Trent Tomlinson – “That’s How It Still Oughta Be”

Karlie Justus Marlowe | January 9th, 2009

Trent Tomlinson - Thats Still How It Oughta BeSongwriters: Trent Tomlinson, Jim Collins and Tom Shapiro.

For a song that waxes nostalgic on the good old days of yesteryear to be successful, it should probably be sung by someone who grew up in a decade prior to the 1980’s.

That rule of thumb would disqualify thirty-something Trent Tomlinson from preaching “That’s How It Still Oughta Be,” a song that unsuccessfully harkens back to a golden era of an unspecified time in the past and shares the credibility shortfalls of Bucky Covington’s “A Different World.”

Although Tomlinson clearly has the upper hand vocally, he uses the same songwriting trick du jour of repetitive listing as Covington’s hit, in a bloated chorus that proclaims: “Yeah the world was much safer/You could count on your neighbor/And a stranger was someone you just hadn’t met yet/And we trusted our preachers, our heroes and teachers/And believed every word that they said/There was no credit crunch and gas wasn’t so much/And our jobs hadn’t gone overseas.

The best country songs tell a story, and this disjointed lists cheats us out of what could be a more accurate and balanced portrayal of a sort of “neo-yesteryear,” a period after television and automobiles but before video games, the Internet and 9/11.

Aside from the fact that Tomlinson and co-writers fall back on the all too common lyrical gimmick that is the list, the guts of this song just miss the mark. Tomlinson repeatedly references “we” in the song, but who is this “we”? Does it refer to the rural South? The United States? The entire world? And would the singer like to return to last month, last year or the last decade?

Without referencing a specific geographic location or timeframe, the song’s lack of detail renders it less credible and less interesting than it could be.

Still, even if this song were better crafted, its theme may not ring true with people who don’t share Tomlinson’s rose colored glasses. Dolly Parton paints a very different, and more realistic picture in her 1969 song “In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)”: “No amount of money could buy from me/The memories that I have of then/No amount of money could pay me/To go back and live through it again.

Musically, “That’s How It Still Oughta Be’s” oddly slow tempo doesn’t show off Tomlinson’s strong voice, and that’s unfortunate, because contrary to his do-rag and pierced ears, the singer could hold his own with many of the neotraditionalist vocalists who rose up in the 90s.

While it may be somewhat forgivable for a new artist hoping to make a splash on country radio to turn to some nostalgic pandering, it’s easy to expect more from a singer/songwriter whose work has appeared on albums from Sara Evans, Emerson Drive and George Strait–and who garnered himself three top 25 singles off his own debut album.

Unfortunately, after Tomlinson’s solid 2006 effort on the single “One Wing in the Fire,” the title “That’s How It Still Oughta Be” may be a more fitting commentary on the artist’s songwriting than a walk down memory lane.

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  1. [...] and a sense of safety in a troubled world. Unlike Trent Tomlinson’s recent single “That’s How It Still Oughta Be,” however, “Blue Side of the Mountain” doesn’t lump Americans together [...]
  1. Juli
    January 9, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Great review, Karlie. This song–as with most of the semi current nostalgia songs by Covington, McGraw, Mark Wills, etc–sucks mightily.

    Also, the accompanying photo makes me laugh and laugh, as it appears that Tomlinson is contemplating his Bret Michaels do-rag with great shame.

  2. Jordan Stacey
    January 9, 2009 at 10:12 am

    I really need to hear this song, I’ve heard so many different opinions on it but I still have no way to hear it for myself.

  3. Jenna Vercher
    January 9, 2009 at 10:15 am

    I don’t really care for this song but I LOVE his voice!!!

  4. Sam G.
    January 9, 2009 at 10:32 am

    At what point in time did the conditions mentioned in the song actually exist outside of an episode of the Andy Griffith Show? Not only is he thinking back to a time that he never could personally have witnessed, he’s thinking back to a time that’s never actually existed.

  5. agent713
    January 9, 2009 at 10:58 am

    I heard this the other day and just rolled my eyes. This review articulates what I feel. Well said.

  6. Bobby
    January 9, 2009 at 11:03 am

    What?! *This* is the same Trent Tomlinson who gave us an excellent debut albums, and some of the best neo-trad of the 2000s in “One Wing in the Fire” and “Just Might Have Her Radio On”? And now he’s recycling Bucky Covington? Ugh.

  7. Brady Vercher
    January 9, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Tomlinson is certainly taking a look back at a non-existent utopia. Did he forget about the Great Depression, WWII, the Vietnam War, and the oil crisis of the ’70s? He can’t be remembering a time before all that because automobiles haven’t been prevalent for much longer. It’s also kinda funny that gas prices have dropped, making the song a piece of…nostalgia almost as soon as it’s released.

  8. Leeann Ward
    January 9, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Great review! Songs like these are frustrating.

    I didn’t like “One Wing In The Fire” either though. His voice does kind of remind me of Tracy lawrence.

  9. plain_jo
    January 9, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    I really like Tomlinson’s voice and I think the song is just a reflection of what we as Americans feel about the way our country is headed, whether is well written or not. I am giving it a thumbs up.

