Everything that starts with R ...
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Review of "Everything that starts with R ..."
Journalling more for myself than anything else now, so I don't expect reads or rates!
I didn’t fight all that hard to get the CD ‘Greatest Hits’ by Rodney Atkins onto the catalogue. I knew it was going to be rejected before I started and so I thought a café piece picking out my Rodney Atkins Greatest Hits would be a good alternative. For a start, whilst I agree that many of the songs on his actual Greatest Hits should be on there… there are others I am less enamoured with. It’s worth noting that I listen to music for lyrics and therefore if I don’t find something in the lyrics to catch me, I will move on fairly sharpish.For those who aren’t aware – and there are likely a few as Atkins isn’t a UK mainline artist – Rodney Atkins is an American country artist who charted his first single in 1997 and released his first album in 2003. He started as a bit of a cowboy artist from all accounts and purposes, but has since tidied up and retained a cleaner image with a polished edge to it. His voice is relaxed and laid back, largely singing to a guitar backing and he has lyrics that generally make me sit up and listen. Many of which I now know off the very tippety toppity of my head. So my Greatest Hits.
Honesty (Write Me A List)
Tenderness and trust
A little less time
For the rest of the world
And more for the two of us
This is a song that caught me from the very start, the gentle voice telling this story of a couple caught up in the dividing lines of a relationship. He’s told her to write him a list of the things she thinks she deserves from the relationship. He’s thinking the physical. The car, the house, the land. He’s wondering what the bottom line is going to be and how much he is going to lose. And she grabs a paper napkin and asks the waitress for a pen. But she doesn’t write what he expects. She looks at it in a different way. And one by one she writes down what she wants most from him. This is a reminder that we can so get so caught up in the material things we can forget the important things. It’s a reminder to give kisses each morning and always say I Love You.
He said, they won't speak when spoken to
So which one here belongs to you
And I know one does 'cause they all started runnin'
To your back forty
When they saw me comin’ on my gator
In contrast, this is an upbeat, gruff and rough song with a far more electric sound behind it with some heavy drums and a rock an’ roll feel to it in its own country way. It’s a song you could almost head bang to but in doing so, you’d miss the importance of the lyrics. Because it doesn’t matter what this young man does, you can hear the pride in this fathers voice as he shouts “he’s mine, that one and I’ll take the blame and claim him every time.” Complete and unrelenting acceptance and a fathers blessing.
Well, then my four year old said a four letter word
That started with "s, " and I was concerned
So I said, "Son, now where did you learn to talk like that?"
He said, "I've been watching you, dad, ain't that cool?
We’ve gone back in time with this one I think, but the family motif is running clear and proud throughout. Still upbeat, we’ve lost the electric overtones but kept the gruff vocals and less heavy drums to guitar. Parenting is hard it says. You make mistakes. But along with the mistakes you raise confident little men and women who will be strong as superman and eat their greens and know what to do because they’ve been watching you.
I don't remember all that Spanish
Or the Gettysburg address
But there is one speech from high school
I'll never forget
Fathers to little girls will be able to understand this one as they watch their little princesses grow up and realise that at some point they are going to be faced with boys just like them who have just one thing on their mind. Parts of this are so low you can almost speak but you can hear the protectiveness and also the humour behind it.
That I'm okay
That I moved on
When you walked away
But the truth is
Since you said goodbye
I'm invisibly shaken
And quietly breakin'
Desperately takin' one breath at a time
Very gentle piano, a haunting tune and soft vocals sing out the anthem of the quietly breaking heart and the hard decisions that have to be made. Rodney Atkins showcases his talent beautifully both in lyrics and voice and this is a song that never fails to tug at my heart strings.
If you're goin' through hell keep on going
Don't slow down, if you're scared don't show it
You might get out before the devil even knows you're there
This is one of those songs that I can get on a far deeper level and on bad days even now, belting this out at the top of my lungs can be exceptionally therapeutic. The guitar and backing musicians make this sound upbeat and it has a line dancing sound to it that somehow works with the gruff voice. With verses that are almost spoken leaving the line dancing to work as a defiant backing to lyrics which are both brutally honest and somehow said with a smile, there’s a real sense of understanding, comfort and optimism held within this piece. Because even when you ask directions from a genie in a bottle of Jim Beam and she lies to you there are still angels out there on the street.
So here's to new beginnings and to the memories
And cheers to your mama and daddy 'cause they were right about you and me
And here's to Millsap on the jukebox and to your new friends you've found
And here's to our joint account
Master card 'cause I'm buying the whole house a round
This is an upbeat piece about the need to move on with your ife and not linger in the past because drinking to forget about you is just wasted whiskey. At the end of the day there ain’t enough bourbon behind the bar and I ain’t got that kind of time. It’s a song that never fails to make me smile and there are some really clever lines in it… it’s also a song you can truly belt along with at the top of your voice which is always a bonus. This is pure country through and through and it’s just great fun as a song.
I bet it gets so quiet in heaven sometimes
Even God cries when an angel's hands are tied
A complete change of pace here, this is a very thoughtful and melodic piece about when there’s nothing else that can be done. It tells the story of an alcoholic who has pushed his mother to her absolute limit and a little girl watching her parents go through a messy divorce. It’s a powerful little song and somewhere along the line grasped my heart.
Do I Recommend?
I’m glad I have Spotify as it means I can cut and paste the songs I like as my favourites are spread across multiple albums. I think I’d be a little more annoyed if I had to buy all the albums separately to pick out the tracks that I’m most fond of, but that perhaps is a sign of the times! I do recommend checking out his work though as some of it is well worth a listen, even if others do nothing for me.
Product Information : Everything that starts with R ...
Manufacturer's product description
Listed on Ciao since: 31/01/2001