Aug
14

Maddie & Tae Respond to Florida Georgia Line’s Criticism

August 14, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Random Notes  //  64 Comments

florida-georgia-lineIn an August 7th article in The Chicago Tribune, Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line was characterized as being “unhappy” about Maddie & Tae’s debut single “Girl In A Country Song”. The song has been described by many as being “anti ‘Bro-Country’” with the way it puts the shoe on the other foot for country music’s young women and how they are characterized and objectified in many modern-day country songs.

In the Chicago Tribune interview, writer Allison Stewart portrayed questions to Brian Kelley about Maddie & Tae as “…the only ones Kelley, in a recent phoner, doesn’t sound happy to answer.”

When the reporter first asks about “Girl In A Country Song”, Kelley plays dumb. “I’m not really familiar with that,” he says about the song.

But when nudged a little further by Allison Stewart, who says to Kelley “They sing it from the point of view of the girl in the cut-off jeans, who never gets to talk? You’ve never heard that song?”

Brian Kelley answers, “All I’m gonna say about that is, I don’t know one girl who doesn’t want to be a girl in a country song. That’s all I’m gonna say to you. That’s it.”

Florida Georgia Line and Maddie & Tae are both on Big Machine Records.

maddie-and-taeNow, on-air personality Broadway of Country 92.5′s Electric Barnyard Show has interviewed Maddie & Tae, and asked them directly about Brian Kelley’s comments.

Broadway asks, “Are you girls feminists?”

The duo responds, “I would not say that. You know, the whole thing is just us wanting to come at this from a different perspective and making sure that the girl in these songs these guys are singing about gets a voice ’cause you very rarely ever hear from her.”

Then Broadway reads the Brian Kelley quotes from the Chicago Tribune article, and Maddie & Tae (who utter “uh-oh” at one point when hearing the news) respond,

“We love them and their music, but you see, he’s a dude. He doesn’t know what it’s like to be a woman, or to be the girl in these songs. We never intended to upset anybody. That was definitely not our intention, and we can’t really speak for anyone else. We just know that is definitely not something that we would want to do.”

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The problem is, “Girl In A Country Song” has put these two, very young 18-year-old girls in a very unenviable position. People who identify themselves as anti “Bro-Country” or anti pop country are going to want something from this song and this duo that they simply can’t deliver. These girls weren’t even born when Garth Brooks was hitting his commercial stride. They were 5-years-old when Garth retired. Even if they were raised with classic country being a part of their musical experience (which they claim they were), they’re still not going to have the perspective to be able to battle the entire country music industry when they are just starting out. Of course they’re going to say they like Florida Georgia Line and other Bro-Country artists. They don’t have the skins on the wall to say otherwise. Saying they hate Florida Georgia Line would be self-destruction. They have never even really been out on tour yet, or played any big shows. And if they had loaded up “Girl In A Country Song” with twang and steel guitars like some would have it, we wouldn’t even be talking about it right now because nobody would be paying attention to it beyond some pissed of classic country fans.

Of course the song isn’t great. But it’s effective, and that’s what it has over virtually every other modern country protest song. It isn’t on Maddie & Tae to battle Bro-Country, and it is unfair to them to foist that responsibility upon their 18-year-old shoulders. It is their job to simply express themselves as artists, and that’s what they did with “Girl In A Country Song”. And if the industry decided to co-opt the song for their own marketing purposes to re-integrate anti Bro-Country hatred, I can’t see how to blame Maddie & Tae for that either. People like Hank Williams Jr., Garth Brooks, and Alan Jackson are the ones who need to be swiping the young pups on the nose, because they’re the ones who are in a position to do so. I can only imagine the nightmares these girls must be having, worrying that the entire country music world is going to turn on them when they’re still very much trying to figure out who they are as artists and people.

The dilemma for Maddie & Tae has been made one measure worse from Big Machine’s marketing strategy that has seen them court both sides of the cultural divide. The duo was featured prominently on NPR right after the song’s release, and then the video for the song was debuted first to NPR’s intellectual, upper-crust crowd. The girls were portrayed as pseudo-feminists, fighting objectifying gender roles. And at the same time, they were being pushed to mainstream country as having “good fun” with Bro-Country—which they really love.

And meanwhile a third contingent of critics have popped up to say this song has not risen quickly enough and is not even worth all this hubbub, as if a completely brand new female act is expected to land a #1 right out of the chute when it has been nearly half a decade since any country music female not named Carrie, Taylor, or Miranda has done so. The song slipped from #16 to #25 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart this week as singles featured on ABC’s “CMA Music Fest” special all saw boosts in sales, while “Girl In A Country Song” gained one spot to #30 on the Airplay chart.

Who knows what the fate of Maddie & Tae and “Girl In A Country” song will be. But it continues to be the most talked-about song in country music, and this in itself has elevated the dialogue about if the current direction of country music is a healthy one, both ethically and economically. And that cannot be a bad thing, no matter what perspective you bring to the table about the song.

