Danny Gokey, ‘Second Hand Heart’ – Song Review
If musicians were ice cream flavors, vanilla would win 'American Idol' every season. Often there are different brands of vanilla, so it's a race to see who's a better brand. Rocky road (James Durbin), green tea (Pia Toscano), and bear claw (Casey Abrams) just don't have the mass appeal.
But those flavors come on strong in a post-'Idol' world while vanilla gets lost. Those passionate about cheesecake ice cream (Stefano Langone?) will buy it from every grocer. Danny Gokey has gotten lost, largely because his voice has not cut through the freezer full of delicious flavors. His new song 'Second Hand Heart' isn't offensive, but it's still very vanilla.
"I'm a little used up / A little tattered at the seems / But there's still enough of me to be the man you need," Gokey sings in the song's first verse. There's a Velveteen Rabbit sweetness to this story, which continues right into the chorus: "I got a second hand heart / Yeah it's a little banged up / But it should be strong enough to give a lot of good love / So if you don't mind / That it's not brand-new / I'll take this second heart, and give it to you."
On paper, it's a touching tale. Sonically, Gokey's voice isn't strong enough to soar through the long stretched out syllables. He'd be better advised to break through rhythmically a la Darius Rucker than trying to match vocals with men named Shelton, Dunn or Houser. The song finishes with a twist ... or a "swirl," in ice cream lingo.
"You know I've been around the block a time or two / But every step I took was leading me to you / And your second hand heart." When 'Second hand Heart' comes on the radio, country fans won't reach for the dial. More likely it'll be background music to the conversation, daydreaming or road raging that's already taking place. That's not any artist's goal, and Gokey has a better song inside him than this one.
Listen to Danny Gokey, 'Second Hand Heart'