Tim McGraw – “Kristofferson”
Songwriters: Reed Nielsen and Anthony Smith
Tim McGraw’s choice of singles from his album, Let It Go, has been puzzling and the release of “Kristofferson” doesn’t do anything to curb that trend. It’s arguably one of the more traditional tracks from the album, but McGraw shamelessly namechecks the songs namesake ala Keith Urban’s “Hank Don’t Fail Me Now.”
In his review of Let It Go, Brody Vercher had this to say about the song, ““Kristofferson” falls into the current trend of using a well-known artist’s name as the title (“Tim McGraw” – Taylor Swift, “Johnny Cash” – Jason Aldean) without really paying much tribute to the person in the song. [...] it’s about a man who’s woman left him with a half-written goodbye letter. So he decides to sit down with his guitar and a bottle of 90 proof to finish the letter, you know, like Kristofferson would do.” Whereas the use of McGraw’s name in Swift’s song is used to evoke the memory of a relationship, “Kristofferson” simply capitalizes on the the legend’s fame.
I don’t understand why the songwriters felt like sitting down and writing a song is something Kristofferson would do in this situation, nor how that would help the mournful narrator in his position. And if this is based on some event in Kristofferson’s life that I’m unaware of, it’s really too obscure for anyone to derive any meaning or relate to in any meaningful way.
The prominence of the steel guitar and fiddle, along with the piano, create a pleasant combination and Tim McGraw delivers on the performance. While the lyric is lacking, the song is adequately supported by the production and performance, but unfortunately, much better material was passed up to release this song as a single.
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