64 Comments to “Maddie & Tae Respond to Florida Georgia Line’s Criticism”

  • BACM

    Bitch About Country Music

       5 likes

    • Support country music and “bitch” about bro-country (no country). :)

         2 likes

    • Huh?????????

         4 likes

  • Their acoustic live performances of “Girl In A Country Song” sound so much better than the overproduced record. There are a bunch of Youtube videos, here’s one.

    In this video, they also perform a song called “Shut Up & Fish” about annoying boys trying to hit on them while they were fishing. Maddie & Tae cowrote the song with Pete Sallis and Aaron Scherz.

    I always wince when women reject the feminist label because they think it means something other than wanting gender equality, but I think Maddie & Tae handled the possibility that Florida Georgia Line doesn’t like the song with class. They at least stuck to the point that Brian Kelley just doesn’t get it.

    Who knows what the fate of Maddie & Tae and “Girl In A Country” song will be. But it continues to be the most talked-about song in country music, and this in itself has elevated the dialogue about if the current direction of country music is a healthy one, both ethically and economically. And that cannot be a bad thing, no matter what perspective you bring to the table about the song.

    Very well said, Trigger. This particular single is not perfect but that doesn’t mean it isn’t serving an important purpose.

       18 likes

  • Quite paternalistic to worry about these poor girls’ futures, but then again they are as much a part of the establishment — indeed, they clearly seem a “tool” of the establishment as you lay out in your “co-opting” the opposition theory — as the thing they are singing against. As is, honestly, SCM on some level.

    Artists take a stand, make a choice. I can’t help but think about this brilliant documentary about girls, artistry and feminism. You can’t be on the outside and the inside at the same time:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwrXC5OXqgc

       2 likes

    • Sure, technically Maddie & Tae are part of the industry. But I also think we have to put that somewhat into perspective. They have never released an album. They have never been on tour. These girls are mere weeks removed from the vocal coaching circuit. They’re like the pitching prospect that had a trick pitch doing wonders in A ball, so they were rushed to the majors without going through the proper development, and as we see in both baseball and music, sometimes this can have tragic consequences. If it wasn’t for “Girl In A Country Song”, they would still be 18 months to 2 years away from releasing an album or single. Even Taylor Swift, by the time she was 18, she had already released a couple of albums and been out on a massive arena tour opening for Rascal Flatts, and spent time playing acoustically by herself in biker bars and such, cutting her teeth. These girls have sung a few National Anthems, and that’s it. Maybe I am being a little bit paternal, and I’ve been accused of that before. But I believe we have to put people first, and then music. I think these girls will be fine, but right now they’re hearing it from both sides. A lot of the industry doesn’t like them because they’re calling out Bro-Country, and independent fans hate them because they’re part of the industry. And all they did was write a song from their perspective that they want to share with others.

         12 likes

  • Ooookayyyy. So they wrote a song about how bro country demeans women, many of the “old school country” lovers jumped on their bandwagon with their Luke Bryan pitchforks and now they’re all “we wrote it from the woman’s perspective but we actually LOVE when FGL says Yeah Baby”. So they don’t like Hey Girl, just Yeah Baby? I am so confused!
    Look, I get that they are little girls trying to make it in the music business and don’t want to piss off people that they will potentially be opening for or whatever but come on. Since this song has come to be, I have heard so many anti bro’s say that it was going to empower women performers and make people look at what these guys are really singing about… blah blah. No it isn’t. These girls are screaming girl power out of one side of their mouths and telling anyone that

       10 likes

    • Ok I hit post trying to scroll. Oops.

      So anyway

      These girls are screaming girl power but at the same time quickly reassuring everyone that they actually love the songs that they are complaining about. If that’s how they feel, then they should have made the whole song tongue in cheek and been done with it.

         13 likes

      • As I said above,

        “People who identify themselves as anti “Bro-Country” or anti pop country are going to want something from this song and this duo that they simply can’t deliver.”

           3 likes

  • They had better nail down their mission statement soon or they’re going to lose fans to this flip flopping trend, be it their fault or not. As for Hank Jr., Garth and Alan, I don’t think any of them will do anything. Obviously, Hank Jr. would be more apt to throw his chips in with this crowd if he thought it would make him look “hip” and Alan has lost his mainstream prominence. I’ll hold out on Garth until he releases his new single (whenever that might be).

    “People who identify themselves as anti “Bro-Country” or anti pop country are going to want something from this song and this duo that they simply can’t deliver. These girls weren’t even born when Garth Brooks was hitting his commercial stride. They were 5-years-old when Garth retired. Even if they were raised with classic country being a part of their musical experience (which they claim they were), they’re still not going to have the perspective to be able to battle the entire country music industry when they are just starting out.”

