Anthony Smith – “Bringin’ Back The Sunshine”

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As a songwriter, Anthony Smith has a catalog that ranges from weighty (“John J. Blanchard”) to catchy (“If That Ain’t Country”) to middling (“What Do You Think About That”). His first single for Stroudavarious (the label founded and run by Nashville behemoth James Stroud) however, amounts to less than any, or all, of those. “Bringin’ Back The Sunshine” is a radio-chasing piece of fluff so far removed from the rest of Smith’s legacy that it sounds like the work of someone else–someone far less talented.

It is not the fact that it’s fluff that makes it bad, it’s the fact that it’s both fluffy and insignificant. Great fluff is great because it provides easily digestible hooks that stick in our heads, but which also have some amount of correlation to our lives. Here, Smith is “Riding in on a stampede of lighting,” presumably to “bring back the sunshine” to an ailing relationship. But his declarations of intent are abstract and unmemorable, and lyrics like, “Guess we got a little off track/But love knows a way back through the pouring rain,” are indicative of the unforgivable lack of description and story built into this song.

Especially disturbing is the fact that all of this comes from an artist who recently proclaimed in a mySpace blog: “Be Creative and Original and they’ll call you an outlaw, Be safe and down the middle and they’ll hand you awards. It is impossible to be safe and create a masterpiece.”

It seems Smith has chosen the latter.

There is no reason to remember this. It may be touching and it may be emotionally true, but it is neither unique nor interesting. And that makes it beyond disposable.

Frankly, it’s disappointing that a writer of Smith’s caliber would produce something this irrelevant. Disappointing, but not surprising—in a format that aims to appeal to everyone (and offend no one) this is just another song that lacks any hint of character which would make it worthy of appeal in the first place.

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