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Single Review: “Shuttin’ Detroit Down” by John Rich

February 11, 2009

I have to say that this is one of the hardest songs I’ve ever reviewed. With the complete failure of his poorly produced and performed “Another You”, John makes a bold move to forward his second solo single to radio which tackles the economic times that America is being forced through.

Now I’m not a political person, I was all for Obama and I respected McCain for what he was, but John Rich is, which makes this song and the topic both risky and respectful at the same time. Rich contrasts the falling bank industry and the auto industry of Detroit in these harsh times, and in doing so he makes some generally good points about the way things are going by seemingly setting aside political affliction to support the red-state middle man rather than Rich’s stereotypically Republican bankers. He questions such issues as why the banks are getting the stimulus and not the small people. The issue that comes to surface there is that Rich is a good writer when he writes about something specifically, but he’s a bad story writer and fails to really identify much with any singular person other than himself directly through this song.

Rich provides some very attractive country instrumental production and catchy hooks in his chorus that actually make this song worth the listen and rings out what he could really have to offer musically, however it does not manage to put the point across in any real way except for inspiring dramatic chaos within a listener in the wake of the failing economy. There is no pity or solution, and there is no cause to the effect, just the problem at hand which makes for a good topic, but only when mixed with compassion and understanding which this song does not really have. Sure it’s for the lower class, but it really doesn’t help solve their problems, it just reminds them that there is one and that’s it.

Still I give Rich credit. This is a hard topic to target and many have tried but failed in one way or another. John still fails to fully capture the effect that should be presented in a song like this, but he manages to present an attractive and enjoyable melody, a catchy hook throughout the chorus, and a much more¬†controlledvocal presentation than his last single so he’s made improvements. Now all he needs to do is get of his high horse, sit down and write a really good universal and relative story to coincide with the message he is trying to bring and realize that the point of view of a single person or an overlook does not always cut it when you’re tackling a situation like this.


Grade: B-

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    March 2, 2009 9:14 pm

    great economic boost thats what we really need plus we have a chevrolet dealership in his hometown

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