Like his friend Kid Rock, Detroit’s Uncle Kracker grew up on a variety of music styles and his albums have always managed to incorporate many elements of these influences, including soul, rock, r&b and country. With his latest album Happy Hour and lead single “Smile,” he seems to be following previous hits “Follow Me” and “Drift Away” into a multi-format radio star. Country radio seems to be on board with this sweet love song but should they be?
While Uncle Kracker has performed a #1 country duet with Kenny Chesney (“When The Sun Goes Down”), he hasn’t top-lined a hit of his own yet and listening to the album version of “Smile,” there really isn’t anything that’s country instrumentally in the tune. This doesn’t mean that “Smile” isn’t a hit record as it clearly is for it is sweet as a glass of sweet tea and as laid back as a dog on a country porch. In other words, it’s exactly the kind of single that can and does crossover to country music.
The country re-mix tosses in some audible steel guitar fills but other than that it doesn’t change much about the single but if Jaron & The Long Road To Love can score with the cool “I Pray For You,” which is equally ‘pop-hooky’ then so can Uncle Kracker.