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Track Review

The title of Thompson Square's smash country hit "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" speaks to a lighthearted impatience—a knowing wink at the strange, confusing and, in this context, refreshingly slow two-step of a blossoming relationship. And Keifer and Shawna Thompson, the husband-and-wife duo that is Thompson Square, know a little something about waiting for something worthwhile.

Keifer and Shawna met in Nashville after both of them moved there to pursue their separate musical careers. Keifer came from Miami, Okla., where he drew inspiration from Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. Shawna grew up in Chatom, Ala., where she'd listen to Reba McEntire and, um, Alabama. While both claim they knew immediately that they were meant for each other—"It sounds so cheesy, but it was a love at first sight thing for me," Shawna says on the band's website—it was several years before they decided to take the plunge and … record together.

"She was doing her thing, and I was doing my thing," Keifer says. "After a while it made sense to combine what we did."

The Thompsons describe their debut album as somewhat autobiographical, and "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not"—despite being one of the three songs not written by the Thompsons—still seems to fit as it walks listeners through a budding romance. "We were sittin' up there on your momma's roof/Talkin' 'bout everything under the moon," Keifer sings. But while he's working up his courage and plotting his "next move," his belle usurps his initiative by asking, "Are you gonna kiss me or not?/Are we gonna do this or what?/I think you know I like you a lot/But you're 'bout to miss your shot."

After he complies, Keifer reports, "It was the best dang kiss that I'd ever had/Except for that long one after that." That's as suggestive (if we can call it that) as this ballad ever gets. And just a few lines later, Keifer buys a "wedding band," bends his knee and proposes. The song then walks us through the ceremony, where another kiss cements "all the love that we've got/And it ain't never gonna stop."

The song's video follows suit: Most of it features Keifer and Shawna singing to each other—at a gate, inside a lighthouse, on a beach. We also see snippets of other folks taking part in various romantic scenes … walking along a beach or holding hands on a pier. (One woman wears a bikini top.)

Interestingly, there's not much kissing going on in the video. It's all about these couples getting to know each other, inching toward that first smooch. So "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" may imply a touch of romantic impatience—but most of what we see and what we hear is about relishing the romance that leads up to and follows that first pucker. It tells us that kissing is just part of a larger, infinitely more satisfying relationship—one worth searching for and one worth waiting for.

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Hit No. 1 on Billboard's Country Song chart.

Record Label

Stoney Creek




July 12, 2010

On Video

Year Published



Paul Asay

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