My Kind of Country

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

Single Review: Vince Gill – ‘Take Me Down’

gill-pub_hires_2_lg_wide-9ee349425fd113510d77574f8280a73deb9f1543-s900-c85Vince Gill has reached the stage in his career when he can record pretty much what he wants with no particular need to pander to commercial considerations.  Sometimes  that’s a good thing for an artist, at others it may lead to self-indulgence.

While I wouldn’t call this new single self-indulgent, it does represent a side of Vince’s artistry which isn’t my favourite. A mellow mid tempo ballad, it is beautifully sung with Vince’s vocals at their warmest and sweetest. The lyric is both romantic and sexy, lauding an existing relationship which has lost none of its fire. The production is understated and allows the voice to shine. The downside for me is that the admittedly pretty melody and arrangement are country at its most sophisticated, AC leaning.

Vince co-wrote the song with Nashville based former pop star Richard Marx, with whom he has worked before, and with Jillian Jacqueline, an aspiring artist Marx is producing. You may possibly remember her as a child back in 2001, billed just as Jillian, when she contributed to a low-charting single by Billy Dean and Suzy Bogguss called ‘Keep Mom And Dad In Love’.

It’s pleasant enough to listen to, and if not viewed through my traditional-leaning country fan ears would be a very fine offering. But it doesn’t really appeal to me viscerally. Little Big Town add harmonies, but if anything they flatten out the emotional impact for me.

This is hard to review, because objectively it is extremely well done and there is no substantive criticism I can make. If it falls short for me, that feels more like a failure on my part to appreciate it.

Grade: A-/B depending on whether it’s judged as a country song.

6 responses to “Single Review: Vince Gill – ‘Take Me Down’

  1. Razor X February 10, 2016 at 10:37 am

    I was also disappointed in this. I think you’re grading it very kindly.

  2. Leeann February 10, 2016 at 10:55 am

    As a known huge Vince Gill fan (My cat, Vincent Van Cat, is named after him!), I’m sad to say that this album is not my taste at all. I’m just not into the easy listening/AC style of it.:(

    • Jonathan Pappalardo February 10, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      I don’t like it either. I keep trying to find something to draw me in and I continually come up empty. I’m disappointed because Guitar Slinger was such a career highlight for me. But at least he’s admitted this isn’t a country album except for the final track.

    • Occasional Hope February 11, 2016 at 3:08 am

      I was trying so hard not to say it was bad because it wasn’t country, when what I meant was I don’t like it because it’s not country. If even Leeann doesn’t like it, though, maybe I overcompensated 😉

  3. Razor X February 11, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    It’s not like Vince hasn’t drifted into AC territory before and he certainly doesn’t need to prove his country credentials but at this particular point in time we need artists like him to stick to country because so few others are.

  4. Leeann February 12, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    I don’t even need Vince to be pure country. One of my favorite albums of his is the rocking disc of the These Days Boxset. I even like a lot of the AC disc from that boxset, but this album is just quite boring to me. I’ll just wait for his next album, which is bound to be something that I love again.

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