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ToC Critic’s Pick: Eric Church, ‘Like a Wrecking Ball’ [Listen]

Like a Wrecking Ball
EMI Nashville

Eric Church’s “Like a Wrecking Ball” is as close to 50 Shades of Grey as a country song will ever get.

The sheer physicality of this slow, forceful love song from The Outsiders might make some uncomfortable. A few may even object to this chorus:

“That whole house is gonna be shakin’ / I hope those bricks and boards can take it / But I won’t be surprised / If the whole damn place just falls / Wanna rock you baby, like a wrecking ball.” 

To be certain, this is a non-traditional babymaker from country music’s least likely Romeo. And that’s why it works. “Like a Wrecking Ball” silences Church’s crowd when he includes it between two more guitar-driven numbers at concerts. It’s a unified moment of “Whoa!”

“You, look at you, send me one more shot / Sittin’ on the bathroom sink / Damn, you really turn me on / Painting your toenails pink,” Church says to begin the first verse. He wrote the song with Casey Beathard, and neither let up midway through, after their point was made with an efficient first verse and chorus. Pardon this filthy metaphor, but the song reaches a climax and sticks around to cuddle and make breakfast. It’s satisfying through the final cymbal crash.

“Like a Wrecking Ball” is a married-people-song that may — like so many of Church’s songs — resonate more with men than women. The singer has found a new category in which to push boundaries. With one song, he’s raised the bar for more traditional country crooners.

Key Lyrics: “I wanna rock some sheet rock / Knock some pictures off the wall / Love you, baby, like a wrecking ball”

Did You Know?: Co-writer Casey Beathard has written plenty of party songs (“Drinkin’ Bone” and “Ten Rounds of Jose Cuervo” for Tracy Byrd, “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” for Kenny Chesney) but he’s also penned romantic hits for country lovers like Jeff Bates.

Listen to Eric Church, “Like a Wrecking Ball”

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