My Kind of Country

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

Single Review: Garth Brooks – ‘Baby Let’s Lay Down and Dance’

baby-lets-lay-down-and-dance-cover-artI might as well just come out and say it – The return of Garth Brooks over the past two years has been one of the most infuriating “comebacks” in recent memory. He began by announcing his gargantuan world tour, which I would’ve been excited about, except for the fact it features Trisha Yearwood and doesn’t give her the full performance slot she deserves. He subjected us to Man Against Machine, which was crap, and announced his long-awaited duets album with Yearwood would consist of…Christmas songs. I haven’t even mentioned GhostTunes, which he’s now abandoned since it provided diminishing returns.

Brooks is attempting to re-write the narrative with a deal through Target which consists of an exclusive edition of his new album Gunslinger packaged in a bloated ten-disc boxed set entitled The Ultimate Collection. This is purely a marketing and sales move, but even he has to be smarter than to rehash his hits in another form at this point. I’m only invested because of Yearwood and her contributions to this new material, which are slight, to say the least.

Now, I’ve always been a fan of Brooks. His material has consistently been top notch and his ability to captivate a crowd is unlike anything country music has ever seen (especially in that combination). He knows music and I’m confident his heart is in the right place. But even I’ve had enough of his overblown ego and sense of importance. He craves relevancy, which is totally understandable, but his desperation is more than OLD.

Which leads us to “Baby Let’s Lay Down and Dance.” Quite frankly, the song is terrible. There’s nothing to latch onto lyrically and the production feels like it was generated rather than played. This is “Wrapped Up In You” minus the heart, soul and personality.

“Baby Let’s Lay Down and Dance” may be inoffensive uptempo radio fodder that doesn’t try to overreach and claim some big substantive payoff. But it also doesn’t give the listener anything to latch onto and is as empty as anything currently on country radio. This may give Brooks the hit he craves, but it more than damages his credibility as a songsmith and boasts very poorly for the quality of Gunslinger.

Grade: C-


14 responses to “Single Review: Garth Brooks – ‘Baby Let’s Lay Down and Dance’

  1. luckyoldsun October 25, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Garth has sold a lot of albums—No denying that.
    But it seems to me that his “record”–as the greatest selling U.S. artist of all-time (or whatever the claim is) is based, to a great extent on his recurring penchant for issuing humongous “box sets” at low prices–ie. 8 cd’s priced like a 2-disc set–because the Recording Industry group issues certifications based on the number of discs in the box.
    I suppose Target will deeply discount this box set for something like $19.99 and heavily promote it for Christmas. If they manage to sell, say, a million copies, Garth will be able to add another 10 million to his sales total (1 million x 10) and pad his lead over Michael Jackson or the Beatles or whoever he’s “competing” with.
    It’s pretty much a definition of “gaming the system.”

    • Ken October 25, 2016 at 10:16 pm

      Wow – yet another absurd conspiracy theory from Mr. Know-Nothing. Do you really think that Garth stays up late at night plotting new ways to “game the system”? That his ultimate goal in life is to remain ahead of every other artist in sales? No. Above all else Garth is a master of marketing and wants his music to remain relevant. Seems to me that he’s doing a pretty good job of that by keeping his catalog available at prices that consumers can afford. How many other acts continue to charge ridiculous top line prices for recordings that are decades old? Just like his concert tickets Garth offers his fans good value for their music dollar.

      Mr. Know-Nothing must not get much sleep at night because he spends so much time dreaming up these crazy scenarios. However as his track record proves most of them have absolutely no basis in reality. Another useless post.

      • Luckyoldsun October 26, 2016 at 12:08 am

        Nice to hear from you, Kenny.
        Take it easy, though. No need to be so emotional. You’ll give yourself a stroke.
        It’s just a post. You can agree with it or disagree with it. I think a lot of–actually, probably most–people will agree with what I wrote–but you don’t. That’s great!

        • Ken October 26, 2016 at 8:03 am

          Not emotional at all, Just calling you out once again for posting more of your usual inane nonsense. Your constant obsession with conspiracies within the music industry is tedious. Garth’s strategy is to promote Garth – PERIOD. It has nothing to do with competing with other acts.

          And don’t kid yourself – most people do NOT agree with you.Perhaps you’ve not noticed but few posts here have ever agreed with your absurd and and oddball perceptions. But if living in that alternate reality makes you happy then dream on.

        • luckyoldsun October 26, 2016 at 8:57 pm

          Nice to hear from you again, Kenny–and nice that you’ve calmed down some and steam’s not coming out of your head.

