Jerrod Niemann - "What Do You Want"
By: Matt Bjorke
It’s always hard for a new artist to follow-up a massively successful radio hit. James Otto is still trying after having 2008’s most-played radio tune and with “Lover, Lover” finding itself in a similar situation in 2010, Jerrod Niemann is looking at a similarly tough spot as he and his label promo partners are looking towards getting this single up the charts. Rather than immediately send this single to radio – and thus giving the single a chance at being overlooked – the label has given radio another month or two to play “Lover, Lover” before ‘officially’ adding this one to their playlists.
“Lover, Lover” showed off a playful side to Jerrod and while it wasn’t the outright vocal showcase to many (it should’ve been given his work on the 9-part harmony overdubs), “What Do You Want” is the kind of single that will shows off the textures in his voice a little better. Featuring a lonesome, moody melody, “What Do You Want” finds Jerrod asking his old flame to tell him why she keeps contacting him from time to time; particularly when she knows what contacting him does to the man.
“What Do You Want” is a moody, emotive piece of music and while it’s not really ‘country’ in the sense that it features wailing steel guitars or even a cursory banjo lick or two, “What Do You Want” is the kind of emotional tune that still is the core of country music. And that may also make it boring to some but it is the kind of song that is easily an earworm – thanks to a repetitive chorus.
With two really strong singles in a row (and an album with at least two more radio-ready tunes – Jerrod Niemann is clearly looking like a man who is ready to become one of the next superstars (along with Easton Corbin) in country music. All of his hard work and sacrifice for his art –he self-financed and produced Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury – is paying off and it’s truly great to see.