“Make it Sweet” – Old Dominion
There’s no doubt it’ll be difficult for Old Dominion to beat last year’s Happy Endings. All three singles off the band’s second album went to #1 on U.S. airplay charts, and rightfully so. Its newest single, “Make it Sweet,” is by all means a great song, but there’s no doubt that Old Dominion has done better. The song is catchy and fun, but it doesn’t have any specific parts that stand out. It’s not necessarily memorable, and it just blends into a sea of middle-of-the-road country love songs. Compared to a lot of today’s country music, “Make it Sweet” stands out in all the best ways. It has solid lyrics and a catchy rhythm, and no mentions of trucks and/or beer. It is unwaveringly optimistic and easy going, and the video channels Kenny Chesney’s “American Kids” hippie theme in the best of ways. But when lined up with Old Dominion’s previous hits like “Written in the Sand” and “Snapback,” it doesn’t come close. Those songs were chart-topping because they truly stood out from today’s mainstream country music. Old Dominion is best known for unique, witty lyrics and perfectly-timed rhymes (often penned by country lyric powerhouse Shane McAnally), and when measured on that scale, “Make it Sweet” just doesn’t deliver.
“Under Pressure” ft. teddy<3 – Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes could not have chosen a more ambitious song to cover, but his bravery paid off in the end. “Under Pressure” is a slower, acoustic version of the Queen classic. Although nothing can compare to Freddie Mercury’s version, Mendes’ rendition was surprisingly impressive. The slowness of the song made it more calming than the more intense original version.
“Love You Anymore” – Michael Buble
“Love You Anymore” is the quintessential Michael Buble song—complete with sweet lyrics, an incredibly smooth voice, and a smooth, mellow melody. In the song, he sings of a past relationship in the nicest way possible. It’s a breakup song in disguise, one that pins Buble as the good guy and carrying the listener along for the ride.
Featured Image by RCA Records Nashville