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Tim McGraw, ‘Right Back Atcha Babe’ – Song Review

Right Back Atcha Babe
Curb Nashville

Tim McGraw‘s final album on Curb records was far from his best, yet the singles keep coming months after the singer was granted his release. ‘Better Than I Used to Be’ was an impressive Top 10 record — it’s difficult to gather airplay with no support from the artist — but ‘Right Back Atcha Babe’ will be lucky to crack the Top 40.

At best the song is a fun, airy, everyday love song. It’s not especially deep — more the kind of sentiment you’d give you’re sweetie each morning before leaving for work.

That night in Phoenix when you stole my Jeep / And you brought it home with a new stereo / Baby that was sweet,” McGraw sings to start the song. File this one in the same folder that holds ‘Last Dollar’ and ‘Do You Want Fries With That.’

At worst the single is a soulless, jazz-rock song better suited for Adult Contemporary radio. The only urge stirred by the vapid chorus is to snap the hammer on your finger-gun, click your tongue, wink and say “Right back atcha babe” to someone nearby.

Right back atcha babe / Right back atcha babe / Just like a boomerang / Everything good you threw my way / Right back atcha babe,” he sings during the chorus.

McGraw has always been willing to introduce new influences to his music, and on occasion he’d brazenly release singles that sounded so far removed from anything on the radio that one couldn’t help but just scratch his head and go ‘Huh.’ Often risks like ‘Watch the Wind Go By’ (a Nashville soul song from 2003) paid off handsomely, but that song benefited from strong songwriting and a singer performing with passion and energy.

The tension caused by the rift with his label is palpable at times on ‘Emotional Traffic.’ A song like ‘Right Back Atcha Babe’ never stood a chance. Unwittingly, McGraw’s old label may have done him a favor by setting the bar low before he releases new music on Big Machine.

1.5 Stars

Listen to Tim McGraw’s ‘Right Back Atcha Babe’

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