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Jon Pardi, ‘What I Can’t Put Down’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

What I Can't Put Down CP
Capitol Nashville

‘What I Can’t Put Down’ is the signature track from Jon Pardi’s ‘Write You a Song’ album. More than any other, this country-rocker defines the music he introduces on one of 2014’s finest releases to date.

Too often, lyrical depth is sacrificed when an artist turns up the guitars. Pardi, Bart Butler and Brice Long manage to tell a complete story between thick chords and the cleverly used draw of a fiddle. Fans learn quite a bit about this California-born newcomer during his song.

I knew the first time should’ve been the last time / I ever let the whiskey touch my lips / ‘Cause the devil wears black and he goes by Jack / And he’s really good at helpin’ me forget,” Pardi sings to open ‘What I Can’t Put Down.’

Other addictions include cigarettes, his guitar and the touch of a beautiful woman. “She looked my way then looked back again / Gotta different kinda high when I touched her skin,” he adds to open the second verse.

Pardi’s style is straightforward with no distractions, but that doesn’t mean it’s without sizzle or edge. “Yeah, I’m always / Pickin’ up what I can’t put, can’t put, can’t put down,” he sings to close each chorus, building from the first through the second to the final refrain to make the final minute one to look forward to every time the song begins.

The Top 10 hit ‘Up All Night’ introduced Pardi, but this song — and a high-profile opening slot on the Dierks Bentley tour this summer — should make him more of a household name by the end of 2014.

Why Fans Will Love It: Pardi has cut a great traditional country-rocker. No pure country fan will need to look over his shoulder before turning it up past 10.

Key Lyrics: “And it’s all or nothin’ / So keep it comin’ / Let that feelin’ run through my veins / Ain’t no stoppin’, keep on rockin’, yeah / It seems I’m always / Yeah, I’m always / Pickin’ up what I can’t put down”

Did You Know?: Jon Pardi already has enough material ready for a second album. In 2012, he told ToC some of the songs fans are just hearing now are two or three years old. He’s been known to slip some unreleased material into his sets if he needs to extend his live show.

Listen to Jon Pardi, ‘What I Can’t Put Down’

Next: Top 40 Country Songs for March 2014

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