Jared Deck’s single ’17 Miles’ is an enjoyable song even with its cliche-filled lyrics
Jared Deck’s new single “17 Miles” strikes the Americana iron over your head without any apologies needed.
It’s a song in the spirit of Tom Petty and John Mellencamp and one that’s uniquely born and bred for US audiences. According to the press release about the song, Deck, “calls forth images of the land where – in his words – ‘dreams are born and die.'”
There’s quite a few things to like about this song — the infusion of the piano riff goes together nicely with the guitar lick, and the hook will plant a seed in your head where you’ll likely find it growing into a tune you’re humming hours after you first hear the song.
The upbeat nature of the song and the catchy chorus almost excuse the heavy bits of cliches that this song leans on.
Just 13 seconds into the track and we’re hit with “tumbleweeds rolling like cartwheels on a gravel road.” The very next line Deck trots out, “My nerves are shaking like the hips of a rolling stone.”
And then there’s “radio plays another song I’ve heard before.” Which, is kind of ironic given that the whole reason this song works is that it takes these well-known songwriting cues.
Now, to be sure, I do enjoy the track as a whole. It’s just when you hear these oft-repeated phrases over and over you can’t help but groan a bit.
While Deck’s only really promoting his new single, on his website he does have a few other tracks, which I listened to as well, and you can too by visiting here.
Of those other tracks, which are free to download, “Endless Sky,” and “Watching Over Me,” intrigued me most.
Deck’s talent for creating catchy hooks is on display on all of these songs. “Endless Sky,” though, hits you like a smooth drive down through the mountains as the sun sets on a warm summer day.
“Watching Over Me,” by contrast, starts with an oft-repeated chord progression that hearkens back to early 1950s rock and roll.
However, about 1:48 in, the tone switches, only for a brief few moments, into something a little less predictable. He then does it again around 3:45 near the end.
Those changes in pitch make the track much more unique in style. Also, the lyrics present some interesting questions. Deck sings, “I believe in Heaven, it’s a mighty fine place to go, there’s a million ways out of Heaven, but I’m not sure I want to go.”
That sentiment raises some interesting philosophical questions. Heaven, we’re all led to believe, is the place every Christian wants to be after we die. When you take that idea and reject it, while still accepting that it’s a real place, makes for some juicy examinations.
The only issues I have with “Watching Over Me,” and his other song “Going Back to Austin,” are that the instruments seem much louder than the vocals. With “Going Back to Austin,” one could mistake the lyrics to be “Going back to Boston,” which changes the tone slightly. Being able to hear the lyrics a bit clearer may have made that distinction easier to hear.
Finally, Deck brings up an example of the struggle many musicians face. In an effort to get attention, you’ll travel down well-worn roads, as is the case with the lyrics in 17 Miles. However, being the artists that musicians are, they also have an urge to create original concepts that break from tradition.
Seeking that balance can be daunting at times, but one that nearly every kind of musician will face at some point in his or her career.
Nevertheless, give Jared Deck a listen. His songs are upbeat and fun and make for some enjoyable listening experiences.