ToC Critic’s Pick: Tyler Farr, ‘Withdrawals’ [Listen]
Tyler Farr won’t be offended if you double-check the name on the car stereo when “Withdrawals” gets to the chorus. This massive vocal performance sounds nothing like the more mid-register songs Farr has released from his first two albums. All that stuff about classical training … yeah, here it is.
It’d be one thing if the second single from Suffer in Peace was a pure vocal showcase, but the songwriters have painted a mercilessly dark portrait of what heartbreak looks and feels like. The first verse tickles your nose before the second half brushes your skin.
“It’s your blue sundress with the strap falling off of your shoulder / It’s that all night moonlight drive, you saying baby, pull over, pull over / It’s that long kiss barely coming up for air / Had to have you anytime and everywhere / So hooked on you, probably never get clean and sober,” Farr sings. Credit Josh Kear, Gordie Sampson and Hillary Lindsey for the lyrics. Before that, they describe the girl as:
“You were that whiskey running through my veins / You were that first sweet taste of Mary Jane.” Has anyone else in music history ever referenced marijuana without sounding Beavis or Butt-head?
Farr’s chorus demands your attention, and for that reason it may be slow to catch on at radio. Listeners will need time to embrace his style and strength, and to cut through that to the satisfying, painful emotions:
“Whoa, I bang my head against the moon / I bang my fist against the wall / You always used to get me high / Now all I do is crash and fall / I’m going through withdrawals / I’m going through withdrawals / I’m going through withdrawals / Yeah you got me going through ‘em.”
The subject matter is right down country Main St., but Farr’s presentation is anything but typical. This is an important song for him as an artist, and for the format in 2015.
Key Lyrics: "You always used to get me high / Now all I do is crash and fall / I’m going through withdrawals."
Did You Know?: Farr's influences stretch far, far outside of country music. He tells Taste of Country that Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli are two vocalists he enjoys. “I think Michael Bolton sings his butt off,” he adds.
Listen to Tyler Farr, “Withdrawals”
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