  10. Matt B.
    January 9, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    I actually think this song was written quite well, regardless of what we interpret his intentions to be. And, for the record, he has stated that it’s from the POV of his time growing up IN the 80s…

  11. Rick
    January 9, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    The fact that a formulaic “list” song would come from the pen of Tom Shapiro shocks me! (lol) Trent does have a nice voice but the bandana head / earring look just really doesn’t work for him. Its time to try a cowboy or Kid Rock hat Brent.

  12. Rick
    January 9, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Ooops, I meant Trent. I wish we could edit our previous posts. Darn….

  13. Leeann Ward
    January 9, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Wow, if his point of view is from the eighties, I really don’t know where he was coming from at all then. The eighties isn’t even an idealized decade like the fifties, forties or thirties often tend to be.

  14. Davey
    January 9, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Where are the looking forward and the lets change the world around us songs? songs like this are annoying, especially from someone who isn’t old. good review. What is Trent doing trying to sing about the good ol’ days? And a formula song from Tom Shapiro is odd. maybe its the co-writer…

  15. PaulaW
    January 9, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I liked it. Not ‘loved’ it, but liked it pretty dang well.

  16. lanibug
    January 9, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    As someone who grew up in the late 70’s/early 80’s — i see a lot of the things he is discussing, he is just saying he just wishes that things should be the way that they were back then when we still had dinner with our parents, gas did not cost an arm and leg, etc. — and I think it sounds better coming from him than from Bucky Covington who really has no idea and was not born until sometime in the 80’s– and I do happen to like Trent’s voice and he is really good songwriter – but then again I happen to disagree with you guys a lot – but that is my opinion!

  17. Kid
    January 9, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Sam G. You pretty much nailed my first thought. Karlie hit the rest of it. This is kind of a bothersome trend in country music. There’s been several songs with this Andy Griffith idea of the past. Even if, in some ways, these things may have been even a little bit true (and I’m not saying that they were, I myself was born in the early 80’s, but just from talking to my grandparents, while some things may have been simpler, these songs conviniently leave out working in a mill 50 hours a week or picking tobacco in the summer heat, or various wars. My parents would no doubt toss in various racial issues, issues that were still present when I was growing up in North Carolina), this nostalgia seems to exist simply for the purpose of selling songs. The simple fact that they resort to lists to bring their point shows that they don’t really have any basis for the song its self. If a nostalgia song really told me a story of someone in that time, actualy showing it the way things were (or even a Disney version of how things were) it would actualy show a few moments of real thought were put into the song, rather than cranking it out to capitalize on country music’s evident love for “old timey” music and George Washington America.
    As I said, this is a bothersome trend. It seems the songs about the common man, the real person, are few and far between. Instead they have given away to songs bout how country someone is, or how country things evidently were, or how great America is. Remember when Charlie Daniels did “In America” and really showed various aspects of America while at the same time putting some thought into the song? Or when Merle Haggard wrote “Fightin’ Side” and “Oakie From Muskogee”? Pretty much all of Hank Williams Jr.’s America (The way I see it)album accomplished what these nostalgia songs or supposesedly patriotic songs attempt without becoming pandering bubblegum.

  18. Kid
    January 9, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Lanibug, sorry, I just read your post, I suppose I should note that yes, I did see some of those things growing up as well. I do have a fair amount of nostalgia for the days when my family actualy sat down to dinner together and a fair amount of other things from those days, and I agree, I like Trent’s voice. I simply feel that these nostalgia songs are merely a cop out way to sell music.

  19. Todd
    January 9, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    I just heard this song for the first time and I don’t like it at all. I can’t put my finger on what I don’t like; whether it’s the way it’s written, or if it’s Trent(whose voice I really like but doesn’t really work in the song), or if it’s the fact it’s basically a retread of “A Different World”.

  20. lanibug
    January 9, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    I am sure in 20 years someone is going to be writing songs about this time, and someone will be complaining that this was a depression, etc., etc. — i am just realizing that i am just going to stop reading the reviews. They are taking away my joy in the music because you all do not seem to enjoy the music for what it is — music, pure and simple — you dissect it to the minute little bit and it just goes to far some times — you dissect songs about the past, and about rednecks and about just about everything, list songs – so what is a good subject to write a song about — because everything seems to tick everyone off for some reason or another — I just enjoy the song for what it is – a decent song by a singer that I enjoy – and do not have to dissect every word of every verse to enjoy it.

  21. diver
    January 10, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Lanibug, I hate that I agree with you and your point of view but have to correct an error in your statement about Bucky Covington. He was not born sometime in the eighties but in 1977.

    Bucky was also born in a very small town in North Carolina which truly reflected a lot of his song “A Different World”. He never attended a concert or flew in an airplane until his fame. I think a lot of the critcism of nostaglia songs has to do with cultural and socioeconomic issues. Often a snobby reviewer or commenter will take issue with what they may have experienced and forget that others have not been as fortunate.

    I have not heard Trent’s song so I cannot comment on it but I am looking forward to hearing it in spite of such a negative commentary. He has a wonderful voice.

    I think I will start a blog reviewing critics who use the same old tired form of criticism over and over. They use particular singers or the term “list songs” as their punching bag instead of coming up with new material. I think I will title it 9514. Come on over and read my boring stuff. I will list all reviewers who use the term “list song”.

