Jimmy Wayne: Sara Smile

RIYL: Restless Heart, Dierks Bentley, Billy Currington

Jimmy Wayne became a country music star so fast in 2008 when the title track to his Valory Music debut, Do You Believe Me Now? rocketed to #1 on the Billboard country music chart, Wayne and his label did not want to waste any time before issuing the follow-up. Fast forward to November 2009, only 15 months later, and Wayne returned with Sara Smile. The title track, as you have likely already gathered, is a cover of the Hall & Oates hit from 1976 that ultimately reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and has been a staple on soft rock radio for decades. And really, if you consider how much success the country music genre has had “borrowing” songs from the pop/rock world, releasing a track that already was a hit is a good strategy when trying to follow up on what was basically overnight success. The problem, though, is that “Sara Smile” is easily the best track on Wayne’s sophomore release, and it’s made better by the fact that Daryl Hall and John Oates sing backing vocals on Wayne’s version. The rest of the songs, while mostly catchy and serviceable, and having been written by the likes of Keith Urban as well as Nashville powerhouse songwriters like Hillary Lindsey and Rivers Rutherford, are pretty good, but not great. Along with the title track, the best of the rest are the upbeat opener, “Things I Believe,” written by Urban and John Shanks; and the sugary power ballad “Counting the Days.” And lest we fail to mention, Wayne is surely one of the better male vocalists in Nashville today, and he has the supporting cast for staying power. (Valory Music 2009)

Jimmy Wayne MySpace Page


Popdose’s Top 100 songs of the past 50 years: less vomit-inducing than Billboard’s list

It started as a simple “can you believe this?” post and soon morphed into a battle cry. Billboard announced their all-time songs of the Billboard era, and Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” topped the list (the song actually topped Billboard’s singles chart twice), followed by such timeless classics as “Smooth,” “How Do I Live,” “Macarena,” “We Belong Together” and “Un-Break My Heart.”

The Popdose staff, needless to say, was not amused.

And so, we (ESD writers David Medsker, Will Harris, Jeff Giles, Michael Fortes and Mojo Flucke, PhD are all Popdose contributors) set off to create our own list, one that would surely be just as flawed as Billboard’s list – women and non-whites are woefully underrepresented – but would have infinitely better taste. In the end, I think our list is a grand example of our extreme whiteness, but also a damned fine list. I’m still pissed that “The Air That I Breathe” didn’t make the cut, though.

To view Popdose’s Top 100 songs of the past 50 years, click here.


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