Single Reviews

  IRA DEAN - Missin' How It Used To Be - 8-Track Entertainment

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Ira Dean has consistently straddled the line of country music’s foundations, keeping one foot firmly planted on influences from legend’s past while also playing a pivotal role in crafting the layers of the modern era.

Recognized as a founding member of Trick Pony, his renowned resume continued to grow as that era closed and he entered the realm of a solo career amid tremendous success as a songwriter.

With a substantial amount of buzz now swirling around his forthcoming album I Got Roads, his first new music since 2015, Dean teams up with Shelly Fairchild to deliver the first taste of it, “Missin’ How It Used To Be.”

Co-written with Dave Turnbull, the nostalgic tribute to his late mother transports us back to when life was a little bit slower, a little bit simpler, and not so full of worries, doubts, and stress. When all we needed was what we had.

The heartfelt, saved message that his late mother had left him prior to her passing immediately tugs hearts as we instantly remember the messages and conversations with our own mothers at the onset of the song.

The softer paced glide of the melody perfectly accents the edges of Dean’s voice as he metaphorically flips through old Polaroids, outlining the used to be, small-town way of life through the opening verse, painting pictures of the old town square, a time when hard work and Jesus was what it took to get by, the prospect of young love was in bloom, etc.

Utilizing the second half of the song to continue with “how it used to be” descriptives, albeit on a more personal level as he takes us into his own home where his mama danced in the kitchen as the radio played Elvis and Neil Diamond and her smile told the kids that daddy was home, Dean expertly grips the impending twist of the chorus.

Where many songs of this nature tend to stay bent on the nostalgic way of life being so much better then what we have in the here and now, he instead, intriguingly bends the chorus into an appreciation of the here and now by momentarily revisiting the memories that layered his path and shaped who he is today:

“Ain’t saying that I wanna go back there

Ain’t like I don’t love what I have here

I’m just sippin’ and sifting through some long lost memories

Life moves on and times are changing

Don’t get me wrong Lord, I ain’t complaining

I ain’t sitting here wishing life turned out different for me

I’m just missin’ how it used to be.

Hitting the looking back feels that we’re all experiencing in a world turned on its side as we try to figure out how to right the ship and get back to the morals and values that matter most, Dean deeply connects with the listener. However, what he does so beautifully is that he doesn’t just leave us stuck in wishing that things were better, but instills hope and optimism that they can be.

(Review Written By: Jeffrey Kurtis)



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