  22. judge
    January 10, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Well said Diver!!!

  23. judge
    January 10, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Lets dissect stupid boy sang by Keith Urban…which was written by Sarah Buxton (Another lyric st artist with Bucky and Trent!) and see if it would be possible for him to actually feel this:
    She was precious, like a flower:
    Yeah, she grew wild; wild but innocent.
    Perfect prayer in a desperate hour:
    She was everything beautiful an’ different.

    Pretty funny to think he ever felt like a flower.

  24. Karlie
    January 10, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Hey guys–thanks for your comments and criticisms.

    Lanibug–I feel it is important to hold these songs up to such high standards if only because the genre means so much to me. It’s like the old line your parents fed you when you were little (and rolled your eyes at behind their backs) about tough love and “doing this for your own good.” Trent has an excellent voice and I really enjoyed “One Wing in the Fire,” which is why I know he is capable of more than this.

    Diver–It’s funny you mention Bucky’s frame of reference on “A Different World.” I too am from a small agricultural town in N.C. and never stepped foot on a plane until my sophomore year in college. So in this case, I’m not a snobby revier but someone with a similar past who would expect more out of songs like these.

    And if you’re planning on a parody blog, all I request is that Tina Fey plays me.

  25. Leeann Ward
    January 10, 2009 at 10:47 am

    That’s exactly why I hold songs up to such a high standard too. Thanks for putting words to it,Karlie.

    While being negative all the time is no good for anyone, I have a difficult time taking reviewers too seriously who just claim to like everything. I need to know they can discern between good and bad music, even if I don’t always agree. Therefore, if they’re going to say they don’t like something, I need an explanation rather than just a “Well, I just don’t like it.” That’s like a child asking why they can’t do something and the parents copping out by saying, “Because I said so.” So, dissecting songs is pretty much a necessity; otherwise,reviewers might as well just form lists of songs they like and songs that they don’t, which would make for rather uninteresting and pointless blogs.

    With all that said, I think a parody blog would be freakin’ hillarious!

  26. Kerri
    January 10, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Karlie, are you a singer and a song writer? Do you perform in front of people? Do you have a Fan Club? If not, how in the world would we know where you grew up? You are not the artist with the fans, WE are the fans and know all about OUR artist.

    I am so sick and tired of “The 9513″ always bringing up Bucky Covington for everything no matter who or what the blog is about! It’s always about his supposed shortfalls, how he supposedly can’t sing, supposedly can’t write, etc., etc. WE get that The 9513 does not like Bucky but have to tell you this, Bucky CAN sing, he CAN write, and he DOES have 3 Top Ten Singles. Most of The 9513″ critics take life way too seriously by how you cut down songs, song writers, and the artist’s that sing them. The 9513 doesn’t just use their “freedom of speech”, most of you get your personal “digs” in there by name calling, flippant remarks and then when challenged, claim “it’s a blog, we can say what we want”………

    I am taking The 9513 off of my “bookmark” list and I truly hope that you DO NOT win the “blog of the year” award that is currently going on.

  27. Kerri
    January 10, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    P.S. To Judge, awesome post!

    I laughed thinking of Keith Urban ever knowing how a precious little flower ever feels!! After all that’s what he is singing in the song and we must hold these songs “accountable” in every way.

  28. Brady Vercher
    January 10, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    To the people complaining about negative reviews, how about this song? It’s basically a list of anything negative Tomlinson can come up with, then attempting to put a positive spin on the whole thing, but in the process he’s romanticizing an unspecified time at an unspecified location. It’s a non-existent utopia that boils down to complaining for the sake of complaining. And if we take into consideration the claims that Tomlinson is writing about his childhood in the 80s, then we discover part of the problem. Parents typically shield their children from the injustices of the world, so he’s looking at his childhood through a filter and willfully ignoring reality (or at best, being extremely naive), or as Karlie mentioned in the review, he was wearing rose-colored glasses when writing the song. How many children were paying attention to, much less buying, gas when they were growing up? Who’s to say sitting down to eat dinner at the table is less common today? And are teachers and preachers less trustworthy, or is the distrust a product of the media coverage of any scandal that will bring them ratings?

    Diver said, “I think a lot of the criticism of nostalgia songs has to do with cultural and socioeconomic issues. Often a snobby reviewer or commenter will take issue with what they may have experienced and forget that others have not been as fortunate.

    I think you’re taking quite a bit of liberty in assuming that because you don’t agree with a reviewer’s assessment that they are snobby or grew up in a more fortunate environment. And since when is it fine to use personal life experiences as a crutch to support an ill-conceived song?

    Kerri said, “The 9513 doesn’t just use their “freedom of speech”, most of you get your personal “digs” in there by name calling, flippant remarks and then when challenged, claim “it’s a blog, we can say what we want”………

    Good luck finding anyone that made any such remark on The 9513.