    This statement highlights a problem I have with traditionalists and country music as a whole: why is it that this is the only genre that one is supposed to know the history of to properly “enjoy” it? I don’t care if pop influences started overriding some of the country influences with Garth Brooks and Shania Twain in the ’90s; it’s no one’s fault when they were born. I grew up with Garth and Shania on the radio and it never occurred to me that these people weren’t country because I had nothing to judge them against, save for some Waylon and Hank Jr. (I was never a big music fan as a kid). Even if that limits my knowledge of the genre and its heritage to ignorance, why is it that those of us in that boat suddenly don’t know what country music is? And no, I’m not saying that’s what you’re implying here, Trigger, but I can’t tell you how many people discount the opinions of younger listeners just because they had the misfortune of being born after everything supposedly went to hell for music. This, I’d say, is the crux of the “country music must evolve” argument from the mainstream: acting like the only “real” country music available stopped getting made 30 years ago in the mainstream is what causes people to backpedal the other way.

       11 likes

    • Excellent point, Acca Dacca. Many traditionalists point out that mainstream and younger fans are close minded, but they need to take a look in the mirror at themselves. A lot of them don’t even give these new artists a chance before dismissing them, which includes some commenters here. I’m all for honoring the traditions and roots of the genre. We should never forget what Cash, Hank, Waylon, Willie, Merle and the rest did for country music. But you can’t live in the past. You have to move forward. Otherwise country music will go the way of rock music, which is a bunch of fans playing the same old shit over and over. If traditionalists want to sit in their house and listen to old records all day, go right ahead. But you have no right to comment on the current state of country music if you don’t even want to give new artists a chance.

      I’m 22 and grew up with 90s country. There was some bad music, just like every other era in music genres. But there was a lot of great music too and that’s something that a lot of people fail to point out. In reality bro country is an evolution of the response to the backlash of 90s country by traditionalists. Why should mainstream country appeal to classic country fans when they couldn’t even appreciate what they had in front of them in the 90s? It still doesn’t give mainstream country the excuse to produce the shit it does today either. The point is both sides are to blame for the current state in country music and both will need to change if the genre is to advance forward.

         6 likes

      • Trigger, sure I can live in the past. At my age, there’s no sense in being overly concerned with the future :D (I hope you can tell this is mostly tongue-in-cheek lol)

           0 likes

    • why is it that this is the only genre that one is supposed to know the history of to properly “enjoy” it?

      Because if you don’t know or have any appreciation for where the music’s been, you really don’t have much of a reason to give a shit where it goes, just as long as it makes you money, or, from a listener’s perspective, is good background noise at parties. This leads down several non-preferable avenues, among them characterizing long-term fans of the genre as “old farts and jackasses” (in the case of Blake Shelton) and making bland, directionless sort of rock-ish music — the audio equivalent of scribbling in the coloring book (in the case of Eric Church). Respect of the roots and heritage of the music is part of the very identity of country music.

      Also, it’s not like this for just country music. It’s like that for pretty much every genre. If you want to remain true to the genre, you have to appreciate those who shaped it as they came before. The younger folks’ disregard of that and their disdain for that is the reason their opinion is disregarded, not their age.

      And while it might be a stretch to say that “the only ‘real’ country music available stopped getting made 30 years ago in the mainstream,” it’s not so much of a stretch to say that it’s by and large completely disappeared from said mainstream anymore. I am going to have to vehemently disagree with those who say that I am a closed-minded old fart because I think that Jason Boland is a better representation of the evolution of country music than is Jason Aldean.

         4 likes

      • You misinterpreted the meaning of my post a bit. I wasn’t lamenting the fact that the crap being peddled by the mainstream isn’t considered real country music by traditionalists. My question is more at what point do we consider a music fan to be well versed in the genre? Can they be a fan of country music from ten years ago and still know what “real” country is? Nope. Can they be a fan of twenty years ago? Maybe, if you disregard this, this and this artist. And before you can claim any cred, one must have three copies of Red Headed Stranger and Honky Tonk Heroes, each on vinyl, cassette and CD, but only play the vinyl because that’s the format REAL music fans use. Also, it doesn’t have to be number one but “He Stopped Loving Her Today” better be in your top ten songs of all time or you don’t know anything about country music.

        Obviously I’m being hyperbolic but forgive me if such ideals strike me as a bit ridiculous and slightly fatiguing. I’m all for UNDERSTANDING a genre, but why is it that with country music one must be intimately familiar with everything that came before your time? Last I checked rock fans aren’t required to love Elvis or Chuck Berry to enjoy their music or have someone think they know anything about the history of the genre. Last I checked hip hop fans didn’t have to worship at the shrine of Run-D.M.C. to be able to enjoy their music from 2014. Don’t get me wrong: do I think that the majority of what’s being pumped out of Nashville these days is country or even good? No, sir. However, if the music still sounded like it did around 2005 and 2006, it’s a fair bet that I wouldn’t be reading SCM every day because that music was still good to my ears. But oh Lord, if I were to say that and claim that I’m not a Willie or Waylon fan, God forbid I be cast out and my comments be struck from the record.

