Friends and neighbors, I know you would rather spend your time reading about something a bit more positive in nature than the rabid attitudinal protestations of some twisted up music critic spouting off about this grotesque specimen of audio diarrhea, and during what is supposed to be a festive season no less….
Down with Pop Country
Man did Music Row in Nashville turn in a whole slew of stinkers this year, setting new lows for the substance, and non-country-ness of “country” songs in 2017. This year was a great example of how you should never think it can’t get any worse, because it can, and did, and by a long stretch.
Bro-Country godfather Luke Bryan is getting ready to give birth to his latest recorded monstrosity called What Makes You Country in a day or two, and in a recent feature in New York Times Magazine aiming to prove to us all what a good ol’ average Joe country boy he is, some pretty mirthful revelations emerged.
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.”
Calling this year’s race the “Big Machine Brickyard 400” is probably not the most savory development for true country music fans in itself. But Big Machine has announced they’re going the extra mile with their 2017 Brickyard sponsorship, at least for one of their artists: Brantley Gilbert.
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.
Oh man are these some stinkers. Not only does an elite and highly-trained group of mainstream country artists seem to be like devoted experts at defining new lows for the genre, in 2017 the amount of non-country-ness of some of these “country” songs is so off the charts, it’s like they’re purposely challenging each other.
Body Like a Backroad, Canaan Smith, Carrie Underwood, Chris Janson, Craving You, David Allan Coe, Dustin Lynch, Fix A Drink, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Like You That Way, Sam Hunt, The Chainsmokers, The Fighter, The Moonshine Bandits, Thomas Rhett
A complete run down of what country music fans can expect from the 2017 CMT Awards being held on Wednesday, June 7th from Nashville, including lists of performers, presenters, nominees, and everything else we know about the presentation.
Now Nashville’s decided to try and make the Geico Caveman a superstar it appears, and it’s only appropriate, because to find anything fetching in this anthem to American devolution, your forehead has to stick out over your eyebrows so far that you don’t need to wear a hat in the rain.
As Sam Hunt’s new godawful and indisputably non-country single “Body Like a Backroad” rockets up the charts and looks to make him an established major music superstar, the sychophants are coming out of the woodwork to glam on to his success and hope perhaps some of that attention will rub off on them.
Stupid list thing going around the innernets these days asking music folks to list off then bands they’ve seen live, but one is a lie. As a similar exercise to get your country music brain muscles firing and to test your true acumen on the genre, let’s see if you can navigate this difficult intellectual exercise.
Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line recently called this collaboration “a God thing.” I think a Satan thing is perhaps more appropriate. This Apocalyptic pairing for “Last Day Alive” inspires such an apoplectic response, you go from fearing your own death while in its audience, to praying for death to alleviate the suffering it bestows.
“Take This Job and Shove It” became an iconic country music anthem for a generation because it encapsulated the quiet desperation of the working man and the theater of the mind they would succumb to just to make it through another day to feed their families through lean times. Here, the Moonshine Bandits make it into an ode of the great American screwups.
WARNING: LANGUAGE — To release a song called “Body Like a Backroad” in the year of our Lord 2017, after we suffered through five years of embarrassment as a genre at the hands of the Bro-Country scourge, it goes so far beyond aggressively cliché, it’s just downright grotesque.
Is it too damn much to ask of the National Football League to find somebody to sing The National Anthem at the Super Bowl that has an established history of actually knowing the words to a song most 4th graders are tasked to recite verbatim before ascending to middle school instead of a performer with a sullied past of sliding by using subterfuge like Luke Bryan has?
Like an incorrigible habit that only works to expand the gut, shave years off of life, spends your money, and puts distance between yourself and the realization of your goals and dreams, country music should make a resolution to drop Sam Hunt and his big bag of nothing like the smelly, disgusting, cancerous, unhealthy habit he is.
‘Twas the party before Christmas, when all through the home
One creature was dancing, on a truck covered with chrome;
The beer cans were stacked on the chimney with care,
In hopes that Luke Bryan soon would be there;
Everywhere we turn, there are signs that the tide is turning in country music for the better. Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson are turning the tables on the awards shows, a new generation of traditionalists like William Michael Morgan and Margo Price are finding surprising traction. But it’s not all rosy.
Blake Shelton, Brantley Gilbert, Brett Young, Calre Dunn, Chase Rice, Chris Lane, Dallas Davidson, Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch, Florida Georgia Line, Jana Kramer, Jason Aldean, Jerrod Niemann, Lee Brice, Luke Bryan, Steven Tyler, Thomas Rhett
“Love Me In A Field” makes the American farm sound like Walt Disney’s model for a sexual theme park, while the reality of things facing the American farmer is either selling out to Monsanto, or having 200 years of your family’s legacy parceled out in a bank liquidation due to falling water tables and intrusive estate taxes until all you have left to show…
Pop star Ariana Grande is saying “hell yeah” she would do something in the country realm, and her timing couldn’t be better. As pointed out by periodicals as diverse as Saving Country Music and The New York Times, country collaborations with pop stars are all the rage as vapid stars look to gain chart traction for terrible singles.
Michael Sweet says he has his own history in country, and has enough respect for it to where he sees right through the Steven Tylers and Brett Michaels who think you can turn into a country star like flipping a switch. No punches are pulled in the song and video for “Radio.”
What would fall and hit the ground faster in the vacuum left where Chris Lane’s self-awareness is supposed to be, a dense pound of his excessive ego, or a pound of air from his vacuous cranium? The answer is “Fix”—an abhorrent effort to assemble any and all obvious and transparent pandering mechanisms known to pop music’s collective brain trust.