Blake Shelton - "Honey Bee"
By: Matt Bjorke
While he was one of the better middle-tier artists in the country music market over the course of the last decade, Blake Shelton’s 2010 saw him emerge as a force both at radio but also in multi-media markets thanks to his string of #1 hits “Hillbilly Bone,” “All About Tonight” and “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking.” Collectively his three releases last year (two SixPaks and a Greatest Hits album) sold around 750,000 copies and he was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry and somewhat surprisingly won the CMA’s 2010 Top Male Vocalist award.
With a gig co-hosting the ACM Awards with Reba McEntire along with his position as one of the ‘advisors’ on the upcoming The Voice television talent show for NBC, Blake Shelton released “Honey Bee” as the lead single from his upcoming project for label Warner Brothers Nashville. The song, written by Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip (2/3 of the Peach Picker writing team behind “All About Tonight” among many other hits), recalls classic country tunes from the likes of Ricky Van Shelton, George Strait and the late Mel McDaniel.
The melody is modern but the song never sounds like it isn’t a country song, even if the guitar solo in the middle of the tune feels a bit like it’s ripped from an 80s rock song. “Honey Bee” is the kind of tune that goes straight to the heart with warm and fuzzy platitudes about saying he’ll be the yin to her yang in a plethora of comparisons, from “if you’ll be my Loretta, I’ll be your Conway Twitty,” “If you’ll be my glass of wine, I’ll by your shot of whiskey” and so forth.
As with many of Peach Picker tunes, “Honey Bee” is perfectly attuned to mainstream radio’s wants and needs at this very moment but unlike some of the others in their archive, “Honey Bee” has much more of a timless, we’re gonna be hearing this song for a long time to come feel. Blake’s vocal oozes his charisma and it’s not hard to picture him singing this song to Miranda after they get married in a few weeks (as of this review’s writing). It is that very charisma which has turned Blake Shelton into one of the top 5 male vocalists in country music and I have a feeling that “Honey Bee” may become the biggest hit he’s yet released as it certainly is one of my favorites of his career.
Listen: "Honey Bee"
Lyrics: "Honey Bee"