Song Review: Wade Bowen – “When I Woke Up Today”

My go-to description for Wade Bowen’s style is “cerebral.” You can tell from his lyrics that he observes the world from a deeper perspective than most. His music doesn’t typically drag you in by the collar on the first listen, but there comes a moment when it just clicks. The lead single from his forthcoming independent record is no exception.

The arrangement on “When I Woke Up Today” is pretty standard for Bowen, as are his vocals. It’s probably most similar to “Patch of Bad Weather,” though not as heavy. He has a special talent for taking pensive songs like this one and setting them to ear-pleasing melodies. My one major nit to pick is that the guitar riff gets annoying by the end of the first chorus. Some may find it catchy, but I think it’s repetitive and overpowering.

The real strength of the song is the lyrics, which combine senses of introspection, gratitude, hope, and inspiration. It’s an open look into the mind of a road-weary performer who is working his tail off to “make a dream fly.” At the same time, he’s aware that everyone else is dealing with their own stream of triumphs and struggles. All he can do is “[take] the good and the bad with a big smile.”

Wade Bowen’s transition to an independent label doesn’t seem to have dramatically changed his style. He’s suggested that, if anything, the new album will be even more raw and gritty. While this isn’t one of his strongest singles, it’s an indication that we have something to look forward to this October.

Rating: 3.75 / 5

Watch the video below:

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