Tim McGraw’s ‘Drive’ Cover Brings the ’80s Back to Life [Listen]
Tim McGraw's new cover of the Cars classic "Drive" will have older fans longing to break out their Members Only jackets and parachute pants. The country superstar sticks close to the original for a faithful rendition that's a surprisingly good fit for his voice.
McGraw actually doesn't sound that much like his usual self on "Drive," eschewing any attempt to imbue his vocal performance with any trace of a country twang in favor of singing the moody ballad straight. You might not even recognize that it was McGraw singing if you didn't already know it, but in this instance, that plays to his advantage, revealing a new dimension to his vocal abilities.
He doesn't stray far from the Cars' recording, which gave them a No. 1 hit on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart and reached No. 3 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 when the band released "Drive" as the third single from their Heartbeat City album in 1984. McGraw's arrangement retains the atmospheric keyboard elements that defined the original, adding swooping, swelling electric slide guitar licks and slightly more energetic percussion.
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McGraw sings the song in its original key, and while he's not emulating Benjamin Orr's vocal performance, the very nature of the melody lends itself to the same type of hypnotic vibe that characterized the original.
McGraw appears to come by his affinity for the lush ballad naturally. He reveals via Twitter that "Drive" was a song he used to cover back in his bar band days, and "it still reminds me of high school."
"Drive" is McGraw's first new music since he released" Thought About You" in October of 2018. While the song is presumably from a forthcoming album, the singer has not yet revealed the details of any upcoming project.
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