Saving Country Music 2010 Song of the Year is “Wish”

February 11, 2011 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  31 Comments

I know that this is an unusual pick, and I know that it might be an unpopular pick. But the simple fact is that “Wish” was the best song put out in country music and all its subsidiaries in 2010, and it deserves the utmost recognition that I can give it, however obscure my platform is.

“Wish” is the first track on the album Jim from a band from Ft. Worth called Left Arm Tan. The song caught my attention when I was crashing through the always-voluminous pile of review material stacked up on my desk in my cryptic filing system like a diorama of city skyscrapers. As I said in my review of the song, when it starts out, it really doesn’t reel you in. Left Arm Tan has a polished, mainstream sound, and the lyrics begin with nostalgia about childhood, and you want to roll your eyes and say, “here we go with the same old mainstream formula.” But “Wish” is so much more.

Left Arm Tan

There is an alarming trend in the American culture right now. People are ashamed of who they are. People are embarrassed to be “normal”. Everyone wants to have a “kick ass” life. But average people are the majority; that’s what makes them average. Modern-day mainstream music is fueling a trend of people wanting to be something that they are not, instead of being thankful for who they are.

The majority of music coming from the super-genres of rap and country these days seems to be based on creating a vicarious outlook on a life that people don’t lead, instead of speaking about things that people can identify with. In an attempt to not want to feel normal, or escape mundanity, people consume songs full of country platitudes and laundry lists of things that are easily-identifiable as “country” instead of songs that actually try to say something meaningful and speak to them on a personal level. And the relationship between many country stars and their fans is one of worship instead of camaraderie. There is a sense of envy that permeates the whole performing/listening process. They look down from their pedestal, you look up at them.

“Wish” is the antidote to all of this nonsense.

Great songwriting has the ability to speak to the multitudes by being mutable to the human experience. By expressing an eternal theme of the human condition, a great song can speak to every individual like it was written just for them, making the experience that more intimate, touching one person in a completely different way than it may touch another. “Wish” touched me. It made me appreciate that envy is a trait that keeps us down, keeps us out of touch with ourselves, and that in EVERY life, no matter how normal or mundane it is, there is beauty. I didn’t just simply enjoy “Wish” from a sonic level, though in that regard it is a great song too, but it made me think about life from a perspective that I have never thought about it from before.

And I don’t mean to just harp on this one Left Arm Tan song and ignore the rest. All the songs on Jim are worth your time; I’m just afraid of diminishing the wisdom and depth of “Wish” by talking about it in the context of anything else. It is a one of a kind song. It is amazing. Anybody who tells you there’s no more good ideas for songs, that it’s all been done, this is proof they’re wrong, and that the talent evaluation process in American music is broken, because “Wish” should be a mega hit.

Once again, because of the strength of 2010′s music, Jayke Orvis and all the other Song of the Year candidates get screwed. But just like with the Albums of the Year, fans for “Wish” turned out in greater numbers, aside from my own personal feelings.

I know I’ll get a lot of comments saying, “Cool Trig, not really my speed but I appreciate your passion.” Or “Sounds like everything else on the radio to me.” Or people will not say anything. But if you really listen, let the song unfold and get the meaning, it just might change your life.

Listen to “Wish”

31 Comments to “Saving Country Music 2010 Song of the Year is “Wish””

  • i liked coonass the best…

    • I liked that song too. Being from a Coonass bloodline myself, that song spoke to me as well, but there’s really no way to compare the two songs. Coonass is a fun song, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Music is to enjoy, and it is an enjoyable song. But “Wish” really makes you think, and is just so unique and poignant to what is going on in music today, it’s in a league of its own.

      • Big hell yeah to Wayne on “Coonass”, I likes it! Thanks Triggerman…in my own polluted opinion I would also put “WISH” as my second favorite song of the album…They both reminded me of songs I would want to hear… if I still listened to FM Radio. I’ll gladly share the name of LEFT ARM TAN.

      • Somebody really needs to explain to me what a “coonass” is. I’m having disturbing images of Triggerman’s bottom with black and white stripes here.

