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Single Review: “That’s How It Still Oughta Be” by Trent Tomlinson

January 15, 2009

Tomlinson singing at the seventh annual Country Music Festival in Essex, Vermont, on July 9, 2006.

After a long wait, Trent Tomlinson returns to country radio not with another “Drunker Than Me”, but a song more reminiscent of “One Wing In The Fire”. Rather surprising considering the rough and tough image he puts off. That being said his intention for his newest song are nothing new. In fact it would be far from a stretch to call it a re-write of Bucky Covington’s debut single “A Different World”.

With that in mind, Trent has some things to his favor. The acoustic feel is quite pleasant and the concept is more generalized to an attempt from Trent to rekindle some values and morals in a world plagued by violence and fear within the past ten years. Sadly enough though there is more against this song than in its favor. For one, the writing: what Trent and his co-writers Jim Collins and Tom Shapiro try to do is recall some of the better qualities of past American life, however the word use and the mood of the song doesn’t present the positive message they were looking for but creates more of a feeling of depression and hatred for today’s world that doesn’t help much at all. The production, although satisfyingly dumbed down, is a little shotty once you get past the pleasant sound of an acoustic guitar.

The biggest issue of all however is the same problem that purged Bucky of perfection with his debut hit. Trent is only in his 30’s, he was born in 1975, and would have only begun to understand the world around him 5 or 6 years later in the 80’s. That being said the lyric portrays a man who went through a more post 80’s era, perfected during the Vietnam War era of the 60’s and late 50’s. This song would have been more effective as a recollection towards his parents world or longing for the peace of his parents’ days, however coming from the singer himself this song sounds much more fitting for a singer of more personal experience and history on their side.

Grade: C

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Shenell permalink
    January 15, 2009 2:00 pm

    I would have to disagree with you. I was born in 1974, and I completely understand where Trent is coming from with this song. I dont think AGE has anything to do with it. Considering the economy as it is noe, everyone, no matter what age, had it better 10, 20, 30, etc years ago.

  2. Ruthie permalink
    January 15, 2009 2:28 pm

    I disagree with the review also. I have been at several concerts where Trent has performed this song and the crowd reaction was always awesome. The people get it and love it.

  3. Shenell permalink
    January 15, 2009 9:43 pm

    Your right, Ruthie….I just heard it live Tue night, and the crowd LOVED it! Even JOHN RICH told Trent after he sang it that that was a #1 hit…..now, how can you argue with that??

  4. cowboybleau permalink*
    January 16, 2009 4:40 am

    Shenell, not to put down your own opinion of the song, but I can very much argue with that because John Rich’s opinion to me is worth very little.

  5. LORI permalink
    January 16, 2009 2:15 pm

    I THINK THIS WILL BE A NUMBER ONE FOR TRENT!!LOOK AT HOW HARD THE TIMES ARE AND HERE WE HAVE AN ARTIST SINGING ABOUT REAL LIFE, REAL PROBLEMS!!WHOEVER SAYS THIS IS A REWRITE OF SOMEONE ELSE’S SONG DOES NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.I AM A HUGE FAN OF TRENT’S AND TO ME HE IS THE BEST OUT THERE!!THE ONLY OPINION THAT MATTERS ARE THE FANS.THEY ARE THE ONES WHO CAN MAKE THE SONGS THESE ARTIST SINGS!!LET’S SHOW THEM TRENT FAN’S WHAT THIS ARTIST IS ALL ABOUT!!TRENT WILL DO THE REST!

  6. bradleyljt permalink
    January 17, 2009 4:29 am

    i was born in 76 and i get the song, and trent gets people not just his fans. he is the real deal

  7. January 17, 2009 4:53 pm

    Cowboy Bleau, it looks like you need some back up here. Here I am. I, of course, agree with your assessment. This song sounds ridiculous coming from someone Trent’s age. And quoting John Rich doesn’t exactly win many people over these days.

  8. cowboybleau permalink*
    January 17, 2009 8:31 pm

    Thanks Leeann, never thought you would be the one to back me up on my reviews, sometimes I waonder if you’re getting soft or if I’m just getting more critical.

  9. January 20, 2009 10:30 pm

    Ha! If you’re reading my reviews over at CU, you probably know I’m not getting soft. Hope we grumpy reviewers aren’t rubbing off on you too much, though I’m, perhaps, glad we are a little.:)

  10. Brian permalink
    February 20, 2009 2:46 am

    It’s a number one, there is no doubt in my mind. I knew it the first time I heard it. Take the song at face value, don’t break it down into tiny segments of “this could be better”. It’s a damn good song and in this economy, it’s a song that just might help people smile a bit.

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