Why in the world as the proprietor of a country music outlet am I being tasked once again to talk about this guy? I know what some of you are going to say. “Well Trig, just ignore him!” As if I close my eyes and pretend he’s not there he will magically go away. I only wish. But instead Sam Hunt is not only very much real and in the flesh, and firmly ensconced now as a mainstream country music performer, he’s starting to put together a run that could rocket him into the very top tier of the genre. And unlike Florida Georgia Line before him, he’s not doing this in spite of critics, he’s doing it because of them, as the journalists who only know country music from the outside looking in continue to rain down fawning plaudits for Hunt like dollars bills at the cocaine night clubs Hunt croons about in his urban-centric martini-sipping waxed crotch EDM computer-based dance beat compositions molded on an iMac during a Molly binge.
Can’t Sam Hunt just move on to being one of those people who is famous for being famous and get bounced out of the third round of Dancing with the Stars or box Tonya Harding on Pay Per View or something? Why does Sam Hunt even exist in anything resembling the country music world? He’s the country music equivalent of a malapropism, but now that his second single “Take Your Time” is rocketing up the charts, the humor has lost its punch.
“Take Your Time” is the worst song that could have been chosen for Sam Hunt’s second single from and album chock full of bad ideas and boiling over with non-country influences and arrangements. Sam Hunt makes EDM/urban/R&B dance music, not country, and it’s not even slightly above average EDM/urban/R&B dance music when compared with its peers of these respective disciplines. Sam Hunt’s music is fluff that lays down in the awkward moments between the ages of 21 and 22 1/2 when a very narrow demographic of American youth think hanging out at clubs with $14 mixed drinks is cool before waking up one morning broke and depressed, looking into a cocaine mirror and realizing they’ve turned into a complete and utter douchebag.
Some will tell you Sam Hunt and “Take Your Time” is simply country music “evolving,” yet once again the theory of evolution in the minds of country music’s powers that be has to do with dredging up a 30-year-old antiquated and outmoded form of expression in a misguided attempt to pander to the trends of today. Gee I can’t wait until country music’s “evolution” gets to the mid 80’s and country stars are dancing around on stage in spandex onesies with televisions on their heads.
Barry White, who perfected the sexy talk in songs that resolves into singing later in phrases isn’t rolling over in his grave because of Sam Hunt, he’s laughing at the dumbasses who are spending money on this crud who think it’s fresh. Your song talking is lame Sam. Red Sovine would kick your ass. All Sam Hunt does is expose that many in the country music business hate to sound of country, and wish they could replace it with something they actually like. Meanwhile their willing accomplices in the mainstream media singing the praises of Sam Hunt as some critical darling find themselves in the same boat. “Oh, something from a country male I finally like!” Yeah, that’s because it’s not country.
The fuel that many will use to justify Sam Hunt’s transgressions in “Take Your Time” is that he doesn’t actually try to screw the girl of his desire in the song. But this is a false front, it’s fake hustle, not only if you read between the lines of the sentiments articulated in the song, but in the way it’s being received by many listeners. “I don’t want to steal your covers, I just want to take your time” the song says, but in truth any depth to this song is accidental, despite its sedated delivery that seems artistic simply because so many country listeners’ perspectives have been so stretched in the wrong direction by so called “Bro-Country.”
The words of “Take Your Time” are the shallow utterances of young adult sex rituals conveyed with uninspired urban jargon then addled with hip-hop inflections. Anyone who can find “depth” in these lyrics is broadcasting that they exist in a shallow state of affairs. I’m not saying the words aren’t something different, but they certainly aren’t anything special.
Sam Hunt said in a recent interview that he’s heavily influenced by R Kelly and Usher. Well that’s fan-freaking-tastic, then why doesn’t he go over to that side of the music world and release this bullshit? Why in the world does he have to bring this music to country? I’ll tell you why: Because they would laugh him out of the building in the R&B world because it sucks.
Let R&B artists be R&B artists, and let country artists be country artists, and let this lend to a beautiful and diverse variety of music choices that American consumers can experience based off of their backgrounds, upbringings, and current moods and desires. Making country sound like rap, R&B, or EDM music, or vice versa, only restricts the choices of mainstream consumers; it doesn’t expand or “evolve” them. If Sam Hunt wants to make R&B/EDM/urban music and if people want to listen to it, hell yeah I say, more power to them. But you don’t put bacon in the produce department. I hate that Sam Hunt makes me hate on him for perpetuating this lie on country music consumers because he seems like a nice articulate guy. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to stand here and have someone tell me a goat’s a chicken.
I’m glad Sam used a few more real instruments on this song, but it in no way redeems this country music misnomer.
Take this R&B stuff back to KISS-FM, and quit taking of my time Sam Hunt.
Two guns down.