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ToC Critic’s Pick: Chris Young (Feat. Cassadee Pope), ‘Think of You’ [Listen]

Think of You
Sony Music Nashville

The stunning part of Chris Young’s duet with Cassadee Pope is that two high-caliber country vocalists can share a song without banging heads. “Think of You” leaves plenty of room for both to soar to new heights — literally, in Young’s case — but also finds ways for the pair to wrap around each other like fingers of holding hands.

Both Young and Pope are rangy vocalists that dominate any song brought to them, so “Think of You” moves like a dramatic blow-for-blow match between prize fighters, releasing just before the end. Guitars and uptempo percussion introduce Young’s subdued first verse, but once Pope joins in, this ex-lover’s lament intensifies.

“Meet my friends for a girls’ night out / Seems there ain’t much to talk about / Same drinks that we’re all raising / But all of the toasts just don’t feel the same,” after his opening stanza that describes the same.

The chorus tells of a once-great couple who have fallen apart. It’s relatable, memorable and unforgettable. Young continues to see how many high notes he can grab without a ladder while Pope harmonizes.

“We used to be the life of the party / We used to be the ones that they wished they were / But now it’s like they don’t know how to act / Maybe they’re like me and they want us back / It’s like there’s always an empty space / Those memories that nobody can erase / Of how bright we burned / Well now it hurts, but it’s true / When they think of me, they think of you,” the pair sing during the best parts of “Think of You.”

Too often country duets leave one wanting more from the featured artist — bold harmonies qualify as a duet in 2016, but that’s not the case here. Pope and Young is equal to Clarkson and Aldean, and this story is perhaps even stronger. The two frantically swing back and forth at one another long after the song’s climax. This tired wrestling of raw emotions feels real. It’s the way one would surely feel just moments before the inevitable events that lead to a song like “I’m Comin’ Over.”

Key Lyrics: “We used to be the life of the party / We used to be the ones that they wished they were / But now it’s like they don’t know how to act / Maybe they’re like me and they want us back.”

Did You Know?: Often two singers on a duet will record their parts separately, without ever meeting. Pope and Young shared a room at the Soundstage Studio in Nashville.

Listen to Chris Young (Feat. Cassadee Pope), “Think of You”

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