Blake Shelton – “Home” (Featuring Miranda Lambert)

Jim Malec | January 27th, 2008

Blake Shelton - "Home" (Featuring Miranda Lambert)Another summer day/Has come and gone away/In Paris and Rome/But I wanna go home.”

There are a million reasons why it’s almost always a bad idea for country artists to try and cover Pop songs.

But let’s hold that thought for a moment.

Because there is one reason why that’s not the case here. And it’s a big one. There is one reason why I love Blake Shelton’s cover of the Michael Bublé #1 “Home”.

I believe him.

No, he doesn’t deliver the song’s gorgeous melody with the same ease as Bublé. His voice isn’t as smooth as Bublé’s. It’s not as refined. Hey, the plain fact of the matter is that Shelton just isn’t as good a singer, in the technical sense, as Bublé.

But Shelton’s delivery here is gut-wrenching in its longing. It is heartbreaking in its home-sickness. And when he sings about wanting to leave behind the places that so many people dream of going, all for the sake of being back with the one person who means more to him even than Paris and Rome, I believe him.

And what was, in Bublé’s masterful hands, a touching sentiment, becomes, in Shelton’s capable ones, starkly real.

So we can call it a pop song. We can call it Eddy, for all I care. At the end of the day, this is what country music is–by our best definitions of the term. Because despite the fact that we spend so much time talking about mechanics, about semantics…

Well, none of that really matters when an artist so convincingly connects with a song. And Shelton, with a little help from Miranda Lambert, connects. No, the lyrics aren’t country. No, the melody isn’t country. If we take all of the pieces and pull them apart, nothing about this is country.

But this is absolutely, unequivocally, entirely a country song. And a damn good one at that.

Because I believe him.

Thumbs Up

  1. Rick
    January 28, 2008 at 1:43 am

    Some might call me a hypocrite, but I don’t mind when artists grounded in traditional country go off the reservation and record songs from other genres. Its the newer so-called country artists that wouldn’t recognize a real country song if it bit them on the bum that annoy me by singing only non-country songs. I look forward to hearing this new single from Blake based upon your review, and since I’m not familiar with any of Michael Buble’s music I’ll have no cognitive dissonance! (lol)

    I saw Blake do an acoustic show with just him and Andy Griggs on stage taking turns choosing classic country songs to cover. Both these guys love and revere traditional country music which in my book gives them an unlimited pass to sing whatever they want as long as its good music, and they come home afterwards (wink).

  2. Peter Kohan
    January 28, 2008 at 8:09 am

    I’ll admit I was surprised to hear Blake cut this song. I remain a bit on the fence about it after a couple of listens. Maybe it’s the string arrangement I’m having trouble with. He slowed the tempo down a touch, and I almost wish he slowed it down a bit more and did away with those strings. Yeah – not loving the arrangement. I’m fine with the song itself and Blake and Miranda’s vocal performances, but those strings are way too prominent for my own tastes.

  3. Heidi
    January 28, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Huh. I hope you’re right. Buble’s version of “Home” was overplayed on my local radio station just because he’s a hometown boy. I came to hate that song. I hope that Blake can make me appreciate it again.

  4. Lynn
    January 28, 2008 at 10:52 am

    I am a big Blake fan, but I’m actually not a fan of this cover. After reading your review, I expected a country take or a different take at least on the song, but it sounds too close to the original (which we’ve all heard a million times). If you haven’t heard much from Blake before, I urge you to listen to his latest album, and not judge on this song.

  5. Lori
    January 28, 2008 at 11:11 am

    I can’t believe I’m gonna to say this, but . . . I didn’t really care for it either. And Ran is MY GIRL … I LOVE HER, and I adore Blake as well. He is a very talented artist (who if he would pick better songs would be HUGE! IMHO). Plus he’s hysterical! Anyway, I also a huge Buble fan as well. Because “HOME” is just a beautiful song (it stands along on its lyrics) I really didn’t think anyone could perform it wrong. I was incorrect. Although both of their voices sounded great, the strings were a bit too much for me. Buble already did that. They needed to make it sound different, and country. Perhaps if they would inspired themselves with some George and Tammy prior to recording it would have tuned out better. Sorry Ran and Blake, LOVE YOU!

  6. Ruthann Upchurch
    January 28, 2008 at 11:56 am

    liked Blakes song Home very much he’s country

  7. Jim Malec
    January 28, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    I always find it interesting that people consistently comment on an artists’ use of strings.

