Garth Brooks – “More Than A Memory”

Jim Malec | August 27th, 2007

Garth Brooks It’s great to hear Garth’s voice again. But let’s be realistic–his latest single, “More Than A Memory,” from the upcoming The Ultimate Hits, is not the kind of material that carved out his place in history. Those songs, the ones that made him the best selling country artist of all time, songs like, “The Thunder Rolls,” and “Unanswered Prayers,” were epic. “More Than A Memory,” is nothing more than a conventional, mediocre country song filled with way too many tired lyrics.

When Garth sings, in the chorus, “When you find yourself fallin’ down upon your knees/Prayin’ to God, beggin’ him please,” I can’t help but cringe a little. And when I hear phrases like “Get on with my life“; “They don’t realize“; “Up in smoke“; and “Tore all the pictures off the wall“; I think longingly about Garth’s 1991 album Ropin’ The Wind, which has less clichés spread across the entire disc than can be found in this one song.

But I’m not sure lyrical deficiencies matter in this particular case, because Garth absolutely nails this one. In Garth Brooks we have one of a rare breed of artists who is talented enough to vocally interpret a song so that the character and quality of his voice match the tone and emotional undercarriage of the melody and lyrics. Many artists have great voices, but always seem to sound, more or less, the same, regardless of the material. That’s not the case for Garth, who, on “More Than A Memory,” offers a gritty and powerful performance starkly contrasting the good-humored nature of his previous single, the Chris LeDoux tribute, “Good Ride Cowboy.”

Musically, “More Than A Memory,” drives hard with a swelling, catchy melody–but the story here is Brooks’ excellent vocal–a vocal that saves an otherwise forgettable song and which is one of the best he’s delivered since his “retirement.” I am predicting this as a radio hit, and if you’re a Garth fan, it’s definitely worth a listen.

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  1. Matt C.
    August 27, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    I take completely the opposite view. It’s not an epic lyric, but it’s strong and certainly much better than the vocal performance. I don’t know if Garth had trouble with the key or what, but his voice sounded very strained to me and the vocal was almost grating to listen to. Not his best performance. I’m also not crazy about the piano and strings backing.

    I’ve done enough driving around today to know that radio is already playing the hell out of this thing. It could have an historically high debut and will probably be a hit. However, I really think that Garth needs to bring more to the table. No other artist could get away with releasing mediocre singles to promote a greatest hits album while refusing to tour and refusing to make his music available digitally.

  2. Heidi
    August 28, 2007 at 9:45 am

    Sorry Jim but I agree with Matt. I don’t feel it’s a good vocal performance and the piano and strings annoy me. It’s been out for one day and I’m already tired of listening to it. A disappointing “comeback” from Mr. Brooks.
    ~Heidi…a GB fan, usually…

  3. Jim Malec
    August 28, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    My only comment would be that in today’s age of modern recording, it would be very difficult for a song, especially from an artist like Garth Brooks, to be released with anything other than the vocal performance that the production team wanted. It’s too easy to fix mistakes and too cheap to re-record things.

    Also, think about the number of music professionals who have to listen to a song a number of times before it gets released. If there’s a major vocal issue, someone is (most likely) going to catch it (note: this does not apply to artists who are marginal singers anyway).

    I think it’s not a stretch, however, to say that this vocal is going to irk some people because it’s very different than what we’re used to hearing. I mean, the S.O.P. at country radio is to create a playlist where everything fits neatly together–so you can go from Chris Cagle to Jason Aldean to Billy Currington and scarcely notice that the vocalist has changed (unless you’re paying attention).

    But Garth, like I said in my review, doesn’t sound like anyone else–he doesn’t even sound the same as himself depending on the record. And some people might have a knee-jerk reaction to that.

    Other people might just think the vocal sounds bad, but that’s an issue of preference, not technicality, in my opinion.

  4. Jim Malec
    August 28, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    I also wanted to add, in reply to Matt, that a problem with the key is unlikely. Most Nashville musicians use something called the Nashville Numbers System, which allows for seamless on-the-fly transposing of a song between keys. If there was a key issue, it would be a snap to make an adjustment.

