Garth Brooks’ retirement from the stage didn’t last too long after he announced it in 2001, and he’s been playing more or less regularly for the better part of the past decade. But he hadn’t put out any new, original music aside from some odds-and-sods studio remnants since 2001’s Scarecrow until Wednesday morning, when he released a new track “People Loving People,” to country radio stations. In contrast to the rootsy focus of the four-disc set of cover songs he released last year, “People” has a thoroughly modern sheen, with chiming guitars, melodramatic piano, and arena-sized sweep of a Coldplay song, as well as a love-thy-neighbor lyrical message whose granola crunch should stand out amongst the beer-sloshed bro anthems that have been ruling country radio recently.
The song’s release comes just two days before Brooks kicks off a world tour in Chicago. “People Loving People” will be included on an album of new material that he plans to release around Thanksgiving. You can hear the new single at the website of “Maine’s Country Station” Q106.5.