Review – Cole Swindell’s “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight”
Here’s to watching what you wish for. For a while we’ve been clamoring for these Bro-Country types to put a little story in their songs instead of simply listing off the stuff they see as they sit on their tailgate with their iPhone notepad pulled up trying to write a song. Unfortunately those results regularly turn out to be worse than the latter as we get these unsavory insights into the truly self-absorbed, sometimes bordering on sociopathic tendencies that make these douchebags tick. We saw this with Tyler Farr’s “Redneck Crazy,” and now I enter into state’s evidence Cole Swindell’s “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight.”
This song has been swirling out there for a while, but it seems we’re living in a country music world where even ‘B’ level male music talent is entitled to scoring #1’s while the genre’s best females fight back obscurity. Last week “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” bested all others on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. That’s right, there’s no other song out there that DJ’s felt more inclined to spin than a song about the controlling male in a caustic and unhealthy relationship manipulating his other half into regrettable sex. “If you’ve got some room for a little regret, let me know girl I’ve already left.”
“I Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” starts off with your stereotypical EDM drum machine beat idiosyncratic of today’s stupid and uninspired country, careening into Whitesnake-style super riffs of arena guitar. When Cole starts singing, you immediately sense the infiltration of 1’s and 0’s on his vocal track indicative of Auto-Tune’s involvement, and from the first line—“I could go for a tipsy tailgate kiss, baby taste the moonshinin’ off of your lips”—the listener can immediately discern that the overlords of tailgate country—Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelly of Florida Georgia Line—had their tentacles all over this songwriting-by-committee monstrosity.
But to give this song its due credit, it does touch on a section of the young adult emotional experience rarely elucidated upon to any significant degree. Most of us have experienced that difficult time in the post-relationship setting where even though you’ve steadfastly determined from an intellectual standpoint that it is time to move on, the emotional and physical pull of someone you have invested heavily in over a period is still too powerful to overcome. It’s something that takes time, and usually a new lover, to fully divest from. However instead of delving into this moment of vulnerability with a candid attempt at understanding, Cole Swindell, with an air of smugness and arrogance, grins at his own power to coax his previous lover into a compromising situation he knows will be unhelpful to her long-term mental state. The whole “I hope you get lonely” refrain speaks to the inherent selfishness at the heart of this song.
The sad fact is that a lot of mainstream country’s target demo can relate to a song like this, including many female listeners who while sneering at this type of behavior on the outside, find the allure of the “bad boy” archetype so enthralling and savory that they play along, fully knowing they have “room for a little regret” awaiting them.
With “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” scoring Cole Swindell his 2nd #1 in as many tries, this former merch salesman for Luke Bryan makes the case for being both one of mainstream country’s fastest-rising stars, and one of the worst offenders for anyone trying to implement some modicum of quality control in the genre.
1 3/4 of 2 Guns Down.
October 6, 2014 @ 6:46 pm
I’ve had the good fortune of not hearing this one yet and I’m thankful for it. Now, off to listen to the similarly titled “You Sure Look Lonesome” by Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours…
October 6, 2014 @ 6:59 pm
Man, your description really doesn’t do the song Justice…
I was honestly kind of looking forward to pressing play waiting for “arena rock guitar riffs” ..now I just feel sick. I’m not much of an arena rock guy, but I figured arena rock was probably better than this guys last song…
Anyway, that was just awful.
October 6, 2014 @ 7:31 pm
I would be OK with this song as background noise without the stupid EDM beat. God, that’s annoying.
Also, while I understand your criticisms of the song, I think you’re too quick to call the narrator controlling and cocky. Unfortunately, and as usual, we don’t know the female’s perspective, don’t know that she is blatantly saying “No” to the narrator over and over again. Like you said, we’ve all been in these situations. I find that they’re two way streets, in terms of who’s lonely on each particular night and makes the phone call.
October 6, 2014 @ 8:10 pm
There’s two things that reinforce my position that the narrator is being cocky and manipulative.
1) The line, “If you”™ve got some room for a little regret, let me know girl I”™ve already left.” I’m actually okay with the whole “Hope you get lonely” premise until it is combined with that line.
2) The video clearly shows the girl rolling her eyes and blowing off Cole as he’s trying to booty call her during the regular doings of the girl’s night. Then especially right before the girl walks in and meets Cole in the diner, she is sitting in her car, clearly emotionally torn in knowing going inside is a bad idea, but unable to shake the desire to be with him.
