Steven Tyler, ‘Love Is Your Name’ – Song Review
With Steven Tyler's new country single, "Love Is Your Name," out today, we figured we'd ask an expert in the field -- in this case, Taste of Country's associate editor Billy Dukes -- to review the song for us.
Steven Tyler isn’t just dipping a toe into country music. With “Love Is Your Name” the Aerosmith frontman dives head-first into the genre wearing a song that leaves his vulnerabilities exposed.
Tyler’s folky single passes by the center of the format’s dependable (and often overproduced) sound and lives on the raw edges. In comparison to songs he’s cut with his rock band, it’s toothless. But it isn’t fair to expect him to do what he’s always done with fiddle and steel instead of Joe Perry’s electric solos. Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers are two artists the track most closely resembles, and neither has had much success on mainstream country radio.
“Send your kisses my way / Bring your sweet heart to me / I’ve been waiting for so long,” Tyler sings at the start. “Tell me all your stories / Leave some open for me / Write your name into this song.”
Lyrically, “Love Is Your Name” is pretty generic. “I’ll walk through fire / Run through rain / I’ll wait for forever / If love is your name,” he sings at the chorus. Similar lines have been used countless times in country and rock. The arrangement doesn’t do much to fill in some of the missing color or emotion, but Tyler would actually do well to let the song breathe a little more. His scatting and bee-bopping takes away from the tender sentiment: “Catch your wind from heaven / Send them while I’m sleeping / Wake me with the morning sun / I’ll dream of you until you come.”
Give Tyler credit for abandoning his roots to create a sound that’s 180 degrees away from what he’s made most of his life. Too often when rockers give country a try, they’re relying on their existing sound to work on country radio. “Love Is Your Name” leaves one with hope that other songs on his upcoming full-length can do just that, but with better songs and with a little more air around him.
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