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Sugarland Feat. Matt Nathanson, ‘Run’ – Song Review

Mercury Nashville

Sugarland continue to push against the boundaries of country music with their new single, ‘Run,’ featuring Matt Nathanson. More accurately, it’s Matt Nathanson featuring Sugarland, but semantics are forgotten early into this artistic, bad-for-me love song.

‘Run’ is on Nathanson’s most recent album ‘Modern Love.’ He appeared with Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush at the 2011 CMA Awards, singing this song to the country music industry and fans watching on ABC. It was a performance many didn’t quite know what to do with, but in some ways that’s how one could define Sugarland’s career. Like whiskey, collard greens and Cheerwine, they’re an acquired taste capable of turning into a new favorite.

I wanna watch you undress / I wanna watch you glow / Let your hair down, all around and cover us both / You come in waves / We crash and we roll / You surround me, pull me, drown me, swallow me whole,” Nathanson begins. On paper the lyrics are much steamier than they sound at first listen.

Nettles responds in the second verse: “You pull me in close
 / You buckle my knees
 / I shake and I shiver just to feel you breathe
 / You trace my lines / Stirring my soul
 / Shoot sparks at the heart of the world and I watch it explode.”

Not since Jon Bon Jovi has a male lead complimented Nettles’ beckoning drawl so naturally. “You turn, turn, turn / Turning me on
 like a slow fire burn 
/ Know that it’s wrong
 / Still I run, run, run, run right into you
 / Yeah, I run, run, run, run right into you,” they sing in the chorus.

A few traditional country instruments were added to the original to make this song more appropriate for country radio, but overall the duo and Nathanson stick to the climatic formula that they employ in the album version. ‘Run’ is a stop-and-thinker that could be easily dismissed if listened to haphazardly. It’s right up Sugarland Street, if such a strange, artsy road exists.

4.5 Stars

Preview Sugarland Feat. Matt Nathanson, ‘Run’

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Watch Sugarland and Matt Nathanson Perform ‘Run’ at the 2011 CMA Awards

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