Tim McGraw’s third single has quite a lot riding on it.
After the success of its predecessors ‘One of Those Nights’ and particularly ‘Highway
Don’t Care’, Tim’s renewed lease of career is now under pressure to continue to
perform. With the release of ‘Southern Girl’, however, I don’t think this’ll be
a problem. It’s a catchy summer party hit designed to appeal to young women,
who will drunkenly sing this song to their hearts’ content.
The key to ‘Southern Girl’ is that it’s a grower, but it’s
also sonically appealing upon first listen. With an infectious beat, and Tim’s
tried-and-tested formula of countrified rock plus a slightly unexpected rockin’
solo, this is probably one of the best summer singles I’ve heard this year. The
song is built on a rhythm-led acoustic guitar part, claps (and some more solid
drums), electric guitar and piano to fill out the mix, and the focus on
acoustic guitar is a nice change from previous tracks, in addition to adding a sweet,
chilled out summery feel. Tim is on vocal form and the melody lines are strong,
simple and memorable, familiar without being too much like every other song out
there at the moment. It builds well and has been produced to a high standard, leaving
lots of space for plenty going on without it sounding too messy.