It’s funny how sometimes just one more listen can change one’s opinion on a song.
Back when I reviewed Keep On Loving You, the album’s title track didn’t grab me as a particularly interesting song; I felt that the verses didn’t have much flow to them and that the chorus was lazily written. With just one more listen, I have to wonder just what I was thinking that day.
“I Keep On Lovin’ You” is the product of Ronnie Dunn (yes, that Ronnie Dunn) and Terry McBride. Just like Terry’s co-writes in both his own (highly underrated) McBride & the Ride and his later works for Brooks & Dunn, this song posesses a sweet, simple, easily flowing melody that at times recalls the dusky “If You See Him/If You See Her.”
The song’s lyrics start off by referring to the patience of Job (proving that songs don’t have to beat their religious themes over the listener’s head) but the rest of the lyrics don’t quite match up in quality. Verse two throws out the trite sleepless nights, ups and downs, and “we’ll look back and say,” and the second chorus rhymes “you” with itself. Nonetheless, Reba’s dulcet twang is more than enough to make up for a couple clichés.
As with the majority of the album, the song’s biggest shortcoming is its production. While it starts out tastefully restrained, the choruses are layered a bit too thickly in backing vocals and the screaming guitar solo near the end is right out of the Dann Huff playbook. Where Tony Brown got his recent obsession with overproduction, I’ll never know.
I wrote in my album review that “the right single choices should reverse the long, slow decline that her musical career has been on since the beginning of the decade, and prove that age should not be a factor in an artist’s success.” “Consider Me Gone” just became the biggest #1 of Reba’s career, and in its wake, “I Keep On Lovin’ You” should easily maintain her newfound momentum.