My Kind of Country

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

Single Review: Bradley Gaskin – ‘Diamonds Make Babies’

I loved Bradley’s debut single, ‘Mr Bartender’, but despite a warm response from country radio DJs at last year’s CRS seminar, their stations failed to follow through and support the song above a peak position of just #32.  For his sophomore release, a year later, he has picked a song which also appears on Dierks Bentley’s new album, and which my colleague Razor X suggested would be a good single for Bentley.  Back in the 60s and 70s it was quite common for multiple artists to record the same songs, and even for rival versions to compete against each other on the singles charts.  But it is a practice which has largely fallen out of use, making this an extremely unexpected choice for Bradley’s follow-up to the fantastic ‘Mr Bartender’, and perhaps an unwise one in terms of establishing him as an individual artist, when that debut was notable in part for its vocal echoes of Travis Tritt.

Written by Jim Beavers, Chris Stapleton, and Lee Thomas Miller, the song is slight but quite charming.  The protagonist offers a slightly tongue in cheek warning  to a friend about to take the plunge and get engaged that all too soon his bride will be getting broody, and that really will change their lives.  He claims the engagement ring has “some crazy powers of its own”:

Diamonds make babies

And babies make mamas

And mamas make daddies make changes they don’t always wanna…

You’ll talk about it on your honeymoon

You’ll both agree that its way too soon

Next thing you know she’s seeing pink and blue

Everywhere she goes

The inevitable comparisons with Dierks’s version are not altogether to Bradley’s favor, as Dierks’s voice is more distinctive and the vocal grittier and more incisive.  Bradley’s vocals are good, and more clearly his own than they were on ‘Mr Bartender’, but not really distinctive enough to stand out.  However, taken on its own merits, it is an enjoyable track which would sound a lot better on the radio than most of the playlist.  It’s just a shame that unless it’s a complete flop, it almost certainly means that Dierks’ version will remain an album track.

The track is one of four cuts by Gaskin to be released as an EP on iTunes on 10 April.  A full length debut album will hopefully follow soon, and despite my reservations about this track, I do have high hopes for the artist.

Grade: B

Listen here.

7 responses to “Single Review: Bradley Gaskin – ‘Diamonds Make Babies’

  1. Ben Foster March 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    So far I think I’m actually preferring Gaskin’s version over Bentley’s, though I was never really a particularly big fan of Bentley’s vocal style in general. I’m not liking it as much as I liked “Mr. Bartender,” but it’s ‘okay.’ We’ll see how it wears on me.

  2. Samantha April 1, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    I definitely prefer Bradley’s version over Bentley’s…I think it was a great song choice. Love his music and his voice. Proud to see someone like Bradley have a shot in this crazy business…his story is amazing. I also have friends in the music business that has heard the album around Nashville. Heard it is amazing! Look forward to it.

  3. Amber Gilbreath April 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Love Mr.Bradley Gaskin…Such a sweetheart.

  4. Leeann April 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    This version is pretty good, but I do like Dirks’ version better. His voice is more distinctive and I like the production a little better as well.

  5. Marsha April 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Love this song by both artist. Very cool to hear the same song by two totally different artists. I do prefer Bradley’s music over Bentley…but the song is great for both men.

  6. Pingback: Single Review: Dierks Bentley – ’5-1-5-0′ « My Kind Of Country

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