By the way, whoever the woman in the video is, she did a really good acting job in that scene, and really gave an illustration to the anguish.
And as I said above, I actually give this song credit for its story development. It is its one redeeming quality.
October 6, 2014 @ 7:41 pm
This song is serial killer desperate . I can’t even hear it without visualizing the hand gestures from his first video & imagining him panting like a dog trying to get into this girl’s bed (read: dry humping her leg). Ugh.
October 6, 2014 @ 7:51 pm
Jack Ingram did it better: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dt0_UAhDyHQ
October 7, 2014 @ 4:20 am
And in other news, the sky is blue. 🙂
Yes, Jack Ingram is a great artist who doesn’t get anywhere near the attention he deserves.
October 6, 2014 @ 7:52 pm
I know Trigger beats up on Bro Country, but there has to be at least one bro country song he would endorse. Out of all of them out there….just one. I thought maybe this song could be it. I thought this could be it!
October 6, 2014 @ 10:16 pm
Did you really think I might like this song? 🙂
I did give Florida Georgia Line’s “Dirt” two guns up, and I’m still plucking daggers out of my back from that one. I don’t really consider it Bro-Country though.
October 6, 2014 @ 8:32 pm
Of all of the bro country performers, Swindell is the least talented, IMO. Say what you want about Luke Bryan, etc., but they at least have some vocal talent and charisma, even if the content sucks. Every time I hear Swindell I just want to grit my teeth. Whatever label he is with must be throwing piles of money at big radio, because even in today’s country radio climate, I don’t see how in the hell he’s 2/2 in charting number one songs.
October 7, 2014 @ 8:39 pm
Totally agree. I’ve only heard the singles but this guy brings nothing to the table. Not to mention wearing a hat with your own logo on it to hide your baldness.
October 7, 2014 @ 8:58 pm
Believe that is GS as in Georgia Southern where he went to college.
October 6, 2014 @ 8:48 pm
And the lesson here , kids , is to never give up on your dream of being a country singer in these times. Pretty much anyone who WANTS to be associated with this %@#$^ can do it …WHY NOT YOU ?
October 6, 2014 @ 9:01 pm
BTW ..the Number ONE Billboard album is a duets record with Tony Bennett ( 87 yrs old ) and Lady Gaga because there are ACTUAL singers and ACTUAL SONGS on it with melodies , well-crafted lyrics that are ABOUT something and stunning arrangements . An anomaly in these times ? I think not .I still believe that if you produce GREAT work and make people aware of it ,they will still recognize it as such and support it .
Cole Swindell has the right last name …he’ll be very lucky to achieve ‘footnote’ status in the history of ‘country’ music .
October 6, 2014 @ 9:08 pm
He’s awfully fond of that hat.
October 6, 2014 @ 9:49 pm
Like a miniature Luke Bryan”¦”¦.. Almost identical from the clothes to the way he moves around while he sings.
October 8, 2014 @ 3:36 pm
Both Sigma Chi fraternity members and he was Bryan’s merchandise manager for a while. His identical stage presence probably comes from close observation.
October 6, 2014 @ 10:37 pm
When I am on my deathbed, I am going to ask God for another 3 minutes and 56 seconds of life. I will say, “Remember on Tuesday, October. 7, 2014, when I listened to that Cole Swindell song ‘Hope You Get Lonely Tonight’? I think I deserve to have that time back. Being a merciful God, he will no doubt consider the song and grant me my wish. I’ll have enough time to get in a couple of Bill Monroe tunes.
Oh for the days when the only things fans said to Swindell was, “What’s the price on that t-shirt?”
October 6, 2014 @ 10:38 pm
And another thing — if these guys want to play rock, why not just play it? Why not drop the pretense that this music is, in any way, country?
October 8, 2014 @ 10:18 am
It seems that they couldn’t make it in rock, it seems the current mainstream country fan is more…forgiving, shall we say.
Besides, is there even an existing rock music genre anymore?
October 6, 2014 @ 10:37 pm
it’s 7:30 AM in Munich, Germany. Shakey Graves’ album is out today over here and in my itunes inbox. I will not waste my time with Cole Swindell and have a great start to the day.
