For the sake of this review, I sampled some more of Nathanson's work, and I can see where this pairing fits. Both he and Sugarland owe significantly to the more acoustic end of the pop spectrum, with deceptively simple lyrics and distinctive, lightly smoky voices. And in fact, at its core, "Run" (written by both parties) boils down to a country lyric. Each of the song's characters knows that they shouldn't have an encounter with the other, but they do it anyway. Jennifer's no stranger to imbuing a song with passion, and that she does in great measure. Of course, Matt's no slouch in that department either. And together, the seemingly different voices (not to mention musical backgrounds) unite perfectly, helped by a slick (but in a good way), powerful pop production. This is all the potential that "Tonight" wasted by running out of lyrics about 30 seconds in.
I honestly have no idea what radio will think of this. I mean, when an unknown combines with a known, it can go either way. Jennifer managed to get Bon Jovi a #1 country hit in 2006, but "Who Says You Can't Go Home" sounded like it was meant to be a country song from the get-go. "Run" is far less obviously country, but as I said, it's a pairing that makes perfect sense. Sugarland is fond of mixing things up, which is never a bad idea in my book, and once again, they come out with a mix-up that works.