Billy Currington – “Love Done Gone”

C.M. Wilcox | April 20th, 2011

Billy CurringtonSongwriters: Shawn Camp and Marv Green

Nowhere is it written that a great summer song–even a great country summer song–must be about beer and girls and trucks. In fact, from a purely competitive standpoint, one of the smartest things a writer of a fun summer song could do is make it about something else entirely, such that it might less readily bleed into the sea of sun-crisped contenders that begin hitting the airwaves around this time of year.

Dealing in precisely the same subject matter as “Staying’s Worse Than Leaving,” “Love Done Gone” takes a dramatically different tack, trading in all the soul-searching lyricism of Sweeney’s song for matter-of-fact acceptance and celebration. In doing so, it focuses almost exclusively on the exhilarating part of moving beyond a relationship that, for whatever reason, simply was not working anymore. It’s a less multifaceted view of the breakup situation, certainly, but ultimately quite an infectious one.

With lyrics as vague about future plans as they are about causes of the split (“it ain’t nothing we ever said or ever did wrong/It’s just love done gone“), much of the song’s message comes via its sound, a lively fusion of contemporary country and Dixieland jazz (complete with horns and–oddly but memorably–backing vocals that mimic them) signaling greener pastures ahead. Currington is right in his mid-tempo sweet spot here, and the obvious ease with which he settles into the song’s carefree groove reinforces the impression that this particular parting, little as we actually know about it, was definitely for the best. Otherwise, why would he sound so darn happy?

In keeping with the theme of “love done gone,” the lyrics of the chorus are filled out by examples of things disappearing suddenly. Such a simple conceit could be a recipe for disaster, but thankfully the examples used are of generally high quality: “dogwood blossoms in a late spring rain,” “disappearing bubbles in a glass of champagne,” “a red kite lost in a blue sky wind.” Those are some fairly vivid, memorable images for a song whose most immediate ambition is sounding catchy.

He might push the horns back a bit and nix the cheesy vocal backing, but the song itself wouldn’t sound out of place in George Strait’s recent discography, which probably bodes well for its chances at becoming Currington’s seventh #1 single. If that does come to pass, no complaints here.

Thumbs Up

Listen: Billy Currington – “Love Done Gone”

2 Pings

  1. [...] Foster of Country Music Review Net gives the song an 8/10 rating | The 9513 gives "Love Done Gone" a Thumbs [...]
  2. [...] was on hold for Strait before Currington got it. Allow me to gloat a little over the fact that I pegged it as something Strait would record without knowing [...]
  1. Ben Foster
    April 20, 2011 at 7:52 am

    I think this is one of my favorite Billy Currington singles I’ve heard in a long time.

  2. Thomas
    April 20, 2011 at 10:28 am

    …this song has bubble wrap qualities – light weight and inexplicably fascinating. quite hard not to whistle or “babaraba” along.

  3. Lucas
    April 20, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Billy Currington is the comeback kid, no doubt about it. His career almost fell off the face of the earth before he came back with force.

  4. Matt B
    April 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    “bubble wrap qualities” – I like that.

  5. Noeller
    April 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Hmmm…I’ve listened to it three times now, to try and “get it”, musically. I’m not sure it’s really a sound that I’m into, but I’ll admit that the “ba ba ba da” is very catchy!!

    And agreed with the reviewer’s take that it’s thankfully not a summer song about drinking beer on a tailgate by a bonfire. Small miracles!!

  6. Barry Mazor
    April 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    The sound is pure late 60s AM radio light pop, and I’d betchya anything the song’s authors well know it..Harkens back to things like Spanky & Our Gang’s “Sundays Will Never Be the Same” and the Association’s “Goodbye Columbus”..

  7. luckyoldsun
    April 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Maybe he should call it the Sixth Dimension.

  8. jhomes87
    April 21, 2011 at 12:04 am

    This song is no masterpiece, but I’m totally fine with that. Not every song is that way. This was a great review–the song was aiming to be catchy and that’s what it is. The horns are a great addition, because it is different sounding than your typical song. I see no way that this misses the top 3, and as long as it doesn’t come up against some blockbuster song, it should find it’s way to #1.

  9. Jaye
    April 21, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Thumbs Up as Well! Kudos to Billy for bringing a fresh sound to summer. All of us will be ba-ba-ba-ba before summer’s end. Overall, Enjoy Yourself is way more than many thought at first and should be given more credit.

  10. Fizz
    April 21, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Not bad, adn the horns give it a bit of a different flavor. It beats the overused and muddy-sounding “full open chords with distortion” trick. Don’t like the background vocals, but then I don’t care for scatting or nonsense syllables in any form, really.

    Jhomes57 makes the second reference to the song’s number-one potential. Another manifestation of country’s obsession with chart positions? Lie if it doesn’t make at least top-five it’ll be a failure or something?

  11. Jon
    April 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Another manifestation of country’s obsession with chart positions?

    I think it’s more a bit of faux industry insiderism.

  12. PaulaW
    April 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    “Like” :-)

  13. jhomes87
    April 21, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    @Fizz I do think a lot of country fans follow the charts. I’ll listen to what anyone puts out, but I won’t deny that I’m interested in the charts. Is that a bad thing?

    Click on my name. You’ll know I’m a chart-obsessed fan if you do…

  14. Josh
    April 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    It’s kind of funny to me how Billy Currington is pretty much getting his pick of the litter right now. Labels all have their artists co-writing their own stuff to squeeze a few more pennies out of each song, while meanwhile, Currington just keeps cutting number ones. I mean, which other male stars are even still cutting mostly outside songs? Adkins, Shelton, McGraw, Nichols… that’s about it, and even those four have leaned on trendy, gimmicky stuff lately.

    I’ve got to give Currington some credit for having a great ear for hits, along with the humility to realize that the best songs available are realistically not usually going to be ones he writes himself. Sure, he’s sacrificing some performance royalties, but I bet he’s reaping the benefits of a bigger overall pie.

  15. luckyoldsun
    April 22, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Is King George history?

  16. J.R. Journey
    April 24, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I’d have to disagree with the Thumbs Up. Of course, the horns and the overall effect is a gutsy movie – and I am usually the first to praise such endeavors – but I just don’t think Currington has the vocal chops to keep up with the layers of sound, nor does he even possess the charisma to carry a tune like this.

    E for Effort. P for Punk.

  17. J.R. Journey
    April 24, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    For prosperity: my last line was directed at the single, not the review.

  18. Steve
    April 26, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Luckyoldsun, I was wondering that too, seem like George just kinda quit lately. He hasn’t had a new single since last year, and I haven’t seen mention of a new album yet.

  19. luckyoldsun
    April 27, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Steve,
    I didn’t realize that. I’d guess that GS will come out with a new album and single. I’m sure he still has a huge audience, though if I had to bet, I’d say he’s had his last solo #1.

  20. Dave
    April 28, 2011 at 8:15 am

    He’s been performing this one in concert for about a year now. It is a great concert performance song. Hope it plays out well on radio too.

  21. epstein
    June 25, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    astonishingly good song for currington – very good lyrics (the champagne bit is great, especially when he reaches for that high note), and i like the horns. didn’t know he had it in him. thumbs WAY UP here.

  22. hill
    September 28, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    J.R. Journey

    I’m going have to say your Thumbs Down is a Thumbs down . This song Rocks! have you seen the video, or the behind the making of it or live ? he definetly has charisma and the chops!

    is showing your I’d have to disagree with the Thumbs Up. Of course, the horns and the overall effect is a gutsy movie – and I am usually the first to praise such endeavors – but I just don’t think Currington has the vocal chops to keep up with the layers of sound, nor does he even possess the charisma to carry a tune like this.

  23. Landon .B
    October 25, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Awful song.

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