Left Arm Tan Has a Hit With “Wish”

September 2, 2010 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  14 Comments

I normally don’t do individual song reviews, but I’m making an exception.

I get many requests for reviews and many get turned away, many for being too mainstream. Not that I have problems with a more accessible sound if the music is still good, but my charter is to work around the edges and find the gems that the other media outlets gloss over. In the case of a band out of Ft Worth named Left Arm Tan and specifically their song “Wish,” the sound may be mainstream, but the message is right down my alley.

The song starts off with reminiscent lyrics about youth and you think “oh here we go again with the same old formula,” but as it progresses, “Wish” reveals itself as a wise, well-written, and poignant song. With the chorus, “Well I wish I wish I was me, instead of wishing I was someone I will never be,” the song hits on a theme I have discussed here often, but has never been put to song so well.

I think it is important when we talk about saving country music, that we don’t work from a position of envy. In truth the joke is on them. They may have the big money, the control of the radio stations and the media. But we have each other, and true themes mined from real life experiences. Let them have their fake world, we have real music.

Yes, this song probably curried my favor with the line:

“Well I see them up there receiving the Grammy award
Then I hear them sing live, their tune is flat as a board
Well I can’t understand not a word of their songs
I keep thinking someone might bang a gong.

But this isn’t necessarily an anti-Nashville song, it is more about the singer realizing that he shouldn’t be envying people living fake lives when he has something true already. The way the song works is brilliant, and the arrangement and production is superb.

Not every obscure independent/underground country band deserves a big break just because they try hard and are talented. But “Wish” delivers accessibility without sacrificing soul, and should deliver them a hit worthy of any country station’s rotation.

Two guns up!

“Wish” is off the Left Arm Tan album called Jim that can be purchased and previewed by clicking here. (Just the song “Wish” is available too). And you can listen to “Wish” in its entirety, as well as get more info on the band and listen to other songs on their Reverb Nation page.

14 Comments to “Left Arm Tan Has a Hit With “Wish””

  • i don’t like the sound, but it’s an interesting article.


  • Great Review Triggerman. The song is really good too.


  • Henrich,

    I guess that’s partly my point. Not really my sound either, yet it still will get no love from mainstream radio even though it has a mainstream, accessible sound. Thus proving the system is broken, and saying that the reason the music we love is NOT played on radio is because it’s “obscure” or “not accessible” is incorrect.


  • “the system is broken”

    I think the mainstream audience is capable of recognizing quality music (mostly), but they are just too lazy to go out and find it. It seems like music is just a way for these people to easily mesh with the masses. I was taught by my dad how ‘listen’ to music- I don’t want to say (and I don’t believe) quality music is dieing, but it is being diluted by ignorant, lazy band wagoneres. SUPPLY AND DEMAND.

    I’m glad for you guys.


  • The Gong Show! Used to love that one. Yep, they can have their fake world. Great blog Triggerman.


  • thanks for the kind words triggerman. our goal is just to make some quality music. our band members come from different musical backgrounds, so the variety in the album reflects the band. so long as the song would fit on a road trip mix tape, it fit our ‘genre’. it’s funny, because none of us listen to mainstream country, but several of our songs just kinda ended up that way. we are very pleased with whole album and are truly grateful that you would not only take the time to listen, but write such a thorough review of ‘wish’. while it would be great if ‘wish’ were a hit, i really just want people to ‘get it’ and appreciate it. so thank you.


  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LeftArmTan and LeftArmTan, The Triggerman. The Triggerman said: Left Arm Tan Has a Hit With "Wish" […]


  • Jammin,

    I think you’re giving the spoon fed public too much credit honestly. I think this illustrates again that the problem and the solution is education. Good music can be enjoyed more than bad music, if people are taught what to listen for and how to evaluate talent.


  • yeah, i know what you mean, triggerman. it’s the machine behind the music that keeps us away from mainstream radio stations, because we don’t have it. you can only get into it with money and the right connections and that’s how you make money out of it… it doesn’t matter how accessible the music is. it’s like a music mafia…


  • Haven’t heard the song but they posted lyrics are interesting. As a music fan, it confirms for me what I’ve thought for years about the “success” of those on the radio. If the spoon-fed public is ever able to get a helping of all the truly gifted folks I follow, they’d choke on the overwhelming talent and promptly abandon their spoons.


    • musiclover: Click on troy’s name above. Wish will start playing. Great song. Great album. Great band.


  • Song very well written. This is a great band and album. I have heard them live and they had a great performance and good turn out. I really enjoy their album and listen to it every day.


  • Folks – thanks for the kind words on Left Arm Tan. To echo Troy, I’m sure it would be great if any song of ours was a hit. But we really just recorded the album to express ourselves in song with nothing on our mind but being honest and playin’ loud. The victory for us is knowing that a few people out there take time to listen and comment on music that matters to them, and thankfully one of our songs too!


  • […] title track “UnIncorporated” is a great song that hits on the same themes the song “Wish” by Left Arm Tan does that I reviewed a while back; that being that you should be happy being yourself, and not bend […]


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