  5. Matt C.
    August 28, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    Jim, I would argue that Garth is indeed a marginal singer. I’m not saying that he can’t sing, but his vocal ability has never been his strength and he’s a much weaker singer than most of his contemporaries. I always wonder how it is that songs manage to make it by producers and industry execs despite obvious problems with the vocal. You obviously know more about the production process than I do, but nevertheless, there are mainstream hit songs with vocal deficiencies; I’ve cringed on more than one occasion upon hearing Martina belt a mistake on one of her big show notes. Maybe producers feel that it’s part of the emotion of the song and leave it. Maybe Garth is less vulnerable to scrutiny than young artists. I don’t know. The bottom line is that this is one of those songs that, while perhaps it doesn’t contain specific and identifiable mistakes, has moments where the vocal is deficient and difficult to listen to. I don’t have the ear of a professional musician, but don’t try to tell me that every vocal performance that Nashville releases is technically perfect or even good.

  6. Stephen H.
    August 28, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    The radio play from US 99.5 in Chicago alone (at least one time an hour, usually more, on Monday — probably quite frequently the rest of the week) will ensure it charts pretty high, as Chicago’s the second-biggest country market. Songs with 50 or 60 plays usually line the last ten spots of the charts, and that’s with plays on low-listener stations.

  7. Matt
    August 29, 2007 at 6:41 am

    Garth has a hit here with this record no matter what has gone into the single production wise. I am guessing that ‘better’ songs are to come and there will be another single by November.

  8. Matt
    August 29, 2007 at 6:48 am

    One more note: It’s already 21 at Mediabase.

  9. Jill
    August 29, 2007 at 8:06 am

    Garth is one of the few country artists that can sing anthing and it sounds good. He has a way of interpreting the song that makes you feel it. He doesn’t just sing the song, he feels it, and that’s one of the things that set him apart from everyone else. This is going to be a huge hit. My son doesn’t like many country music songs, but he thinks this one is awesome!!

  10. Ang
    August 29, 2007 at 8:56 am

    I wasn’t especially crazy over the song (why radio plays certain artists’ so-so songs, and leaves other talented artists’ better-vocally-and-lyrically songs in the dust I’ll never know) but it was good to hear something new by Garth on the radio again. He was very emoional in the song which cancelled out the bad points.

  11. Jim Malec
    August 29, 2007 at 10:00 am

    “…His vocal ability has never been his strength”

    According to…?
    Garth is an excellent vocalist–and I think that fact often gets overshadowed by his reputation, his explosive concerts, etc.

    A lot of this comes down to how we define what makes a “great singer”–for example, I am certain Celine Dion would do a more technicaly sound performance of, “Much Too Young,” but the end result would be…interesting.

    As far as Martina–not sure which songs you’re talking about…and I admit to not being a vocal coach by any stretch of the word. But again, it’s hard to imagine multiple vocal problems slipping through.

    Do you guys remember all the fuss over the song, “He’d Never Seen Julie Cry,” which JoDee Messina recorded on her first album? The song was released as a single, but it had pitch issues in a couple of spots–which killed it. I mean, people railed her for that.

    So I’m not buying the argument that people are just letting it go because it’s Garth and they don’t want to challenge him. Do you know anyone in this industry who is that nice? Hell, they were calling him “Girth Brooks” on the radio in Nashville the other day. If people are hearing vocal problems, they are going to say something.

  12. Matt C
    August 29, 2007 at 11:00 am

    It is the explosive concerts, the marketing and the song choice that’s made Garth Garth; thus, it’s accurate to say that his vocal ability is not his greatest strength. Furthermore, I continue to insist that Garth is a marginal vocalist. Even Ralph Emery, who is usually reluctant to criticize the big Nashville names, argues in 50 Years Down a Country Roadthat Garth is only an average vocalist. You don’t have to be technically perfect to be a good vocalist. George Jones has very little technical skill but is arguably the greatest country singer alive. Most of the genre’s early stars had no formal training and would have been very poor vocalists if they were not very good at knowing their limits. I think Garth interprets his songs well but he sometimes tries to squeeze more out of his voice than it can stand, and I think he does the same in this song. You seem to be fixated on tangible “mistakes,” but his voice just sounds generally strained to me throughout the whole performance.

    I again challenge you to say with a straight face that everything that Nashville’s produced post-digital recording is technically perfect. Different ears certainly play a role in this. I remember multiple episodes of this year’s Nashville Star when the judges – an industry exec, a hall of famer and a current major recording artist – disagreed about whether a performer was having pitch problems. We’re just hearing something different in this song.

  13. Cheryl
    August 29, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    I’m not that crazy about the new single. I prefered “Good Ride Cowboy” over this one. You’d think he would come out with a “bang” so to speak when he went to pick a single to be released. Personally I wish he would go back to doing more of the traditional sounding stuff or at least do the stuff like he had on his fitst couple of albums.

