“Anywhere With You” by Jake Owen

Grade: B
photo by Jeff Lipsky/Sony Music Nashville

The romantic notion of “love” is that as long as you’re together, it will all work out OK. Which is a wonderful idea, of course, but it deeply discounts the need for silly material things like, you know, shelter and income.

But Jake Owen’s latest single, “Anywhere With You”—the fourth from Barefoot Blue Jean Night—is not for the bitter, cynical music critics overly concerned with paying the bills. No, this one is tailor-made for the brave souls who dare to dream that love does indeed lift us up, and isn’t apologizing for wearing its big heart right on the sleeve.

Over a muscular, rocking track that features another Allman Brothers-quoting twin guitar lead (between this and Lady A’s “Downtown,” we’ve got a tiny trend), Jake warmly sings of his devotion. He assures his lady friend that wherever she wants to go, he’ll be perfectly happy to be right there with her. And as is the custom for a radio-friendly single these days, he then has to list some of those places: West Virginia, Mexico and California (among others) are named as possible destinations.

But it’s also cool if her wishes are simpler: If your dream house / Is a double-wide trailer sitting back in the holler on a country road goes the opening line, lest anyone forget that it’s a country song.

The power ballad-inspired chorus is appropriately anthemic, like classic Tim McGraw, and will undoubtedly make for rousing audience singalongs when Jake performs it in concert. Ladies will very likely swoon, guys will swoop in like heroes, and maybe, just for a moment, believing hard enough will make it come true. 


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