I’m not a country music hater. I swear. I love all the wholesome emotions that the music’s lyrics invoke. Most modern country is the musical equivalent of a Norman Rockwell painting made on a canvas of empty Busch Lite cans:
Sippin’ sweet tea with grandma on the front porch, packing Copenhagen lips with the boys at baseball games, and heading on down to the old dirt road to the wateringhole where you dance with Betsy Sue, the girl who wears them tight blue jeans that you’ve had a crush on since 8th grade and will later fuck under the moonlight in the backseat of your pick-up truck by the river. You’ll have to wife Betsy Sue some day ’cause you forgot to ask Jed the Bartender for a rubber that fateful night, but oh well! Your sins are forgiven because of Jesus and it’s all good because you go to church on Sunday mornings to feel all morally self-righteous about what a good lil’ mamma’s boy you are. Then it’s fried chicken for Sunday supper back at grandma’s house, maybe soft-serve for dessert down at the Dairy Queen.
Happily-ever-after in a small town!
Get the gist?
Those hackneyed, over-simplified lyrical images of small town life in America are great. Country is great. Country is America. Country music is ‘MURICA.
But it all sounds the same. Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line, Chase Rice — they all sounds so incredibly indistinguishable from each other. They have no unique characteristics to separate them from each other, which makes the country music consumer marketplace so bland and boring.
15 years ago, when I first started really enjoying listening to country, I could tell the difference between the genres radio icons like Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Toby Keith, and Kenny Chesney. But now, when I’m back in Pennsylvania visiting my parents, the music I hear on Froggy 98 is the most laughably formulaic commercial shit I’ve ever heard. Has the mouth-breathing country audience just gotten so dumb that the kingmakers in Nashville are afraid to take actual artistic risks these days? Are Wal-Mart shoppers in flyover states really that fucking primitive to not recognize how this all sounds the same?
Of course not. Give Red America credit: Behind those Big Gulps of Mt. Dew, they’re smarter than they look. Come on, Nashville. You can do better.
This video is living proof that country music in 2014 was mass-produced swill. In the meantime, I’ll just be chillin’ over here revisiting my Ryan Bingham and Waylon Jennings albums, waiting for REAL country to make a comeback.