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Tim McGraw (Feat. Faith Hill), ‘Meanwhile Back at Mama’s’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Meanwhile Back at Mama's
Big Machine Label Group

In some ways Tim McGraw’s new single ‘Meanwhile Back at Mama’s’ is a metaphor for what’s happening in country music. There’s a lot to take in on a day-to-day basis. Flash and thunder steal the show … and then a song like this comes along and hits the reset button.

The track — from McGraw’s upcoming ’Sundown Heaven Town’ album — has just been released to radio, no doubt rushed after a cherished performance at the 2014 ACM Awards. There the singer and his wife Faith Hill had beauty and style in excess. Sincerity spilled into the first few rows, washing away the confetti that fell earlier. None of those qualities are lacking on this simply wonderful country ditty.

Runnin’ round in this new truck / Bank lets me borrow from month to month / I’m runnin’ out of credit, find a little Cash on the radio,” McGraw sings to open after an introduction reminiscent of his best mid-tempo ramblers from the late ‘90s and early ‘00s.

Meanwhile back at Mama’s / The porch light’s on, come on in if you wanna / Supper’s on the stove and beer’s in the fridge / Red sun sinkin’ out low on the ridge,” he sings at the chorus.

Together, Faith Hill and Tim McCraw have never missed. Each song they record together feels like a gift. They’re strategic with when they share a studio, never doing so when the time and song isn’t right. The chorus of this song is a sing-along with familial roots. Anyone other than Hill would have almost been offensive.

Her harmonies aren’t complex yet somehow she steals the show. One almost senses the two are singing about something they’re planning for themselves in the very near future. It’s that personal, yet totally accessible to fans at home or in the car.

I miss those small town roots, walkin’ around in muddy boots / The sound of rain on an old tin roof / It’s time we head on back,” they add before a final chorus.

This new chapter of McGraw’s career has included risks and styles some fans weren’t comfortable with. ‘Meanwhile Back at Mama’s’ fits like your favorite easy chair on a Sunday morning. It quiets the soul.

Key Lyrics: “Funny the things you thought you’d never miss / In a world gone crazy as this”

Did You Know?: Jaren Johnston from the Cadillac Three helped write this song. He’s quickly becoming one of the most popular songwriters in Nashville.

Listen to Tim McGraw, ‘Meanwhile Back at Mama’s’

Next: The Top 40 Country Songs From April 2014

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