You know, for years people have been telling me how great Little Big Town is, berating me to give them a deeper listen. But I may never experience their album cuts are because their singles ward me off more than staring down a battery of AIDS cannons. First it was the motorbotin’ “Pontoon”, and now this.
I have been saying for years that country music singles are simply devolving into veiled commercials for major corporations that are underwriting music amidst eroding profits. You can’t make money selling music anymore, so hop into bed with America’s alcohol and automobile industry and make music that is de facto advertisements. They’ll back your tours if your artists back their products, and everyone can get naked and roll around in a big pile of money. Next thing you know, 90% of country music is about alcohol and trucks. There may not be a better example of an overt, gratuitous homage to consumer culture as this latest Little Big Town single entitled “Day Drinking”.
What the hell is day drinking anyway? Was this a commonly-used term a few years ago? I sure don’t remember it, but now it seems like every time I turn on the radio, some spokesperson won’t shut up about how fabulous it is while making their sales pitch, and to make sure I do it responsibly. Screw that, I got shit to do, and responsibility becomes fleeting when you’re slamming back infused vodka before the banks close. The alcohol industry has been attempting to incorporate this recently-adopted “day drinking” buzzword into society, cramming it down our throats to create a socially-acceptable environment to start consuming adult beverages before the socially-appointed time because that’s the only way Americans can pour enough adult beverages down their gullets to keep profits rising every quarter.
Tell ’em Ralphie.
That’s right, Little Big Town’s “Day Drinking” is pretty much a crummy commercial; at least that’s what’s ringing in my ears—a day drinking advertising jingle. And if you don’t believe me, just pause the video at the 00.38 and 1:59 mark and ask yourself, “Why exactly is there a tightly cropped and prolonged shot of a Beats Pill audio player featured in this video, and twice no less?” That’s exactly what I thought the first time I saw the Miley Cyrus video for “We Can’t Stop”. It starts off with the same Beats Pill cameo. This is a pretty bold leap from mere product placement. Am I watching a music video, or QVC?
“Day Drinking” is all about being 40, and being fabulous, just like Little Big Town. And hey, in some respects, I can respect that, and don’t want to belittle that sentiment. But this is country music, not a commercial for Target’s signature line of tote bags and accessories. And act your age for crying out loud. I love how in the video the band is surrounded by a bunch of young people all happy and having fun, doing young people things, while Little Big Town is relegated to guarding the coolers. It’s like they’re trying to look young and hip by proxy, because get them out on the sand volleyball court themselves and there will be more pulled hamstrings than the NFL disabled list. All they can do is look at the ocean because the salt water would inflame their psoriasis. Little Big Town is the country music equivalent to that 90’s drama show Felicity that tanked after the main girl cut her hair. Buzz off the fake blonde girl’s frizzy do and it’s doubtful this act couldn’t make it on the club circuit. As Unknown Hinson would say, feed those girls some cheeseburgers.
The song itself isn’t offensive necessarily, but there’s really nothing of value here either. The lyrics in the verses are delivered in that monotone, nearly rapping and non-melodic style that is the norm these days, and the stupid whistling and the drum line that comes in later is so Lumineers getting run over by Imagine Dragons, it screams of stretching to find a relevant sound. It is catchy enough though to become a hit, but with all the smiles and fancy free attitudes (let’s just leave are cherry red convertible parked in the middle of the highway and start getting sloshed on the beach at 10:30 AM) it makes me wonder, do these people bleed? Do they ever experience pain, or moments of doubt? Life can’t be all fluff. Where’s the yin to this yang?
“Day Drinking” brings out the Jello Biafra in me, where I want to hate all the pretty people just for having fun, and dammit, I don’t want to be that guy; I don’t want to ruin anyone’s good time. But this vapid, fun-loving, soul-less, shallow, frappity shit sure is ruining mine.
You want to make cheesy party songs? Fine. But leave the commercials for between the songs, not during them.
1 3/4 of 2 guns down.