This week’s country chart featured a debut by yet another newcomer, becoming the 11th newcomer on this week’s chart. That artist: Warner Bros. newbie Frankie Ballard. Ballard’s maiden effort, “Tell Me You Get Lonely,” shows off a strong voice with solid interpretive skills as Ballard navigates his emotions after leaving his significant other. The song sees Ballard battling part denial, part wishful thinking as he narrates his view of how his former partner is dealing with the breakup. Writers Dallas Davidson and Marty Dodson paint an effective, if not disillusioned picture of what she must be going through. The song finally pays its self off in the final chorus as the narrator reveals that he is in fact the one experience all of these emotions, and it seems he was just projecting his feelings upon her throughout the song. While this certainly isn’t a new songwriting tactic, it does feel well done in this case.
The production choice is solid modern country that stays out of the way and allows the lyrics and artist to showcase their stuff. Throw in a better than competent vocal performance from Ballard (he does a good job selling the emotion on the song, really the key to making the song believable) and you have an above average debut effort. With close a dozen newcomers currently gracing the charts, precious few spots are going to be available for these artists to hang around. Having said that, WB is a label that is seeing success with Blake Shelton and doesn’t have another notable young artist besides the struggling James Otto, so maybe Ballard will get the support to score a hit, because I firmly believe he has the song to do so.