COUNTRYMUSICCENTRAL.COM - single review
Jamey Johnson is a gift to country music. He’s gained it some major critical attention that it needed from some of the biggest names in the business. In addition Johnson’s album That Lonesome Song revived a seemingly long lost sound of traditional twang and morals that made country music such a great genre in the persona of Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon, Hank Williams, Conway Twitty and many others. For his second single from the aforementioned album Johnson has really gone out on the edge to tackle his own drug problem head on. “The High Cost of Living” is a story about a man who comes face to face with his addictions and his demons and realizes how it holds him back in life. In the end he comes to one simple and powerful conclusion that “the high cost of living ain’t nothing like the cost of living high.”
I could go on and on about the significance of the imagery and the experiences of Johnson’s self-based character in this song, but to make a long review short this is a very powerful and very daring offering to country radio that is meant to open up the eyes of listeners and make them realize that even if their problem is a small one, it’s time to clean up. No matter what it is, your demons or your addictions are not worth giving up your life, figuratively and literally. I fear the content of this song could make country radio scared to play it, but I pray that they give it its due attention and make it one of the most played songs of the year.