Throwback Jam: Julie Roberts’ “Break Down Here”

By Emily Wagner

It’s one of those songs you haven’t heard in years, yet when the chorus comes around you find yourself singing along to each word; at least that’s what happened to me when I stumbled upon this 2004 top 20 song, while lost down a YouTube rabbit hole.

Julie Roberts’ career might not have taken off as it deserved to, but she started off strong with her debut single, “Break Down Here.” The song was released in February of 2004 and it peaked at #18 on the country music charts. 

Written by Jess Brown and Patrick Jason Matthews, the song cleverly takes on double meanings. Narrated from the point of view of a woman leaving her failed relationship, Roberts sings about not wanting the car she is escaping in to break down. She’s also referring to herself; coming undone, breaking into tears, or even to the point of reversing the car and going back. This is one of the best mid tempo ballads that came out of the early 2000’s, it’s too bad it often gets overlooked. 

Trace Adkins recorded this song, under the title “I’d Sure Hate To Break Down Here” as a part of his 2003 album Comin’ On Strong. There’s definitely a difference when the song is sung by a man. We lose part of the desperateness and vulnerability that we find with Roberts’ version.

Mid tempo or not, this song is a jam and will no doubt be in my Spotify rotation for 2021.