  8. Peter Kohan
    January 28, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Couldn’t avoid it here Jim – they’re all over the song. ;)

  9. Dudley
    January 28, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    I had high hopes for this one since I’m a fan of both Blake’s and Miranda’s. I also thought the song could be translated into a country (even it was commercial country) sound very well. But I don’t think this cover works. I think Blake’s vocal sounds a bit mechanical and I don’t think the tone of Miranda’s voice complements his very well.

    I’d like to see his label release “I Have Been Lonely” from Pure BS as a single, but with this new cover and what I assume will be a repackaged re-release of the album, I’m not sure I see that happening.

  10. Dave S
    January 28, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Blake is one of the most underrated male artists in country music. I thought the two of them did an exceptional job on this song.

  11. Brady Vercher
    January 28, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    I’m surprised so many people don’t care for this cover. The strings do get in the way, but I thought the vocal performance was enough to make it a good record. I played this in the background a couple of times and if you’re not paying attention, you hardly notice Miranda in the background.

    Is everyone able to listen to the song from the link at the end of the article? Some of y’all sound like you can’t get it to work or don’t know it’s there.

  12. Mike W.
    January 29, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    I really like Blake Shelton, and I think this song is very good, but it’s SUCH a stupid idea to re-release albums. The record companies are such brilliant business men and women, let’s PUNISH the fans of Blake Shelton who already supported him and BOUGHT his album, by adding ONE new song. Come on, it’s almost like the record companies are BEGGING people to download.

  13. Todd
    January 29, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    I myself love this song and most of Blake’s work but I can understand why some people don’t like it.I agree the strings are a bit much and it does have a very pop sound ,but that being said Blake’s performance makes the song believable. I’m not usually a fan of slow sad pop country songs but this song got to me from the first time I heard it even before I knew who the singer was. Thanks for clearing up who is on the background vocals I had been trying to figure out who that was for a week now!

  14. Connie
    January 29, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    WB link from Country Aircheck
    Here is a new link as the AOL stream has been replaced with a CMT link.
    May I add that I totally LOVE this song with the strong emotional vocals of Blake Shelton and must have streamed it over 300 time already.
    There are strings in many country music recordings if you listen to country music you should know that.
    On 2/5 I will be downloading HOME!

  15. Peter Kohan
    January 29, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    I’m not decrying ALL usage of strings, but I just didn’t care for this arrangement. That’s it. I’m not dissing the song, the artist, or the vocal performances… but the strings are so up front they distract me from the simplicity of the melody and the lyric.

  16. M.C.
    January 29, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    I’m with Jim, I like this performance a lot. Also like Jim, I think it has everything to do with how convincing and eomtional Blake sounds. My favorite Blake cut is “Goodbye Time,” another ballad and cover, for the same reasons I like this song–his voice, in all its roughness, has an emotional quality to it that I find compelling. I think the arrangement adds to it as well. I like the strings, they don’t sound obtrusive to me.

    That said, re-releasing albums with new songs on is an obnoxious practice and unfair to fans, as several have suggesting.

    Thanks for posting the track. I was disappointed in “Pure BS” and didn’t keep it. But I’ll download “Home” and hold onto it.

  17. Stephen H.
    January 29, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    The strings, as well as the instrumentation in general (except for the steel guitar), are basically taken straight from the Michael Buble version. There’s no “added” strings in comparison, after listening to the records side by side.

  18. Double-L
    January 30, 2008 at 12:42 am

    I LOVE BLAKE SHELTON! I featured him on my TTT tonight and it was hard for me to pick just THREE songs from “Pure BS”. I also played HOME and will spin it again tomorrow night in my new music challenge.

    I think he sounds superb, maybe better than ever. If you take everything else away, and just listen to Blake… he captures raw, genuine emotion better than almost any country artist of today. I find him refreshing and love that, even though he’s a total jokester, he can WORK a ballad like nobody’s business.

    I give Blake Shelton two thumbs and two toes up. And anything else I can put up, too. :)

  19. Margie
    January 30, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    I really liked this song a lot!! I think going with Miranda has really helped Blake….she got him to cut that ugly long hair! He’s really looking good these days and I’m real impressed with this song! Never heard Michael Buble’s version.

  20. Leeann
    January 30, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    I remember reading an interview where Blake admits that he and Miranda have very different musical tastes. It’s obvious when you listen to their music. I’m, frankly, surprised that Miranda agreed to sing on this song. One of the things that Blake cited as their difference was that he loved strings and synthesizers and Miranda couldn’t stand them. I agree with Miranda, for the most part.

