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Review: Sugarland's 'Want to'

Sugarland are an American country music duo, consisting of singer-songwriters Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush. 'Want To' is a single taken from the act's 2006 album 'Enjoy the Ride'. It is notable for being the first Sugarland release not to feature founder member Kristen Hall, who had left the band in 2005. A review of Sugarland's 'Want To' follows.


Sugarland's founding duo were multi-instrumentalist Kristian Bush and guitarist and singer Kristen Hall, who later added lead singer Jennifer Nettles to the mix. The group were formed in 2002, and broke through in 2004, enjoying multi-platinum success with their debut album 'Twice the Speed of Life'. Hall left the band in December 2005, citing a desire to stay at home and write songs rather than be so strongly in the public eye. The act's second album was released the following year. Entitled 'Enjoy the Ride', this album included the band's first American number one, 'Want To', as well as 'Settlin', another number one hit single. The band have since released two further albums, and continue to enjoy massive mainstream success in the United States.

Music and lyrics

The song's music is commercially minded country-pop, given a rich saccharine production to maximise its mainstream appeal. Layers of instrumentation belie the group's status as a duo, while the vocals are sung at a pitch of emotion, with a strained, near-Vibrato occasionally adding to the emotional pull of the record. The lyrics describe a love affair between two young people who appear to be on the brink of following different paths in life. The male to whom the female protagonist refers, wants "a degree" and his father appears to own a boat. Before their paths split, however, there seems to be the question hanging in the air about whether the relationship shall be physically consummated, with lots of repetition of "I don't want to if you don't to." However, the end of the song seems to be unequivocal about what transpires in the end, with "I want you" marking out the protagonist's true feelings.


The video depicts the duo in a series of situations, many of which appear to be set in New York City, while Nettle acts out some of the episodes in the song. She is seen in the shower with a ring on a chain around her neck amongst other events, as she sings the lyrics. The video seems to designed to showcase the band's attractiveness as people rather than make any serious narrative point of the song. There are also some visual references to what seems to be a 911 memorial, adding to the thick emotional qualities of the song, supplementing its overwrought appeal.

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