October 6, 2014 @ 11:02 pm
B level? That’s way too generous…
October 7, 2014 @ 1:26 am
“…Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelly of Florida Georgia Line””had their tentacles all over this songwriting-by-committee monstrosity…”
I first read that as testicles, same result either way… 😀
October 7, 2014 @ 12:45 pm
I caught that as well and am chalking it up to auto correct.
October 7, 2014 @ 5:41 am
God, this dude cannot sing. Not even a little bit. I know Luke is rather monotone and doesn’t have much of a range, but at least his voice is decent, even respectable in a few cases. But Luke’s mini-me can’t hold a note worth a damn. This is sad.
And yeah, a song about booty call is not one I like to see. I agree with Trig that Cole evokes a lot of scummy, relationship control in this song.
This is probably due to the fact that the writers are the same, but this guitar riff is eerily similar to that of FGL’s “This is How We Roll.” Almost indistinguishable at first…love the creativity and originality in Nashville….
October 11, 2014 @ 6:53 pm
I recently realized how the guitar riffs in Miranda Lambert’s “Baggage Claim” and Jason Aldean’s “1994” sound the exact same after recently hearing them on the radio. Nashville is so unoriginal these days.
October 7, 2014 @ 6:04 am
call it what it is: white guy gets laid music, hooks plus twang. this isn’t just mainstream country, it’s mainstream life. just go to a bar or a college campus where hooking up is on the agenda. it’s not hard to understand why it’s popular and it’s not going away, no way…just have to ignore it and head left of the dial…
October 7, 2014 @ 7:34 am
Keith Urban told the same story much better on “Stupid Boy”. Probably wouldn’t get played on the radio today.
October 7, 2014 @ 7:36 am
One more thing:
What’s with the CS on his hat?!? Talk about ego.
But I always say it stands for @#$% Sucker when his vids come on at the bar.
October 7, 2014 @ 7:56 am
“GS” is for Georgia Southern, his alma mater.
October 7, 2014 @ 8:13 am
I actually don’t hate this song. He used to play one of my old Buckhead watering holes back in the day. Never thought he would make it big, but it made for good Saturday night drinking music.
October 7, 2014 @ 11:07 am
Peachtree Tavern? Used to see him there too.
Atlanta 94.9 the Bull is OBSESSED with him and and claiming credit for his success.
October 7, 2014 @ 1:06 pm
yep Peachtree Tavern. great place to see a show. Saw Blackberry Smoke there once and the Turnpike Troubadours.
October 7, 2014 @ 12:16 pm
HaHa…you guys can hate til you pop a a freaking jugular vein and it’s not going to change anything. The public that is buying records love’s Cole’s music, he gains thousands of fans every week, just went 2 for 2 on his debut and sophomore singles going to #1, followed by this week having his 2nd #1 of the year as a songwriter and tonight he is going to make his debut at the Grand Ole Opry. Like it or not and I know ya’ll hate the piss out of it, he isn’t going anywhere. His next single, “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey” is going to be his 3rd #1 in a row right out of the shoot so you might as well get used to it and go ahead and get your crass comments ready for that one too.
October 7, 2014 @ 12:49 pm
Thanks for checking in. I’m sure you’re very proud of your boy, and you probably should be. Please don’t take offense as our criticism is not personal; we just think he sucks, as does everything he stands for.
October 7, 2014 @ 1:04 pm
I know, it’s never personal…just so easy to be a Keyboard Kowboy these days… Keep on “everything he stands for sucks” mantra…whatever the hell that means….basically everybody that comments on everything at this site thinks everything sucks. What a wonderful world it must be that you live in.
October 7, 2014 @ 1:20 pm
Being a parent myself I totally understand your desire to protect your precious boy from criticism. But at some point you have to let him grow up. The world can be a cruel place, if he’s going to break down and cry every time someone expresses a dislike for his music he’s going to have a very tough life. I think it’s probably time to step back and let him face it for himself.
In closing, I want to state that I take exception to your claim that “everybody that comments on everything at this site thinks everything sucks.” That’s hardly the case at all. If you would read some of the articles and comments relating to the artists that you probably haven’t heard of because you’re so gung-ho about your boy and his bros you would find lots of positive commentary. Plus most of us probably have lots of things in our lives that we don’t think suck: Our families, picnics, Sanford and Son re-runs, fuzzy little puppies, things like that.
