Jon Pardi is a singer-songwriter from California. While he has released a few singles, nothing has really peaked my interest quite yet. Nothing offended me, but I wasn't really paying attention. That has all changed with his newest single, "What I Can't Put Down". I find myself instantly drawn in when I hear this song on the radio, and for good reason. It strikes a chord in country music that is vastly under-represented: fun, rocking songs that still sound country and aren't mind-numbing cliches. "What I Can't Put Down" is interesting, clever, and even fun. It can be done. How about that?
"What I Can't Put Down" hits hard, with a rocking guitar-driven sound that puts you in mind of Eric Church's style. It may be loud, but it stays grounded in country music. The song has a strong melody that pushes the song. Ahh, how refreshing. A song with a melody rather than rhythm and rapping. There's even steel guitar thrown in the mix that's actually loud enough to hear, and a fiddle solo! Why, I do believe this guy wants to be a country artist! Jon has a unique voice as well that really stands out. The closest comparison I could muster up would be Josh Thompson. Either way, you'll know its him when you hear this on the radio, and in a world of copycats, that's a good thing.
"What I Can't Put Down" features some well-thought out lyrics that explore the addictive nature of the protagonist. As he fumbles through booze, cigarettes, women, and guitars, you actually hear some painful, yet lighthearted, regret in his voice. While it isn't some life-changing ballad with a gut-wrenching story, it is a fun song with a catchy melody that doesn't just rattle off some countryisms and call it a day. While he wants to jam out, Jon Pardi also has something to say. Everyone can relate to this song, which adds to the prime marketability of this song. While many fans continue to be turned off by mainstream country's neanderthals, Jon Pardi may fill a void in that landscape.
To be simple, "What I Can't Put Down" isn't a world-changer or a once-in-a-lifetime song. However, it is a fun, good-time song that has some meat to it, is pleasing to the musically trained ear, and stays grounded in country music while pushing the genre forward. For once, traditional and mainstream country fans can have a summer jam that they can agree on. "What I Can't Put Down" is a solid song, and Jon Pardi is officially on my radar.