Josh Turner featuring Trisha Yearwood – “Another Try”
A 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.
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