'If You Ever Get Lonely,' the new single from Love and Theft, makes vanilla taste like chili powder. The song was previously recorded by former Bad English singer John Waite, and Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson do little to put their individual marks on the story or production. 

In fact, they sound bored singing it. "Thanks for calling / It’s so good to hear your voice / But you keep breaking up / And all the static and the noise / But I keep listening / ‘Cause I never had a choice, when it came to you," they begin.

On paper, that is a decent lyric, sort of a reminder of songs like 'Just to See You Smile' by Tim McGraw. One never feels similar heartache here. Every word stays above the surface, making the track susceptible to the worst of all emotions: ambivalence. Vocally, Love and Theft spend so much time at their high end, one loses appreciation for it.

"But if you ever get lonely and you miss me / If you need someone to listen / Even if it’s only the sound of someone’s voice who loves you that you need to hear / You know where to find me / If you ever get lonely," the two men add during each chorus. An overripe guitar solo further brings one back to the early '90s, a time not proudly remembered as bringing the best in pop ballads.

The 'Love and Theft' album made the ToC list of top albums of 2012 because the duo embraced their pop leanings and took chances by adding sharp R&B lines to songs like 'Amen' and 'Runnin' Out of Air.' The latter proved to be their lowest charting single yet. 'If You Ever Get Lonely' seems like a overreaction to that.

Listen to Love and Theft, 'If You Ever Get Lonely'