19th + Grand Records
Release Date: February 19th 2021
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Give it To Me Straight
Tenille Arts has become an artist that I’ve become excited to listen to and enjoy, ever since my review of ther sophomore album Love, Heartbreak & Everything In Between, which is reviewed here. In it, I listened to what was, in my opinion, a great concept album- 12 songs divided into three sections- four songs about love, four songs about heartbreak, and four songs about…well, everything else. With Tenille’s music being likened to that of her contemporaries (like Lauren Alaina, Cassadee Pope, Kelsea Ballerini, Maddie & Tae and Maren Morris- all of which have been written about and discussed at length in my brother Josh’s blog series about 50 influential up-and-coming artists); I am amazed about how much I found myself humming along to the tunes of Love, Heartbreak and Everything In Between, an album that people can relate to at various points in their own life, as we’re reminded that to journey through this life and grow as a whole person means to address the whole self- the love part, the heartbreak part, and the thing in the middle too. Fastforward to February 2021, and Tenille has unveiled to us a few more songs for our enjoyment- ‘Tears’ (reviewed here), ‘TERRITORY’ (review here) and her most recent song, ‘Give It to Me Straight’.
Let me just preface this by saying that on the whole; Tenille’s music is intriguing the say the least, and just-plain musically infectious in a good way, to say the most. Yet the song ‘TERRITORY’ felt like a mish-mash of the genres of pop, rap and country, and not a very good one at that; while ‘Tears’, a piano-prominent song, though a great reminder that tears do not flow forever, and that with time, perspective, hindsight and a whole lot of support from family, friends, and prayer; tears will stop and healing can take place, was nevertheless a song that wasn’t as catchy and even as memorable as songs from her album Love, Heartbreak & Everything in Between. Still, we see her new song ‘Give it To Me Straight’…and this song hits all the right notes, and is catchy, and compelling, and hopefully, with time, a song that has a lot of replay value. A song that isn’t a breakup song, but rather, a pre-breakup song, Tenille imparts to us these lyrics of how the other person ought to ‘…give it to me straight, you ain’t gotta waste, no time putting honey in the Jack D whiskey, either way it’s gonna burn when it hits me, if my hearts gonna break, baby, there ain’t no sugar on a rim or a lime twist to make this go down easy, if you came here to leave me, give it to me straight…’
This song is a ‘rip the bandaid off quickly’ song. A ‘keep me out of my misery’ song. And sometimes you need moments in life where that happens for you. You don’t necessarily need sugar-coating on issues in life, and this song is a reminder, that sometimes, the best and easiest way of breaking unfortunate news, is to just do it, instead of trying to dance around the issue, and making it awkward for everyone involved. This is a song that is a reminder that sometimes in life, we are called to be the bearer of bad news to someone, and in that moment, we need to figure out if we going to ‘give it to them straight’, or not. Regardless on how we act in our own situations, what Tenille has presented is a song that can hopefully reevaluate how we break delicate news to the people we meet on a daily basis. Well done Tenille for ‘Give it To Me Straight’, a song that is fast becoming one of the most relatable songs by Tenille in her whole career thus far!
RIYL: Lauren Alaina, Kelsea Ballerini, Cassadee Pope, Maddie & Tae, Maren Morris