I was admittedly a bit skeptical about it being able to top Magnolia, one of my favorite albums, but Note to Self is fantastic in its own right.
For me, the standout song though is “Call Me.” It’s angsty as all get out, which is my personal favorite brand of Randy Houser.
Songs like “Anything Goes” and “Like a Cowboy” perfectly capture complex emotions of heartbreak and leaving someone you love.
“Call Me” adds to that complexity with a good ole helping of self-loathing. The singer is talking to his significant other after a fight, telling them how much the silence is deafening when they aren’t talking to him.
So now, he’s begging them to talk to him, say anything even if its negative and cruel because he can’t stand to spend his nights without this person:
“Call me a liar, call me a loser
Call me “you no-can son-of-a-boozer”
Call me the devil, call me a clown
Call me right now and cuss me out
But call me…”
I mean, this is some angsty romance novel stuff, and I am absolutely living for it.
This song certainly isn’t a traditional love song. I’m not even sure most would call it a love song at all. But the way the singer is telling this person to throw any insult at him because at least then they’re communicating is certainly it’s own brand of romance.
Is it the self-loathing brand of love that’s maybe just a bit toxic we often see from singers like Zach Bryan? Oh, absolutely.
Some of the things this dude is telling his partner to call him are just mildly too specific not to be a form of self-loathing:
“Hit me your hardest, I ain’t gonna fight it
There’s a chink in my armor, you know where to find it
Call me whatever, I’m hopin’ maybe
You go and slip up and call me your baby…”
But in the end, he’s hoping that the fighting will lead to them making up. That last lyric about this person calling him “baby” is swoon-worthy.
It’s kind of the idea that if you’re still fighting you still care, but as soon as the silence takes hold, the relationship is over.
Here the singer is hoping that there’s still some fight left in this relationship because if there is, then there’s still something he can save.
Give it a listen: