Track Review: Brantley Gilbert, ‘The Weekend’
Brantley Gilbert sticks to a cliché script on “The Weekend,” but manages to add some distinction to his vocals as well as the production.
Country music has plenty of appeal – the distinct twang, the narrative approach to songwriting, and often, the southern experience. For all its virtues, country, like many other genres, has become cliché and predictable. The themes are the same, recycled artist-by-artist and album-by-album, sometimes even song-by-song. Finding a truly electrifying country song that brings something new to the table is arduous.
Unfortunately, popular country musician Brantley Gilbert doesn’t reinvent the country script. His latest single “The Weekend” remains familiar in theme – drinking, girls, and partying. Even before partaking of “The Weekend,” the listener knows what to expect. Because of this, it is important that Gilbert at least does something within his performance to distinguish the potentially indistinguishable. Does he?
“The Weekend” features excellent production. It has a “full throttle” sound, slick cues transcendent of country, yet not completely out of the country realm. Vocally, Gilbert’s low register is a pro. The tatted Gilbert gives off a bit of a badass, rugged persona, and definitely has a coarse, gruff voice to match. On “The Weekend,” those set of pipes give off a sexy, alluring vibe (for lack of a better description).
The vocals aren’t completely clear, however. Despite Gilbert’s slick, swag-filled delivery, the lyrics on the verse are somewhat difficult to decipher. Nonetheless, “The Weekend” has its lyrical moments, such as the clever,
“It’s like I’m back in school and I’m in the last class / and I’m passing time until the bell rings.”
Also expectedly, the chorus is sound, if built upon the “same old clichés.”
“Live it up for the weekend / pour it up, have the time of your life / take a shot for the regrets / double up and it’s bound to get buck wild / hey ladies, let your hair down / we know ain’t nobody scared now, hell nah / just do your thing like it’s spring break / wake and bake and we’re at it again / we live it up for the weekend.”
Overall, “The Weekend” suits its purpose, even if there is an air of “been there, done that.” Gilbert does, however, do enough to differentiate “The Weekend” from the past. Take “Small Town Throwdown,” another party cut for example. “Small Town Throwdown” is in a major key and more traditional country; “The Weekend” incorporates more pop cues.