    I used to be a DIE-HARD Garth fan, but I just don’t have the excitement for him since he’s been doing all of this “flip-flopping.” He’ll reel us all in again, and then when he has us, he will do the same thing he did after “Scarecrow” came out. He’ll go *POOF*!!

    I hope he isn’t doing this so he can get more money from his fans. I have to hand it to him though, when it comes to marketing, he knows what he’s doing.

  14. Sam
    August 29, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    I completely love More than a memory. I am sorry to read all the negative press about it. It is one song that has touched my soul…and i dont even have a hurt in my life like this to compare it to. People are complaining about the vocals…but what I love is that you can hear his heart in his voice…good singers are a dime a dozen…i know, because i am one…but a rare singer…is one who you can see through to their heart and feel what they are singing…that’s what we pay to here. I for one cannot wait to purchase this song/album…and I am not a huge Garth fan…nor am i a huge fan of any artist (so much that i would be waiting for the day it came out), but i will be waiting for this day and i will be buying it the first day it comes out.

  15. Jim Malec
    August 29, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Matt–your points are well made, as always.

    I think Ralph is flat wrong on this. I respect the man, but he, along with many of his generation, has a pretty serious bias (especially against Garth, who many blame for the “pop” turn Country Music has supposedly taken).

    As far as the production issue, I’m not saying that everything released today is technically perfect. Singers get signed for a variety of reasons, as you know, and when their vocal talent is marginal, the record they eventually produce is going to reflect that. You’re not going to get orange juice from an apple, no matter how hard you squeeze it.

    So, yes–in those cases, I hear vocal problems. But when we’re dealing with someone who has the money and power of Garth Brooks, I have a very difficult time believing any vocal would be released to the public unless it was exactly the vocal that he wanted. I think you’re underestimating Garth’s vocal talent…but that’s aside from my point, which is that this was how Garth and his team wanted this record to sound.

    Finally, let’s not even talk about Nashville “Star.”

  16. Natalie
    August 30, 2007 at 9:02 am

    I absolutley loved this song the first time I heard it. You were right in the fact that in some aspects it doesn’t sound like Garth. Luckily for me I heard it on XM radio and was able to see who it was. The vocal delivery is amazing and believable. The song itself is not the greatest, but it does stand out on the radio when it’s full of artists that amazingly enough all sound the same. It caught my attention.

  17. Ali
    August 30, 2007 at 10:12 am

    I love this song, and although it doesn’t seem like a “Garth” song as far as lyrics, the emotion he puts into singing it makes it a Garth song! You will not find a singer who sings with more emotion than Garth! I think it is GREAT! I also love the music and melody of the song.

    and always great to hear new stuff from Garth!!!!!
    And I think many people underestimate Garth’s vocal talent. I would put it up there with just about anyone in country music.

  18. David
    August 30, 2007 at 10:58 am

    Wow, I am blown away by this blog. Tired Lyrics? Are you serious, apparently you never had the pleasure of hearing the writer, Lee Brice, sing it when he had it on his myspace. He wrote that song and when he sang it the walls came down. You got chills up your spine when sang it, now mind you he is a stronger vocalist than Garth and one of the strongest in the business right now. If you ever have a chance to catch Lee in concert go! He will sing it and you will change your mind. I promise you that. The song is great, Garth did a great job and you are looking at a number one. It is 14 on Mediabase already.

  19. Jim Malec
    August 30, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    David; I have heard Lee’s version of the song, and I think Garth’s is better, but that’s beside the point.

    The fact that Lee or Garth sings the song well doesn’t make the song lyrically stronger.

  20. Paula
    August 30, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    I thought I was hearing things. I was partially listening to the radio on my way home from work…could it be..a “NEW” Garth song?! I checked his website and yup, true, it’s new…I wasn’t hearing things, it was Garth…yet one more time back to tease us.

    No, it’s not his best performance or strongest vocals and I too am waiting for the next grab you by the breath and blood that fills your body type of song such as “The Dance” but it is still good to hear his voice. Almost like an old friend coming home again.

    I love Garth. I have since the day I heard the Dance and If Tomorrow Never Comes. I love him for the way he emotionally connects to the songs he sings and the way I feel when listening to great songs such as The Dance, Standing Ouside The Fire, or When You Come Back To Me Again.

    Garth is, well, Garth. I agree with Cheryl with him going *poof* and being gone again. He’s like an addiction for his fans, he brought us through album after album and explosive, highly entertaining, fun filled concerts then he left us. He ‘retired’. Then he returned – or so we thought – we’re Garth junkies, good, bad, ugly addicts that will take a Garth fix any way we can.

