Single Review: “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town

As The Washington Post recently highlighted, Little Big Town’s latest single is facing resistance at country radio because some listeners have protested that it promotes a gay agenda. Not only are these country radio listeners affirming a negative attitude toward homosexuality, they are doing it by exhibiting a rush to judgment. The song “Girl Crush” seemingly starts off as a narrative about a female who is enamored with another female; early lyrics describe her laugh and talk of wanting “to taste her lips.” When the end of the chorus hits, however, the lyric takes a turn and reveals the narrator is fixating on this female because she has the man the narrator wants. With so many songs detailing one female taking her hurt over a cheating lover out on ‘the other woman,’ it’s nice to get a song that sees the story from a different angle. Singer Karen Fairchild sells every ounce of anguish in the song and ultimately reveals more about the protagonist than her crush despite the lyrics. And as always, the group’s harmonies are exquisite and used to highlight key moments in the song. With its subtle percussion, lightly picked electric guitar, and emotive lead vocal, “Girl Crush” could have been a ’60s soul single. It also has that eras underlying sexiness, too. If it’s not traditionally country, well neither is anything else on country radio in the ’00s. The song has actually been the #1 country song at iTunes as the controversy (aided by a well-timed performance on Jimmy Fallon’s show) seems to be netting it more praise and sales as a result. Artists like Reba McEntire and Kacey Musgraves have publicly supported the song, and Kelly Clarkson sang a live cover version. Take a listen for yourself below.

Grade:

90/97

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