“Another summer day/Has come and gone away/In Paris and Rome/But I wanna go home.”
There are a million reasons why it’s almost always a bad idea for country artists to try and cover Pop songs.
But let’s hold that thought for a moment.
Because there is one reason why that’s not the case here. And it’s a big one. There is one reason why I love Blake Shelton’s cover of the Michael Bublé #1 “Home”.
I believe him.
No, he doesn’t deliver the song’s gorgeous melody with the same ease as Bublé. His voice isn’t as smooth as Bublé’s. It’s not as refined. Hey, the plain fact of the matter is that Shelton just isn’t as good a singer, in the technical sense, as Bublé.
But Shelton’s delivery here is gut-wrenching in it’s longing. It is heartbreaking in its home-sickness. And when he sings about wanting to leave behind the places that so many people dream of going, all for the sake of being back with the one person who means more to him even than Paris and Rome, I believe him.
And what was, in Bublé’s masterful hands, a touching sentiment, becomes, in Shelton’s capable ones, starkly real.
So we can call it a pop song. We can call it Eddy, for all I care. At the end of the day, this is what country music is–by our best definitions of the term. Because despite the fact that we spend so much time talking about mechanics, about semantics…
Well, none of that really matters when an artist so convincingly connects with a song. And Shelton, with a little help from Miranda Lambert, connects. No, the lyrics aren’t country. No, the melody isn’t country. If we take all of the pieces and pull them apart, nothing about this is country.
But this is absolutely, unequivocally, entirely a country song. And a damn good one at that.
Because I believe him.