Eric Church continues the stellar run of his 2012 CMA Album of the Year Chief with his latest single, the somber "Like Jesus Does". In this tune, Eric sheds his bad boy image for a more sensitive and tender side. Does it work?
I'll try to keep my bias aside however in this review. That being said, I still think that this is a fantastic song. A lot of love songs on the radio try to overdo the same themes over and over. This isn't world changing, but it is unique enough to catch my attention. It's a very simple song, both by radio standards, and by Eric's heavy sound. The lyrics still keep Eric's image in mind, stating his rebellious ways, but showing his tender side as well. It's interesting to note that Eric did not write this song. Casey Beathard and Monty Criswell must have had Eric in mind when they penned this. Eric was obviously drawn to it, as it's the only song on Chief he didn't co-write. When you listen to the album, this doesn't stand out as a big direction change, with either speaks to how well written the song is, or how much Eric takes the songs and makes them his own. I'm sure that Eric is a handful for any woman to take care of, and he knows it. Believablity is key to be, and this song has it. The soft way Eric delivers the lines helps too. Eric likes his music big and loud. When he stops and tones it down, it makes you stop and listen. Eric can pull both big rockers and soft ballads off with ease, and that's not an easy task.
The music video for this song is great too. I'm a sucker for acoustic performances, and this is a good one. Without all the bells and whistles, you focus on the lyrics and the emotion Eric brings. Anyone who has seen him live knows Eric brings it hard every time he steps to the mic and straps on his guitar. This video is a different energy, but he still brings it and it is a visual treat.
The only "criticism" of this song I can find is that as a Christian, I find it hard to believe that any human can ever love as much as Jesus does. Of course, it is just a song, so it's not making a statement or anything of that nature. I do not get offended by it. I just see how some people could. But, that shouldn't stop someone from releasing a song and it didn't stop Eric, so good for him. The whole point of the song is that Jesus loves us unconditionally even if we don't deserve it, and so do our women. Who can argue with that? Again, not my personal belief, but I feel to be credible I have to address any possible issues with a song and I could see a small amount of people being offended by this. They aren't wrong, but I wouldn't agree in this case.
All in all, "Like Jesus Does" is likely to be another strong number 1 single from a stellar album. Eric Church is doing a great job of making fresh and bold music in a creatively dead mainstream world. Good job Chief!!!