Pat Green, “Country Star”

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February 16, 2009

pat-greenWhat can I say? Pat Green’s “Country Star” is gimmicky, bland and altogether misses the mark. It shamelessly namechecks artists such as Faith Hill, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Big & Rich, Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and alludes to a Toby Keith song with not even so much as a gesture toward originality. Along with its vapid lyrics, the production is unbearably stale.

The progressive decay of Pat Green’s once quality and fresh-sounding material is overtly purposeful, so it is impossible to feel sorry for him. It, nevertheless, is depressing to witness all the same.

To completely sell out, as Green has no doubt done, is a sad price to pay, all for the sake of being a “country star.”

Grade: D

Listen: “Country Star”


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  1. TrailerNo Gravatar says:

    Wow, I kid you not, I was listening to the original version of “Carry On” and thinking the same thing when I checked my Google reader and saw this review. This guy’s as big a sellout as ever there was.

  2. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar says:

    Wow, awesome review. I seem to be in a minority of people who think that Pat Green still put out some decent music even after he started baiting the mainstream (“Wave on Wave,” “Sweet Revenge,” “Dixie Lullaby”), but the overall quality did diminish, and everything about this single and album says he’s completely given up on his old muse. Kinda like Lindsay Lohan’s character in Mean Girls. But I think this is going to be a real hit – pity.

  3. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    I actually think his decline has been slowly progressive, with this album being his final demise. I liked his Three Days album and don’t mind the songs that you mention, but the stuff from this album, including this song,employs every element of the worst Nashville slick country music that overruns radio today.

  4. Matt B.No Gravatar says:

    I actually think that the whole point of this song is that it’s a tongue-in-cheek silly song about the state of the genre. It’s true that Pat’s music has changed but some would argue that he’s not selling out anymore than he already did or perhaps the song is even poking fun at himself.

  5. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with your progressive decline remark, Leeann. Maybe I didn’t phrase my opinion well in the original comment. I sort of feel like every studio album since Three Days has had fewer good songs than the last, but they’ve all still had some good songs, so I’ve held onto hope. But What I’m For is the first time I’ve heard nothing at all I really, really like. So I agree that it’s like his final demise in some sense.

    I agree with Matt insomuch as I think it’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, but the problem is that he himself seems to be embracing the things he’s supposedly satirizing in the song. Like, he’s making fun of Nashville, but his new album sounds so Nashville that it’s like, dude, who are you kidding? I could definitely buy into the “he’s making fun of himself” angle, but if that were the angle, I wish he’d spell it out a little more. I don’t think most of the audience that hears this is going to understand what he’s really trying to say.

    I will say this, though: his voice still sounds great. He delivers this really well.

  6. Chris D.No Gravatar says:

    I thought you were kidding when I read who this song namechecks, but you weren’t! I think this song is immature and sad- worse than almost every other song on the radio, and that’s saying something. I could see it as namechecking dead artists in this song, but making it all current artists is just pandering in every way.

  7. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Matt,

    I would buy the ironic satire argument if it was even just this song that followed the sound that he’s supposedly poking fun at, but it’s the entire album that does it. So, it’s not funny anymore. It crosses the line from satire to hypocrsy. It’s just sad for Green’s artistic integrity and his fans alike.

    Chris,
    I normally wouldn’t list every person that is name checked in a song, but the list was so long and ridiculous that I couldn’t resist. It looks crazy on paper, doesn’t it?

    Dan,

    Your description of his decline is exactly how I’d describe it too. I took advantage of the deal last summer where he was selling his first five albums for $25.00 and those albums were really good (with the exception of the collaborative album with Cory Morrow), and those albums were all before Three Days, which, once again, I really liked. So, I’m disappointed that the last couple of albums have gotten a little worse and a little worse with What I’m For hitting the bottom.

  8. William WardNo Gravatar says:

    I’m not one to say that you can’t change what you are putting out there, even if I don’t like the change, but to so obviously change for radio and the radio audience (sorry for sounding mean, radio audience) in such “overtly purposeful” almost always just ends up sounding like someone using a formula. It can be different for someone who is a pop artist from the start–there is quality pop music out there even if it is not my tatse–but when you just switch you loose something.

    Speaking of “overtly purposeful,” take a look at his Myspace photos from before this album, and the photos made for this album. It is interesting how the look of them changes–they are increasingly slick yet increasingly generic–obviously taylored to go with the new music.

  9. [...] The progressive decay of Pat Green’s once quality and fresh-sounding material is overtly purposeful, so it is impossible to feel sorry for him. – Country Universe [...]

  10. Proud TexanNo Gravatar says:

    it was a sad day when i listend to pats new cd “what im for” i saw that “carry on” was on it so i listened to it and found it disturbing. If you listen to it you will see that instead of saying “wont you come down to TEXAS and drink with me for awhile, it says “wont you come to MY PLACE and drink with me awhile. It totally cut out the part about going to El Aroyyo and eating tacos and drinking beer. What a sell out.

  11. frogNo Gravatar says:

    Yep I had to put on some Ray Wylie Hubbard quickly after hearing this album. I needed a cleanse.

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