"The Man I Want to Be" is a song written by and , and recorded by American country music artist . It was released in November 2009 as the third single and title track from his album (2009). The song is about the singer wanting to change who he is to make amends to a former lover.
is the second studio album of country music artist . It was released on September 1, 2009 via . The album includes the singles "Voices", "Gettin' You Home (The Black Dress Song)", and "The Man I Want to Be", all of which reached Number One single on the chart.
The song received positive reviews from critics who praised Young's vocal performance and 's production for saving the bland lyrics. "The Man I Want to Be" was Young's second of five consecutive number-one hits on the chart. It also peaked at numbers 48 and 81 on both the and respectively. The song was by the for selling over 500,000 digital copies in the United States.
"The Man I Want to Be" is a moderate up-tempo country song. The song's male narrator describes the kind of "man [he] wants to be." The first verse finds him realizing that he hasn't been the man he should ("I've spent my whole life gettin' it all wrong") and describing that he wants God's help to change. In the second verse, he longs to have his old lover back, and for him to be the perfect man for her ("I wanna be the kind of man that she sees in her dreams").