My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Single Review: Blake Shelton – ‘I’ll Just Hold On’

blakesheltonWhere do today’s songwriters get the basis for the women in country songs?  It’s just puzzling to me that the idea of the 1950s honky tonk angel is now back in fashion – at least in the songs of Toby Keith, Jason Aldean, Trent Tomlinson, and now Blake Shelton.  The ladies in almost any encounter (romantic or otherwise) seem to be either a lush, a heartbreaking vixen, or in this case, just out for a one night stand. Loretta, Dolly, Reba, and Shania are not going to like this at all.  That being said, I can still dig Blake Shelton’s latest single, the second from his Startin’ Fires CD.  Blake gives an excellent performance of an almost original lyric.

Here, we find the narrator falling for a woman who is a ‘gyspy soul’ knowing he’s just a ‘stop along her road’.  She’ll stay around ‘long enough to blow his mind’ – one of the song’s original lines.  Still this has all been said before – though not quite this well.

I’ve always enjoyed Blake Shelton’s singing.  And I’ve been waiting patiently as he releases hit and miss singles for him to really blow me away with a song. This isn’t it.  What this is is an enjoyable listen.  The production fits the lyric well enough, and while the chorus reaches for the mountains, it never becomes bombastic.  It kept my attention through the entire song, mostly due to Blake’s delivery. Blake Shelton could be the next great male vocalist in country music, if he’d step it up with his material.

Grade: B- 

Written by Ben Hayslip, Troy Olsen, and Bryant Simpson

Listen to Blake Shelton – ‘I’ll Just Hold On’.

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8 responses to “Single Review: Blake Shelton – ‘I’ll Just Hold On’

  1. Razor X May 7, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    I haven’t heard this one yet, but I agree that he’s a great singer who just hasn’t found that great song yet.

  2. Meg May 7, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    After digesting my first listen (thanks for the link), I really appreciate your review J.R. The thing that stays with me after a while is the edge in Blake’s voice. It’s not a bad song, but it’s not a great song.

    Though I didn’t necessarily like the arrangement of his last one, ‘She Wouldn’t Be Gone’, it sure made me sit up and take notice of Blake’s voice and depth. Seems like he’s stepping into some different material and putting himself out there a bit more. Good moves in my book.

  3. Trailer May 7, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    It’s an okay song… not what I would have chosen for the next single by a long shot. Also, the music sounds just like an 80’s pop song that I can’t quite put my finger on. Wait no, I’ve got it… it’s Paul Young’s “Everytime You Go Away.” Yep.

    • Razor X May 7, 2009 at 11:30 pm

      Now that I’ve listened to it, it’s way too pop for my taste. You’re right, it is very ’80s. His vocals are very good but this isn’t the right kind of song for him.

  4. Erik May 8, 2009 at 9:41 am

    I’ve listened to Blake’s CD several times, and I cannot remember this song. Without a doubt one of the most boring songs on the CD.

  5. Occasional Hope May 8, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    I like Blake’s voice, and I’ve liked some of his previous recordings, but I think he’s going in the wrong direction at the moment. I was disappointed with almost all the material on his current album.

  6. Chris May 10, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I agree- this song is pretty boring, I can’t even listen to the whole thing. I liked “She Wouldn’t Be Gone”, but not enough to get the CD and this single most likely won’t convince me otherwise.

  7. Leslie May 10, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    J.R.:

    You got all pissy with me in the “Dead Flowers” thread, but I’ll not hold it against you and agree with your take on this song and Blake. He really is a major talent waiting to explode if he’d just get consistent in his song choices. “Home” was a brilliant decision and so out of the box. I heard that Miranda was actually the catalyst in making him listen to, love, and record that wonderful Michael Buble-penned tune.

    But, this song–what forgettable mediocrity. You zeroed in on the only original thing in the song,

    “Girl I know you’re a gypsy soul
    And I’m just a stop along your road
    And you hang around long enough to blow my mind
    If I had a star for every scar
    You tattooed on my heart
    I could fill up the Oklahoma sky
    So girl I don’t know why”

    Too bad the songwriters didn’t have a clue that when they wrote that verse, it was stellar and should have been verse 1 and the actual verse 1 they wrote is mundane and wholly unoriginal:

    “taste your kiss on my lips”
    “wrapped around your finger tips”
    “moonlight dancing on your skin”
    “green eyes”
    “sweet red wine”

    Lord, could you choose any more hackneyed, worn out, been said a million times set of lines then these to start a song? Amateur hour 101.

    “I look down and my cell phone rings
    And I see your name and I know what that means”

    What the heck do these disembodied lines mean? What does it mean.

    And while I like the Gypsy Soul verse, what’s with the one-time reference to Oklahoma. This is a song about a story that’s just waiting to happen. We don’t really know much about these characters or what the story between them really is.

    In a world of a billion songs, it’s not a bad song, but with all the truly great and memorable songs written by the top tunesmiths in the world, why would Blake pick this utterly ordinary one to stake his career on?

    Strange.

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