    He’s a master at marketing, he’s kept his fan base interested in him since his ‘retirement’. He comes back to give us just enough juice to make sure we’re still interested…and we are and yes, enough to drive his single up the charts as we always have.

  21. Chris N.
    August 31, 2007 at 9:12 am

    I kinda dig it.

  22. Cassie
    August 31, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Me too.

  23. Gretchen
    August 31, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    I think whoever doesn’t like that song is on crack-its a gorgeous comeback for Garth!

  24. Kristie in Louisiana
    September 1, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Hmm…I love the song and I can’t wait for the album.

    It’s Garth…his heart is in his music and you can feel it…what’s more to say.

    Strong vocalist/strong lyrics…I mean really…it’s a beautiful song.

    If you don’t like it/him…don’t listen…right? I’m thinking that your rain isn’t going to rain on his parade =).

  25. Carrie S.
    September 3, 2007 at 8:18 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the song! I am a huge fan of country music, but ever since Garth retired there has been something missing…and now he is back! Nobody puts as much passion into the lyrics as Garth does! He defined country music for my generation and hearing him back on the radio again is wonderful! There are a lot of “superstars” in music these days, but with Garth back…country music has it’s GIANT back! There is only ONE Garth Brooks, and I don’t care if he sang the phonebook…I would buy it!

  26. Lisa
    September 3, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    I am SO glad to read that a LOT of people don’t like this new Garth Brooks song. It is positively AWFUL! The hokey strings behind it are only the first bad choice. The lyrics are absolutely drivel and he oversings this from the get go! Not up to his great talent and previous efforts.
    The Dance, Rodeo, Papa Loves Mama, What She’s Doing Now….all of those classics will not be joined by “More than a Memory”!
    Glad some people are willing to call it like they hear it! This one is a stinker.

  27. Nate
    September 3, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    I love this song, simply for the content. I’m not a music critic, I listen for the feeling of a song. My ex and I were broken up for over two months, and this song brought us back together. We were both doing those things talked about in the song, realized it, and started talking again. Criticize all you like, I guess, that’s your prerogative. This is among one of the best songs he’s done.

  28. donna gainey
    September 3, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    funny how folks with zero talent think they are qualified to critique someone who does.

  29. donna gainey
    September 3, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    previous comment is meant for Lisa.

  30. Brittany
    September 3, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    I do have to say that this is my new favorite song. While to some the lyrics may sound like everything else, even though I’ve never heard anything close to this, the emotion you feel and hear in his voice are not. He really sings this song in Garth Brooks Style, making you feel the song as you listen to it and reminding you of an experience you’ve had that’s similar to what’s happening in the song.
    Plus it’s good to hear his voice on the radio again with a new song =) it’s even better that it’s such an amazing song as this one.

  31. Laura
    September 3, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    I didn’t realize how much I missed Garth. Love this song.

  32. Sally
    September 4, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    I absolutely love this song. It is different from his old stuff but that’s what so great about it. I heard the song for the first time today and I must say that I think the whole song is very nicely done: lyrics, vocals, instruments; just everything. A bit edgy, a bit gritty, and a whole lot of lovin it. I was absolutely shocked that the song was coldly received by so many. Too bad. I’m enjoying it.

  33. Kevin
    September 4, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    It might be a bit late in the game for me to jump in on the debate between Matt C. and Jim here, but I wanted to add my two cents (as always!)

    A reviewer once said about Stephen King that the problem with his later works is a lack of good editing. His career was so well established that there was nobody to rein him in, as an editor normally would do, because hey. He’s Stephen King? You gonna tell the biggest selling author in the world what he’s doing wrong?

    I think it’s very possible for a Garth record to be released that isn’t up to par even technically, because like King, he can pretty much do whatever he wants. You gonna tell Garth Brooks he needs to sing that again? He’s the best-selling artist in history that’s still making new music. He’s beyond criticism at this point, in the sense that there is nobody in the position of enforcing a change to his music.

    Oh, and piggy-backing on another debate here: I think Garth is quite a good singer. He does an Operatic thing sometimes that annoys me, but overall, he has a distinctive tone and style. It’s obvious in his early work, especially on “If Tomorrow Never Comes” and “Shameless”, but more recently on “When You Come Back to Me Again.”