October 7, 2014 @ 1:40 pm
I will let it go with this there Tom…I can assure you of one thing…if you think this artist is losing one minute of sleep over this criticism and the minions that follow it with the excess drivel backing it up, you’re more than a tad mistaken. Probably doesn’t even know the website exists to be honest. I read it because I do like the reviews of alternative country music as well as mainstream country music because hell I like all kinds of music…just don’t get my rocks off seeing how hateful I can be toward somebody behind the shadow of a keyboard. But carry on by all means, be my guest if it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.
October 7, 2014 @ 5:33 pm
Evidently, the Fleshjack doesn’t fall far from the nightstand.
October 7, 2014 @ 12:54 pm
While you are still on the board, I had a quick question for you. Why is it that your son makes those stupid hand gestures whenever he is in videos? I mean, couldn’t he at least fake like he is playing a guitar or something?? I mean this is country music, not techno. Thanks. Just curious.
October 7, 2014 @ 2:56 pm
Good evening. My name is Varg Vikernes and I play in the group Burzum. I am thinking about a possible collaboration with your son for a black metal/country song. If possible, could I meet Cole at his place? Thanks.
October 7, 2014 @ 4:37 pm
Why is everyone assuming that “Ballgame” is Cole Swindell’s mother? Is it meant as a joke or did I miss something?
October 8, 2014 @ 9:17 am
Well, I really meant it as a joke. Ballgame obviously likes Cole Swindell a lot, like the way a mother generally likes her son a lot.
But the fact that Ballgame hasn’t said anything to refute the motherhood allegation might mean we’ve hit on something………..
October 7, 2014 @ 1:14 pm
Please do not tell me I died for this!!!! And I thought Varg really stabbed me in the back!!!
October 7, 2014 @ 2:02 pm
Is it just me or does he look like Justin Timberlake?
October 7, 2014 @ 7:21 pm
Long time lurker, first time commenter. I’d been waiting to comment until I had something to share that no one else had yet, but I think now I’ve finally got something:
This song sounds exactly like Doin What She Likes by Blake Shelton.
Keep on producing that variety, Nashville.
November 26, 2014 @ 3:02 pm
This is exactly the same chorus and I can’t belive no one else has said this about it.
October 7, 2014 @ 8:45 pm
The title of this song might as well be “I hope you make poor decisions (so that I can get into your pants)”
Greaaaaaaat message cole.
October 7, 2014 @ 9:13 pm
Doug Seegers’ album is amazing. I am glad there is still some people out there making good music. If u never heard him, u are missing out.
October 8, 2014 @ 8:46 am
I wouldn’t be interested in the song simply on the basis of what kind of “music” it belongs to, but I can’t get too worked up regarding what you’ve explained about the lyrics, when I consider that women can write songs about a man being missing, or being murdered ( I never paid that much attention but I got the gist of it), and get “You go girl!” from everyone.
October 8, 2014 @ 12:54 pm
The false equivalency thing is so boring. If you don’t understand why men should be held to a higher standard considering all the evil that is done to women in this world, it’s probably not worth explaining.
October 8, 2014 @ 3:04 pm
I don’t find it boring, I find it hypocritical. Either grown women are equal with grown men, or they’re not. They can’t expect some 21stC form of chivalry while they get to ridicule and belittle men. If you have an explanation as to why they shouldn’t be held to an equal standard, I’d be interested to hear it. If you don’t, that’s another matter.
October 8, 2014 @ 3:50 pm
This is really a question of how the members of the gender at the receiving end of the violent songs feel.
When men sing songs promoting violence against women, women are [rightfully] disturbed and offended. On the other hand, when the genders are reversed in the songs, men generally just chuckle and are often even turned on.
The plain fact is that women take physical threats from men far more seriously than the other way around.
October 8, 2014 @ 4:04 pm
Eric, judging from your name, you are a man, so as a woman, I can’t dispute what you’ve said, as one man. But really? Men don’t get even a bit aggravated at the double standard itself, even if they don’t feel threatened by non-PC artistic license?
Actually, my husband would say the same thing as you, regarding the man’s POV in not being threatened, in being amused, if anything. As a female, I’m saying the same thing-that artistic license in art either amuses me or just doesn’t interest me, and if it goes so far as to offend me, it’s not on the basis of my womanhood, but on the basis of my humanity, which the male half of mankind shares with me.
I just have a pretty consistent view of hypocrisy, in which people get offended at one man playing games with a woman (not a good thing), but celebrating misandry, to the point of applauding the murder of a man as something comic.
