Leave it to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to bring the 1990s back. At least, that’s certainly how it feels in their new song, “Speak to a Girl.”
Maybe it’s just nostalgia overall, but if you don’t get major vibes from two decades ago when you play this tune, something’s wrong. From the minor chord change at the end of the chorus to the pair’s flawless harmonies, “Speak to a Girl” is vintage McGraw/Hill.
Sure, there are a few new modern production aspects, particularly in the bridge. And the fact that they swear (something rarely heard in earlier country). And maybe just one or two lyrical twists — like opening the song with “She don’t give a damn about your Benjamin Franklins; she wants Aretha.” (Get it?).
But “Speak to a Girl” captures everything that fans love about the pair. Despite not releasing much new music, Hill hasn’t missed a beat vocally. And when McGraw kicks in with his folksy talk-sing, all feels right on the track. Give a listen here:
One other key note that reminds us of the great 1990s decade: the R&B, backbeat influence. Most people may not realize it at the time, but much of the 1990s music carried a certain laid back flavor owed to the rise of a genre now relegated to the back burner.
But not in “Speak to a Girl.” The song does it the right way, too. As opposed to overusing drum machines and rapping (poorly), the song takes subtle cues from popular music to create a vibe that doesn’t take away from the overall country sound of the song.
And as far as lyrics go, it sure feels like mom and dad laying down some good advice on respecting women. Which also feels mighty classic, given how little a certain subsection of mainstream country lyrics seem to respect women lately.