    For anyone who disagrees with the review or the multiple commenters who do agree with it, no one is telling you that you can’t like the song or that you’re stupid if you do. We evaluate the music critically and whether or not you agree with the evaluation or let it affect your opinion is your own prerogative. But don’t come here and say that thinking or considering something on a non-superficial level is somehow wrong. Did you make fun of the smart kid in school because he studied and knew the answers? I’d hope the answer would be a resounding no. This music is music and nothing more mumbo jumbo is a bunch of baloney. If it offends you, then maybe that’s a good thing because it’ll at least cause you to think about why it makes you feel that way. Otherwise, there’s plenty of negative news coverage and gossip blogs to go read if you just want to be entertained.

    If you are going to dispute the review, you need to do it with reasoning that isn’t focused on discrediting the reviewer, but rather points out the merits of the song. Anyways, carry on.

  29. Leeann Ward
    January 10, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    I, for one, couldn’t help but admire the smart kid in class.

  30. Razor X
    January 10, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    While some may not like negative reviews, there’s nothing more useless than a reviewer that gives everything a thumbs-up, no matter what. What good is that? There are plenty of publications out there that print such “reviews”; I, for one, appreciate sites such at the 9513 that will review music honestly and aren’t afraid to say when they don’t like something. I may not always agree with their opinions, but I appreciate their honesty and when they do give something a positive review, it has a lot more credibility than something written by reviewers who never say anything negative.

  31. Kerri
    January 10, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Dear Brady,

    At least I touched a nerve and maybe you know how other people feel now. Look to your own reviewer, Rick, who wrote a word that rhymes with Bucky. Do I have to print it here again? I wrote back to say that Rick needs to be careful because I can think of a word that rhymes with his name also. Just look back on how some of your critic/reviewer’s handled anything related to Bucky. Rick also commented on Trent’s “bandanna and earring” It doesn’t work for him he say’s. I see the comment regarding the bandanna as a “do-rag” is gone off of the form post now. Can you tell me what this has to do with the music? Maybe it’s Trent’s style, he might like the way he looks. I sure do, he’s a good artist and returning to music after taking some personal time off.

    You also asked why Trent’s song wasn’t the topic? Gee, I guess maybe cause The 9513 critic’s threw Bucky into the topic again and for what? You pick apart songs and ask for meaning’s, well it means something to somebody out there. Still haven’t gotten an answer about how Keith Urban should know how a flower feels because you all say that the artist has to experience his songs so I’m asking. The 9513 always bring in personal feelings about the artist, how they look, their age, etc. Just let them pick or write their songs and you review them nicely.

    You missed my point, I don’t want to go to any other blogs that are negative, I don’t like them and that is why I’m not coming back to yours. Also, the “smart kid” knew how to work the classroom, The 9513 obviously doesn’t.

  32. Razor X
    January 10, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Kerri, you need to learn to distinguish between reviewers and people who are simply leaving comments, such as you, me and Rick. Comments left on this blog are the opinions of the people who write them, and not necessarily those of The 9513 staff.

  33. CMW
    January 10, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    “Look to your own reviewer, Rick…”

    Well, Kerri blew the big announcement, but everyone who has ever commented on this site is now officially a staff reviewer.

  34. Jaime
    January 10, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Ooh–does that mean we get paid? I gift certificate would be fine, too; I’m not picky. :)

  35. Leeann Ward
    January 10, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Rick isn’t a reviewer for The9513. Just read his comments regarding Texas music…:)

    Just as The9513 staff likely doesn’t agree with all of your comments, they may not necessarily agree with Rick’s either. I’m surprised that you’re confusing the two, since you yourself are a commenter and, therefore, know that The9513 doesn’t approve your comment before posting or consider you to be a writer for them. It is difficult for me to believe that you don’t already know the difference, but would rather lump everyone together to serve your own agenda.

  36. Razor X
    January 10, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Can I put 9513 reviewer on my resume?

  37. CMW
    January 10, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Yeah, but do it quickly. As soon as the Vercher brothers catch wind of this comment thread, Kerri and I are so busted.

  38. Leeann Ward
    January 10, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Yeah, such a huge announcement shouldn’t be made on a Saturday night!

  39. Kerri
    January 10, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Don’t just say that the others are just people who comment here. You don’t go after Razor X when he posts something you don’t like on Country California do you CMW? (Wilcox and also a guest correspondent here on The 9513) Same with you Leeann Ward (Country Universe) Don’t think that I’m using my “own agenda” when that’s exactly what your doing all over the Country music blogs. So now I know that “Rick” isn’t on the staff here but you sure do let what ever he say’s go and pick on the rest of the posters that you don’t agree with. If your going to review songs then review ALL songs and quit saying that the artist has to experience every single one of them to be legitimate.

  40. Razor X
    January 10, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    “You don’t go after Razor X when he posts something you don’t like on Country California do you CMW?”

    I’ve only made two posts in my life to Country California and neither was of a contentious nature, so why exactly would CMW “go after” me?

    “If your going to review songs then review ALL songs …”

    Now there’s a tall order! Anyone here up to the challenge of reviewing every song ever written?

  41. Chris D.
    January 10, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Wow. I always come late to all the good discussions. xD

    I’ve had times that I’ve liked something that was received badly here (My first thought is Sugarland’s latest album). Even though, I can still like it, it’s my choice and I still respect the opinions of the reviewers here anyway, even if I disagree.

    I also like the smart kid in the class, but I like to think I’m one of the smarter people in my class, but that’s just my opinion. I hope the colleges I’ve applied to agree. xD

    So now I’m a reviewer here too? Sweet!