  34. Liz in San Francisco
    September 4, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    The first time I heard this song I stopped what I was doing… At first I was blown away that it was Garth, then I was blown away by the lyrics. To me, they are especially powerful, because I can put myself in the song – I’ve been the one dialing six numbers just to hang up the phone. I think the emotions that come out in this song couldn’t have been incarnated anymore than Garth made them. ~In my opinion

  35. Corri
    September 5, 2007 at 1:13 am

    I’d have to agree with David. Garth’s version is good, but Lee’s is a heck of a lot better. You definitely need to catch him live if you get a chance. But that’s not the point, I don’t understand how anyone can say that this song is not strong lyrically. Obviously you haven’t listened to it. The song is filled with so much pain & emotion that it is extremely hard to not get goose bumps everytime you hear it. That emotion comes across with the choice of lyrics. Lee Brice, Kyle Jacobs, and Billy Montana did a heck of a job writing this song. It’s breaking records as we speak. For all of ya’ll out there that don’t like it, there’s plenty of us that do. Because of that, this song will be at number one for many weeks to come, where it belongs.

  36. Jennifer
    September 5, 2007 at 7:10 am

    Good song, but not great. Not something that I would find a catchy tune, but a nice tune. It will be popular just because it’s Garth and just because it has been forever since he has had a single out. I would have preferred a good buddy or drinking song from Garth as his first new single out after so many years. Remind us why we love him…i.e. “Friends In Low Places”.

  37. Leah
    September 5, 2007 at 9:16 am

    I LOVE this new song, and I not a Garth fan at all. But I don’t listen to the WAY he sings it, I listen to the WORDS of the song. It is exactly what I am going thru in my life right now and the exact way that I feel. This song has great timing and is the perfect song for me right now. I can not wait to get it!!

  38. Natalie
    September 5, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    I loved it and apparently others do as well (or at least radio does). I saw today that it debuted at number one on the R&R charts and supposedly on Billboard as well.

  39. Leo
    September 6, 2007 at 6:37 am

    Garth is not to blame for the “pop” turn that country music took. Anyone who says so wasn’t listening to country music in the 80′s! Garth’s work may have been responsible for revitalizing the market for country music, but that’s not the same.

    I think it’s mediocre for Garth, but it’s as good or better than anything else on country radio right now. I’ll turn it up loud when it comes on.

    I just found this blog recently, and I like it – there’s a shortage of good country music blogs. Well done!

  40. LISA
    September 6, 2007 at 8:53 am

    I must say Garth Brooks is one of the greatest entertainers of all time. When I heard his voice on the radio again; my heart dropped. I think the song is amazing!!!

  41. Ricky
    September 7, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    “WOW” HEEEES BAA-ACK! So thrilled to know that Garth finally made it back. I knew it was just a matter of time before the greatest voice would be heard once more. Garth Brooks latest song “More than a Memory” did it for him. Sure, people are intitled to their own opinions, but let’s get real. There are different kinds of music for different folks. I myself must say as I was driving (truck driver)down town Fort Worth, Texas it honestly blew me away as I listened to the words and the music itself. I just have one thing to say to Garth Brooks, “WELCOME BACK CHAMP”.

  42. Robyn
    September 8, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    I love the song and I love GARTH—-I’m so glad he’s BACK.

  43. Lori
    September 9, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    I think this song is great. I love the vocals and the piano. It reminds me a litle of Billy Joel. Garth did a great job…..

  44. Baron Lane
    September 10, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Oooo censored! I guess “country” fans are a sensitive lot, eh? Well, off to the 50 Cent blog….

  45. Donna
    September 10, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    LOL 50 Cent blog what a joke —-geeze he doesn’t even know who Kenny Chesney is -just goes to show U how illiterate they are to other genres of music and that rap crap is garbage!
    I love Garths new song-He was my second coutry artist I got interested in many yrs ago. I’m glad he s back!!!

  46. Heather Nichole S.
    September 10, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    i love really alot of Garth Brooks songs! i mean like the one called “the dance” and “more than a memorie” they make me go back to when i was 14 and still in love with my ex0boyfriend. and even at times i catch my self tearing up when i hear these’s songs…thank god for country!!!!!

  47. Baron Lane
    September 10, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    Donna, I will do this [joke] in my posts so you know what it is. And to your “he doesn’t even know who Kenny Chesney is”, I only wish, hon!

    Now I’m going to play a speed-metal klezmer CD, how THAT for genre hoping?

  48. Jim Malec
    September 10, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Baron, it was Sunday night and I wasn’t sure about your comment, so I put it in moderation for Brody and Brady to decide on, since I figured they probably were not online.

