2014 has been a nice turnaround for traditional country music, with mainstream artists singing songs of more substance, lesser known acts like Sturgill Simpson and Brandy Clark getting recognition, and legends like Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash releasing great new music. One of the mainstream guys who has been getting some buzz is Eric Paslay. He co-wrote “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and had a number one single with the forgettable “Friday Night”. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. Eric Paslay has released one of the best songs on the radio with “She Don’t Love You”.
The song is a slow, bluesy ballad that absolutely drips heartache and sorrow. The song weaves a cautionary tale of a woman who is fragile and on the rebound, and isn’t looking for love, just company. Everybody has been in a similar situation before. “She Don’t Love You” is a throwback to country music’s longstanding tradition of songs mimicking life. Rather than a shallow expression of pettiness, Paslay gives us a real life character, with feelings and emotions that we can relate to and feel for. That’s what country music is all about. It’s a nice bonus that the character happens to be female, as it is well documented that women have not been portrayed so favorably in country the last few years.
The song has a very sparse backing arrangement, making Paslay’s vocals the main focusing point. Paslay gives a stirring performance, squeezing every bit of emotion out of the song like the greats of yesterday. In fact, this performance goes down as one of the best in recent memory. Eric Paslay and Jennifer Wayne have created a sad, lonely atmosphere that carries such a weight and emotional punch that you will instantly feel something every time you hear it. He hits the higher notes with ease, and sings the verses with a warm tone that invites you in to hear the pain behind the music. When the song needs to be big, he is big. When it needs to be hushed, he is hushed. The way he attacks this song vocally only adds to the flawless arrangement and lyrics. This song is a winner from top to bottom.
2014 has been quite an up and down year for mainstream country, which is good compared to the all down years we’ve had recently. “She Don’t Love You” will certainly be remembered as a high point of the year. Many songs hit the charts, rise, fall, and are never heard from again. This is the kind of timeless song that will endure if it gets enough momentum to be heard. I seriously can't say enough good things about this song. i love it. Call in your local stations and request this gem today. We need a song that will be a classic 20 years from now and this is it. Great job, Eric Paslay. This song is solid country gold.