  42. Leeann Ward
    January 10, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Hey now, we all disagree with each other around here plenty of times….and at Country Universe too. Sometimes, the writers of this blog disagree with each other. The same goes for CU.

  43. Leeann Ward
    January 10, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    PS. I won’t deny that I have an agenda too. However, I try not to misrepresent by lumping independent commenters in with writers of The9513. CMW may be a writer here, but I am not and neither is Rick. Furthermore, Kevin certainly does not agree with all of our opinions over at CU. Likewise, none of us always agrees with each other there. Nevertheless, I still respect their opinions. Complete agreement and adulation is really reserved for artists fan sites, which I find to be boring for exactly that reason.

  44. Dan Milliken
    January 11, 2009 at 1:47 am

    “I laughed thinking of Keith Urban ever knowing how a precious little flower ever feels!! After all that’s what he is singing in the song and we must hold these songs “accountable” in every way.”

    “Still haven’t gotten an answer about how Keith Urban should know how a flower feels because you all say that the artist has to experience his songs so I’m asking.”

    Okay, hold up.

    The line in “Stupid Boy” is, “she was precious, like a flower.” The line is not, “I myself am a flower, and I feel precious.” The “flower” in the line is obviously being used as a simile, and the line doesn’t make any comment about how anyone feels because it’s just a description of a person – and actually a completely different person than the singer, in Keith’s version. Keith obviously doesn’t have to know how a flower “feels” just to use that figurative description (no one here is saying we should take every obvious literary device literally), especially since the line is in third person and actually about someone else other than him. All we expect of Keith’s experience, based on the reality of what that line really means, is that he once knew (or could have plausibly known) a girl who seems or once seemed precious to him.

    Trent, on the other hand, is talking about literal things that he supposedly experienced himself (since he uses the word “we”) that we can reasonably assume he couldn’t possibly have experienced. And Karlie can totally hold Trent accountable for that if she wants (and I suspect she would do the same to Keith Urban if he were doing it) because the song itself makes the argument that its singer has experienced these things firsthand, unlike “Stupid Boy,” which makes no such argument.

    My point being: the example of the line in “Stupid Boy” is a pretty silly way to make your case about the non-necessity of a singer having experienced everything he claims to have in a song.

    So, consider that your answer. Though I’m no Brady Vercher…

  45. Dan Milliken
    January 11, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Wow, sorry that turned out long and ranty, everybody. I just can’t stand when people try to make a point by contorting logic.

  46. Leeann Ward
    January 11, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Good break down of the differences, Dan, though I’m sure they already knew it.

    Also, Guys, don’t worry, Keith Urban isn’t immune to negative reviews from The9513 either.

  47. Dan Milliken
    January 11, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    I’m not sure they did know the difference, since Kerri demanded a response to her point as though it was like indisputable proof of her point. I dunno, though.

  48. Pierce
    January 11, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I look at it like this:

    Newspapers, news organizations, etc. are all in place to not only inform the people, but also to keep the government in check. Corruption would be a lot easier and more rampant if there wasn’t some snoopy reporter hiding around every bend.

    So, even though it is on a much lesser scale, I think The 9513 has a similar role. We are here to inform – see: Jim’s awesome interviews, the Vercher Daily News, etc. – but we are also here to keep country music in check – point out when it is being “corrupted”, and recognize it for good-doing.

    Of course, the big difference is that all of this is a matter of opinion. Karli’s not telling you what to like/not like – she’s just expressing her thoughts. That’s the beauty of freedom of speech.

    “To each his/her own” is a beautiful thing.

  49. Stormy
    January 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Its called believability. Johnny Cash never spent a day in jail, but he sang Folsom Prision Blues so believably that people would come up to him with stories of a brother or a friend who had done time with him.

  50. Andrew
    January 11, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Cash actually did go to jail seven times, though each time was only for one night. “Starkville City Jail” was a true story.

  51. Leeann Ward
    January 11, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Yeah, they might not have known, but I think it was about the goading rather than actually wanting a thought out response.

  52. Stormy
    January 11, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Andrew: Fair enough, I should have said he never went to prision.

  53. Karlie
    January 11, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    “You also asked why Trent’s song wasn’t the topic? Gee, I guess maybe cause The 9513 critic’s threw Bucky into the topic again and for what?”

    I think most of the other commenters here saw how Bucky’s “A Different World” is an apt lyrical comparison to this song. I would never blindly grab a random Bucky song out of thin air. I have no agenda against him, and if this had been a review of a Bucky song, I would have offered a balanced review of it.

    “Still haven’t gotten an answer about how Keith Urban should know how a flower feels because you all say that the artist has to experience his songs so I’m asking.”

    There are no metaphors or similes in this song like the one in Keith’s. All of Tomlinson’s lyrics here are straight forward observations. In addition, he’s stated that they reflect his childhood in the 80’s. So really, the artist himself is saying that he has experienced this song.

    “The 9513 always bring in personal feelings about the artist, how they look, their age, etc.”

    This entire review was based on my personal feelings, hence the title review. However, I only criticized Tomlinson on his lyrics, musicality and credibility–not how he looks or his age. The reason his age was a factor was because this song is from a specific age’s point of view.

