Songwriters: Tom Shapiro, Tony Martin, Mark Nesler
Thus far, Josh Turner’s career has turned out to be a sprinkling of truly great singles surrounded by a fair amount of mediocrity. For every “Long Black Train,” there’s an “I Wouldn’t Be a Man,” and for every “Would You Go with Me,” there’s an “All Over Me.” Regrettably, his new release is definitely one of the latter. Does he have the voice? Heck, yeah. In addition, his musical stylings often nod to traditional country sounds and influences, making for pleasantly twangy mood-breakers in increasingly rocked-up radio playlists. The problem is that his song lyrics do not always rise to the occasion, resulting in a spotty musical catalog that wants for consistency.
“Time Is Love,” an alternate spin on “Time is money,” makes for a decent title hook in that it means more that what the words say at face value, leaving room for thought, The problem is that the song can’t seem to get over its own title, with the surrounding verses seemingly having little idea of what to do with themselves, and generally getting nowhere fast. From “Anything I gotta get done, I can get done some other time” to “I gotta fly… fly… before one moment gets by,” the rest of the lyric sheet is a big pile of ho-hum. As a whole, the song is unable to rise above the level of forgettable radio filler, and it doesn’t help that Turner’s vocal delivery sounds uncharacteristically distanced from the song lyric.
That’s a shame, because with a banjo-driven arrangement imbuing a sense of urgency that fits well with the lyrical concept, “Time Is Love” has a good amount of sonic goodness going for it. But in terms of overall song structure… it just ain’t there. It may not be a particularly tempting preview for Turner’s upcoming studio album, but let us hope that the rest of the albums finds his outstanding voice paired with outstanding material, such that “Time Is Love” will be only an isolated missed opportunity.