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.
It was said by many after the release of Wheeler Walker Jr.’s first album Redneck Shit, “Okay, that was fun. But where do you go next?” Wheeler Walker Jr. has an entirely new album’s worth of songs. That’s what he’s got. And he’s got ’em in a pretty short turnaround, and they’re just as funny and wit-filled as the first, if not more.
As time has gone on, I find myself disliking these dudes more and more because I can’t beat back the obvious reality that we’re being misled about these guys. Midland is a machination of the big Music Row industrial complex, no different than most major label artists.
The trouble with Trace Adkins has never been a lack of talent. The dude has one of the coolest, baritone and bass singing voices in all of modern country music. The bigger problem with the Trace Adkins career track has always been his terrible, terrible song selection. Perhaps Adkins would learn from his past mistakes, and start taking the music more seriously.
Screw me, but I just don’t have a strong opinion about this thing one way or the other. Sometimes that happens. If you think this song and video is amazing, then awesome. If you think it’s stupid, I can see that perspective too. In the end it’s kind of a wash for me.
“Noise” is not a bad song. It’s not a good one either, and it’s certainly not country. But it’s not bad. And is it better than Bro-Country or some island ballad? I guess it is, but only as the lesser of evils. The problem here is that the song takes itself too seriously, and it’s built from the same stupid formula Kenny Chesney has used before.
Brandy Clark is one of the revered and decorated ringleaders of the new school songwriting-by-committee process. Though the results may always be more appealing than the next tractor rap the “Peach Pickers” pull out of a corn field bro off, it sometimes can still smack more of product than the raw inspiration set to words country music used to be known for.
Ladies and gentlemen, we now live in a world where not even King George remains relevant on country radio. Isn’t that the sad, ever present revelation of the living—that time marches on, and no matter how important something was in the past, the present moves forward, callously at times, and the greatest of efforts are relegated to moments of fond reminiscing.
There’s not a single song on Old Dominion’s new album Meat and Candy that shouldn’t have been aborted in the womb. This is the type of material professional songwriters throw together to crack themselves up in writing sessions to lighten the mood. But in an utter breakdown in the system, it somehow found its way completely unabridged onto a record.
There’s something about being a Texan that makes you regard what happens in Texas as being the most important thing in the world. It’s the center of the universe, so to speak. For Texans at least. So when Josh Abbott felt the need to pronounce his infidelity to the world in February of 2014, the little hamlets that harbor the support network for Texas music were sent reeling.
Quietly, stealthily, some of country music’s major labels are starting to retool with very young, and very country performing talent. Whether they’re hedging their bets, or hoping for a hard country resurgence, Mo Pitney is not just an anomaly anymore, he is one of a number of traditional-leaning performers being groomed for what may be the next big movement in country after the current R&B disco craze invariably crashes.
Regardless of how you feel about Kacey Musgraves, her music, her politics, or the ideologies she espouses, she symbolizes nothing short of a victory in the effort to save country music. To have a major label artist release an album like Pageant Material, full of traditional country leanings and songwriter-based material, is a sizable leap forward for the genre.
Kacey Musgraves has found her niche, and she’s not wavering. When she released “Biscuits,” which was so eerily similar to “Follow Your Arrow” (partly because the two songs were dreamed up in the same writing session), we assured ourselves that it was just one song, and once we hear the full breath of Musgraves’ upcoming album Pageant Material it would exhibit much more variety.
Well that’s it folks. If we weren’t starring at the moment when any and all vestiges of the roots of country music had been completely eradicated from the mainstream before, then we are certainly doing so right now. It’s no longer a narrative about trying to hold onto the last little pieces of what made country music different from other genres.
Despite your desire to see Musgraves become that artist that can deliver a more traditional sound and intelligent scope to country, desire doesn’t always match execution. Criticism for Musgraves as a “boring” live performer is pretty common. And similar to Same Trailer, Different Park, the roll out of the new album so far has been less than smooth.
Sam Hunt’s “House Party” is cultural appropriation for commercial enterprise of the highest order. It isn’t enough that mainstream country music is raping its own culture, now it’s got to ooze its filthy mandibles into a different sector of society and make a mockery of someone else’s too. Safe white America’s appetite for subjugating other people’s art forms in its insatiable consumerism binge is as embarrassing as it is destructive.
Yes, she’s the mainstream country star who isn’t afraid to actually act and sing a little country, is fearless enough to actually have the audacity to say something with her music, and has found a way to be decorated by critics while still upholding enough of a commercial standard to be recognized by the CMA’s and ACM’s. But despite all your squinting to make Kacey Musgraves into what you want her to be…
The next menace was country rap, symbolized by Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem” becoming the biggest country single in all of 2011. Then country rap gave way to Bro-Country—the most dominant torment to country music arguably in the genre’s entire history. Now what looks to depose Bro-Country as the next malevolent hyper-trend? Let’s just call it “Metro-Politan.”
2014 has been a year of great flux in country music, with some legendary successes by independent artists and new mainstream artists, and the shuffling out of other artists and the fumbling of what once were legendary, high flying careers. Here’s a run down of the five biggest winners and losers in the greater country music world in 2014.
American Idol, Big Machine Records, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brandy Clark, Brantley Gilbert, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, Garth Brooks, IBMA, Jason Aldean, Jerrod Niemann, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Sam Hunt, Scott Borchetta, Shane McAnally, Sturgill Simpson, Taylor Swift, Zac Brown Band
Move over Jamey Johnson and Kacey Musgraves. There’s a new critical darling in country music, and he’s neither country nor worthy of critical acclaim. Yes, I’m talking about the suave-haired cocaine club EDM-fueled country music marketing colossus and Svengali of the country music public named Sam Hunt. Sam Hunt and his music have nothing to do with country…