        You want to know why Blake Shelton made those comments? In my opinion it had nothing to do with disregard for the elders of the genre. After all, some of his older material was covers of songs by classic artists and he even featured the likes of George Jones and John Anderson in songs as well. I guarantee you it’s because most older country fans sit back and bitch and moan about everything no matter WHAT an artist does. Do you ever wonder where the “it’s not good because it doesn’t sound like Hank Williams” stereotype comes from? It sure as hell isn’t based in fallacy. I know plenty of people that act just like that. It’s also what’s led to laundry list songs, because everyone and their brother wants to lob criticism at performers and their perceived lack of authenticity. Do I do this as well? Yes, but there’s a certain point when I accept something for what it is.

        Yes, a musician should understand and respect the roots of their genre. But there’s a distinct difference between knowing/respecting and being able to pass a 200 question exam on said topic or having to act like you like certain artists to gain any sort of respect. I myself don’t really care for Hank Williams Sr.’s music and his voice irritates the hell out of me. Ditto for Hank3′s voice, but I like the actual music behind his albums so I’d call myself a fan. I don’t really like Waylon all that much because he struck me as a self-entitled, melodramatic artist who got a little too caught up in his own ego at times. David Allan Coe is an asshole and that’s all there is to it. God forbid my opinions have any credibility after that spill. Flip it over to rock and if someone doesn’t like Elvis or Led Zeppelin and has understandable reasons, fans leave it at that and don’t try to tell you that you “don’t know anything” about the genre. I never said Jason Aldean was a better representation of real country music than Jason Boland, but if I thought so I’d be crucified. And that is my point. It’s almost that one doesn’t have a right to like anything with the country monicker unless it’s a part of some pre-ordained niche of “real” artists or “innovators.” The prerequisites for getting respect for your opinions from other country music fans is ridiculous.

        Yes I’m ranting and yes there are logical holes in my comments here but I hope you get the idea. I love real country music and Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Johnny Paycheck are some of my favorites. Despite my criticism, I still love me some Waylon and Coe, even if I have reservations. Does any of this make sense?

           5 likes

        • Does any of this make sense?

          A lot of it does, but some of it does come off as a bit of a straw man argument of sorts. The problem isn’t that the younger fans aren’t familiar enough with the older country music; it’s that they harbor an open, extreme contempt for it. (See Farce the Music’s recurring “Country TwitterFAIL” feature, as well as the recent vitriol spewed at George Strait by Luke Bryan fans after his ACM Entertainer of the Year win, for perfect examples of this.) It’s as if country music started with Kenny Chesney with these people and they think that everything that came before is “tired old stuff,” as the “Young Country” station in Houston was putting it back in the late 1990s. I mean, it’s cool if folks don’t like at least some of the older country — I’ll freely admit that the old folks all put out stuff that I wasn’t fond of — but to not like most or even any of it? It might sound snobbish of me, but the fewer fans like that country music has, the better.

          It’s almost that one doesn’t have a right to like anything with the country monicker unless it’s a part of some pre-ordained niche of “real” artists or “innovators.” The prerequisites for getting respect for your opinions from other country music fans is ridiculous.

          I can’t say I agree with this. I mean, it’s one thing to say, “I really like country music but am not a big fan of Waylon Jennings or Sturgill Simpson,” but it’s quite another to say, “I like country music, but anything before Luke Bryan’s debut album sucks.” Not trying to say Bryan’s debut album was a turning point necessarily, but I do think that to have a proper appreciation for the genre you should at least marginally appreciate at least some of the older stuff.

             1 likes

          • I noted the fallacy present in some of my comments in my original post. Regardless, more than any other genre I’d say that being a country music fan is an imperfect science, if you will. The opposing viewpoints/styles and the dissonance between the fanbases as well as what’s “good” or “bad” or deserving commendation from the major awards institutions is very broad.

            “The problem isn’t that the younger fans aren’t familiar enough with the older country music; it’s that they harbor an open, extreme contempt for it. “ Interesting. You do realize that if you were to switch the placement of older and younger and it would still apply? The bad blood cuts both ways and both sides are equally understandable. Ultimately I side with the more traditional side but enough of it irritates me that I’m always tempted to jump ship. As for the whole Luke Bryan/George Strait debacle, you’re completely right. I openly sided with George and decried the stupidity of the comments made by these L.B. fans on Trigger’s corresponding article.

            “I really like country music but am not a big fan of Waylon Jennings or Sturgill Simpson,” but it’s quite another to say, “I like country music, but anything before Luke Bryan’s debut album sucks.” I’m being completely honest when I say that I’ve met and spoken with far more classic country fans that make statements like “everything after this sucks” than pop fans that think “everything before this sucks.” In fact, the former is part of what my frustration is derived from. I’m a huge supporter of this site and its mission. I’ve also had my country music horizons broadened since becoming a reader, courtesy of our resident writer Trigger. Even then, I’m still disappointed with the divide in opinions (as I’m sure most of us are to some extent).

