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Eric Church, ‘Cold One’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Cold One
EMI Nashville

Producer Jay Joyce is the star of Eric Church’s new single ‘Cold One.’ The arrangement, specifically the elephant-like noises coming from his guitars, stands out above anything the singer is saying.

The guitar work and thundering rhythm section feel spontaneous. There’s a looseness to ‘Cold One’ that’s foreign to anything else on the radio. A solo after the second chorus is as slick as sandpaper. The whole thing is part garage rock, part country music. The mix is uneven and jagged — but it all works to create a very compelling three-plus minutes of music.

That was a cold one / I never will get back / If she had to leave / Did she have to leave me / One beer short of a twelve pack,” Church sings to begin the chorus of this song for the (not really) broken-hearted. The story goes: girl dumps guy but steals a beer on her way out the door. He’s upset, about being one beer short of a 12-pack.

I still like to drink a beer but a long neck I won’t do / ‘Cause every time I see one sweatin’, man, I break out in one too,” he adds, closing the song with a gem.

Midway through, ‘Cold One’ turns into a rockabilly breakdown that someone like Hank III may appreciate if it had a few more curse words and the subject matter was saltier. In total, there’s a one minute long instrumental break. Find another song on country radio that does that in 2014.

Jeff Hyde and Lynn Hutton helped Church write ‘Cold One,’ the third single from the critically acclaimed ‘The Outsiders’ album. It’s not their song as much as it is Joyce’s however. And country radio is better for his contribution.

Key Lyrics: “She left me hangin’ high and dry / In that hell hot summer sun / Damn babe, that was a cold one”

Did You Know?: Jeff Hyde has been with Eric Church for years. He’s a multi-instrumentalist in Church’s band.

Listen to Eric Church, ‘Cold One’

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Next: The Top 40 Country Songs of May 2014

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