“You Look Like I Need A Drink” may seem cheesy based on the title, but it’s actually fairly solid. It’s not some pickup line a guy uses at a bar, nor is it some corny attempt at humor. Instead, it’s bittersweet, much like Tyler Farr’s “A Guy Walks Into A Bar” was with its double entendre of a title. The song revolves around a man who is waiting around for his woman to come home. He receives a phone call from her earlier that doesn’t sound good, and that is definitely confirmed when she comes home. She’s trying to sugarcoat the fact that it’s over between the two. Before she even begins talking Justin says “you look like I need a drink”, meaning that he knows the news is coming and is probably going to need to cope. I honestly like the way they spun the title on this one. It incorporates a funny title into a (somewhat) sad song. He didn’t reinvent the wheel, but I find it more creative than the majority of what’s on the radio right now.
The song features a country-rock production that might throw you off at first with the Queen-esque rock thumps, but after that it settles nicely into that country-rock territory. The song gets a little overproduced in some spots, but it really isn’t half bad. The song manages to have a slightly sad subject matter all while sounding catchy enough for radio while not being stupid at the same time.
One additional note I’d like to make is about the songwriters. I know I don’t usually address them in reviews, but it’s something I’d like to start doing. The song was written by Rodney Clawson, Matt Dragstrem, and Natalie Hemby. One of these three is not like the other. Rodney Clawson and Matt have been responsible for some pretty bad stuff in country music lately, but Natalie Hemby has had several good cuts recorded by the likes of Miranda Lambert and Sunny Sweeney among others. It’s a weird trio of writers but I suppose it works.
As someone who really has never been the biggest Justin fan, I can honestly say that this song is solid. It won’t win any awards or make you stop in your tracks, but it’s a fun sad song (does that make sense?), and is also easily Justin’s best single in quite some time. It remains to be seen if he can score a hit after having two singles tank, but this is honestly a track I will be rooting for on country radio.
Listen: “You Look Like I Need A Drink”
Author: Zackary Kephart