The mood has shifted on mainstream country radio, at least for the moment. And as spring rounds the corner, so does a renewed sense that perhaps a rebirth is occurring as better songs are blooming on the radio charts all over the place. If you’re stuck like a broken record saying all mainstream country sucks, you’re missing the bigger picture
While in the independent realm of country music, 2017 went down as a record year for quality projects, the mainstream was downright abysmal pretty much across the board for both songs and albums. There actually were quite a few pretty good songs, but most struggled to gain traction in the charts.
Blake Shelton’s latest record ‘Texoma Shore’ is not really that great, and it would be a stretch to even call it good. Yet as enjoyable as it might be to trash this effort for all the ills Mr. “Old Farts and Jackasses” has sowed over the years, the truth is this might be Blake Shelton’s best album since he uttered those now notorious words in 2013.
In the process of criticizing modern country music, sometimes we lose sight of the bigger picture, or fall into “old man’s syndrome” where the past of the genre seems pristine and idyllic in our mind’s eye, and today’s smutty music perpetrated by sellout stars is an abomination to our beloved genre.
Blake Shelton, Conway Twitty, Hank Thompson, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Pizza Hut, Roy Acuff, Sylvia, T. Graham Brown, Taco Bell, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
What sucks about “Doing It To Country Songs” is that there’s actually a lot of positives going on here, and it could have turned out to be something decent. But the innuendo here is worn out in the first 30 seconds, and the double entendres just don’t have the potency or levity to land a punch or crack a smile.
This dog just won’t die. Last time I remember reading about American Idol, the franchise was an incredible $398 MILLION in debt. The show lost all of its original judges like rats fleeing the ship. It hasn’t launched a bona fide superstar since George W. Bush was President. Is one measly year off enough to recharge the appetite for this show?
Wonder why pretty much every mainstream country single sounds ostensibly the same? It’s probably because they all pretty much do. Lill illustrates how nine songs on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart all employ the same exact drum beat, and within the same 15 or so beats per minute.
Kudos to Blake Shelton for giving a hand up to traditional country music through his work on ‘The Voice.’ But if he wanted to show true leadership and really make an impact, he would show that same leadership with his own music.
“I really don’t even know what current country music is anymore. I am as flabbergasted as anyone and have no idea what is country and what is not anymore. I am not a fan of country today. Today’s country can’t be differentiated between pop, and you can’t tell them apart. If you are going to be in the country category and call yourself a country artist, then stick with it.”
Once again in 2016, the current mainstream artist leading the pack of delinquent members is Blake Shelton who couldn’t find the time to make even one appearance in 2016 at the Grand Ole Opry, let alone the 10 or so appearances current members are expected to make. Country fans shouldn’t be surprised by this; it’s pretty much par for the course…
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
Another day, and another unfortunate passing in the country music community. On Tuesday morning (11-15) it was announced that Warner Bros. recording artist and once marquee Grand Ole Opry performer Holly Dunn has died. Dunn had announced earlier this year that she was diagnosed with ovarian Cancer. She was 59-years-old.
Though there are still many bad songs on country radio and in country music in general, the snapping of Blake Shelton’s #1 streak is just another sign things are beginning to turn around in the mainstream, and artists of more substance are beginning to find more success at the expense of the Bro-Country era’s old guard.
There will be no #1 for Texas country artist Cody Johnson’s new album “Gotta Be Me,” even though if all things were equal, he’d would be the rightful owner of the distinction. Cody is being blocked by Blake Shelton who is running a big new promotion behind his recent album “If I’m Honest,” selling it for only $0.99.
Blake Shelton is in hot water for a number of racist, sexist, and homophobic tweets posted in 2011 that have recently surfaced—or so a slew of U.K. tabloids and and American crotch-sniffing celebrity websites would have you believe without any verification of the legitimacy of these supposed tweets, or any explanation how it took them half a decade to surface.
The next trend in country may not be defined by a style or a sound, but who is involved in it. But if collaborations will be the next big trend, how about putting out just a little bit of effort to make sure that the great talent that is going unrecognized in country music itself gets some love?
Ashley Monroe, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Demi Lovato, Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton, Elle King, Gwen Stefani, Johnny Bush, Kenny Chesney, Kenny Rogers, Little Big Town, Lori McKenna, Miranda Lambert, Pharrell, Pink, Pitbull, Steve Fromholz, The Pistol Annies, Tim McGraw, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson
The Country Music Association sent out the initial ballots for the 50th Annual CMA Awards on July 5th, and with them came a new system that hopes to stop some of the campaigning for artists to win certain awards. It’s called “Nominee Showcase,” and gives voters a centralized location to find verified and fairly-presented stats on all the nominees.
Usually such a list is only reserved for the worst songs at the halfway pole of a given year, but 2016 has been especially lush with heartbreakily bad efforts, including from some artists who tend to be on the right side of the good music/ bad music divide. So before we really take the gloves off, let’s reflect back on 2016 biggest disappointments in the album category.
So full-time coach for NBC’s reality show singing competition The Voice, and part-time country music artist Blake Shelton has a new record out, and has successfully parleyed interest in his drama-laden personal life into elevated interest and sales of his music. Well let’s take a good long sniff and see what we smell.
Some feel “She’s Got A Way With Words” is crossing the line in the way a woman is being portrayed by a major mainstream country music star, especially in the tenuous environment of today where the issue of equality for female artists and the objectification of women is high of mind with listeners and music pundits.
Christian music may be the way some labels and producers see a way out of the Bro-Country jungle that is mired in criticism for its low-brow content and (at times) immoral bent, yet at the same time continue to broaden the appeal of country by adding a new demographic to the audience in Christian listeners.
“Came Here To Forget” is not a terrible song. It’s a decent song that they made into a poor effort by taking a decent premise, loading it up with radio-friendly buzzwords, and stylizing it to the “Hot AC” crowd in the production. In other words, it’s destined to be a super hit on country radio.
…Back to the argument Blake Shelton had with Adam Levine on The Voice as America watched on, and they both battled to be picked as the judge for Adam Wakefield, Blake Shelton said some things about country that needed to be heard, and were quite surprising coming from Blake. Usually the banter between judges is quite lighthearted on the show. But in this case, it got fairly heated.
“They send out a letter that says you know, â€˜We are kind of demanding that you must be here so many times a year to continue your membership.’ Because it’s just not fair,” Lorrie Morgan explains. “People want to say, â€˜Hey I’m a member of the Opry,’ and not want to come back. The Opry takes dedication and it takes love. It takes love.”