Josh Turner featuring Trisha Yearwood – “Another Try”

Ben Cisneros | December 20th, 2007

Josh TurnerA piano is playing in a smooth and elegant manner, while an acoustic guitar is being fingerpicked pensively. A fiddle–no…a violin–strikes a note of soft dramatic tension before resolving. There is a background of lush strings. Apparently we are listening to a very mature, very sad song.

I suppose that the producer here (Frank Rogers) was aiming for beautiful, but this arrangement is far too contrived to be beautiful. Didn’t anyone tell these guys that when drama is force-fed to us it becomes melodrama? At the end of the chorus, a bell gongs and my eyes roll.

That’s the story on this song. It isn’t compelling. But not for lack of heavy-handed effort.

The dramatic posturing isn’t confined to the production, either–Josh and Trisha are both guilty of laying it on thick. Turner really doesn’t need to slip into falsetto on the word “forever,” and Yearwood really doesn’t need to softly trill out “try, try” after the hook. Then there’s the drawn out “oohing” and “humming” at the end. The attempted effect? Drama. The actual effect achieved? Anything but.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad. Turner is in wonderful voice, as is Yearwood, and while the lyrics of the first verse are vague, they are vague in a pleasant, mysterious way. And the chorus starts out with a great line, “The reasons I’m alone I know by heart”, which is interesting. Unfortunately, the first line of the chorus is the highpoint, and there is little of interest anywhere else. I wish the second verse would have been specific in some way, but all we get is more of the same:

“There’s no changing things that we regret
The best that we can hope for is one more chance
If the hands of time could just move in reverse
I wouldn’t make the same mistake again with her”

No specifics. No story. Just empty reflection that the listener is somehow supposed to identify with.

Another big problem I have with this song is that it really isn’t written as a duet. When a man and a woman duet on a song like this, there is an assumption that both the man and woman are co-protagonists sharing the same feeling–hence the dueting. This device is even more effective when it seems like whatever the artists are singing about happened between the two of them, making their shared outlook on the situation especially tragic and/or beautiful. (for example: “How’s the World Treating You” with James Taylor and Alison Krauss.) On “Another Try” there is no room for that to be the case, because the relationship being sung about suffered due to a one sided apathy.

I think turning this into a duet is unnecessary, as is the over-dramatic production, and the sometimes over-the-top vocals. Ultimately, the song underestimates the listener’s ability to feel without being hit over the head with emotional signposts (e.g. when the bell gongs it means something weighty has been said).

When you get another try Josh, try for sincerity.

Thumbs Down

  1. Matt C.
    December 20, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    I strongly disagree here Ben. I guess that there’s no way for me to prove that the production isn’t heavy-handed other than to argue that it doesn’t sound that way to me. I agree that it’s not a duet but I’ve yet to hear a song that was not improved by a Trisha Yearwood harmony vocal. I think that this is an important demonstration of artistic breadth by Josh and it’s probably the best song on Everything is Fine.

  2. Jim Malec
    December 20, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    Although I don’t think it’s the best song on Everything is Fine–that honor goes to “The Longer The Waiting (The Sweeter The Kiss)–I do agree with Matt that I strongly disagree with the thumbs-down.

    I think you made a good point about the lyrics being a little bit underwhelming, though.

  3. Krista
    December 20, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    I totally disagree with Ben. THis is the second best song on the album. Trisha’s harmony vocals are and excellent compliment to Josh’s. I ove to hear a sad song. I really get sick of all of the stupid happy (95% of Kenny Chesney’s stuff) tunes that abound on the radio today. I agree with Jim that The Longer the Waiting is the true gem. Gotta love the seafaring ditty. Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, anyone?

  4. Hollerin' Ben
    December 20, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    Thanks for the feedback guys, it’s good to see that I can confidently act as the voice of the people here.

    You guys really didn’t think it was a little much? I mean, I’m all for sensitivity and what not, but this track is really sensitive. This is is like Keith Urban “Tonight I’m gonna cry” sensitive.

    Can you guys indulge me and give me an example of a country ballad using a piano playing arpeggios, an acoustic guitar fingerpicking, a string section, a violin, a singer slipping into falsetto, a churchbell, and pensive echoing of a hook line, that you think is heavyhanded and overdramatic? That way I can see just how far down this road one needs to go before he goes too far.

  5. Kevin
    December 20, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    I think it sounds like a Trisha Yearwood record. He may be singing the song with her merely providing harmonies, but the arrangement is textbook Trisha (when she’s being produced by Garth Fundis, at least.)

