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Dave Spencer’s First Impression of a Superstar’s Biggest Hit Was Not Very Good

Photo by Dave Spencer

I know you never get a second chance to make a first impression, but music doesn’t fall victim to that fact so easily. How many times have any of us loved a song the first time we heard it only grow sick of it later? Conversely, how many times have we really hated something upon first listen before it eventually grows on us? I made a little discovery that illustrates this phenomenon quite well. While going through some old CD singles in the closet in my office, I came upon Blake Shelton’s “Austin” from 2001. Can you believe it’s been 11 years since the release of that song? Well, anyway, when I found it, I noticed I had scribbled a criticism on the back of it. As you can see in the accompanying image, I was not impressed with the song’s level of drama or (and this one cracks me up) the singer’s voice. To be perfectly honest, I don’t ever remember feeling that way about “Austin.” But that’s my handwriting and those are my initials, and that was my impression after my first listen. You see, I really like the song. Apparently it grew on me, and rather quickly, because I don’t ever remember not liking it. But it seems I didn’t. Oh well. Water under the bridge. It’s a classic and Blake is one of the most reliable hitmakers in country music. It’s funny…I didn’t like his voice and now “The Voice” has catapulted him into superstardom. Hmm, I wonder how I felt about Garth’s first hit.

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