Craig Morgan, ‘Wake Up Loving You’ – Song Review
Craig Morgan says he thinks his new single ‘Wake Up Lovin’ You’ is going to be the biggest of his career. The soaring ballad is the singer’s first love song to be released as a single since George W. Bush was in office. His vocal performance will cause even his longtime fans to do a double take.
While it’s difficult (but not impossible) to imagine ‘Wake Up Lovin’ You’ topping a rowdy cut like ‘Redneck Yacht Club’ or the more sensory-pleasing ‘That’s What I Love About Sunday,’ it does quickly prove to be Morgan’s best love song. One may listen to the first verse and think he’s telling the story of a guy recently dropped by a girlfriend or wife, but Morgan says he thinks of his wife when he sings it.
He imagines this is how he’d be if anything ever happened to her:
“My friends call me up cause they know I’m down / Take me out to paint the town and help me get over it / Pretty blonde girl at the end of the bar / Buys a drink, gives a wink and then it goes too far,” he sings, quickly riffing through the words over a more placid, electric guitar-driven arrangement. “We’re out on the dance floor feeling the gin / I finally start coming alive again / I take her home for the night and everything is right until the first ray of sunlight.”
Morgan reaches for the high notes early, holding each line of the chorus in a way he rarely showed he could on past albums. From a technical standpoint, he’s brilliant — but one doesn’t really feel he’s a man drenched in pain until the song slows down two-thirds of the way through, just before he hits a cathartic final chorus.
“But I wake up loving you / I wake up lovin’ you,” he whispers softly, before exploding into the simple one-line chorus once again.
The strength of the vocals rub against the vulnerability of the lyrics and story. The production plays a role in creating this big sturdy ballad, as well. Something more fragile might have made this one of the best country love songs of all time.
Listen to Craig Morgan, ‘Wake Up Loving You’