Perhaps the other biggest mystery of the world is why it's taken me so long to get my thoughts out about their new single, “Mysteries Of The World”. This is a question I can answer. You see, much like their debut single, you want to like this song more than you actually do. It's solid, there's enough good traits to keep you interested, but it's also missing that one element to really stand out and really hook you in with this duo or this song.
Let's start with the production, because like I said, this is a duo caught not in the modern phases of country music or the neo-traditionalist phase. It meets in the middle. There's some opening generic drum beats to start the song along with a solid guitar solid, but it solidly transitions into a song anchored by a more serious feel as well as some nice electric guitar and pedal steel accents. It's not ground-breaking, but it's solid.
As for the lyrics, I'll give it this – instead of actually naming off any of the actual wonders of the world, Walker McGuire ask some real questions such as where D.B Cooper went and where socks in the drawer go. Yeah, it's stupid as hell, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't get a kick out of the first verse. After that it transitions into the real meaning – that is, questioning how this woman ended up with this guy who's thankful as could be. Aside from the opening line of asking how she could look even better in the morning (keep on what she does and not what she looks like, guys), the song does manage to keep it pretty classy throughout. Still, after that first verse the song just sort of ends up being serviceable but generic seeing as how a guy appreciating his lady isn't all that interesting or new in mainstream country music. It has an interesting concept, but it doesn't excite you much beyond the first verse and chorus.
Vocally, this song suffers from the same problems that I believe all of their songs will. You see, these guys are probably good individually, but as a duo, they're just too similar vocally to really come across as an actual duo. The similar sounding vocals often ends up leaving Johnny McGuire feeling more like an unnecessary backup singer rather than someone actually contributing anything to the song beyond the words at hand. Still, on an emotional level, I will say that Jordan Walker's performance does come across as sincere and likable, and that's important given the subject matter.
The good news for Walker McGuire is that the whole “nice guy appreciating his lady” theme is a popular one in mainstream country music (just ask Brett Young, Dylan Scott (yick) or Russell Dickerson), so I can easily see this song faring better than their debut single did. Still, Walker McGuire is right there on the edge, and you want to see them push themselves to be the best they can be. I still don't think their two singles have done that yet (“Mama's Kitchen Table” on the other hand though...), but I want to see them get there, and I still don't know for sure why. Perhaps with a little more latitude in their careers they'll start to show the artists they really can be, but it's hard to say at this point. Still, this is decent as a whole, so take it as you will.
Listen: "Mysteries Of The World"
Author: Zackary Kephart