    Also, I love rap. Rap is not, as a whole, garbage. I am not sure how it’s reasonable to call an entire genre of music (any genre) garbage.

  49. Baron Lane
    September 11, 2007 at 7:37 am

    Jim, it’s cool. A person has to keep their house how they see fit. No worries.

    Suffice it to say that 90% of any genre is caca. You got to dig for the pearls.

  50. Mitchell Lensing
    September 11, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Um… Jim.. first off.. I believe you were the critic that wrote about Garth Brook’s new song “More than a Memory”.. I would have you completely disagree with what you saying about his new song and his old ones too. Garth broke records by being the entertainer that he is.. It doesn’t really matter what the content of the song is, Garth just has a way of presenting it. He sold albums because of his style and his voice. His semi-rock n’ roll presence that he brought to the stage. You wait and see.. his song will make the top 5 on CMT’s Top twenty countdown. Would his song still seem tiring after that?? Garth hasn’t been gone for long, with a voice and fan support like his, he won’t even have to work his way back up to the top. He will be there. He just needs to put the songs out there.

  51. john olthoff
    September 18, 2007 at 5:35 am

    I personally think if this is best he’s got….STAY RETIRED. It sounds like rest of country (pop wannabes…Faith & Tim…not a good group if you like country), and that is a shame to me. Used to hearing as Jim said epic songs, not tired cliches or run on lyrics.

    Here’s hoping he hears ans and doesn’t do that again

  52. Ricky
    September 19, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    Country Music isn’t for everybody just like R&B, Hip-Hop, Rap and so on. If you like it you will listen; If you don’t you wont. Sure, Garth could do a lot better as he’s proved it to us already once before. I’m more than sure Garth has something up his sleeves that will suprise everyone. Until then, I believe it’s to early to judge him. However, no matter what it is he does with counrty music, Garth will be Garth and as a loyal fan of country music and Garth Brooks, I will stand by his side and support him 100%. He’s just so amazing. People love him and his music no matter how he sings it.

  53. Joshua
    September 21, 2007 at 5:06 am

    I feel everyone is trying to pick apart the song so much that they forget to listen to it. The song is very simple, but the meaning is very universal. “More than a Memory” is a song that forces a feeling of wanting that can’t be ignored. Garth’s voice perfectly depicts a man who has lost the one he loves and can’t stop reliving that emotion. It’s powerful without the complication of avoiding cliche’s and running from simplicity.

  54. Angel
    September 27, 2007 at 10:34 am

    -”More than a Memory” in an amazing song. When you take a person with that much talent and lyrics like them, you can’t go wrong. Garth Brooks is an incredible singer and I feel that he really brings himself into his lyrics. “Simply Beautiful Song”-

  55. Sarah
    September 29, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    No one compares to Garth Brooks, and while I admit that if anyone else sang this song it wouldn’t be nearly as popular (or enjoyable), it does fill the cup of those who miss his music so much. I have no doubt that he will make more groundbreaking sounds like those in his glory days, when the time is right. What he is releasing now is what he chooses to involve himself in now and I personally am thankful that he chooses to do anything musically at all at this time in his life. Thanks Garth, for remembering your fans, while focusing on your family. You are missed and everything you do is welcomed and cherished by your true fans as we patiently wait for the day you return full time!

  56. connie
    September 30, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    It is wonderful to hear Garth on the radio again. More than a Memory is not hokey, the lyrics and strings are quite lovely. Garth has been in the music business too long to allow a “stinker” of a song be his first release in several years. Thrilled to hear his voice again, and have played the song several times.

  57. connie
    September 30, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    Oh, by the way Matt, no disrespect to you or the esteemed Ralph Emery, but I’d like to hear ANYONE not only hit the notes, but also absolutely NAIL “Ain’t Goin’ down (till the sun comes up). That was one heck of a song to sing – and Garth nailed it. Garth did for country music in two years what the entire country music industry had tried but failed to do – attract new listeners to country music. Marketing genius? Absolutely. Talent – no question. Put the two together, and Garth Brooks is what you get. Kudos to him. He can be as George Jones as you want, or as Rascal Flatts as you want…..and that should be his choice as an artist and musician.

  58. Matt C.
    September 30, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    Actually Connie, I think “Ain’t Goin’ Down” might be the one song in the Garth catalog that I could nail. That song’s not about the vocal.

