dance” (“Baby why don’t you go put your best dress on“).
The lyrics here are simple and, at times, frustratingly derivative: Phrases such as ”Bring on the sunshine/Bring on a good time/Girl, let me look at you” don’t offer up anything new or insightful, but still manage to complement the tune’s overall theme and sound.
After making his name on “Long Black Train”–a deceptively dark tune about temptation and evil–the disconnect between his friskier bouts with love and sexuality on tunes such as “Your Man,” “Firecracker” and, now, “All Over Me” could be disconcerting for some listeners. However, references to string bikinis and a Def Leppard-esque request to his lover to pour her love all over him work in the easy, groovy context of this celebration of summer.
Turner could sing the phonebook and garner praise for his sultry styling of its thousands of “Smith” entries, which makes matching his vocals with worthy material a sometimes-daunting task. While “All Over Me” is another tune in a string of carefree, beach-worthy country songs, its low-key subject matter and unique treatment contrasts well with the singer’s signature
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- Jim Z: Dirty River Boys are from El Paso, Texas.