Yesterday the single “Country Strong” was released to the inbred, collusive entity which is “country radio” to promote the upcoming movie of the same name starring Gwyneth and perfume magnate Tim Mcgraw. Vince Gill and Patti Griffin also appear in the song.
But this is just one song from a soundtrack. Nobody is reporting that Gwyneth has any intention or desire to get into country music as a career of any sort. Gwyneth is ACTING. Yes her LA/New York lifestyle probably does not lend to her having any genuineness behind singing country, but she’s simply playing a role, just like Jeff Bridges was in Crazy Heart. Many pop country stars are doing the same exact thing, but DO try to pass it off as genuine. I’m finding it hard to get mad at Paltrow, especially since she had the guts to do her own singing in the film.
What I am finding curious is the premise of this movie itself, and the marketing scheme behind it. Apparently Jeff Bridges, oh, I mean Gwyneth Paltrow, plays a “washed up country singer.”
Huh, tastes familiar.
Just like Music Row, the movie industry is generally bankrupt for new ideas, and when something hits it big, it is copycatted ad nauseum. Nashville used to make albums and hope that they could fit songs into movies to help promote them. Now sometimes movies are created around the songs as an advertising vehicle, so that the movie can be crossed marketed on radio, and the songs cross marketed in the movie. This by definition is homogenizing of culture, and generally leads to bad art. As the movie is not set to be released until December 22nd, I think the timing of this release is telling. Also the movie was originally called Love Don’t Let Me Down until it was changed to the title of the radio single.
As for the song, I’ve heard worse. (hear some of it in this video) Maybe I’m getting soft but it doesn’t make my stomach turn like most stuff found on country radio, though it is heroically generic, and I hear the sharp-edged note changes that usually mark a performance run through Auto-tune.
I wonder if He-Man was ever accused of being racist for sporting the iron cross?
Anyway, to dispel and controversy over the movie, co-star Tim McGraw who plays Paltrow’s husband and manager, released the following video that he said would explain everything: