Jerrod Niemann, ‘Drink to That All Night’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]
Jerrod Niemann has never sounded like anyone else on the radio, and 'Drink to That All Night' doesn't capitulate. The party anthem begins like a freight train barreling down some Blue Ridge mountaintop before introducing guitars, vocal effects and a final chorus that's made for fist-pumping.
The first minute is difficult to absorb. Sonically and lyrically, the things Niemann is doing aren't going to be familiar to most country music fans. "Pulling up now and the parking lot’s full / Gonna ride that cow at the Dallas Bull / Everybody in the ATL is coming / Deejay’s got those speakers thumping," Niemann
sings says. Comparisons to songs by Brantley Gilbert, Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line are fair, but 'Drink to That All Night' is much smoother.
"Got a black Ford, not a white Mercedes / Walking in the front door, checking out the ladies / My buddy says, hey boys, I’m buying / Hottest girl in here’s giving me the eye and …” Niemann adds before the chorus, which is really the first interpretable moment of the song.
Credit Niemann's producer for pulling all of the pieces together. The singer's last album, 'Free the Music,' was a sonic buffet of styles and sounds that was difficult to digest, and 'Drink to That All Night' doesn't fly straight either. Hip-hop, electronica, bluegrass and rock (does anyone else hear U2?) aren't just welded together to create some clumsy Frankensong. The separate influences are deftly applied to -- by the end -- create a great turn-it-up moment of euphoria.
After the bridge, Neimann slaps right back into the chorus and repeats it again and again as if he's on stage feeding off of 10,000 fans in front of him. Lyrically, 'Drink to That All Night' is pretty generic, but it's all about the delivery and especially the production on this first sample from the 34-year-old's upcoming album.
Key Lyrics: "I can drink to that all night, that’s the stuff I like / That’s the kinda party makes you throw your hands up high / ‘Bout to tie one on, talking gone, gone, gone / Turning all the wrongs into right / I can drink to that all night."
Did You Know?: Niemann is a country music historian who went back 70 to 80 years to learn about those who influenced his influences. He can talk about men like Jimmie Rodgers as comfortably as he can George Strait. "If I’m going to dedicate my life to something, the least I can do is know where it came from," he says.
Listen to Jerrod Niemann, 'Drink to That All Night'