“Friends Don’t” is the first release from that record, and to be frank, is a little bit of a disappointment. The song is mid-tempo pop country with more country instrumentals than many pop-country acts, to be fair to the two women. But the lyrical content, something that Maddie & Tae have always excelled at, is underwhelming. The song tells the story of a man who acts a little too friendly to be just a friend, apparently inspired by Maddie Marlow’s sister, Marlow shared on the Bobby Bones Show. It’s flirty and fun, something that the duo explored a little on their debut record with songs like “Right Here Right Now” and “No Place Like You.”
But in context of what this duo is capable of doing, “Friends Don’t” falls flat. The lead single from the duo’s debut record encouraged women to break out of their role in a country song like Kitty Wells did with “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.” It’s impossible to recreate “Girl in a Country Song” without being repetitive, but “Friends Don’t” feels like pop-country fluff, and Maddie & Tae have proved they are better than that.
Don’t give up on the girls just yet. They played a new song on the Bobby Bones Show titled “One Heart to Another” that seems excellent. “Friends Don’t” may being unexciting, but the duo’s next album and next chapter is sure to be an exciting one.
Overall rating: 3 crowns