That's not a personal statement. Allen literally came to Nashville with $21 and a dream, and unfortunately the dream is the only thing that lasted long. He was homeless for awhile, but that fire never burned out. Eventually, he got his break from publisher Ash Bowers as well as some streaming popularity from a song of his called, “Blue Jean Baby”. Now, he's set to release his debut single, “Best Shot”.
The best way to describe this song is like it's a less fiery version of Russell Dickerson's “Yours”. It's going for the same sentiment lyrically, but ultimately where the aforementioned song conveyed its message with some power and raw intensity, “Best Shot” opts for something more subtle.
Vocally, I wouldn't say Allen is necessarily a strong singer. His voice is a little too generic, and he sounds a little breathy during the verses. The song feels a bit too low in general for him. However, he shines during the chorus due to his knack for conveying some real emotional nuance. He's a bit intimated (which we'll explore more in the lyrical content), but I can believe that he's going to try his hardest to make this love work because it's something he truly believes in. Production wise, there's some nice acoustic and spacier textures blended together with some softer percussion to craft something that's a little more serious in nature. There are some unneeded hand claps which distract from the song as well, but overall in terms of the mood, the song hits the right mark in terms of creating something with a grounded, serious swell to it.
Lyrically, the song fails to match the mood set by both Allen's performance and the production. It's a classic, cliched case of a guy who's been beaten down and stupid with his decisions in regards to past relationships. It's a classic list case of “I've done this and I've done that” before getting to the chorus which has him expressing how much of a better man he is now that he has his significant other. As I said before, Allen sells a good enough performance to make it seem like he's serious about making this love work, but the writing doesn't make this stand out enough, especially in regards to songs in this same vein lately. Even the second verse only contains about two lines. That's not enough space to flesh out a story. Still, his choice to just simply say he'll give love his best shot instead of saying how he has it all figured out does at least come from more of an honest perspective. I can respect that.
Overall, while there are a lot of things that Jimmie Allen does right on his debut single, it ultimately doesn't stand out enough to really be a true great song. Still, there's potential here, and there's more good than bad here, so give it a spin or two and see what you think.
Listen: “Best Shot”
Author: Zackary Kephart