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coonass

          I would add to that, that I have always thought of a Coonass as a Cajun from a non-French decent.

          My great grandfather came over from Greece as a stowaway on a merchant ship at the age of 13 that landed in New Orleans. He eventually moved to Galveston, where all my family is from. All my uncles and grandfather talked just like cajuns and ate cajun food, even though they lived in Texas, as many east Texans right on the gulf and near the Louisiana border do.

          Too much information yet?

          • I’ve been to the beach at Galveston. Very beautiful place, Coonass.

          • What a fabulous story! I love those ethnic nicknames that are so ambiguous half the people deem them highly offensive and racist whilst the other half embrace them. Political Correctness gone mad. Kyle Coonass has a nice ring to it.

  • This is great! Thanks!

  • i aint gonna lie and say its my favorite song but i agree wholeheartedly with what yer sayin and the sentiments of the song lyrically. that said, and personal taste bein what it is, “cant you see a flood’s a comin” and “ruins of paradise” stood apart to me as songs with heavy lyrics and messages relevant to these days and perhaps are more “my speed”, stoner that i am. everyone relates to different things though of course based on their own circumstances and such so i cant fault you at all for the choice and well stated you are in your reasons.

    • Can’t argue with either of those songs. On another year, both of them might have won, but this speaks to the strength of 2010 music. And let me tell you folks, so far 2011 has been a letdown for me. Joe Buck & Bob Wayne were good, but it’s mostly pre-released stuff. There’s been a few big albums that have been kinda letdowns and not many projects to look forward to. Hank III’s gone into hiding, Wanda could have been better. Rachel Brooke is about our best hope until the Fall. We may have to feed off the strength of 2010 music for a while.

      • William Elliott Whitmore to release “Field Songs” this spring…

  • I don’t know how you pick just one..that’s way too tough. Especially between Hellbound Glory, Jamey Johnson, Hayes Carll, Chris Knight, Ray Wylie, Whitey Morgan, etc.

    I’m gonna do a lil plug here
    Hey if y’all get a chance checkout a buddy of mine..great music
    Checkout the songs: The Man Who Went Up the Mountain, Hinges, Yankee Cocaine Blues, Rolling Thunder, and a fun lil song called Jack Rabbit.

  • I like this tune, my surprise comes that this tune is easily one that could be played on today’s country radio, so I wouldn’t have expected this pick.

    If the movement is to save country music from the pop-country out there, this is the type of song that needs to be embrassed and celebrated by this site, as your not going to go from Taylor Swift to Hank III right away.

    • “If the movement is to save country music from the pop-country out there, this is the type of song that needs to be embrassed and celebrated by this site, as your not going to go from Taylor Swift to Hank III right away.”

      Agreed. Though if there was song out there that I thought was better than this one, but completely inaccessible to the mainstream, I would have picked that one. It did get points for being palatable to a wide audience.

      I would disagree though that we try to go from Taylor Swift to Hank III. It may seem like that because Swift and III articles get all of the attention. But in between I talk about many acts that don’t define the extreme.

    • pop was my first thought and then i listened again and pop stood out again… just sounds to main stream 98.1 to me…

      • See Wayne, you just played right into IceColdCountry’s hands, and all the other critics that say that all I push around here is “death metal country.” (a direct quote from IceCold on a previous article.) This is not a pop song. Not even close to a pop song. It is more mainstream than what I normally would recommend around here, but that is not the reason I picked it. I picked it because in my heart I believe it is the best song of 2010.

        • i didn’t play into anything, i just stated that pop was my first impression and my second impression… that’s why i said i liked coonass the best… “wish” just has that pop sound and at first i thought you were just bullshitting… but i don’t think i’m alone with my thoughts and in my heart it just sounds fucking “POP”

          • I agree it’s a decent song, but life altering or changing? I’m not getting that. Congratulations to Left Arm Tan for the Song of the Year, though, and they should continue to pursue the real side of the music.

  • Congratulations to Left Arm Tan. I think “Wish” is an awesome song & agree that most people do wish they were in someone else’s shoes at different times in their lives. Very talented band and great album.

