Just like Lady Antebellum, Sugarland should have been relegated to the graveyard of failed country music franchises, if for no other reason than the respective members were actually much better in their off season solo projects than the sum of their parts ever were together. But in an industry that is empty of new ideas and interested in squeezing money from whatever crevice possible, no franchise is off the table for resurrection.
We’re supposed to be avoiding discussion of Taylor Swift in country music. That wasn’t just the hope of traditional country fans who were glad to see her finally come out a few years ago and say that she wanted to be considered pop and pop only henceforth. That was the wish of Taylor Swift herself and the entire point of her “I’ve gone pop” declaration.
Carrie Underwood co-produced her entire new record out in September. This takes Carrie Underwood—a top tier country performer—into virtually uncharted territory in the mainstream, at least in the near term. This move by Carrie Underwood is incredibly audacious for country, mainstream or otherwise, from a man or a woman.
It should be a very interesting next few months as “New Year’s Day” will now be one of the most-watched and talked-about singles on country radio in some time, with ramifications that could go far beyond the appeal or success of “New Year’s Day” itself, and help set the rules of engagement in country radio for years to come.
Taylor Swift is coming back to country, or at least to country radio. Officially announced on Thursday (11-16), her song “New Years Day,” which is the final track from her sixth studio album Reputation, is being serviced to country radio by her label Big Machine, hoping to rekindle Swift’s history and success with the format.
You can love Garth Brooks, and still be against him lip syncing at the CMA Awards. You can hate Miranda Lambert, and still agree with her that lip syncing is “bullshit.” You can also appreciate that Garth Brooks immediately fessed up to lip syncing at the 2017 CMA Awards. But what we can’t do is somehow make lip syncing socially acceptable.
Jason Isbell is not country. He is decidedly Americana. But Jason Isbell deserves his nomination for Album of the Year by the CMAs just as much as anyone has ever deserved that distinction. When songwriting is as good as Jason Isbell’s, it transcends genre. Every genre wants to call it their own.
There will be one point of interest for some country fans at the 2017 VMA Awards on MTV. One of those “authentic, hardscrabble, Texas country” guys from the new band Midland will be up for no less than four VMA awards during the 2017 presentation. How, you say?
This article has been updated. You’ve got to hand it to her. Taylor Swift is a mad genius when it comes to marketing, and the timing of when and how to release new music. Please don’t take that as criticism, or a backhanded compliment. It’s her cunning, and her ability to get the planets to […]
Those who’ve been waiting impatiently for a new Taylor Swift single finally have their wish. It just happens to be coming from Kelsea Ballerini. Many have considered Kelsea as the most obvious choice to replace Swift in country music since similarly to Taylor, there’s really nothing country about Kelsea.
And now for something entirely unexpected, but in a strange and sad way somewhat plausible and curiously intuitive, John Mayer and his label Sony have made a full on play to court country radio with his song “In The Blood” from his recently-released record, ‘The Search For Everything.’
So Sam Hunt’s latest single “Body Like A Backroad” is really taking off, and could be a major crossover success in pop? Well superb, I say. Then make like Taylor Swift and get the hell out of country Sam Hunt, you carpetbagging, interloping, country music misnomer, that’s making millions off of gullible country music fans.
There continues to be smoke about how Taylor Swift’s new project will potentially have a few country, or country-oriented tunes on it. That doesn’t mean she’ll make a full-on country album, release singles to country radio, or will even call the material country herself. But it could have big ramifications for the genre.
“When there is music, nobody thinks of fighting. That’s why I came to the United States—not only to study country music in its homeland, but also to travel to the country which had been introduced to me by the media in Iran as ‘the enemy’ and ‘the great Satan’ and see the people, talk to them, and learn about their culture through them.”
For those who profess that it takes an army of songwriters, producers, programmers, and samples to make a hit record, let’s hold up George Michael’s ‘Faith’ as a prime example of why that mentality is folly, and the downfall of modern American anticlimactic pop music.
“Better Man” is interesting for many reasons. Unfortunately, most of those reasons have little to do with the music itself. But this track is far from the worst transgressions on country radio, and it is refreshing to hear song that’s not all rosy targeted to the mainstream set. It will perform well as a cozy winter single tiding over Taylor Swift fans.
So are we all supposed to be hating on Taylor Swift again? Is that what the summer of 2016 protocol calls for? Because God forbid that I’m out of fashion here. I mean when I was railing on Taylor Swift for saddling up with Max Martin on 1989 to manufacture derivative pop songs, I was chastised at large because didn’t I know that she stood up to Spotify and Apple?
But even with Ballerini’s success, women are still very much fighting an uphill battle. Yet when asked recently by FOX about the issue of women on country radio, Ballerini didn’t show leadership for her fellow females, she trivialized the issue.
The strange saga of what was once one of country music’s most promising trios and family bands continues. After parting ways with Nashville-based record label Big Machine in early March after the colossal failure of their latest single “Live Forever,” it has been announced that The Band Perry has signed with Interscope Records and is going full pop.
At this point, we shouldn’t even be listening to “Brace For Impact” in my opinion. Even more so than with most artists, Sturgill Simpson’s music is meant to be taken as a cohesive expression, with each song leading into the next on a purposeful timeline. All you have to do is listen to “Brace For Impact” and how it’s abruptly cut off at the end to understand this.
Yes, it’s very easy, and very popular and seductive to rally behind Kesha in this matter. The press and popular culture love to hate stories about women being kept down or even abused by overbearing men and the companies they run or hide behind. Kesha doesn’t have a particularly compelling reason to lie, though the way major label contracts are constructed, who wouldn’t want out of one . . .
The media loves a good feud story, but Taylor Swift’s speech wasn’t just meant for one person. Kanye West may have been the inspiration for Swift’s speech, but it wasn’t the target. The target was young women all across the world who are forced or coerced to having all their accomplishments measured by the men who also happened to be involved.
Though this is not necessarily reflected in the performances, the general consensus is the Grammy Awards this year could be a big night for country music. With Chris Stapleton up for Album of the Year, Little Big Town up for Song of the Year, and other high-profile and important nominations, this is one of the few years country music could come out on top.
Vince Gill is the perfect model of how a country artist should age. Forget trying to run with the young crowd, or continuing to try and tap into whatever made you famous in the past. An artist like Vince Gill has accrued all the personal wealth he and his family will ever need. He’s as decorated with awards as any living country music artist, including a Hall of Fame induction.