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Rodney Atkins, ‘Just Wanna Rock N’ Roll’ – Song Review

Just Wanna Rock N' Roll
Curb Nashville

Much like he did with ‘Take a Back Road’ in 2011, Rodney Atkins has released a song you’ll struggle to keep from singing along with by summer’s end. ‘Just Wanna Rock N’ Roll’ is carefree fun that showcases the singer as a cool breeze on a dog’s-breath-hot summer day.

This style is progress from the folksy family anthems he released in ’06 and ’07. Atkins is moving forward without leaving behind a fanbase that pushed songs like ‘Watching You’ and ‘Cleaning This Gun’ to the top of the charts. He deserves credit for a minor reinvention, as it would have been easy to remain knee deep in a pigeon hole.

Whoa-oh, don’t you just wanna rock n’ roll / Gather up a couple of friends let a shot hit the spot and the party begin / Whoa-oh, don’t you just wanna rock n’ roll / Lose yourself out in the crowd / In the night, in the lights, cut it loose and loud,” the 43-year-old sings during the chorus. The team of gospel singers behind him add to the song without burying its simple message.

“Well the sun will shine and the clouds will rain / Might have to learn smile through the pain / You lose a step but you gain a friend / Might even catch a break every now and then,” Atkins sings during the second verse of this Rodney Clawson and Chris Tompkins-penned cut from the ‘Take a Back Road’ album.

The guitar work shouldn’t go overlooked in ‘Just Wanna Rock N’ Roll.’ In addition to an attention-grabbing introduction, there is an effective solo late in the tune that casts a shadow over a pedestrian bridge. The entire song works because it’s an honest reflection of who this singer is. Truthfully, the same could be said of his career thus far.

4 Stars
Listen to Rodney Atkins, ‘Just Wanna Rock N’ Roll’

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