  • Did anyone else notice the riff to “Honky Tonk Women” at the 20 second mark (and repeated throughout)? “Wish” has a good hook, but such an obvious rip should be noted.

    • Ok, I listened to what I think you’re getting at, and then listen to Honky Tonk Women. First off, hard to call two notes a riff, and hard to call two somewhat similar, but not not entirely the same notes happening in two different songs a ripoff, especially when the supposedly ripped off song has it as three notes, and they aren’t even the same notes.

      Tilting at windmills.

      • I think Wish has a mainstream vibe to it with an edge that subtlely pulls you in. And I’m so psyched right now! Found out Shotgun Willie is coming to a town near me! :)

      • I’m not a musician, so my technical understanding of the composition is limited. Those notes (if not a riff, a lick?) as played by Left Arm Tan took me out of “Wish” for a moment and had me thinking of “Honky Tonk Women.” I thought that feeling to be noteworthy.

  • Congrats on a great song from a great band!! WTG guys!

  • WISH…I like the song but there have been so many other great artists with great songs on great albums this year. Left Arm Tan comes straight outta left feild…to me anyway. I think if the vote were to be, which song is most likely to be played on todays FM Radio, you are right to pick “WISH”. . . Having only that album to choose from…I would have chosen “Coonass”, but for popular mainstream F-fucking-M Radio…that would be socialy incorrect.

  • Onto my second listen. The lyrics are indeed very cool and I like the sentiments you shared too. There’s just ‘alot’ going on in terms of instrumentation. I call it ‘overproduced’ even though I’m sure that’s not the technical term for it (I’m not a musician). I would LOVE to hear this song stripped right back. An acoustic version of it. He has a good voice and it may showcase that better too. Interesting choice Triggerman. I trust your judgement so shall be continuing to listen to this song, I have a feeling it will grow on me. Although I actually prefer all the other death metal country you promote here ;P

  • all the other songs were good. run you dow being my fav but that doesn’t really appeal to the time period we live in just a song bout killin a woman. better song to me but yea this one some’s up americans lives right now and i’m sure back then and the future to come.

  • “Wish” spoke to me. It made me nostalgic. In the late seventies and eighties my “country” music was The Eagles…Take it Easy, Bob Seger….Against the Wind, Turn the Page, Jackson Brown….Running on Empty etc. “Wish” takes me back. Those two guitar notes take me somewhere too but I can’t quite put my finger on exactly where yet. Gonna give the whole song a listen, thanks Triggerman for your honest review. It’s not easy sticking you neck out there time after time. Gol. dang, did you see the Grammy nominations????? Sickening.

  • Ah, I meant I would give the whole album a listen.

  • I’ve never heard this song. I’ve never heard of this band. I LOVE this. This is why I am an “underground music elitist snob”. It is like discovering a gem at a garage sale. I will look up this song and the album this week!

    Your reason for choosing this song is the reason I am posting here. Music speaks to us because it is a vehicle for the universal aspects of humanity.

    “It made me appreciate that envy is a trait that keeps us down, keeps us out of touch with ourselves, and that in EVERY life, no matter how normal or mundane it is, there is beauty.” This is what I love about roots music. Your statement is so true…it is as true as something I’d hear a preacher say in church (if I ever went to church!).

    And I think this statement speaks to what the project of “small music” is…it is mundane…it is normal…it is simple…it is not complex nor clouded by marketing or commerce or corporate sales projections.

    I know you thought my opposition to XXX was ridiculous and overwrought with worries of tragedies and threats that will never be realized. But in fact, you just spoke to my exact concern. Envy is ugly and robs us of what we have. Feeling joy for what exists and embracing that reality is the best gift we can give ourselves…

    …that, and fighting powers that endeavor to oppress this experience…

    None of us here need to be any more than what we are as long as we are being truly ourselves. Bravo.

    Now I have to go listen to it and see what I think about it musically….

  • [...] “Wish,” off Jim, was recently named song of the year by SavingCountryMusic.com. [...]

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