Song of the Day #4,539: ‘2016’ – Sam Hunt

It’s December already, in what seems like both the longest and shortest year in memory. And even in a calamitous year like 2020, December means year-end best-of lists.

Last week, the New York Times published the year’s best albums according to its three top music critics, Jon Pareles, Jon Caramanica and Lindsay Zoladz. I’ll use their lists as a blueprint to explore some of the most heralded albums of 2020.

Only one album appeared on all three lists, and that was (predictably) Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters. I wrote about that one at length when it came out in May so I’ll leave it alone for now. It’s high on my personal list as well.

My favorite album of 2020, Haim’s Women in Music, Part III, showed up on Zoladz’s list. Rounding out my 2020 top four are Taylor Swift’s Folklore, which showed up on two NYT lists, and Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia, which scored an honorable mention.

I was surprised to see Jon Caramanica’s list topped by Sam Hunt’s Southside. Caramanica has wide-ranging tastes, but is usually partial to hip-hop. I didn’t expect to see a country hitmaker as his #1 album of the year.

To be fair, Hunt is a bit of a hip-hop country singer. Several songs on this album feature spoken word verses that veer ever so slightly into rap territory. The rest is pretty straightforward country fare, with a mix of toe-tappers and ballads. It’s all fine, but nothing I could see myself listening to again.

[Verse 1]
I’d put the whiskey back in the bottle
Put the smoke back in the joint
Look up at the sky and say
“Okay, okay, okay, think you made your point”
I’d cover up the pool at Skymont
I’d take some girls out of my phone
Give the nightlife back to Nashville
One night at a time ’til all the regret’s gone

[Chorus]
And I’d drive a thousand miles to your house
Walk in like I walked out
Put the tears back in your eyes
‘Cause all my lies could still come true
I’d tell you everything was alright
And hold you, baby, all night
When your heart was all patched up
And our love was good as new
I’d take 2016
And give it back to you

[Verse 2]
I thought I wanted my freedom
I told myself I’d have a ball
But it turns out going out and chasing
Dreams and lonely women
Ain’t freedom after all
If I could go back now
And take it back somehow

[Chorus]
I’d drive a thousand miles to your house
Walk in like I walked out
Put the tears back in your eyes
‘Cause all my lies could still come true
I’d tell you everything was alright
I’d hold you, baby, all night
When your heart was all fixed up
And our love was good as new
I’d take 2016
And give it back to you

[Bridge]
If I could wrangle all my sins
Take ’em back and make amends
And do it all over again
I’d take the wrongs and make ’em right
All the lonesome, lonely nights
Pack ’em up and haul ’em all back home to you

[Chorus]
And I’d drive a thousand miles to your house
Walk in like I walked out
Put the tears back in your eyes
‘Cause all my lies could still come true
I’d tell you everything was alright
I’d hold you, baby, all night
When your heart was all patched up
And our love was good as new
I’d take 2016
And all the lonely nights in between
And give ’em back to you
Give it all back to you

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,539: ‘2016’ – Sam Hunt

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I’d like to give 2016 back for a different reason.😜

    A bit curious to hear his rap, but the sound is nice enough.

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