  54. Stormy
    January 11, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Here are the 80’s, for those who weren’t there:
    My genration, part two, book three, verse four,
    Jackson Five, Nikki Sixx

    My old man says the Woodstock generation
    Found a way to make this nation
    Open up its eyes and take a look around
    And he says my generation
    Ain’t good for nothing
    I could think of something
    So I thought I’d jot it down

    Here’s to hair gel
    Hanging out at the health spa
    Using condom sense
    Watching L.A. Law
    Here’s to drum machines
    Stonewashed jeans
    Credit cards, fax machines
    Big bow-headed chicks and frat guys
    Wearing forty dollar tie-dyed t-shirts
    And big old paisley ties
    Here’s to living off dad as long as you can
    And blending in with the crowd
    Oh, my generation
    My generation
    My generation should be proud

    We were raised up in the hallowed halls
    Of half a million shopping malls
    And there ain’t any price that we’re too proud to pay
    We’ll buy anything from Diet Sprite
    To one thousand points of light
    Hey, I admit we’re not that bright
    But I’m proud anyway

    Here’s to hair gel
    Hanging out at the health spa
    Using condom sense
    Watching Arsenio Hall
    Here’s to drum machines
    Stone-washed jeans
    Credit cards, fax machines
    Big bow-headed chicks and frat guys
    Wearing forty dollar tie-dyed t-shirts
    And big, bold paisley ties
    Here’s to living off dad as long as we can
    And blending into the crowd
    Oh, my generation
    My generation
    My generation
    God, I hope I die before I get old
    My generation
    My generation
    My generation
    Strike a pose–there’s nothing to it
    My generation
    My generation
    Oh, my generation should be proud

  55. Leeann Ward
    January 11, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Todd Snider rocks!

  56. diver
    January 12, 2009 at 11:11 pm
  57. Chelsea A
    January 13, 2009 at 5:16 am

    Wow, I can’t believe how many rude,full of your self,immature,dumb comments are on here.I will say that this review SUCKS.I am a die hard Trent Tomlinson fan and can’t believe people are bashing a song of his like this.This song was written awhile back and who cares what the song has to do with the world today.It might have lyrics in there that aren’t pertaining to the world right now but could sometime soon.Who the heck had to bring Bucky into this?It isn’t about Bucky.It’s about TRENT TOMLINSON!!I have heard this song played live and the crowds reaction is priceless.If you don’t enjoy the song or like it, just leave a small post.You don’t have to go on and on about it acting like your some kind of good person.If I could say more, I would.I will probably later too.My thoughts on this song are, it’s best performed lived,it has great lyrics,the tune of the song is nice,and Trent Tomlinson is a GREAT person.If I could come threw the computer right now, I would.Just I can’t stand how bad this review is.In my opinion, it’s ALL wrong.I love this song and Trent Tomlinson.End of story.(:

  58. Chelsea A
    January 13, 2009 at 5:35 am

    Plus, I bet less than 5 of you have actually seen him perform LIVE.You have only heard him on the radio or threw his CD.Trent is a great person inside and out.I know that too.I know everyone will leave negative comments on stuff too-that’s life.I’m just trying to say that this review is wrong,sucks,and this song is amazing! :)

  59. Razor X
    January 13, 2009 at 5:59 am

    “Plus, I bet less than 5 of you have actually seen him perform LIVE.You have only heard him on the radio or threw his CD.”

    It’s the recording that’s being reviewed, not his live performances.

  60. Ruthie
    January 13, 2009 at 8:34 am

    I love this song. The crowd went crazy when Trent sang it at his concerts this summer. You don’t have to be a senior citizen to realize how much our lives have changed in the last twenty or thirty years. Trent grew up in the bootheel of Missouri and they did trust their neighbors and left their doors unlocked. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I think you just don’t get it.

  61. RachelAnn
    January 13, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    I realize everyone has their own opinion and everyone’s should be respected. I hope my opinion is respected as I have respected yours. With that being said, here’s what I have to say:

    I love this song! I’m a huge Trent Tomlinson fan. However, even if I wasn’t I would still love this song. I totally relate to the song and I’m five years younger than Trent. I wish things were the way they use to be. I remember when my Dad refused to pay more than .99 cents for gas. Growing up if I were up to no good my parents knew about it before I got home. This didn’t happen because people wanted to see me get in trouble but because they were looking out for me. I didn‘t realize it at the time but I began to once I started getting older.

    I also remember how I could talk to my parents at the dinner table. We talked about school, sports, or whatever else crossed our minds. I had rules and of course I pushed boundaries. However, I knew there were consequences for my actions. My parents stuck to their rules no matter how good of scheme I came up with to get out being in trouble or the reason behind my actions. I knew right from wrong. I settled my arguments with bullies or even friends on the playground with either words. A few days later everyone was friends again. Even if you had a strong dislike for someone you could bet your ass they would be there if you honest to God needed them. Trent’s right “That’s How It Still Ought To Be”.

    I guess it goes without saying that I give this song TWO THUMBS UP!

  62. Chelsea A
    January 13, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    I know that Razor X.Still, I’m staying it’s better live.

