But after hearing “We Went,” from Houser and the path he’d reverted to, I was wondering how Jake Owen would handle it after putting out something of actual substance.
The answer is: about as well as Randy Houser. There’s nothing “real” about this song, making it an exercise in complete irony.
Another problem with this song is the lyrical repetition of the word “real” over and over again. The word “real” is used 32 times in a song less than three minutes. Lyrical repetition works if it serves a purpose. See Jerrod Niemann’s “What Do You Want” for an example of this (my God, did I just compliment Jerrod Niemann!?). It doesn’t work when it’s solely an attempt to convince the listener of something. This song is an example of the latter. The same points could be expressed without the word “real” being used so frequently that it just becomes a meaningless adjective.
The only thing that could make this song any better than Houser’s new effort is that the clichés aren’t thrown out a mile a minute. That’s not to say they aren’t there. But I didn’t find myself trying to count them the way I did with Houser’s song.
In the end, this song is another example of an artist taking one step forward and then two giant steps backwards.