          A great Garth story came from Billy Joel, some years back. Garth used to do Billy Joel songs like “Pressure” and “You May Be Right” (even including, unaltered, the line “I walked through Bedford-Stuy alone”) in his act. And Garth covered the Billy Joel track “Shameless” and had a big country hit with it. Garth came up to New York to spend some time with Joel in the mid ’90s and try to work on some music together. This was at a time when “No Fences” was credited with some 9- or 10 million in unit sales and “Ropin’ the Wind” with almost as many. And Garth’s first album and a Christmas disc had also sold in the millions.
          A short time after they hung out together, Billy Joel was asked about Garth. Joel said, it was reported [and I’m paraphrasing] “He’s a nice guy. But he can tell you just how many albums he’s sold. When “The Stranger” and “52nd Street” [two of Joel’s classic ’70s albums] went platinum or double-platinum , I didn’t even know about it!. But Garth knows exactly how many units each one of his albums has sold.”

        • Ken October 27, 2016 at 8:01 am

          As usual you cannot even support your original ridiculous argument. Garth is a master of marketing so of course he was aware of how many albums he has sold. Probably a good thing because many artists have been cheated out of royalties by record labels because of under reported sales. Perhaps Billy Joel should have taken a more active interest in his own sales to protect his own interests. Too many acts don’t and pay the price for it.

          Your original comment was that Garth is somehow “gaming the system” in his quest to surpass other artists that you contend he’s “competing with.” Being aware of his sales does not indicate that his fundamental mission is to beat other acts to the top of the sales chart. Garth is interested in promoting Garth. Period. I find no evidence otherwise and neither have you.

        • luckyoldsun October 28, 2016 at 2:32 am

          I love ya, I really do. But I don’t know how to tell you this, you’re becoming a bit of a brat.
          We can’t keep playing with each other, we have to play with other children.
          Here, Jonny called Garth’s comeback “infuriating”, said Garth gives short shrift to Trisha Yearwood, spoke of his “overblown” ego and sense of importance, his “desperation,” and said that his last album was “CRAP”! And he gave his latest effort a C-!
          But all you want to do is pester me–over and over–because I said that Garth “games the system” with his constant issuing of humongous, multi-disc box sets.
          So go play with Jonny for a while. It will do us both some good. But please try to be nice. Don’t call him a “know-nothing” or use words like “inane,” “useless,” and “ridiculous.” Other people consider that to be rude. If you talk to him like that, Jonny might punch you in the nose.

        • Ken October 28, 2016 at 8:58 pm

          Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but no one is entitled to their own facts. Jonathan expressed his honest OPINION in a well-written review about Garth’s new song. There are no factual points in his essay that are untrue. He did not state that Garth is “competing” with other artists to achieve the most sales nor did he state that Garth was attempting to “game the system” in some fashion to achieve that goal. If Jonathan had said that I would have taken issue with those comments. However he did not state them. YOU did. If you are going to post allegations then you should be prepared to defend them. So far you have not offered one shred of evidence to support either of those contentions. You have a long history on this site of offering ridiculous statements that have no basis in fact or make no sense. Then you get upset whenever you get called out for them. Have you ever noticed that hardly anyone ever agrees with you? Please know that whenever you post inane, useless or ridiculous comments (and I’m sure you will) you will be called out for them. That’s not “rude.” It’s setting the record straight so that folks that visit this site do not read your outrageous fantasies and assume that they are factually accurate because no one contradicted them. In case you missed it – everyone is entitled to their own opinion but no one is entitled to their own facts.

        • luckyoldsun October 28, 2016 at 10:37 pm

          Thanks, Kenny–Don’t ever change. To quote someone I mentioned up the thread, “I love ya just the way you are.”

  2. Razor X October 26, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    I was surprised to read this week that Garth’s music is now available for streaming exclusively on Amazon’s new Unlimited service.

  3. debsong2013 November 1, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Yet another hater who knows nothing about music just trying to get his 15 minutes of fame by writing a blog and bashing a music superstar. “Now, I’ve always been a Garth Brooks fan. … (blah, blah, blah)” Please … spare us the phony praise of Garth. There’s nothing I hate more than people who pay someone a disingenuous compliment just before they tear them apart. “Oh ____ is such a nice person, but ….” … it’s like people who say “just joking” to someone they’ve just publicly and mercilessly ridiculed and humiliated. It’s very disingenuous and phony, and nobody believes you for a second.

  4. RustyS November 5, 2016 at 8:03 am

    I’m a born Garth fan I listen to his music daily and this song is amazing and just what I would expect out of a single of Garth Brooks. in relation to “man Against Machine” the second half of the album is good and the first half was GREAT specifically the title song and “cold like that” are some of my favorite Garth songs to date. I have listened to this everyday sense its release date and its still stuck in my head. I strongly disagree with this article in almost everyway. Garth is the prince of Country obviously following shy to George Strait but that’s a place I’m sure is okay with being in.

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