Patty Loveless – “Drive”
When was the last time the excellent Patty Loveless was heard with any regularity on commercial country radio? In 2003, her cover of “Lovin’ All Night” cracked the Top 20, and three years before that, “The Last Thing on My Mind” did the same.
Now, she’s hoping to find her way onto mainstream radio once more with a charity single. “Drive,” written by Loveless and husband/producer Emory Gordy, Jr., is meant to draw attention to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), the fourth leading cause of death and the one that claimed the life of her older sister, Dottie. It’s being offered as a free download to those who take the COPD questionnaire here: http://www.drive4copd.com.
The lyrics—whose chorus is collection of cheerful instructions like “Live life, breathe it in/Don’t stop, don’t quit/Stay on track/Look ahead and don’t look back/Now’s the time to live your life/Breathe deep and drive”—aren’t particularly interesting, but Loveless’ delivery is, as she sells the hell out of it with that gorgeous voice.
Though they’re surrounded by vague yet optimistic platitudes, the multiple references to breathing are a nice touch, as COPD is a disease which makes that very act so difficult. The music behind her is peppy pop-country, somewhat reminiscent of her single “That’s the Kind of Mood I’m In.” “Drive” is something you might hear at a neighborhood cookout or from somebody’s open windows on the interstate; there’s not a whole lot of depth, but it’s irrepressibly catchy. If the song’s purpose is mainly to draw attention to COPD and cause a few toes to tap along the way, then mission accomplished.
“Drive” sounds like it could have been on one of Loveless’ mid to late ’90s Epic albums, and though her recent bluegrass and covers albums have been excellent, it sure is nice to hear her brand of mainstream country once more.
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