Trace Adkins has one of those voices that’s aged well. A conversational baritone that will serve him well into Dwight Yoakam and Willie Nelson territory.
This register noticeably elevated his latest single. “Heartbreak Song” was an old-school ditty that’ll play a prominent role on his 2021 album Ain’t That Kind of Cowboy. That thirteenth studio album will mark nearly a quarter century that he’s been in the game.
Bearing such breadth of perspective, it’s no wonder he could come through with this unique track. Unique by today’s country standards, where lyrics have been dominated by fun and excitement.
“Heartbreak Song” swept into the listener’s ears on a breeze of Southern politeness. Respect given that simultaneously held firm to practicalities involved with grinding through the day-to-day. A prospect made more difficult by being alone.
To Adkins’ point, it’s hard singing along to a song celebrating good times with great friends when there’s an awfully giant hole in our heart. In those relatively few spare minutes of our busy day, like commuting, the lost love responsible for that hole will have risen to top-of-mind.
And it’s in those moments, that it helps to feel like we’re not alone. We may not have, nor may ever, meet the crooner bearing their soul. Nonetheless, we’ll have connected with them based on shared sensibilities. On the basis of gut-wrenching despair’s seeming permanence when in the thick of it.
Their voice will have been the friend we needed to push through our shift at work that day for instance. A freeing feeling from having indirectly verbalized our romantic loneliness. The process assisted by lyrics we couldn’t have articulated so poetically, or were afraid to admit.
For an enhanced picture of “Heartbreak Song”, play the music video!