Darius Rucker ‘Radio’ – Review

Darius_Rucker_Photo_Credit_Jim_Wright-CountryMusicRocks.net_

As is natural with any single following a bonafide hit,
there is pressure on ‘Radio’ to top the huge success of ‘Wagon Wheel’. Designed
to be a standard mainstream summer song, it pretty much delivers on that
account, although no real prizes for originality can be given out on this
occasion. With ‘Radio’, the teen driving/summer love song is given a very
slight variation in focusing on the use of the radio to find and listen to
music where there was no other access. Lines such as “Hey y’all be quiet, that’s
my favorite song” in the bridge add a conversational and situational tone to a
set of lyrics steeped in convention.

Darius does do convention better than most, so while I can’t
get excited about this song as something new and original, ‘Radio’ doesn’t bore
me or sound like too much of a cop-out. Certainly musically there are moments
of interest; the effects on the guitar during the intro set it apart from its
contemporaries and create a bit of a bluesy/soul feel. I’m slightly
disappointed that this wasn’t made more of, as then a more typical mainstream
country rock sonic unit comes in, taking away some of the punchiness and dynamics
that had been present. However, they make sure to keep the verses moderately
stripped back so as not to overwhelm, and to leave the space for the chorus. In
addition, the mandolin is almost always audible during the full 3 minutes
without having to listen out for it, showing that in the rocky aspects of the music
Darius and his team don’t forget the more ‘country’ instruments that tend to
get lost elsewhere.

The melody draws from genres outside country, but still fits
the rest of the song well, coming round in circles regularly ensuring the
catchy element (evidence: I had the first two lines of the chorus running round
my head for a couple of days). In addition, they have tried to make it more
interesting by adding edited rhythmic vocal hooks, which works to some degree
although I’m not sure if it might alienate some listeners, as it comes across
decidedly pop.

Either way, ‘Radio’ is not a bad summer song, and although a
little short for my liking I’m sure, given Darius’ current popularity and the
solidness of the song, it’ll make top 10. You can listen to Darius perform ‘Radio’
live here:

 

Posted by Vickye.
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