Sorry for going so far astray of the topic, but I get pretty tired of the one-way political correctness. I have been fortunate in being surrounded by good men-husband, brothers, in-laws, and my late father-whom I would never tolerate being so belittled.
October 9, 2014 @ 2:16 pm
How refreshing that a woman feels those songs and actions are just as bullshit as the male versions. The one that bugs me is “Before He Cheats”. The first time I heard I was thinking that seems pretty criminal. Yet whenever a woman karaoked it it was a hit. The song writer and the guy she is singing about probably deserve each other. She just thinks he doing those thinks. He’s probably in the bar with his own song.
Right now, she’s probably burnin’ dinner
A couple a more beers and I’ll go on home beat her
Right now, she’s probably talkin’ to friends
Telling ’em all what asshole I’ve been
That could be a split screen duet.
October 8, 2014 @ 7:20 pm
This stubborn turd nugget of a song has been played daily, several times, for the past couple of weeks on my local country radio station.
I’d say I’ll be happy when someone flushes said nugget as it continues to circle the bowl, but sadly, it will be replaced with another rudimentary, inane effort by Mr. Swindell.
Ironically, when I just tried to type in “Swindell” in one sentence ago, autocorrect tried to replace it with “swindled”, which is exactly how listeners feel being subjected to the amateur hour musical stylings of this Flavour Of The Month hack.
I would say 14:57 of his 15 minutes of fame are up, unless his label keeps shovelling out the payola to keep this drivel on the air.
October 9, 2014 @ 1:47 pm
My goodness if it’s not a song that is 40years old or has something to do with tumbleweeds or your wife running off with your dog it sucks? No one has a chance most people on here hate everything that anyone new does! I think the cause of this website has been forgotten!! Come on this song is not that bad & I actually am a fan of Cole Swindell & Luke Bryan I am also entitled to my opinion so save your smart ass comments & quit being so hateful on people you don’t even know!!!!
October 9, 2014 @ 1:57 pm
I also saw them both just last night in concert front row & they were amazing!!!! Can’t wait for next year!!! Oh yeah & Dallas Davison was there too he was just as good, oh & let’s not forget Thomas Rhett best night of my life!!!
October 9, 2014 @ 5:04 pm
JennaB, you are entitled to your opinion….as is everyone else.
You mention the song is “not bad”….nor is it good. Saying something is “not bad” is not exactly a glowing endorsement.
Just my opinion.
October 10, 2014 @ 6:15 am
Oh thanks for pointing that out. Correction this song is amazing!!! Sorry for any confusion.
October 11, 2014 @ 3:11 am
JennaB, there are many reviews of recent country/roots music new release songs/albums on this site, and and I haven’t seen ay of those songs making use of some stereotypical lyrics about “tumbleweeds” or the wife running off with the dog, far from it.
In fact, one could say that rock music is more notorious for making use of the cliches of rock music-it hasn’t been characterized as “sex drugs rock-and-roll” for nothing, after all.
I love rock- “classic rock” at any rate as well as the next person, but even progressive rock, which arguably has a wider range of topic matter, doesn’t stray too far afield from the narrow parameters of acceptable rock topics.
October 11, 2014 @ 3:23 am
You might enjoy soft rock, which focuses more on romance than on the stereotypical sex & drugs.
Whenever I get frustrated with the local country station, I switch to one of the 2 or 3 adult contemporary stations here which still play great classic soft rock.
October 14, 2014 @ 11:55 am
Oh Ok cool! I actually prefer Metal but thanks anyways!
October 16, 2014 @ 9:08 am
By God, the sheer number of exclamation marks in these posts have convinced me. I love Cole Swindell now!!! And Luke Bryan too!!!!
October 11, 2014 @ 2:12 am
This bonehead white boy is EVERYTHING soulless and wrong with music today and not just country music. Untalented, fame driven dicks that are easily influenced by record label folks that have their 360 degree needs and payola for hits engulfed in their lameness.
We can only hope the tide will turn soon to flush these “artists” at least to the side in hopes for better talent.
October 11, 2014 @ 2:16 am
Why racialize this topic? Would it make any difference if Chase Rice were black, Latino, Asian-American, or Native American?
October 11, 2014 @ 10:28 am
I couldn’t get 30 seconds through this one. Incredibly awful. My first thought is soulless. There is no feeling whatsoever in this song. I’d take Jason Aldean’s latest over this one.