            To properly sum up how I feel about the whole situation, here’s your comment only slightly reworded for my side of the debate:

            “Does any of this make sense?” A lot of it does, but some of it does come off as a bit of a straw man argument of sorts. The problem isn’t that the older fans aren’t familiar enough with the newer country music; it’s that they harbor an open, extreme contempt for it. (See Hank3 and his fans, as well as the recent vitriol spewed at those that are even taking up arms with traditionalists like Collin Raye or Toby Keith, for perfect examples of this.) It’s as if country music ended with the early ’80s with these people and they think that everything that came after is “crappy pop,” as a lot of country fans put it. I mean, it’s cool if folks don’t like at least some of the newer country — I’ll freely admit that the old folks all put out stuff that I wasn’t fond of — but to not like most or even any of it? It might sound snobbish of me, but the fewer fans like that country music has, the better. “It’s almost that one doesn’t have a right to like anything with the country monicker unless it’s a part of some pre-ordained niche of “real” artists or “innovators.” The prerequisites for getting respect for your opinions from other country music fans is ridiculous. I can’t say I agree with this. I mean, it’s one thing to say, “I really like country music but am not a big fan of Garth Brooks or Clint Black,” but it’s quite another to say, “I like country music, but anything after “You Never Even Called Me By My Name” sucks. Not trying to say Coe’s single was a turning point necessarily, but I do think that to have a proper appreciation for the genre you should at least marginally appreciate at least some of the newer stuff. ;)

               0 likes

          • Forgot to edit one part of the original comment: I mean, it’s cool if folks don’t like at least some of the newer country — I’ll freely admit that most of the mainstream artists put out stuff that I’m not fond of — but to not like most or even any of it? It might sound snobbish of me, but the fewer fans like that country music has, the better.

               0 likes

          • To properly sum up how I feel about the whole situation, here’s your comment only slightly reworded for my side of the debate:

            You know, when you put it that way, it does give one food for thought. God knows I don’t get people who bitch about the likes of, say, Alan Jackson or Gary Allan. I see less bitching about George Strait here, and to be frank, while I lurves me some Strait, if somebody put a gun to my head I’d have to say that on the whole, Jackson is the one who’s been truer to the roots of country. I can’t say such is enough to make me jump ship, but it’s certainly frustrating.

               0 likes

  • oh no they may have blown their opening slot on the FGL tour

       2 likes

  • I nominate this for Least Important Discussion of the Year. Yet, here I am commenting on it.

       6 likes

    • I think this might be the most important discussion of the year right behind the formation of NASH Icons. It may not appeal to you or others or anyone for that matter. That doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Right now the discussion surrounding “Girl In A Country Song” is the biggest flashpoint in the war vying for the heart of country music.

         5 likes

  • This is all publicity. These aren’t artists controlling the message they send with their music. This is entertainers set at odds with each other and the back and forth fits a marketing agenda. Country music clickbait.

       3 likes

    • Except for absolutely none of the major country music blogs or websites have reported on it except for Saving Country Music and Nashville Gab. If this is supposed to be a WWE-style country music flame war, 95% of the country music community didn’t get the memo. Actually, there’s a lot of outlets that would LOVE to talk about this story, but they’re afraid they’ll lose the chance at some future Big Machine exclusive content, so they’re staying mum.

      Trust me, I’m a trained professional. ;) If this was a ruse, I wouldn’t being playing the part of Big Machine’s bullhorn, and others would be.

         3 likes

  • Well Florida Georgia line should have remained quiet instead they are going to make these girls more popular. These young girls can sing I don’t care what Florida Georgia line thinks. Heck Florida Georgia Line is more pop then country yet nobody calls them out!

       1 likes

  • I don’t think I’ve heard anyone complain that it’s not rising fast enough. If anything, I’m impressed with how quickly it is moving. Up seven spots on Mediabase this week to 33 in just its third week on the charts and second most added. That’s faster than some established artists move in this age where a song can easily take six months or more to reach the top 10.

       1 likes

  • Ehh, this song and it’s surrounding controversy are feeling a bit tired to me. It reminds me, on a smaller scale, of Miley Cyrus “twerking” last year, where people wouldn’t stop talking about it to the point where the controversy became the focal point. Heck, I’ve talked about “girl in a country song” more times than I’ve actually listened to it. With all this said, I still wish the best for these girls and I’m rooting for their music.

       2 likes

    • I wouldn’t couch what’s going on with “Girl In A Country Song” as controversy. I would call it extreme interest. This little exchange between Maddie & Tae and Florida Georgia Line is just a minor spat in a much larger narrative. You have to understand, to a lot of people on the outside looking into country music, they’re wondering what the hell has happened to the music. A song like this is pulling scores of those listeners into the conversation. There’s a reason Big Machine specifically targeted NPR for marketing this song. It is ground zero for the culture war.

         4 likes

      • http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2014/07/24/334449203/first-watch-maddie-tae-girl-in-a-country-song
        This is the link to the NPR reveal of Maddie and Tae.

        Just because I was curious, I googled their NPR reveal.
        Per the comments I read, it doesn’t seem like the “upper crust” was very blown away by the song or buy into the whole girl power thing either.

