John Denver produced a number of hits, but there are two masterpiece-level songs in particular for which he will be most remembered—”Take Me Home, Country Roads” and “Annie’s Song (You Fill Up My Senses)”. However, while “Take Me Home, Country Roads” is so beloved that even most of Denver’s loudest detractors consider it an exception to their antipathy, “Annie’s Song”, while well-loved among Denver’s fans, is a popular target for those who have contempt for his Soft-Rock leanings and open sentimentality. I’ll admit there is a certain disparity between the two songs in terms of lyrics…the lyrics to “Annie’s Song” work well with the tune, but the lyrics to “Take Me Home, Country Roads” would work as poetry even without the music, whereas this song’s lyrics would probably just come off as sentimental drivel on paper. But the fact remains that this is one of the most ravishingly rhapsodic melodies in any of the myriad of genres Denver falls into, and whatever you think of the lyrics, the music itself is almost impossible to dismiss. For all the scorn he receives from Rock snobs and other opponents of Easy Listening, Denver is one of the most distinguished names in the softer Rock genres, and this song ranks as one of the very greatest Easy Listening/Soft Rock ballads of all time, and does a lot to support the case that the genre should be more respected.
Verdict: A masterpiece.