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Jason Owens “Party Like You”

“This parties dull without your smile / Why’d I let the guys drag me out for this? / You’re probably at home just watching TV and I / Can’t stop thinking about your lips,” proclaims a superbly proud Jason Owens in the new single “Party Like You.” In verses like these, he asserts himself as more than a singer on the other side of a speaker – he’s a friend putting his arm around the audience and asking us to stay strong and look ahead to the horizon both in retrospection and optimism, which is a rare combination anymore. In the music accompanying these words, there is only the catharsis that grows out of organic country harmony. This is Jason Owens unchained, unburdened by anything other than drive to create melodic perfection, and it results in one of his best-ever singles in my opinion.  

The vocal here introduces truly immense charm to the lyricism and adds to the passion of the track itself, and though I’m not meaning to say the composition isn’t strong on its own, I don’t think it would bear the vitality it does were Owens not at the helm of the mic. His style has become one of great distinction in the last few years – gone are the frequent comparisons to Brad Paisley when listening to a song of this caliber; this is too soulful, too unique to his approach, for any juxtaposition outside of the creator’s discography.  

This master mix had my attention from the jump, and if you give it even the most cursory of analysis I think you’re going to understand why. The instrumental aspect of the song isn’t stacked high beside the vocals but instead spread out to create a blanket of melodicism that could sweep anyone off their feet, regardless of volume. Owens is channeling the strength of an omnipotent groove in his lyrical cadence, and yet we never get more than a gentle nudge out of his verse – after all, indulgence has no place in a single as beautifully fragile and artistically transparent as this one is.  

For being a mostly vocal-driven performance, there’s no denying the charisma that the guitar element in “Party Like You” is bringing into the equation. While it’s loud enough to drown out the piano in a few moments that other critics might have viewed as being too essential for such an eruption, I find its crushingly emotional presence in the harmony with Owens’ vocal to be too important for anything else to sit in its place. 

In some ways surprisingly conservative for his pedigree but consistently and strikingly colorful in every department, it’s no lie when I say that Jason Owens’ “Party Like You” is my favorite country single of the month so far. Owens reps the indie credo remarkably well with the authentic, barebones construction of both the hook and the production style here, but more than anything else he reminds us that you don’t have to be particularly fanciful to submit the sort of single almost anyone who had felt the stress of 2023 should be able to enjoy.  

Mindy McCall



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