  59. Bart
    October 6, 2007 at 3:53 am

    Are y’all kidding me? This song (more than a memory) left me speechless and in tears the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd time I heard it. It is my new favorite song. Man I miss Garth! Welcome back… (hopefully)

  60. Peggy
    October 10, 2007 at 11:27 am

    I’m a Garth fan and I like the song. But I’ve bought too many of ”The Hits”, “The Boxed Set”, the individual cds. I have them all. Enough is enough. I won’t buy ”The Universal Garth Brooks” just to get a couple of new songs. I think Garth should either stay retired or make a come back with an entirely new cd. I won’t continue to buy music that I already own. Yes, he might very well be a marketing genius but fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I used to be a ”Garth Addict”, waiting for the next crumb he throws out to his fans but not anymore. I will buy a new cd of all NEW songs should he ever truly make a come back.

    October 21, 2007 at 7:25 am


  62. Jason Fellenbaum
    October 21, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    When I first heard this song, I had no idea it was Garth the first play through. I love the song, but agree, it’s not something that jumped at me that this was Garth. The second time I caught part of the song, I started thinking who it was, and I thought, we’ll it kinda of sounds like Garth. Wasn’t until I got home that I was able to look it up.

    I like the song. It just comes off as powerful. Maybe it’s because I’ve been down that road, so the lyrics kinda hit home, but I really enjoy the song

  63. Tigger
    October 24, 2007 at 10:04 am

    I absolutely love this song, and Garth Brooks does it so wonderfully! You can hear his powerful and passionate voice in his singing – great comeback from retirement!!!

  64. DJ Duck
    October 24, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    I have been a life long fan, although it was pretty tough to hear that alter ego album (Chris Gaines). I love More than a memory! It is great to hear that passion in his voice again. Can’t wait to hear what’s next. He’s baaaack!!!

  65. krissy
    October 25, 2007 at 11:14 am

    i love this song it is the best song of garth brooks has recorded that i know!! i really like it lol

  66. Shaz
    November 1, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    HE,S BACK. Emailing from Ireland, i have one regret. He,s performing 9 shows in Kansas and we cant be there. More than a memory……. what a song to come back with… lets hope he comes back to these shores again.

  67. Brian Bingham
    November 1, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Most of you that have given negative comments here have most likely never been to one of his concerts, The guy didn’t win entertainer of the year several times for being a mediocre artist. Not to mention Male vocal of the year and any other top awards. If you have ever been present at one of his concerts you will understand just the kind of artist he is. I wish he would go back on tour.

  68. Clint
    November 6, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    I’ll be honest. When I first heard this song on radio, I wasn’t blown away. It was great to hear GB on the radio with something new, but I just didn’t feel it. Well, that’s all changed now. I was fortunate enough to in the Sprint Center in KC for his opening night. WHAT A SHOW! But, let me tell you that after seeing him perform this song live, it took on a whole new life! He sings it with such emotion and conviction. Much like “Shameless” or “Thunder Rolls”. To make it even better, the whole crowd sang it with him. Incredible show!!!!

  69. Carolyn
    November 8, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    ok I love the song “only a memory”……..what album is this going to be on?

  70. Brody Vercher
    November 8, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    Hey Carolyn, it was released on The Ultimate Hits this past Tuesday.

  71. Carolyn
    November 8, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    thank you……….

  72. Roger
    November 17, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Someone needs to explain the definition of the word retirement to Garth. The song sounds fine…it’s Garth being Garth, i realize that this is a discussion about the single but i am just tired of him already…in a press conference here in nashville he said he would not allow digital downloads because it ruined the integrity of the album as a piece of work….excuse me?….this coming from a guy with what about 10 greatest hits packages out now? hilarious!

  73. Matt
    November 17, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Actually Roger Garth’s had TWO greatest Hits packages. He’s re-issued his regular albums three or four different times but NEVER has he had a Hits CD outside of 1994′s “The Hits” and now “The Ultimate Hits” unless you consider his “Double Live” a “Hits” collection. If you do, then, well, that’d Be three collections.

    I am by no means a Garth ‘nut’ but the man doesn’t deserve the flack he gets from some people about re-packaging his music. It’s no different than Evis’ myriad of songs repackaged or even the Beatles’ labels doing similar stuff.

  74. Paul W Dennis
    November 17, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    I’m not wild about the marketing of Garth’s music these days, but at least it is packaged in such a way as to represent good value for money, particularly if the buyer is fairly new to Garth’s music. The CDs are still still a good deal otherwise due to the new songs, bonus DVD and digital mastering

  75. Kathy
    November 17, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    I just finished reading everyone’s comments about Garth and his new release “More Than A Memory” to be honest I liked the song even before I realized it was Garth Brooks. Like a lot of fans I am so…. happy he’s back, even if he just releases new music. When he first came out my Mother called and said you need to listen to this new singer. I loved his music and always have since then. In the early 90′s she got me a pass to see him sing and also speak(International broadcasting) in D.C. at Voice Of America. Imagine my suprise when a door opened and there I was face to face with Garth Brooks. At this time I still had not seen him perform live.