    I am with you Rachel.Everyone has there own opinion.I put all fingers and toes up!LOL.

  63. Stephen H.
    January 14, 2009 at 9:16 am

    I’m going to take Bucky and Trent’s lead and release a cover of the All in the Family theme song, “Those Were the Days.” I played Glenn Miller in high school jazz band, and girls were girls and men were men, so I’ve definitely lived the song.

  64. Chris
    January 18, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    In such a cynical world, this is the type of song that will truly move people. Two thumbs up!

  65. Sasha
    January 21, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    I dont like his new song and his do-rag?? Whats uder there anyway?There is NO pictures of him without his do-rag…what is he hiding.This was supposed to be his come back??..give me break…the song sux !!!

  66. JAMES
    January 21, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I have read several of your reviews and it is obvious that you are a frustrated musician/ songwriter. The kind that goes to a music store and plays “Stairway To Heaven” over and over. It’s easy to sit there and be critical of someone’s music but I’m afraid you’re in a rut. I haven’t read too many of your reviews lately that were positive. The fact is, you probably haven’t come up with anything original in your life. So I’m pretty sure you’re not qualified to even have an opinion.

  67. Juli
    January 21, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    True, Karlie hasn’t written too many positive reviews lately. Except for Chris Young’s “Gettin’ You Home.” And the Elvis/Carrie Underwood duet “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Plus Little Big Town’s “Go Tell It On The Mountain.” Also, Taylor Swift’s “White Horse.” Her reviews also show that she’s pretty knowledgeable about the history, traditions, and trends of country music. So that pretty much sells me on her qualifications. We may not always agree on what’s good, but she certainly knows her stuff.

    And as for not coming up with anything original, that argument can also be directed toward Tomlinson, Bucky Covington, Tim McGraw, Mark Wills, and all the other musicians out there releasing the same lyrically weak nostalgia songs.

  68. SASHA
    January 21, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    This is to CHELSEA A…get a life girl seems like you are in LOVE with TRENT…dodnt you know the guy is MARRIED!!..or are you the CRAZZYYYY FAN????

  69. Karlie
    January 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    James – I’m glad to hear you’ve been reading my reviews. However, the only instrument I’ve ever tried to play was the recorder in my 4th grade music class–and not very well, at that. I’m just a country music fan, pure and simple.

    The cool thing about blogs is you get to hear other people’s opinions on songs, whether you agree with them or not. I always learn another way to look at things, and I would never attack anyone personally based on their opinions.

    Juli – Thanks :)

  70. Jim Malec
    January 22, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I can assure you, Karlie is sufficiently qualified. She has one of the best, most analytical ears for music that I’ve encountered in a long while.

  71. neutral88
    January 23, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Well, I was born in the south (TN) in 1982 and I want to review a few things in this song…

    We said yes mam and yes sir; I was made to do this

    A good Whoopin still worked; I was whipped many times

    If we talked back, we got it again; If you never got whipped for this, you are a spoiled brat, plain and simple…

    When Kids got in fights, they didn’t use guns or knives, a bloody nose was as far as it went; well I’ve had my face busted by neighborhood kids alot as a youngin, but never had to worry about getting shot, kids are shot by kids weekly now, Virginia Tech yesterday…

    We all ate our suppers, with a daddy and a mother, at the table without the TV; The TV wasn’t allowed on at any house I ate at in the late 80’s, and 90% of the parents in my neighborhood were still together…

    I don’t want to break he whole song down but a couple more highlights…

    ***Gas will never be as cheap as it was in the 80’s…
    ***There was no Credit Crunch in the 80’s
    ***And the unemployment day today shows how many of our jobs have gone overseas…

    I guess all this said, the reviewer summed it up when she said all her music talents were exausted on the recorder in the fourth grade…Cause you see, to be able to play music and feal it, you first have to understand it, and want to live it…Songs like Brad Paisley’s hit “Cooler Online” would probably be more your speed, just a big laughy song that probably took 10 minutes to write…

    Just my 2 cents in the hat…I couldn’t find one line that I couldn’t personally relate to, and I like a song I can sink my teeth into, like this, and that brings nack memories…I hate songs with no meaning like “Cooler Online”, “Chrome”, and yes even alot of Taylor Swifts Immature writing, written by a teenager, for teenagers…

  72. Jim Malec
    January 23, 2009 at 10:48 am

    If we talked back, we got it again; If you never got whipped for this, you are a spoiled brat, plain and simple…

    Or your parents thought that teaching their children to enforce discipline through violence could contribute to the belief that problems are best solved through physical contact.

  73. Chris N.
    January 23, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    “***Gas will never be as cheap as it was in the 80’s…”

    The average price of a gallon of gas in 1982 was about $2.

    “***And the unemployment day today shows how many of our jobs have gone overseas…”

    The unemployment rate in 1982 was about 9 percent.

    BTW, the rate of violent crime in the U.S. was about twice what it is now in 1982.