           0 likes

        • Overall the song is getting a very positive reaction. Here are 714 comments

          http://countrymusicnation.com/hilarious-music-video-takes-shot-bro-country-watch-51354

          The only negative reactions I’ve seen are from a few uptight traditionalists, sexists, and bro-country fans who mistakenly think these girls are attacking their beloved bros. Even some bro-country fans and artists say they love this song. Many bro-country fans are teen girls so it makes sense that they and their parents will appreciate the message.

             0 likes

      • Interesting. I guess now the important thing is where does country music go moving forward

        By the way trigger, I appreciate all the time you spend on your articles and dialogue with readers

           1 likes

  • Here’s another woman who isn’t and doesn’t want to be a girl in a (bro) country song and there are millions more like her:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mandy-stewart-ph-d/im-not-that-girl-in-the-country-song_b_5649094.html

    Of course the main problem is that country radio isn’t playing enough girls, leaving guys to do whatever they want, go pop/rap, make 100 party songs and whatever is next, and it’s about all we hear on country radio.

    I love that Maddie and Tae are in the age group bro-country songs talk to or target (“girl”) and their song is great and perfect. If it’s not a wake up call to the bros, writers, and labels to drop the demeaning checklist lyrics going forward, I don’t know what will be. Keith Urban said:

    “I’ve always found country to be basically like a church,” he continued. “It’s got to keep evolving, but it’s gotta do it in a way that it doesn’t lose its values or its core congregation. But it has to continue attracting new parishioners.”

    http://blog.gactv.com/blog/2013/08/16/keith-urban-discusses-country-musics-evolution-in-rolling-stone/

    The checklist bro-country lyrics Maddie and Tae’s song calls out do exactly that, lose country music’s values and core congregation.

       3 likes

    • I guess my point is, they continue to be portrayed as these women’s rights warriors whose song is going to revolutionize country music (which IMO is a bit overdramatic in the first place) but they aren’t taking that stand themselves. It just makes all of these “girl power” pieces that I read about them ring false when I’ve just heard an interview with the girls themselves and they are giggling and saying “No really, we LOVE the guys that sing bro country”, basically contradicting their own song. I’m really not trying to hate on them because they aren’t the ones trying to make their song more than it is. That’s mostly the media, touting the girls as something that they are not ready to be. It’s a cute song, catchy and humorous, but it’s not going to persuade me to burn my bra’s along with my Billy Currington cd’s.

         3 likes

      • You know, every song and artist that sings it, doesn’t need to be a flag waver of some cause.

        These girls sang this song from their perspective and probably have great conviction in the song, but that doesn’t mean they have to hate FGL or other bro-country artists to legitimize themselves. They are making a point, but not every woman that makes a point against a male perspective has to be the new leader of the female movement.

        I don’t think this is a “girl power” piece at all. It is just a song saying, he dude, you’re fucking tool if you think I’m just going to ride in your truck and look cute for you.

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      • “I guess my point is, they continue to be portrayed as these women’s rights warriors whose song is going to revolutionize country music (which IMO is a bit overdramatic in the first place) but they aren’t taking that stand themselves.”

        I haven’t seen anyone portraying that this song is going to “revolutionize” country music. Similarly, I have people attacking me, saying, “Why do you love this song so much?” when I have gone out of my way over and over to tirelessly and redundantly explain that I do not “like” the song and that there are many, many issues with it.

        This is a political tactic, to define someone who you disagree with to an extreme, and then refute that extreme. I agree with 90% of what you’re saying. But you have to listen to what I’m saying. This is not a black and white issue. It’s extremely complicated, and there’s many different metrics from which you could judge this song.

        And most importantly, and as I spent six paragraphs explaining above, it is not fair to any of us to say, “THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE THE SONG THIS WAY!” Any other way than how they did the song, and it doesn’t get heard by anything but these two girls’ bedroom walls. It is simple as that. They say Florida Georgia Line are misogynistic assholes, they never work in the music business again. They say the song is NOT meant to give a voice to the female in country songs, then the song immediately becomes irrelevant. Yes they’re playing both sides, because they have no other choice.

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        • I get it, I really do. I know that they have to play the game and be nice to people so they have a chance of making it. I should have been clearer in my definition of the media, I was not referring to you. I have read your posts on this song and know that you don’t love it and you were correct in saying in an earlier post that this song would get people talking. It definitely has. I just think that their contradictions may end up hurting them. Maybe this particular song would have been better to release once their careers were a little more established, but I know this was not their decision and if they had tried to release something less controversial we probably wouldn’t know their names yet.

          (Don’t kick me off the site. I’ll play nice from now on :) )

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  • What these girls are doing, what the song has done, is it provided an outlet for the female side of the target audience of bro-country to express themselves.

    They aren’t going to change the industry, but the song provided a new/fresh/unique perspective. It wasn’t an older female artist trying to address the issue, it was a fresh face with a little attitude.

    How they responded to FGL’s comments was perfect…”he’s a dude, he doesn’t get it.” How many females can echo that about everything!!!

    The other thing FGL doesn’t get, is the song is basically saying you guys are complete tools if you think every girl is attracted to a guy based on your truck, chains and tattoos.

    I love how the song clearly takes shots at several bro-country d-bags, not just FGL. But again, FGL assumes it is ripping them cause the song rips stupid music. Gawd they are dumb.

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  • Even though they still HAD to talk out of both sides of their mouths and say how much they love FGL and their music, I like that Maddie and Tae actually offered a substantive defense of their song. The main thing that has bothered me about the otherwise perfect execution of “Girl in a Country Song” is that M&T haven’t stood by their message.

    When pressed, they’ve said that the song is all in good fun, more about attacking lyrical cliches than the objectification inherent to those cliches and about attacking the “unrealistic standard” created for women by those songs. But that just isn’t consistent with the lyrics, which, in no uncertain terms, criticize “bro country” for disrespecting women.

    Thomas Rhett isn’t going to get ‘slapped’ in their song because he’s creating an unrealistic standard for women. It’s because he’s reducing them to a “that” of which he can “get some.”

    I can’t blame them for doing what they’re doing – it hasn’t affected the song’s explosion at all AND it assures they don’t alienate anyone – but I do find it disappointingly disingenuous.

    So, given that, I’m happy they at least provided a real counter to what BK said and didn’t just go, “He’s entitled to his opinion.”

    – That said, I also think it’ll be interesting to see how people reconcile the comments here – “we’re actually girls, so we know what it feels like” – with what Maggie Rose was saying (“I meet girls every day who want to be the girl in a truck song”).

    We’re inclined to believe Maddie and Tae’s message because they’re girls, but we were TELLING Maggie Rose, also a girl who while not the songwriter did agree to sing the song, that she’s degrading women by providing the alternative perspective. Even though she’s also a girl and relaying the beliefs of other girls.

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  • This song ROCKS. Its BRILLANT. I am a chick that loves FGL well, but I applaud Maddie & Tae for having fun with the “other perspective”. This is a fun feel good song for women, with a damn good worthy point. It is NOT feminist! As a female fan I was quite disappointed in FGL’s response. Gain some maturity & laugh a little bro-country. Dudes definitely DONT GET IT. Even though its true that “every girl wants to be the girl in a country song” …. at the same time

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  • I’m “Old Country” and I love the song. It’s catchy, fun and entertaining. But, if we
    really want to overthink it… I would say the ladies are just saying, “look whats
    going on here with Country music.” You want a sample on just how far music disrespecting women can go…its out there.

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  • Anyone know what the sales are so far for Maddie n Tae in comparison to that God awful thing Maggie Rose released?

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    • Maddie & Tae are smoking Maggie Rose’s “Girl In Your Truck Song”, but that has partly to do with the fact that Maggie Rose’s radio promotions company shut down a couple of weeks ago. It has reached #58 on the radio play charts. Has not registered at all on the Hot Country Songs chart.

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      • See people? There IS a God.

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      • Good news.

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  • Trigger,

    I know you mean well, and I say this with all due respect. I believe you’re over-analyzing the situation a bit. Perhaps it’s you who had expectations that bro-country would crumble before your eyes with the release of this song.

    What we are witnessing is two talented artists, with hundreds of original songs ready to unleash, who struck gold with their current single. I really don’t believe they ever had expectations of taking down bro-country, nor should they. They have, however, made people pay a little more attention to the obscene lyrics in many of today’s hit songs. It’s more about awareness, than it is a social crusade. Moreover, the song is clever and hilarious!

    Finally, I have yet to see evidence that they’re concerned about what the others think of them. I’ve watched most of their interviews, and they have never failed to impress me with their poise and confidence. Are they coached on some of their answers, as they relate to the songs featured in their single? Of course! Anyone would be, whether they’re 18, 30, or 50. I’ve yet to see evidence to suggest they aren’t ready for the big stage, and all of the pressure that goes along with it. They’ve done far more than just sing the national anthem a few times, as you suggested in one of your comments. C’mon. ;)

    Just sit back and enjoy the music. Maddie & Tae are headed for a long, successful career.

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    • Perhaps it’s you who had expectations that bro-country would crumble before your eyes with the release of this song.

      I can’t tell you how many comments I’ve had to respond to re-affirming this is not the case. I think a lot of assumptions are being made about my opinions, when I have tried to do everything to express them as detailed and honest as possible. At the same time, I understand this because this is not a black and white matter. It is extremely gray with lots of subplots. But no, I did not think this song would make Bro-Country crumble. It just may give it a second wind.

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  • If you love REAL country and you want to hear a humorous view of the current “Bro-Country” status…check out this song called “New Country Singers” by James Carothers. He’s not trying to save the world…just having a little fun…and he’s a hell of a singer to boot! http://youtu.be/GnsB7Wj8l1I

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  • Girls lose all credibility for this song by being on Big Machine. I love how Big Machine tries to play both sides like they weren’t the ones pushing the bro-country bull shit the entire time.

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  • Maddie and Tae are in the genre I personally invented the name for wich is jail bait country. Bro country is a art form. I invented the phrase divorcee country Sugarland is of course my favourite band tho.

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    • Except they’re both 18…

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      • Daw you old skunk! You know what I meen! May be the genre should be called barely legal country? the question is is will Maddie and Tea stay together long enuf to sell to the fabulous and forty crowd. its big now and I betcha it will be big in another 20 years. fabulous and forty country is of course a sub genre of divorcee country, and with divorce rates the way are in America. that’s a genre that’s likely to stick around for a long time.

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  • Its an answer song, one of the few traditions left in country music, apparently. It just happens to be one with poignant social commentary on a current trend in the genre.

    Considering these guys from Florida Georgia Line have demonstrated in the past that they aren’t the deepest thinkers or very tactful in their comments, such a remark from one of them is to be expected. Since Kelley didn’t flat-out insult the girls in his response, I’d say this is all much ado about nothing.

    This sort of thing makes me wonder what Hank Thompson thought about (It Wasn’t God Who Made) Honky Tonk Angels when he first heard it.

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  • The fact that their response ends in what appears to be an apologetic tone makes this laughable, if not somewhat embarrassing.

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    • Well, they are basically nobodies who are trying to take on the biggest names in “country” music. “Oh shit, now we won’t get to open for FGL, nevermind. Actually we don’t mind bro country that much”

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  • Dont get me wrong i hate FGL with all my soul but this is just feminist BS.

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  • While “Girl In A Country Song” moved up 30-26 this week at country radio, there are only 3 songs with a female vocal ranked ahead of it on the Airplay charts. Country radio has far too many bro songs in its Top 30, and too many songs saying the same clichéd things, that this song has to score a direct hit. As long as country radio favors male vocals over female vocals by approximately 10-1, with songs that blend together in lyrical content and good-ol’-boy BS, bro-country deserves a big target on its back.

    Is this the perfect song? Probably not. But someone has to fire the first shot for it to become a revolution, right? Maybe it means someone else will open the floodgates in 6 months with something that cuts even deeper. I’d rather buy this than a Luke Bryan song.

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  • Anything Florida Georgia Line has to say is irrelevant, they suck

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  • Can you say “trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill”? It’s a catchy song w/ attitude, as are quite a few “bro-country” songs. It’s gotta hook & and in todays music world, that’s the only thing that’s gonna get you airtime. Give the girls a break, shame on the interviewer who asked the questions in the first place. The girls can sing & they’ve got a work ethic. Hearing a catchy girl power song will only HELP country musics base not hurt it!!!!

       2 likes

  • Ok first off this bothers me I hate how two lovely girls wrote one song and people are already hating on it-on YouTube, Facebook, twitter – PEOPLE let them do their thing!!!!!! sheesh I’m so sick of people being haters-and second yeah,-I so agree with them- NOT every girl want to be a girl in a country song- not all girls want to wear cutoff jeans-want to show half their body to the world- I have to be one of them- I don’t like wearing bikinis, cutoff jeans, stuff like that like they are guys need to get in their head we don’t like it – plus they are stating a fact have the music you here today aren’t the what we use to hear. Plus you should be thankful they are part of the reason you have music.

    P.S I know they are a lot of people who are going to disagree with me oh well just deal with it. AND btw Jesus loves you!

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  • These girls have balls for saying what they think. That’s what being an AMERICAN is all about, saying what you want to who you want. God bless them for that. I love their song for that reason. I also love the bro-country songs too. Some of the men getting pissed off over this song probably are just upset these girls have bigger balls then they do…. Don’t hate guys. They have every right to turn roles around. Just like men in country can sing about woman in cut-offs. Keep doing what you’re doing Maddie and Tae.

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  • Omg, people are writing books about this and taking it way too seriously. It’s a fun, lighthearted song, and the video is hilarious. Any men or women for that matter who have a problem with it need to get over themselves!

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  • I love Girl In A Country Song,all it is ,is letting the guys see what the girls feel like by turning the tables.
    I think it’s a very fun and cute video.

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  • Oh Good Lord, people. It was a funny as hell video and FGL needs to leave it alone. One doesn’t have to be a feminist to find the humor in it. A feminist version would have all ugly women rebelling against mysoginistic men who are later enslaved after being conquered. JEEZ! It was just some fun.

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  • Love this song! It is fun and energetic! I am so disappointed that FGL responded that way… It’s a song… An expression… Isn’t that what music is suppose to allow? Kudos to these young ladies for expressing a different twist! I like the sound of FGL and Bryant
    but HATE seeing them mimicking hip hop motions when they perform… Thought the backward baseball caps on CMA we’re ridiculous and NOT repin country in any way, shape, or form. They need to visit country music hall of fame….their appearance and moves don’t rep country in the least but disgrace the tradition! …and for what? do you ever see hip hop embracing country artists on their awards ceremonies… Hell no! Yet CMA embraces hip hop, rock entertainers…FGL be nice and respectful…. You can fall as quick as you rose. It happened to Travis Tritt a few years back when he made derogatory comments about fellow country entertainers being worthy and it can happen to you!

       0 likes

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