It’s hard to break-in an acoustic-based single on radio, no matter the format. It’s difficult, and usually rare, to have a big hit in an acoustic song but it’s not impossible: Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me”, and Sugarland’s “Stay” have done it in recent years. Ronnie Dunn, part of the legendary Brooks & Dunn, decided to try his hand at the risk of releasing “Cost Of Livin’.” Like the previous hits mentioned above, the song is about a story that everyone can relate to right now. Ronnie knew not to focus the song on vocal performance, but to tell the touching story of the well-written lyrics. For people wondering how well Ronnie and Kix would do solo now that Brooks & Dunn has separated – this song should put them at ease. It’s reminiscent of old school Brooks & Dunn.Ronnie sings about a character who is looking for any job to support his family. He’s former military, a hard worker, and will work any shift he needs to in order to bring money home for his family. He explains how hard it is to live in the troubled economy. His character lost his job because his company went under. The song was released at the perfect time. It’s one that hits home and it’s a stand-out on radio not only for the production and Ronnie’s perfect vocals, but for the story and the serious topic of the single. There’s no other single out right now that touches this subject, and nothing in recent memory that hits the economy like Ronnie does here.
It’s a humble single from a country music legend. While “Bleed Red” was often criticized for being too over the top in dramatic effect, and too much like a U2 single, “Cost Of Livin’” is classic Ronnie. It’s a heartbreaking ballad about a veteran looking for a job, any job. The song gets stronger and stronger as it goes on without falling victim to the drama of the first single off his solo record. It’s one of my favorites this year, and just as good live as it is in studio. For people wanting to hear Ronnie recording something Brooks & Dunn wouldn’t, they will be disappointed with this release. For the rest – it’s classic B&D that hits home and should be a big hit for the music veteran.
Listen to the single below and give us your review. Does it hit home for you?
RATING: 4.5 out of 5
POTENTIAL: Number One Mediabase hit