Arts & Entertainment, High Notes

Soapbox by Brent Cobb

By Ron Powers

Soapbox by Brent Cobb

Throughout time, great songs have helped us give voice to an endless list of experiences, emotions, and opinions. Whether it be expressing how we feel about a person, what we think about a situation, or finding inspiration, we’re drawn to the songs that help us express and feel what is often impossible to do on our own. We’ve been doing this for as long as music has existed. So it comes as no surprise that, in today’s outrageous political environment, a song like “Soapbox” has emerged. These days many of us are experiencing political overload. The back and forth arguments and demonizing that goes on between the right and left has disheartened and shocked many in America. “Soapbox” addresses and gives voice to this feeling in a lighthearted and easygoing way. It’s an expertly crafted traditional country song that gives playful yet firm expression to the collective exhaustion and frustration so many are feeling about today’s politics. In addition to tapping into a collective sentiment, songwriter Brent Cobb expresses an almost childlike longing for people to simply get along.

The song begins with an old school country strumming pattern on an acoustic guitar followed quickly by Cobb’s down-home vocal delivery for the first verse. As the verse ends, fiddle, piano and drums are employed to create a rising transition into the second verse where stand-up bass is also added, and a proper setting is created for the message of the song to be delivered. There isn’t really a clear-cut chorus on “Soapbox”. Instead, Cobb uses a melodic variation of the verse to stand in as a chorus. The lyrics for the “verse/chorus” are repeated in different sections of the song which creates some familiarity while listening. However, “Soapbox” does not rely heavily on hooks and the repetition of a simple phrase to hold the listener’s attention. Although the song is plenty catchy, what draws the listener in most is the honesty and playful point of view communicated through the song’s lyrics, vocal melody and vocal delivery.

Listening to this song is like getting away from it all. There’s a soothing simplicity to it that makes you feel like you’re miles away from the hot-headed environment that is so easy to fall into by reading headlines or watching the evening news. Songs like “Soapbox” remind us that rivers are still flowing peacefully, and forests are still standing in quiet blue skies. This song carries a message that comes from a place beyond all the noise and communicates on a deep level that the commotion is not all that exists. With lyrics like “You might wear out my nerves, but you ain’t changing my mind / By good God, let’s hop off the soap box and get along”, Cobb emphasizes the importance of basic human decency and respect and that it isn’t too much to ask that we be neighborly despite our different views.

“Soapbox” is the seventh track off Brent Cobb’s latest album which is titled, Keep ‘Em on They Toes. Although “Soapbox” is my favorite, each song on the album stands on its own and is well worth the time of anyone who enjoys well written country songs. If you’d like to listen, you can find Brent’s music on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and most other places music is streamed or sold. If you’d like the latest news and live stream performance updates for Brent Cobb, you can find him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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