By Annie Reuter
From the first guitar lick of Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush,” you’re instantly transported back in time to the 1950s doo-wop days. The retro, stripped down track coupled with Karen Fairchild’s smoky vocals makes “Girl Crush” an immediate knockout. While Fairchild’s vocal ability soars on “Girl Crush,” it’s the song’s unique storyline that first drew me in. An incredibly rare take on jealousy, Fairchild sings about wishing she was her ex’s new flame.
“I want to taste her lips, yeah ’cause they taste like you/ I want to drown myself in a bottle of her perfume/ I want her long blonde hair/ I want her magic touch/ Yeah, ’cause maybe then you’d want me just as much,” she sings.
The song was penned by Nashville hitmakers Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey and Liz Rose and according to Fairchild, was written like a good ole country jealousy story.
“I think we’ve all felt that, where we’ve lost a relationship and been rejected and we look at, ‘What did he want that I didn’t have?’” Fairchild told Radio.com last year. “I think it’s a really easy thing to relate to, and yet you’ve never heard it said in that way.”
While the song is a unique take for sure, the term “girl crush” itself caused a stir earlier in the year when one radio station’s music director claimed that his station was getting calls to pull the song after listeners complained of the track’s “lesbian theme.” The rumor was quickly squashed as media outlets claimed the story was fabricated. However, the song itself benefitted with a firestorm of country artists promptly supporting it and purchasing “Girl Crush” hats in solidarity and posting photos on social media.
Controversy or not, “Girl Crush” is a hopeful light on country radio with a hint that the tide of bro country songs about girls, tailgates and beer is slowly fading. The song itself has even been added to Hot AC and AC stations which is a testament to its universal appeal. We’ve all been hurt by an ex at one point or another and wondered what their new significant other has that we don’t. And that relatability is the heart of country music.