Frankie Ballard – “A Buncha Girls”

C.M. Wilcox | March 30th, 2011

Frankie BallardAnd the race for most inane summer anthem is on.

“A Buncha Girls” wants to be the “All About Tonight” of 2011. Trouble is “All About Tonight” wasn’t much more than the “Barefoot and Crazy” of 2010, which wasn’t much more than the “Put a Girl In It” of 2009, which wasn’t much more than a 2008 harbinger of Brooks & Dunn’s eventual dissolution.

This recent string of disposable party songs is brought to you by the Peach Pickers, the unabashedly hit-focused writing trio of Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip, and Dallas Davidson. Even as Ballard ostensibly contributes his voice for a four-way cowrite, “A Buncha Girls” sounds very much like a typical Peach Pickers composition. An unwavering faith in the ability of beer and girls to cure any ill, if only temporarily, is key. Put the beer and girls next to a body of water and you’re really onto something. Make sure you color all your characters–hot girls who exist only to be ogled and guys who exist only to ogle them and help drink the beer–in only the most superficial shades. Repeat the title line as many times as possible, throw it all on top of some drums and heavy guitar riffs, and you’re good to go. Maybe even to the top of the charts.

They’re prefabbed radio smashes for the spring break set, and to that extent they’ve undeniably been successful. But as hit follows similar hit, the Georgia trio’s frat-country formula becomes ever more transparent. In fact, it’d be difficult to listen to “A Buncha Girls” and not hear right through it to at least one of the aforementioned songs. Even the first time through, this sounds recycled.

As for Mr. Ballard, two singles in (his first was last year’s “Tell Me You Get Lonely”), there’s still little indication he has any influences countrier than Bon Jovi, or anything more interesting to say than whatever lines the hot writers of the moment are willing to feed him. He looks good and sounds fine, but doesn’t offer much of a distinct vision or voice to stick with us when his successor inevitably appears–in this, Ballard himself is almost like a living embodiment of a Peach Pickers party song.

So I guess it’s a match made in heaven?

Thumbs Down

Listen: Frankie Ballard – “A Buncha Girls”

  1. Ben Foster
    March 30, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Best review ever! Nailed it. Though the race isn’t REALLY on until we get the Rascal Flatts entry.

  2. phil
    March 30, 2011 at 9:56 am

    This song is timeless. Too bad it’s not about a buncha guys discussing how awful it is. Or maybe it is. lol

  3. Thomas
    March 30, 2011 at 10:41 am

    …sunburned, shitfaced and legless – all you want is some simple lyrics to drink and sing along to. mission accomplished.

    on a more sober note, forgettable noise.

  4. Kyle
    March 30, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Great review, especially the third paragraph. Throw in a jacked up truck, an “all night-morning light” rhyme, and bizarre reference to Hank or Johnny Cash (is that really what’s on the boombox in that scenario?), and you’ve got yourself a hit! I honestly wonder how much money those three have collectively made off songwriting royalties in the last 3-4 years. It’s got to be in the 8 figure range by now.

    On a related note, I hope “What Country Is” gets released by Luke Bryan as a single. It’s still accessible, but it’s a pretty good counter to all these songs.

  5. Dan Milliken
    March 30, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Killer, killer review.

  6. the pistolero
    March 31, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I’m sure the beer’s almost as transparent as the characters of the song, too.

  7. Trey T.
    April 1, 2011 at 12:23 am

    Thank you for seeing through this set of songs and putting such ignorant, mindless redneckery in its place. I’m in the College of Agriculture at my university, and this crap (along with the contrived social scene that generates it) is far too big around here. I love this blog because it’s refreshing to see a few competent reviewers who are not just validating the forces that get songs of this sort so much airplay.

  8. Lily
    April 1, 2011 at 1:28 am

    The race is still on – as long as Country Music hasn’t got it’s very own Justin Bieber. You just wait this will be next best thing after Taylor Swift.

  9. Chris N.
    April 5, 2011 at 10:01 am

    How do these down-home small-town country boys afford all the Mexican vacations they’re always singing about?

  10. Thomas
    April 5, 2011 at 10:30 am

    …like the rest of america, chris n. – on credit.

  11. luckyoldsun
    April 5, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Chris N–
    In a lot of the songs, like J-T’s “Oh Mexico,” Garth’s “Two Pina Coladas,” or A-J’s “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”, a close reading of the lyrics suggests that it’s only the mind–and not the body–that’s in Mexico or otherwise on vacation.

    That’s one way to handle the problem.

  12. the pistolero
    April 16, 2011 at 1:07 am

    “A buncha girls lookin’ for a good time.”

    So the Peach Pickers are reduced to mashing up Motley Crue and Poison. Lovely.

Sponsors

Juli Thanki on WAMU's Bluegrass Country

Tagged In This Article

// // //

Current Discussion

  • Jack Hanford: For those who are interested, there is a new 90-minute documentary video about Tompall & the Glaser Brothers on DVD …
  • joe morris: how come nobody mentions his fan club which started 1950 and was called the " the penny pushers " which …
  • jane: I'm reading this article in 2013 and I've yet to hear anything from the album played on the radio.....
  • Catwandy: I guess Matt C. is eating his well-deserved crow 'bout now. Critics....gotta love 'em , bless their little hearts.
  • Ed McClendon: Saw the brothers in Greeley CO on the occasion of Tompall's 50th birthday. The show wasn't well promoted and there …
  • Roby Fox: I'm sure no one else will know, or even care about this little tidbit of trivia. "Keep Your Change" was …
  • kate wonders: Roni Stoneman is still on Hee Haw every Sunday night on RFD channel.
  • Marsha Blades: Tommy, You were so kind to me during a tough time in my life and I don't think I ever …
  • Leona Jones: I seen Chris at the Grand Ole Opry last week.. First time I have heard of him.. He rocked the …
  • Sonicjar Music: Agree with Lucas, But one thing is certain, for a song to come to existence, so many things have to …

Recently Reviewed Albums

  • Blind Boys of Alabama - Take the High Road
  • Del McCoury Band & Preservation Hall Jazz Band - American Legacies
  • Aaron Lewis - Town Line
  • Josh Kelly - Georgia Clay
  • The Gibson Brothers - Help My Brother
  • jesse-brewster_wrecking-ball
  • Lucinda Williams - Blessed
  • Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers - Hymns from the Hills