  6. Matt B
    December 21, 2007 at 7:46 am

    This is one of the best tracks on the record (I think the Anthony Hamilton duet is better) but I don’t know how it’ll translate to country radio. It’s Turner’s first ‘real’ ballad to get a shot since he became a star. Those of us that remember long enough should remember “She’ll Go On You” was the first single Turner released to radio.

  7. Sara
    December 21, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    I absolutely love this song!I can not pick a single song I don’t like on Everything is Fine. It’s such a sweet, tender love ballad you can’t help but love!

  8. Melissa
    January 14, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    I would have to disagree with you on this one. This song is so beautiful. Trisha and Josh have amazing voices, and they sound awesome together. Now, I’m not trying to bash your feelings about this song, I respect your choice. Sometimes you have to read between the lines to get the true honest meaning of many things in life. I don’t think you did that. But, again it is your choice and I am sure that many people appreciate your honesty.

  9. Funk
    January 14, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    I understand why ya’ll were whining about Josh Turner joining the Opry but I do love that man’s singing voice. I also think Yearwood could make me sound good singing with her so for me, this combination works and saves a middle of the road song. It’s not a bad story and it has a clever enough idea to drive it but it’s not solid gold either. I think Ben’s got it wrong about the duet part; excellent singers can make it work with Row Row Row Your Boat and these two do it here. Thumbs up.

  10. Jay
    January 15, 2008 at 11:23 am

    This song touched me in more ways than words can express. You say its a duet, NO its Trisha adding to the song. You say you wish the second verse had been specific….it is. Its specific in its own way to each person how listens to it. I am obviously overwhelmed here as I have heard the song. It just touched me. The song is dramatic and the tone is meant to be sad. We, the listener, needed a song like this. I have heard it twice and i have cried each time. I truely love this song. Its probably the best, in my opinion, that I have heard him sing. I am a 41 year old man from Southwestern Tn. Divorced with three kids. I will give it all IF I get ANOTHER TRY!!! Thanks JOSH.

  11. hairandtoenails
    January 15, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    The second verse is cliche after cliche. Josh Turner has such a great voice and I keep looking for him to have a breakout song. But he keeps recording average material. What happened to great songs like “Long Black Train?”

  12. Hollerin Ben
    January 17, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Hair and Toe –
    Finally. I was starting to think that I was the only one who wasn’t blown away by this one.

    Funk –
    “Row Row Row Your Boat” was written to be sung in the round, which makes it a far better duet than this one. I saw nothing in this song that made it an effective duet melodically or lyrically.

    Jay –
    I’m happy you like the song. That being said, “You say you wish the second verse had been specific

  13. Bison Tamer
    January 17, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Ben…Ben…oh Ben…Though its not a earth shattering debut, it was still something that caused this old salt to turn his ear.

    Little harsh on the critique…

    Ever try relaxing with a warm glass of Scotch while rocking away a sun set? Let the song be man. There is enough trash in country music to hammer down without pick’n on an easy to listen to duet.

  14. Brady Vercher
    January 17, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    Ben, do you know of any songs similar in production and performance–heavy handed or not?

  15. Kathy
    January 23, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Great song!!!! One a person can relate to when thier in this situation. The lack of lyrics explaining the details leave the listner to imagine Giving love another try” in what ever situation they are facing in thier own personal life. TOTALLY THUMBS UP!!!!!

  16. Julie
    February 7, 2008 at 11:28 am

    i love this song its so true, the best we can hope for is one more chance , hell yes, i made a bad mistake and left my true love, and wish i could turn back time to have it like it was again.

  17. cory
    February 12, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    I think the song is good and Trisha Yearwood’s harmony on it is amazing. BUT I dont think Trisha ever expected it to be a single. Her last label MCA is home to Turner and coincidentally they have been releasing complilation albums around all her important dates(release of her last album, and her latest single) and they released “Another Try” was released on the same day as Yearwood’s “This Is Me Your Talking To” I just feel MCA released this for all the wrong reasons.

  18. FLETCH
    February 17, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    GOTTA GO THUMBS UP ON THIS ONE

  19. Katie
    February 23, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Maybe this song is not loved by the critics, but who cares what they think. I love everything about it. In my opinion, Josh has the best male voice in music today.
    Definitely a thumbs up!

