My God, why hast thou forsaken country music?
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I remember stories from my vacation Bible School days of the wrath of God taking the form of floods, pestilence, famine, and fire and brimstone. But I guess I missed the part about the unleashing of such audio frightfulness that mankind would pray for nothing less than the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to come galloping through a fiery crag in the sky to shepherd in the absolute and complete annihilation of all existence as opposed to being subjected one more second on this mortal coil in audience with such abominable and merciless audio torture.
That was my experience of listening to Thomas Rhett’s “Vacation.”
Seriously, fuck this song. And while we’re on the subject of supernatural beliefs of the Western World, I swear if any, ANY of you bastards tell me this Thomas Rhett audio abortion is “evolution,” then I, The Triggerman from savingcountrymusic.com, will personally come to every one of your houses in a single night like Santa Claus, and take a dump on your bedroom pillows. I’m serious. I don’t want to hear any noise about “Well Thomas Rhett has always had other influences besides country.” Take that weak shit back to the comments section on YouTube.
Thomas Rhett’s “Vacation” had fourteen songwriters. FOURTEEN OF THEM! Which about equals the I.Q. points required to enjoy this aggressively simplistic scacharrine-laced dumpster fire of a regurgitated mashup, or the I.Q. measurement one will attain if you listen to this “song” on repeat.
What is “Vacation?” It’s the taking of two separate compositions: War’s “Low Rider,” and Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle,” smashing them together like your 4-year-old would two pats of Play-Doh, having Thomas Rhett white-boy rap imbecilic lyrics over it through an Auto-Tuner for a few minutes, and then spitting out the result on some douchebag producer’s Mac. Viola, you have yourself a bona fide country mega hit in 2015! Then they all jump on a private jet to go shoot the video on Hawaii.
“Vacation” is cultural appropriation of the highest order, and in so many layers. Of course Rhett has to renege on certain essential consonants and vowels in his Ebonic-inspired mush-mouth hip-hop speak. “Let’s party like ‘WE’ on vacation” instead of “we’re” is the type of language this song employs, and it appears someone needs to school Mr. Rhett how the laws of physics preclude anyone from having their toes “up in” sand. Rhett sings about his alma mater, but it sounds like he could benefit from Jethro Bodine’s 6th grade education. Fourteen songwriters yet this song couldn’t construct a proper sentence to save its shallow, pandering ass.
Now look, when it comes to the video for “Vacation,” I don’t want to go back to Regan-era hyper-sensitive protocols on public decency standards, but I take some pretty serious exceptions with the use of what appear to be age 9 to maybe 14-year-old bikini-clad girls dancing around singing about drinking beer. It’s pretty much standard operating procedure in country videos these days to include bikini girls of some sort no matter the context or occasion, but what the hell? Who cast this video, Jared Fogle?
Yeah, I know the kids are supposed to be fun and cute, but when they’re dancing around in bikinis, cupping their hands and holding them up to their mouths like “cold ones,” it creeps a little to close to something that gives me the heebie-jeebies. I was trying to capture screenshot examples of these prepubescent girls enjoying “cold ones,” and in some of the shots, it appeared about the only thing separating me from getting placed on my local sex offender list was about a 1/2 inch of lycra. And of course these young girls are dancing all palms down like they’re trying to be hood rats, and one of the girls appears to even be throwing gang signs. Someone should call up those uptight pricks at the Parents Television Council and sick them on Thomas Rhett too. The more people dog piling his ass the better.
But what the hell is going on here? When you combine this video with Luke Bryan hanging out with brace-faced girls on the beach and releasing his videos exclusively to Tinder so 14-year-olds will go download the app, there seems to be a concerted effort to recruit very young girls into this seedy, oversexed, and booze-filled “evolved country” fold. Why? Because age 9 to 14-year-old girls and their ditsy moms are about the only ones with artistic palettes under-developed enough to be susceptible to liking this fluffy, nutrition-less crap. Rhett even self-labels the “Vacation” video “Instant Grat.” These young girls are the target demo for Thomas Rhett’s beer party song, so why not include them directly in your marketing? Joe Camel and Spuds MacKensie, eat your everloving hearts out.
Look, if Thomas Rhett wants to take two perfectly fine songs and fuck them up on the way to becoming the rich asshole he’s always wanted to be, then that’s his prerogative. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit on my hands and watch while he smears the name of my beloved genre of country music in the pursuit of maximum profit. I’d love to see Thomas Rhett try to take this garbage to the pop world where it belongs and watch his ass get handed to him just like Sam Hunt did, or be a fly on the wall next time Rhett has a “Beer With Jesus” after releasing this monstrosity and witness the son of God tongue lash his pathetic ass. No matter what genre you slot it under, “Vacation” is bullshit. And Thomas Rhett, and anyone else responsible for the writing, production, dissemination, distribution, or promotion of this noise pollution should be held in solemn judgement for their sins against country music and public decency in general.
…except for those cool old dudes in the band War named in the songwriting credits. Hopefully they at least get a good payday out of this mess.