January 13, 2010
When did being able to sing reasonably well cease to be a requirement for country music?
Nashville mythology claims it all comes down to the song, but the singer and the production have always been just as important components in great country records. Generally speaking, country singers have always been able to…sing. Even the ones that weren’t distinctive or sounded like the latest George Strait clone were able to carry a tune.
With all due respect to Lady Antebellum, I’m tired of this nonsense. This song isn’t sung well, and it’s certainly not interesting enough to warrant suffering through the painful mediocrity of the lead vocal. As for the harmonies? Give them all the Vocal Group trophies you want – heck, Rascal Flatts has five of them – it doesn’t change the fact that there’s no discernible difference between this band and a faceless group of backup singers helping a solo artist out in the chorus. The metaphor that the entire song is built around is applied to so many different things as to render it meaningless.
Then again, if you think that you’ve grown up good and slow like American honey, steady as a preacher and free as a weed, then you don’t need my help selecting the music that’s right for you. We have very different tastes.
For me, I’m simply worn out by all of this filler music, and I have no interest in elevating it to a higher standard because the music surrounding it is of equal or lesser value. We’re going to need much stronger standard bearers than this among the new generation if we’re going to get through this decade.
Listen: American Honey