I don’t care if Walker Hayes is the most upstanding citizen from his affluent suburb, donates to charity, is sweet as pie to his fans, and gives mouth to nose resuscitation to orphaned puppies. This is not the type of incendiarily vapid stuff we need infecting anything being sold as “country.”
“I feel like we manifested [Midland], because this is our playground…,” says Shane McAnally. “When these guys walked in and were a vehicle for those kinds of songs, and also quite capable of writing them as well, it was like ‘Weird Science,’ like, it wasn’t our design, but it’s almost like we put into a machine what we wanted, and out came Midland.”
With all the talk about the cheeky machismo of Midland lately, including many assigning the trio savior status for finally returning a semblance of traditional country back to the mainstream of country, folks seem have forgotten that William Michael Morgan did that very thing with a single called “I Met A Girl” in 2016.
There will be one point of interest for some country fans at the 2017 VMA Awards on MTV. One of those “authentic, hardscrabble, Texas country” guys from the new band Midland will be up for no less than four VMA awards during the 2017 presentation. How, you say?
It might actually be the intangibles and industry tentacles extending from Walker Hayes and “You Broke Up with Me” that make the whole thing so sinister. This is not just the lead single from a Sam Hunt knockoff you’ve never heard of before.
It was said by many after the release of Wheeler Walker Jr.’s first album Redneck Shit, “Okay, that was fun. But where do you go next?” Wheeler Walker Jr. has an entirely new album’s worth of songs. That’s what he’s got. And he’s got ’em in a pretty short turnaround, and they’re just as funny and wit-filled as the first, if not more.
As time has gone on, I find myself disliking these dudes more and more because I can’t beat back the obvious reality that we’re being misled about these guys. Midland is a machination of the big Music Row industrial complex, no different than most major label artists.
The trouble with Trace Adkins has never been a lack of talent. The dude has one of the coolest, baritone and bass singing voices in all of modern country music. The bigger problem with the Trace Adkins career track has always been his terrible, terrible song selection. Perhaps Adkins would learn from his past mistakes, and start taking the music more seriously.
Screw me, but I just don’t have a strong opinion about this thing one way or the other. Sometimes that happens. If you think this song and video is amazing, then awesome. If you think it’s stupid, I can see that perspective too. In the end it’s kind of a wash for me.
“Noise” is not a bad song. It’s not a good one either, and it’s certainly not country. But it’s not bad. And is it better than Bro-Country or some island ballad? I guess it is, but only as the lesser of evils. The problem here is that the song takes itself too seriously, and it’s built from the same stupid formula Kenny Chesney has used before.
Brandy Clark is one of the revered and decorated ringleaders of the new school songwriting-by-committee process. Though the results may always be more appealing than the next tractor rap the “Peach Pickers” pull out of a corn field bro off, it sometimes can still smack more of product than the raw inspiration set to words country music used to be known for.
Ladies and gentlemen, we now live in a world where not even King George remains relevant on country radio. Isn’t that the sad, ever present revelation of the living—that time marches on, and no matter how important something was in the past, the present moves forward, callously at times, and the greatest of efforts are relegated to moments of fond reminiscing.
There’s not a single song on Old Dominion’s new album Meat and Candy that shouldn’t have been aborted in the womb. This is the type of material professional songwriters throw together to crack themselves up in writing sessions to lighten the mood. But in an utter breakdown in the system, it somehow found its way completely unabridged onto a record.
There’s something about being a Texan that makes you regard what happens in Texas as being the most important thing in the world. It’s the center of the universe, so to speak. For Texans at least. So when Josh Abbott felt the need to pronounce his infidelity to the world in February of 2014, the little hamlets that harbor the support network for Texas music were sent reeling.
Quietly, stealthily, some of country music’s major labels are starting to retool with very young, and very country performing talent. Whether they’re hedging their bets, or hoping for a hard country resurgence, Mo Pitney is not just an anomaly anymore, he is one of a number of traditional-leaning performers being groomed for what may be the next big movement in country after the current R&B disco craze invariably crashes.
Regardless of how you feel about Kacey Musgraves, her music, her politics, or the ideologies she espouses, she symbolizes nothing short of a victory in the effort to save country music. To have a major label artist release an album like Pageant Material, full of traditional country leanings and songwriter-based material, is a sizable leap forward for the genre.
Kacey Musgraves has found her niche, and she’s not wavering. When she released “Biscuits,” which was so eerily similar to “Follow Your Arrow” (partly because the two songs were dreamed up in the same writing session), we assured ourselves that it was just one song, and once we hear the full breath of Musgraves’ upcoming album Pageant Material it would exhibit much more variety.
Well that’s it folks. If we weren’t starring at the moment when any and all vestiges of the roots of country music had been completely eradicated from the mainstream before, then we are certainly doing so right now. It’s no longer a narrative about trying to hold onto the last little pieces of what made country music different from other genres.
Despite your desire to see Musgraves become that artist that can deliver a more traditional sound and intelligent scope to country, desire doesn’t always match execution. Criticism for Musgraves as a “boring” live performer is pretty common. And similar to Same Trailer, Different Park, the roll out of the new album so far has been less than smooth.
Sam Hunt’s “House Party” is cultural appropriation for commercial enterprise of the highest order. It isn’t enough that mainstream country music is raping its own culture, now it’s got to ooze its filthy mandibles into a different sector of society and make a mockery of someone else’s too. Safe white America’s appetite for subjugating other people’s art forms in its insatiable consumerism binge is as embarrassing as it is destructive.