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Single Review: “Where I’m From” by Jason Michael Carroll

November 11, 2008

Jason hit the scene with a bang by taking on three concepts, child abuse, everlasting love, and living it up. All these were relatively non-cliche subject matters that probably worked in his favor by signifying him as an artist capable of re-birthing older values in country music with a modern twist to them. Jason returns to radio with new material from his upcoming sophomore release and attempts once again to touch on a traditional country value, but with not as much success.

To put it in perspective, “Livin’ Our Love Song” tackled a concept that only Shania has successfully managed to keep alive without overdoing it, “I Can Sleep When I’m Dead” is one of the better ‘live it up’ songs of the era, and “Alyssa Lies” was just a work of pure art and majesty on Jason’s part by centering around child abuse in a way only Martina has managed to tackle with such perfection in the new era of the genre. However “Where I’m From” doesn’t quite live up to the standard. the song focuses around a man who is bumped up to first class on an airplane and meets a suit on a business trip who asks him where he’s from. So far so good…but here’s where it loses its touch a little bit. The character goes into detail about all the best aspects of country life and values, but instead of offering something less cliche Jason just sticks to the same values and concepts that have been covered over and over again on more recent country pride jingles. When he reaches his second verse he takes on the concept of the narrator’s cancer stricken brother and his pride in where he’s from and finally the businessman, who basically says sorry about the brother and drops the subject, reveals his former country-style living as a young man.

Jason has been pretty consistent and thus far has stayed within a safe zone where he is protected from cliches or overpowered song topics just enough to keep him in contention as a new Blake Shelton or Craig Morgan. However this song is not so safe. Even the inclusion of a cancer patient into the mix, while heartfelt and very respectable, doesn’t do much to keep it from being a little to risky in a genre that is littered with songs just like this every day. Jason has stepped from his protective barrier of slight originality and it may be a deciding factor in the longevity of his career if this song can keep him in the spotlight. All things considered though, this continues Jason’s line of quite entertaining and enjoyable songs that just comes of as pure and well performed, even if a little cliche.

listen: www.myspace.com/jasonmichaelcarrol

Grade: B-

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