    I also agree about the comment regarding “I Have Been Lonely.” Rachel Procter provides great harmony vocals and their voices melded quite nicely together on that song…and the lack of strings/synthesizers didn’t hurt either.

  21. Charlie Mack ( First outta the Limo )
    January 30, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I wish my Warner marketing guys told me what songs to sing.

    With nashville reaching to great lengths to create hits to create any & all sales it can, it is only a matter of time when artists like Blake Shelton can only put out songs made famous by other Warner artists.

    When they start covering White Stripes soon ( another Warner act ) I will definitely start listening to mainstream cuntry radio.

  22. Matt B
    January 31, 2008 at 3:34 am

    Y’know, this is one of my favorite pop songs and has my wheels turning to create a list of other pop/rock songs that’d make for good country material (in the hands of the right artist that is).

  23. Peter Kohan
    January 31, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Matt – don’t forget to include some more rocking stuff as well.

    I always thought that there ought to be a country compilation of great country artists doing the great songs of The Who. Here would be a few of my preliminary suggestions there…
    1. “Squeeze Box” – Brad Paisley
    2. “Goin’ Mobile” – Keith Urban
    3. “Bargain” – Josh Turner
    4. “Love Reign O’er Me” – Trisha Yearwood, Allison Kraus or Mindy Smith
    5. “Join Together” – Little Big Town
    6. “Behind Blue Eyes” – Trace Adkins
    7. “Baba O’Riley” – Toby Keith
    8. “I Can’t Explain” – Sara Evans
    9. “Who Are You” – Hank Williams, Jr.
    10. “You Better You Bet” – Big & Rich
    11. “Long Live Rock” – Montgomery Gentry
    12. “Magic Bus” – Tim McGraw
    13. “Won’t Get Fooled Again” – Garth Brooks
    14. “5:15″ – Blake Shelton

  24. Lucas
    February 2, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Record labels are begging people to download for some artists, on purpose.

    As far as Blake goes, he’s underrated. I haven’t heard this song yet. But Blake could be much bigger than he is. He just might want to stray away from perverted YouTube videos and Nashville Star comments.

  25. freewayradio guy
    February 5, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    I like Peter’s list above! That would be an excellent show. Miranda and Blake are fine, but I’m having trouble getting excited about Home.

  26. Carol
    February 7, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Simply put, this is brilliant. Taking a song from outside his genre’ and delivering it with this kind of ease and authenticity is the mark of a true artist.

  27. Sarah
    March 8, 2008 at 12:36 am

    His version is alright

    But I love Michael Buble and that song has a lot of meaning to me and a couple of friends….so to me it will never be as good.

  28. bear
    April 26, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    i love this song i wish they would play it more!

  29. Paula
    April 26, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    I love this song and Blake does indeed make it believable. I never heard the Michael Buble version. Take Miranda’s whiny voice out of the mix and I’d love it even more.

  30. Lucas
    April 27, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Shelton turned it into a country song.

    Not my favorite song, but far from the worst. When it’s on the radio, I listen to it… and that’s saying something.

    However, I do wish Blake would put out some mind-blowing original music also. You can only do so many covers.

  31. Gary
    May 4, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    This is a great song regaurdless of its genre. Blake, delivered it as though he had written it about himself. I was able to connect to it.

  32. Stacy
    May 20, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    I thought Blake did a great job on this song. I also felt like he really meant it…and isn’t that what makes country music great….that we can relate to it. I hate it that he’s being picked apart. He has a great voice, he’s a really good guy and he works very hard for country music. I think his talent is very underrated.

  33. Torch
    May 27, 2008 at 8:45 am

    This is my favorite BS song since “Austin”. I don’t try to analyze it from an “is it Country or not” standpoint…I just like what I hear, and I hope the song does really well for him.

  34. Peartfan
    July 3, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Not even a close call. Michael Buble did this to perfection. This version sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard in comparison. All the Country fans who have never heard the REAL version are falling in love with this crap. #2 on Billboard’s country chart. It’s a travesty. Check out the one and only version of this song that deserves credit.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDQnkYwfNfk

  35. Matt B.
    July 3, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Peartfan,

    Both versions are quite similar actually. Blake did it justice though Buble could’ve crossed-over to country on his own version.

  36. Cristina
    August 2, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    this song is great it will rly make u cry and it will open up ur heart

  37. Drema
    October 5, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Sometimes someone redoes a song that comes across the way it should have been done the first time. Like Heart’s version of “Tell It Like It Is”. And Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert’s “Home.” I just don’t see (or hear) the big deal over Michael Buble – Harry Connick, Jr. makes Buble sound like an amateur.

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