  20. Lucas
    February 23, 2008 at 11:36 am

    A million times better than some of the crud that gets a thumbs up on this site.

  21. hairandtoenails
    February 23, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Katie says “who cares what [critics] think…”

    I’ve said this before, but we should care what others think. Its possible, after all, that those people aren’t stupid, that they actually have a valuable insight to share. If we want to learn more about our world, if we want to better understand music, we should care what others think. We don’t have to agree with the critics, but we should take their arguments seriously and try to understand why we disagree.

  22. Lucsa
    February 23, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    I’ve been switched on this topic and will now agree that critics hold value.

    But I honestly don’t believe we have to evaluate what critics say compared to our own opinions. Music is simple, you like it or don’t! Now giving a certain take on a lyric, yeah, that makes sense.

    You almost explained that like it was foreign affairs!

  23. JOHNA
    February 23, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    The song is beautiful, sung by two of country’s finest voices. It may sound melodramatic, but that’s life. I like it when songs aren’t too specific with words, more people can relate to their specific situation. And yes, the first line may be the best….but it’s worth it. Makes one think.

  24. Hollerin' Ben
    February 26, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Music is simple, you like it or don’t! Now giving a certain take on a lyric, yeah, that makes sense.

    You almost explained that like it was foreign affairs!

    Country Music is serious business and treating it like it’s no big deal is, in my opinion, one of the biggest problems with mainstream modern country music.

    I like it when songs aren’t too specific with words..

    I don’t.

  25. Corky
    March 15, 2008 at 3:09 am

    I absolutely disagree with Mr. Ben. This is a beautiful song. It’s what country music is all about. Alot of people can relate to the song because “love” has given alot of people a first try and they have failed miserably at it and if only love would give them “Another Try”, maybe, just maybe, they would do alot of things differently. Maybe Mr. Ben is just one of these people, but has never been given a second chance at love and he is desparately jealous. Who knows?

  26. Paul W Dennis
    March 15, 2008 at 8:44 am

    I’m taking the middle ground here – I am totally indifferent to the song. It’s not so bad that I would switch to another station if it came on; not so good that I’d turn up the volume when it came on. THe fact that this is one of the WEAKER songs on the CD tells you just how strong the disc is. I’d give this song a C+ or a sideways thumb

  27. steve lord
    May 7, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    Dear Ben, you utter bonehead. Ha ha, just kidding with you, dont take me personally.

    What I mean to say is stash the hypertechincal, intellectual cold blooded analysis, and dust off two things, your emotions, for responding to a song with words of great poignancy, and once you have done that, focus on one other thing, the utter beauty of theis piece of music, the melody , the merging of these two great singers voices, but especially Trisha Yearwood’s turn your insides to jelly harmony. Then just sit back and enjoy.

    Steve

  28. Hollerin' Ben
    May 8, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Steve,

    I appreciate the sense of humor brother.

    I’m in the minority on this one, even among the critics, and I recognize that, but I still think that if the strengths of this one are supposed to be it’s lyrics and it’s melody than I don’t think it’s that strong.

    The best thing I can think to say about the lyrics is that they just barely get their point across. The language isn’t especially poetic or revealing, the story isn’t concrete or compelling.

    As far as the melody goes, I still think its too heavy handed to seriously be honestly engaging. I get that the mood they were going for is pensive, regretful, and sad, but in my opinion the melody ended up as a cartoon of those emotions, which turns me off. When I listen to “silver wings” for example, I think, “wow, look how sincerely sad that guy is”. When I listen to this I think “ugghh, melodrama much?”

    To draw an analogy, sometimes I want something sweet, but that doesn’t mean that I want three pixie sticks emptied on top of a hostess cupcake.

    Dig?

  29. Cecilia
    May 30, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Disagree, i like te song.

  30. Gen
    June 29, 2008 at 1:01 am

    I certainly don’t understand most of the technical terms you used nor do I claim to be a expert on the music induustry, prouducing music, etc. Speaking from the heart, the song strikes a chord with me, pardon the pun. Perhaps not the best country song I have ever heard, but certainly better then what your review suggests.
    People will never agree on everything. I just wish you could appreciate the song from my viewpoint.

  31. Drew
    July 27, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Wow, I thought for sure this would get a thumbs up. I think this was one of the better singles on the chart over the last couple months. I probably agree with some of the nitpicking in the review as far as overdramatizing the song… but the vocals are done terrificly and just the overall mood of the song is soothing and great to listen to.

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