  74. Lloyd
    February 4, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Wow, I understand it is Karlie’s job to pick songs apart, etc, but I suppose I judge a song a little more simply. Whether or not he is old enough to be qualified to sing the song isn’t something that would ruin it for me. I think there are tough times right now, and a lot of people can remember when times were better without overanalyzing which decade it was he’s referencing. My uncle tells stories of stopping by someone stranded on the side of the road without worrying about getting harmed while doing so. Does that mean that people didn’t get hurt while stopping to help people 30 years ago, no it doesn’t, but I get the point things are different socially today. The song is great “live”, everyone was into it while having some beers, so if it takes your mind off of all the crap going on today then it’s good by me. Also, say what you will about the bandana and rebel persona, Trent puts on a darn good show. Lloyd

  75. AtlantaFan
    February 8, 2009 at 9:53 am

    I can say it is never fun to read reviews where everyone agrees. And I definitely like reading everyone’s opinions in this blog. Music has the power to evoke passionate opinions from fans, and there are certainly some passionate folks blogging about these nostalgic-type songs.

    I can relate to what Tomlinson and Covington sing about in their songs, because I AM the age to identify with those times. However, Covington made his version totally unbelievable when he did the video, along with his ragged vocals. I was surprised that the song did so well, because you really had to be over 50 to relate. My guess is his fan contingent from American Idol was the reason for its success.

    Now for Tomlinson’s song:
    I had to go to his MySpace to see a video clip of this song. I remember hearing an acoustic version at a songwriter’s night in Nashville last June during CMA Music Fest. His voice and his sincerity blew me away. I admit I could never get past the combination of doo-rag, tank top, and pierced ears for his believability as a country artist.

    The song is not bad, but it is not something I would listen to over and over again. There isn’t a line in it that reverberates in my head like the line in One Wing, “…back-row Baptist with his share of front row sin…” “That’s Still How it Oughta’ Be” is just okay. The only reason I would give the song a second listen is that I like Tomlinson’s voice, not his look.

  76. amy
    March 1, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Trent can do better than this song. When I first heard it I thought is sounded like Bucky Convington’s song. I like him but a lot of country fan’s (die hard) I talk to think his image is more like motley crue and don’t really care for him. I live in North Carolina and a lot of people around here have never heard of him. I would play his CD in my car and everyone would ask me who he was.

  77. Lou
    March 2, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    I just heard this song for the first time, and I like it. Reminds me of my childhood in southeastern Massachusetts. I grew up in the 60s and 70s, and this is what life was like, young whiners. You could trust people. You could accept a ride from a neighbor or a friend’s father, even a stranger, though we were taught not to. And there wasn’t one missing kid after another week after week, month after month. It was a much safer world to live in.

    As for the reviewer, he/she gets paid to trash songs, and I get that. But you’ve got people writing in who are so young I have sweaters that are older than they are. Listen, imagine and enjoy!

  78. amy
    March 2, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    The reality in life is everyone is not going to like you and your music. Country music fans know their country regardless of age. I think Trent is superficial and has a lot of competition against some great country artist.

  79. Lynda Harris
    April 30, 2009 at 10:51 am

    I think you’re being very unfair. First, what does he look like matter.It’s a song that makes a lot of sense,and i agree with him that things should be that way, it was much safer back when.You critics seem to think you know all, and ruin some peoples careers because you don’t like them. That’s why i don’t listen to critics but make up my own mind about music and sports and movies. You’re all negative people who can’t do what the entertainers do, so you put them down.

  80. Amy
    May 15, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Just because a person makes a negative comment doesn’t mean they are jealous of what a person does. Everything is not always good. Know one can ruin anyone’s career but their own. You are either good or not. That’s how it still oughta be is in the past the reality is it’s not how things are now. Trent should be a more original artist instead of copying other people’s songs. I hope that he does well in the future. He just needs to make some changes in order to be better.

  81. merlefan49
    May 15, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    I thought Bucky did this song or had it out as a single.

  82. Nicolas
    May 15, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    ^ Bucky Covington’s new single is called “I Want My Life Back”

  83. merlefan49
    May 15, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    I have to smile when someone says your jealous of the stars Here is a list of reasons I’m not jealous of anyone who is famous.

    1.My time is my own
    2.I’m under no pressure
    3.I don’t have to stay on a diet
    to fit into a size 4
    4.I’m not in a tax bracket that would choke a horse
    5.I can go to the mall or restaurant etc without being bothered
    6.I don’t have the paparazzi watching my every move
    7.I have piece of mind.
    8.I don’t have to worry about over zealous fans becoming stalkers.

  84. Amy
    May 17, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I agree Merlefan 49 and Nicolas. Bucky Covington sang here in the real world. Trace Atkins sang a song about batter swing. Eric Church sang a song A guy like me. Trent has a song called a batter batter swing. His new album is called a guy like me and his new single sounds like Bucky Covington. I like artist who are real not superficial and are original. I feel Trent is about image and without any substance. Let the stupid people fall for his BS. Fans think he cares about them. He could care less about them he wants them to buy his record. He tries to hard and doesn’t come across as a natural.

  85. allie
    August 12, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    opinions are like ASS holes…and most of them stink..trent tomlinson is a very good singer, and how do u know he was trying to copy someone. quit being jerks and if you dont like it then shove it. i am only 20 and this song applies to me bc times have changed even since i was little…get off his case. thank u bye.

  86. vanessa brown
    April 27, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    hey trent this vanessa browns son i just wanted to say i love love your music and want sing like you

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