Tim McGraw (Feat. Catherine Dunn), ‘Diamond Rings and Old Barstools’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]
Tim McGraw’s ‘Diamond Rings and Old Barstools’ takes a simple metaphor and turns it into a complex, tragic story shared by two once-lovers. The latest single from ‘Sundown Heaven Town’ will remind fans of ‘I Need You’ from the ‘Let It Go’ album.
Catherine Dunn’s chemistry with McGraw doesn’t match wife Faith Hill’s (how could it?), but her sultry backing vocals add smoke to this smoldering fire. Some of the best lyrics of the song are right up front. McGraw’s comparison quickly takes shape when he says:
“Diamond rings and old barstools / One's for queens and one's for fools / One's the future and one's the past / One's forever and one won't last.”
The point is the two lovers are opposites, destined to go in different directions. Many a married woman has worn a diamond ring while sitting atop an old barstool and lived to tell about it. His metaphor is clouded by the chorus, but it doesn’t really matter because the song’s multi-sensorial imagery is so strong.
“It ain't like midnight and cigarette smoke / It ain't like watered down whiskey and coke / I guess some things just don't mix like you hoped / Like me and you / And diamond rings and old barstools,” the two sing, Dunn adding an extra layer of sadness to McGraw’s melancholy musings.
On ‘Sundown Heaven Town,’ McGraw proves he’s a master at picking songs perfect for his style and frame of mind. The singles from this album are more subdued and complicated than previous efforts. Nothing comes close to ‘Truck Yeah.’ It’s hard to imagine this ballad going over during his high-powered live show, but perhaps by taking his foot off of the accelerator, he’s the one taking a risk.
Key Lyrics: "Diamond rings and old barstools / One's for queens and one's for fools / One's the future and one's the past / One's forever and one won't last"
Did You Know?: Dunn is McGraw’s cousin. Yes, he noticed that he chose a love song as his first to sing with his cousin -- he thinks it’s funny.
Listen to Tim McGraw, ‘Diamond Rings and Old Bar Stools’
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