Blake Shelton’s “Boys ‘Round Here” is songwriting by algorithm and analytics, fashioning together words and sounds known to have the widest impact on mainstream radio’s weak-of-mind demo. The “boys” in the title of “Boys ‘Round Here” is fitting, because this song is rank immaturity. It’s the audio equivalent of sneaking out of your mom’s house to smoke pot behind a Pizza Hut.
This song starts off by violating your ear holes with the most horrid, chicken scratching “Red! Red! Red! Red!” sounds that Blake must have directly sampled from the soundtrack Satan himself uses to torture the souls stuck in eternal damnation. Instead of being rhythmic and catchy, the machine-gunning “Red! Red! Red!” bursts come at your face like a flying cocktail of nail and glass shrapnel from an improvised car bomb–like the nerve grating ticks of a touretts sufferer compounded by the onset of the mother of all Grand Mal seizures. Come on Blake, spit it out! Or for God’s sake someone shove a wallet in his mouth before he chokes on his own tongue.
You think I’m being harsh? Just listen…
Then the soul-less electronic 1’s and 0’s of a hip-hop beat kick in as the aggressively-cliche lyrics begin to flow from Blake’s brazenly overly-effected put-on Southern drawl. “The boys ’round here. Drinking ice cold beer. Talkin’ ’bout girls, talkin’ ’bout trucks. Runnin’ them red dirt roads out kickin’ up dust.” Are you shitting me with these lyrics? This stuff was cliche back when Charlie Sheen was having his public meltdown. Is this song the “leadership” from our Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year? Because I’d rather shit a knife than listen to this.
Oh, and it gets worse. “Backwoods legit, don’t take no shit. Chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit!” For those of you that don’t speak country rap, that roughly translates to, “Please Nashville, let me remain relevant despite virtually ignoring music for a career in reality TV!”
As much creativity went into making this song as does the making of a geriatrics’s bombed out adult diaper in the aftermath of a post-constipation bowel explosion. Oh, and the Pistol Annies are on this thing too? Well great. Screw me for hoping they had the heart to help return mainstream country to some semblance of substance, and here they are acting like the Staple Sisters for country music’s version of Satan.
And I seriously was a gnat’s eyelash away from praising Blake for finally fulfilling his Grand Ole Opry obligations a few weekends back and playing some free shows for his fans last week, including apparently some sets of classic country. But with this song we see that he was probably just attempting to preemptively curb criticism.
When Blake Shelton made his “old farts and jackasses” comments now some two months ago, I went out of my way to distinguish him artistically from the lowest rung of Music Row’s male talent like Brantley Gilbert, Jason Aldean, and Florida-Georgia. But after this song and his last single “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” Blake has dramatically lowered his standards to the level of a sub-par, genre-bending, trend-chasing, country-rapping, tasteless and directionless douche that’s no different than the other names on the tip of our tongues when asked who in Nashville is the absolute worst. It truly is a shame, because unlike Florida-Georgia Line or Brantley Gilbert, Blake Shelton is truly better than this.
Two guns way down!