Trace Adkins - "This Ain't No Love Song"
By: Bobby Peacock
After 14 years on Capitol Records Nashville, Trace Adkins has moved to the Show Dog-Universal label. Following a very well-acclaimed album with terribly-charting singles (until this point, he had managed at least one Top Ten hit off each album), the rather... um, divisive "Ala-Freakin-Bama" and a Number One duet with Blake Shelton ("Hillbilly Bone"), the big man is poised to open a new chapter of his career now that he's on a new label.
"This Ain't No Love Song" is a rather interesting lyric, intentionally subverting all of the love-song clichés like "my heart skipped a beat" and "I couldn't sleep last night" — sure, his heart does skip a beat, and he couldn't sleep last night, but it's not love that's making him do this. Or maybe it is, but he's just too manly to admit it. Either way, it's a neat little inversion and a perfect fit for his voice. While sometimes Trace seems to overdose on the masculine swagger, he tones it down just enough without sacrificing his slightly defiant, strong nature. Also, there's no ear-splitting "roll tide roll" chant repeated ad nauseam at the end.
If nothing else, Trace Adkins has a great deal of tenacity. Even early on in his career, he was the sole survivor of the Garth-fueled management shakeup at Capitol Records. After managing a few duds here and there, he managed a couple more Number Ones and Top Five entries here and there. Fresh off "Hillbilly Bone," Adkins seems to have gained a little more recognition at radio. An entry as strong as "This Ain't No Love Song" should finally get him back on track for good, especially with a new team backing him.