Garth Brooks Releases Two New Songs, But Still No “Fun”

Granted, there are many music fans with hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars tied up in concert tickets for events that have been cancelled or indefinitely postponed due to COVID-19 to where a $10 pre-order on a record is the least of their troubles. But the ongoing saga of Garth Brooks and his latest album entitled Fun continues to elongate, despite the country superstar releasing two new songs last week to satiate the groans of increasingly anxious fans.

At this point, it’s just as much about the principal as it is the money. Garth’s latest studio album was put up for pre-order as part of his exclusive distribution deal with Amazon nearly two years ago now, on June 19th, 2018 to be exact. When the album was posted for pre-order, a lead single was also released called “All Day Long,” as well as a B-side called “The Road I’m On.” Aside from these two tracks, fans received no further details on the album, not even the name, a cover, or a track list. And if you wanted to receive both of the new Garth songs, you had no choice but to pre-order the record through Amazon.

And so many people did, expecting to get the new record in the coming months. After all, this was Garth, and Amazon—not some fly-by-night with a crowdfunding campaign. But it wasn’t even until January 21st, 2019—over six months later—that Garth finally revealed the title of the new record as Fun, and said the new record would be released in the spring … the spring of 2019 that is. And still here we sit in the spring of 2020 with no Fun record, and not even a proper release date announced.

However Garth has been releasing new songs from the record intermittently, including the two latest ones, “Pardi Gras (The Mardi Gras Song)” and “That’s What Cowboys Do.” The first song comes with unfortunate timing, seeing how Mardi Gras just passed us up, and helped spread the filthy COVID throughout New Orleans where it became one of the hot spots in the pandemic. The song is a pretty standard run through of the Louisiana cliches that was pretty cool when Hank cut “Jambalaya” nearly 70 years ago, but now feels quite tired.

The second song “That’s What Cowboys Do” also works from familiar country music themes, but is also a fair deal better written and performed, and is real deal country with steal guitar and twang, underscoring that despite Garth’s mixed reception among traditional country fans, he’s still definitely country, and a fair bit better than many of his contemporaries.

But it’s things like this continued weird situation surrounding Fun that has put Garth on the outs with so many. Some hypothesized that when his latest single “Dive Bar” with Blake Shelton peaked on the charts (which it did at #5), Garth would finally let loose of Fun. But that happened back in mid February.

At this point, fans already have what’s basically the lion’s share of a full album with the seven songs. It’s just weird how Garth broke promises, and continues to delay. Of course, COVID-19 makes for the latest convenient excuse. But just release the dang album as opposed to continuing to game the public to attempt to drive pre-orders for a big debut, or whatever scheme Garth has cooked up that won’t allow him to fulfill his commitment to fans.

If you have Amazon Music, you can listen to the new songs below.

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