Lyrics Uncovered: Chris Young, ‘Think of You’ (Feat. Cassadee Pope)
Chris Young's "Think of You" lyrics have brought a hit duet back to country radio, featuring two of the outstanding vocal performances so far in 2016.
Songwriter and producer Corey Crowder had the idea for the song, and he took it to Young and Josh Hoge at one of their regularly scheduled writing sessions.
"One of my good buddies had split up with his girl, and it just kinda made it weird," Crowder tells Taste of Country. "Their two names kinda rolled off the tongue, because I was so used to saying their names as a couple. I'd always think of her when I was talking about him. So it kinda hit me, 'What a great idea for a duet.'"
Crowder had already started a musical track, and when he pitched the notion to his friends and collaborators, they "grabbed onto the idea immediately, and we wrote the thing in no time," he recalls. "Melodically and lyrically, we all pitched in equally. They understood the idea. A lot of days you have to kind of like explain what you were thinking, but that one was so clear, like it was so obvious where we were headed. They latched onto it really quick."
The "Think of You" lyrics really deliver on the original premise: “We used to be the life of the party / We used to be the ones that they wished they were / But now it’s like they don’t know how to act / Maybe they’re like me and they want us back / It’s like there’s always an empty space / Those memories that nobody can erase / Of how bright we burned / Well now it hurts, but it’s true / When they think of me, they think of you.”
Unlike most duets — which oftentimes start as songs written for solo voice, then are adapted when an artist decides they want to record a duet — "Think of You" was written as a duet from the start, and the trio knew they would have to find just the right female singer to pull it off.
It was just a really fun day. I think that energy shows up in the track.
"We knew that we wanted somebody that could keep up with Chris vocally, which is really hard," Crowder says. "I don't know if most people know how good of a singer he is, but he's kind of a freak of nature. His range and his power is very, very underrated. It is really crazy. I've learned from writing with him these last couple of years .... I'm a singer, too, and I usually have to write within the confines of my range, but with him it's kind of a free-for-all. It's like, 'Wouldn't this be a great melody? It's way out of my range, but Chris can nail it.'"
They arrived at Cassadee Pope by serendipity.
"Cassadee's name had definitely been thrown around, but when Chris saw her play — they did some kind of a guitar pull together — he freaked out and told us, 'I just heard the duet partner. She is unbelievable, I would love to have her on the song,'" Crowder relates.
Crowder also co-produced Young's current album, I'm Comin' Over, and once he had Young and Pope in the studio together, he knew they'd captured magic. The song shows a different side of Young's voice, with him reaching for some spectacular high notes, while Pope proved to be more than they bargained for.
"When Cassadee hits this note on the bridge, it's like a C#, which for a singer, that's kinda freakish, and when she hit it, it was kinda her own little embellishment that she'd done that wasn't on the demo, and Chris and I were losing our minds in the control room, like, 'No way she just hit that!'" Crowder shares with a laugh.
"And I told Chris, 'I'm gonna ask her to do that again, and I guarantee you she won't hit that again.' And I had her do it three more times, and she hit it the exact same way every time. Me and Chris were freaking out. It was the most hilarious, dorkiest musical moment. It was just a really fun day. I think that energy shows up in the track, and it was just kind of a memorable day for me making a record."