In the early stages of his career, Eric Church was an artist that gave the impression he was only interested in making music that appealed to the masses rather than music with a high level of quality. However, as that career progressed, his music became more real, edgy, and genuinely great. With the release of his third album, Chief, country music’s newest “outlaw” raised the bar in terms of artistic quality within the genre. The album’s first two singles became top 15 hits with the second, “Drink in my Hand,” becoming the singer’s first chart-topping hit all while being two of the best singles to hit country radio. Does the third single, “Springsteen,” live up to that same level of artistic quality while also possessing potential to become a radio hit?
We all have that one ex boyfriend or girlfriend we regret let slip away. That one person we’re nostalgically reminded of by simple things in life like songs which only worsen those feelings of regret and sadness. The situation isn’t made any easier as those same songs and feelings only lead us to ask ourselves the age old question:what if?
On “Springsteen,” songs from the rock legend, Bruce Springsteen for those who may not know, serve as the catalyst that awaken those feelings from within. After hearing songs like “Born to Run” and “I’m on Fire,” the narrator is forced to relive those carefree, “glory days” he and the 17 year-old beauty in cut off jeans, flip flops, and “discount shades” once shared. Memories of nights spent riding around town in his Jeep while singing to one another bring the same feelings of true love back to the surface. From there, he’s only left with the feelings of wonderment: does she think of him, do those same songs bring back the same feelings, would she even remember him if she saw him? Unless the two were to have a chance encounter, he’ll unfortunately never know the answers to those questions.
The song is filled with a number of brilliant attributes, but none shine brighter than the songwriting. The use of the titles to some of “The Boss'” most well-known hits shows the clever approach with which Eric Church, along with songwriters Jeff Hyde and Ryan Tyndell, brought the concept to life. The idea of using a certain song or artist as the catalyst is the perfect choice in making the song easier for fans and listeners alike to relate to. My favorite element of the songwriting is the fact that they out a few details of the story. Has the narrator found a replacement to fill the void in his heart, or is that void only able to be filled by the woman from that Jeep? On the surface, one would expect the latter but in order to get the song’s full effect, one must the first option into consideration as well. By doing so, the song gets taken to an even deeper level.
This is what all country singles need to strive to be. This heartbreaking tale of emptiness is a brilliantly crafted song with a unique, edgy production that never outshines the raw, emotional vocal performance delivered. This is the type of song that could not only be a game changer in country music, but one that could also catapult Eric Church to new heights of stardom.