Cody Johnson’s ‘Human’ Asks Fans to Write Their Own Ending [Listen]
What's remarkable about Cody Johnson's new single "Human" is what it's not. The traditional country apology backs up his (to this point) career-defining single "Til You Can't," but it's not as instantly iconic.
The tone of both singles from the Human: The Double Album project is similar. They rely on a pinch of regret, but encourage the listener to do very different things. While his chart-topper inspires change, this second song doesn't promise as much. Johnson repents and recognizes the need for change, but by the end of the first verse, it's clear an apology is all we're going to get.
While less comfortable, "Human" is equally honest. The phrase "learning to be human" is worth exploring deeper, but it's unlikely any two people will come to the same conclusion about a concept so important he named his album after it. Even with no resolution, "Human" is still strong lyrically (the opening couplet is 10/10 songwriting), and Trent Willmon brings the guitarwork to the forefront in a way not done in decades.
"Human" is complex. Complex things take a while to embrace. It's a big ask from Johnson, but his pedigree suggests he's got the kind of loyal fan base that's up for it.
Listen to Cody Johnson, "Human":
Cody Johnson, "Human" Lyrics:
I thought by now I'd have it figured out / How not to make the easy thing so hard to do / I bet that I'd be further down this road / If I could read the signs that point me to the truth / I never planned on being nothin' but a cowboy / But somewhere I picked up this old guitar / Girl, all I can say is that I'm sorry / If I get kind of careless with your heart.
All the headlights / All the midnights / Chasing all that empty, still ain't got it right / All the crazy / All the gypsy / Well I guess all I'm sayin' is forgive me / If I don't know what I'm doing / I'm still learning to be human.
So far I've been good at burning bridges / Strike a match and ride right out of town / Bless your heart for never trying to fix me / Or quit me or slow me down.
All the highways / Playin' outlaw / Rollin' outta nowhere with the breaks off / All the crazy / And the whiskey / Wakin' up and wonderin' what hit me / Whoa, forgive me, I really don't know what I'm doing / 'Cause I'm still learning to be human / Mm, still learning to be human.