SINGLE REVIEW: Jake Owen – ‘I Was Jack (You Were Diane)’

Ahhhhh Barefoot Jake bringing back those glorious summer feels we have come to rely on him for…. Is it just me or does everyone else miss summer?!

The Florida native has proven time and again that there is a recipe that always seems to work, when it comes to his success. If we look at previous hits including American Country Love Song(2016), Barefoot Blue Jean Night(2011) and The One That Got Away(2011), Owen brings more of a melodical story-telling to the track, rather than straight up crooning. I was Jackis no different, it has that same up-beat, but relaxed summer beach vibe. Kudos has to go to Jake, for sticking with his style and what he knows works for his commercial success.

I was Jackis the first release with Jake’s new label, Big Loud Records, and he attempts to revamp Mellencamps’ iconic Jack & Diane, with the originators’ blessing. Although it does use the original guitar riffs, the song is not a cover. It’s more of a reflection on the original, told from the point of view of a much older ‘Jack’.

Do you close your eyes?  Does it make you laugh?  Do the memories take you back? Six packs and a Chevy Cheyenne, Way back, when I was Jack and you were Diane

We can all relate to the teenage nostalgia in this song. When life was simple and it was all about those stolen summer nights with the one you thought you’d be with forever.

We was falling fast
We was jumping in
Blue jean halo hanging off the limb
Two American kids just like them
Every time they played
And it blew us away’

Who doesn’t have a song that takes them back to a time of innocent fun, stolen kisses and underage beers? BUT! Just turn on Country radio – A pool of over-processed, mainstream pop songs, and this isn’t too dissimilar. Don’t get me wrong here… It’s a feel-good song that I honestly like (bit of cheese now and again doesn’t hurt). However, I have to admit, I feel is just another addition to the collection of fallen ‘coulda been greats’.

We know what Jake can do when he’s at his immensely talented best. It is an attempt at re-working a classic song (that I have loved my whole life), that should really have just been left alone. It seems like more of a decision to get another commercially pleasing hit on the radio circuit.

Katie Hutchinson
@TravellingWilb