Is Eric Church’s latest single “Smoke a Little Smoke” an instant cult classic? It wouldn’t be a surprise given his rough, edgy, Outlaw brand of Southern rock country music. “Smoke a Little Smoke” is the perfect song for Eric, although if you were to ask us, we never would have guessed this would be released as a single, given its portrayal of drug use. If rappers can get away with it, so can country artists. We’re glad Eric took the risk, as we are sure he is, since it has become his fastest rising single thus far in his career, currently sitting at #33 on Billboard Country. Eric still has yet to claim a number one single, which is surprising because of the memorable releases he’s had so far, like “How About You”, “Guys Like Me”, “His Kind of Money” and “Hell on the Heart” (a personal fav of Aly’s).
However, we feel like one of the things holding Eric Church back from rocketing to number one is his lackluster music videos. Music videos are the infomercial of a single, with the production and image presented entirely controlled by the artist and label. Those four minutes are solely dedicated to presenting a visual to the story of the song, and adding another layer of performance. Eric has not been able to find a director who is able to broadcast his musical vibe visually. His videos always seem just the little bit off, and unable to capture the heart of the song; for example “Hell on the Heart” (BUST!). If you’ve been to an Eric Church show, or met him in person, you’d instantly know that the last place he belongs is on a heart-shaped stage wearing a suit.
With that said, we are long-time EC fans, Aly has even traveled hundreds of miles to see him perform. So our frustration as unsatisfied fans is due to the failure of the marketing of this talented artist. We feel like he deserves better.
Now that “Smoke a Little Smoke” has been released, we feel like his image is all over the map. No one can decide who Eric Church “should be” - the ironic love-crooner, or the rough and tumble bad boy. Why don’t we leave it up to Eric to decide? After all, his albums speak for themselves.
Beth and Aly