Tim McGraw – “Let It Go”
Songwriters: Tom Douglas, William C. Luther, and Aimee Mayo
The release of the title track from Tim McGraw’s album, Let It Go, extends a series of bizarre decisions, creating a case study on how not to manage an album. Despite having one of the top selling tours in country music, he only has one chart topper to his name among his past eleven releases. What makes the decision to release “Let It Go” odd is the fact that McGraw allegedly told concert-goers to expect a new album this fall, and although no date has been set in stone, the slow playlist rotation at radio makes it hard to believe that the next single will have enough time to adequately generate anticipation for a new album. In addition, “Let It Go” isn’t a strong enough song to significantly boost sales of his current album, but I don’t think radio is ready to let him go just yet, so it still has a chance to do well.
The song avoids becoming a motivational sermon by having the narrator focus inward, upon himself, but all we learn is that he’s trying to put the skeletons in his closet behind him and move on. Ultimately, without any sort of supporting story, the lyric is uninteresting and generic; in fact, it’s generic enough to be applicable to nearly any situation and only has as much meaning as the listener is willing to give it.
Lines like “It’s like carrying around the past in a hundred pound sack” and “Skeletons and Ghosts are hiding in the shadows” aren’t pretty or original, but are generally effective. McGraw mostly seems interested in trying to create a sing along with an interesting melody and while the sound is aurally pleasing, the uninspired vocal fails to make up for the lack of substance in the lyric.
“Let It Go” fits the mold for background fodder and is good for a superficial listen, but with three of the best songs on the album left untouched, its release is a bit disappointing, and despite not making any serious missteps, the song’s generic quality and acceptance of mediocrity aren’t worth a thumbs up. I’m assuming the extra time will allow McGraw to act in an upcoming movie with Robert Duvall and who knows, we might even see a seventh single from his current album.
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