    He was so nice and polite I could not get over it. When he ask what he could do for me I explained about my baby sister just losing her baby at only one day old a few months prior to meeting him. This was very hard for me and I choked up a bit since the pain was still there from losing our angel. The compassion he showed was SO REAL, he gave me a hug and then signed an autograph for my sister which was very touching.

    It wasn’t until after meeting Garth Brooks and realizing just how real he was that I finally decided I had to see him in concert. I have been to many, many concerts going back to the early 70′s and his preformance and showmanship far surpassed any shows before and after seeing Garth perform.

    While waiting for the show to start I seen his Mother and went over to speak to her. I told her what a polite and fine son she raised. Instead of bragging about his accomplisments – she said to me, he better be potite that’s the way he was raised! What a great Mother he had, she raised a very polite and very humble son. What more could a parent ask for!!!

    Whatever the future holds for us as fans I hope Garth will at least come back even if just to release new music. I give Garth a lot of credit for taking time off to be there and help raise his girls. LIFE is to short and they grow up so fast. Anyone out there with children should know how Garth felt about that and give him the credit he deserves “FAMILY” is very important and in the end that’s all you have. Good Luck… Great to see you back.

    For those of you who do not like his knew song or even him, no one said you have to listen to it, just turn your radio to a different station. Just like watching TV if I don’t like what’s on I turn the channel.

    In the end it’s all a difference of opinion and we are all entitled to that. Just listen to “We Shall Be Free” by Garth. I beleive the words “and this world’s big enough for all different views then WE SHALL BE FREE” says it all.

    To everyone out there just be yourself and never be afraid to express your true self. In the end we are all different and that’s what makes us all special. Imagine if we were all alike YUCK how boring would that be?

  76. kelsey
    February 16, 2008 at 9:12 am

    So what is the song about I dont get it did they brake up or did someone die Every one is asking

  77. country music
    October 10, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    People just need to listen to the words and not anylize them. There are alot of people out there who can relate to the song that you are tearing up, It also seems to me thats all that is done here song are torn apart and throw out because they dont make sense to you or the words are quirky, remember life sometimes makes no sense and life does get quirky especially when you fall in love and you screw it up

  78. Razor X
    October 10, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    “… remember life sometimes makes no sense …”

    Kind of like your post, you mean?

  79. hairandtoenails
    October 10, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    If “people just need to listen to the words and not anylize (sic) them” then music seemingly has no point other than mindless entertainment.

    If we don’t analyze lyrics, how can we understand them? We can’t understand something unless we interpret it, try to figure out what it means. That necessarily involves analysis.

    Perhaps it isn’t important to understand “More than A Memory.” But if that is true, its hard to resist the conclusion that “More Than A Memory” is an utter triviality, so contemptible as to be unworthy of even a moment’s though.

    Country Music’s apparent argument for not analyzing is that “life sometimes makes no sense and life does get quirky especially when you fall in love and screw it up.”

    Not everything makes sense, true: but that may suggest a need to strengthen our efforts to understand rather than to give up. At one point it “made no sense” why some people got Polio. And if in life we sometimes “screw it up,” we should try to understand the world better so next time we don’t screw it up.

    In any case, some things in life “make no sense” because they are mysterious and difficult to understand, like love or certain metaphysical ideas. Perhaps these ideas are so far over some of our heads that we shouldn’t even try to understand them. Fair enough. But “More Than A Memory” just doesn’t fall into this category. Any adult of reasonable intelligence should be able to analyze or interpret this song, and get some benefit out of the exercise.

  80. Melinda
    August 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I, also, TOTALLY disagree. This song was written by a close high school friend of mine, Lee Brice. I had the pleasure of hearing Lee perform this song live at the Opry BEFORE I even knew Garth was going to record it. I was in AWE of it. I left the Opry replaying that line, “dialing 6 numbers just to hang up the phone” over and over again in my head. I fell in love with it. I definitely wouldn’t say I’m biased due to the fact of having known the writer for so long. Trust me. I have my honest opinions toward every song I’ve that Lee has written or sung. This one was just perfect…which is why someone as artistic as Garth decided to make it his own. Great job, Lee and Garth!!


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