The eight-year mark is definitely a noteworthy milestone in the transitory world of the internet. Country Universe’s longevity is both a substantial accomplishment –particularly on Kevin’s part – as well as a testament to the site’s enduring appeal.
There are few country music web sites that have been as near and dear to my heart as Country Universe, and it’s hard to sum up why. The high caliber of writing is definitely a major factor, but perhaps what drew me to this site above all else is the way that it absolutely radiates a sincere passion for music on the part of all of the writers, while creating a warm and inviting environment conducive to free and open discussion.
Each writer brings a unique set of gifts to the table – Kevin’s substantial genre knowledge and deep sincerity; Leeann’s simple straightforwardness and attention to detail; Dan’s knack for keeping things fun whenever possible, yet serious when necessary; Tara’s ability to discuss good and bad music alike with eloquence and class; Jonathan’s ability to analyze different qualities of music on a deep, insightful level; Noah’s uniquely colorful writing style; and Sam’s signature sense of humor.
Country Universe is a site that I’ve always just plain loved and been excited about, regardless of whether I had any part in writing for it. Though I still feel like a newbie in some ways, having been with the site for only one year so far, words scarcely express how genuinely privileged I feel to be a part of the Country Universe family, as well as a part of its history.
Favorite post I’ve written: Single Review: Scotty McCreery, “Water Tower Town”
I am a very repetitive writer, and I know it. I am constantly fighting the tendency to keep using the same descriptions over and over again, but at the same time I find it difficult not to do so when each new release often sounds very much like the one before it. I was determined to find a way to shake things up with my review of Scotty McCreery’s “Water Tower Town.” I found an approach through which I felt I was able to highlight the weaknesses of McCreery’s single while simultaneously poking fun at my own repetitive tendencies, and bucking that trend by doing so. At any rate, I had a lot of fun writing the review, and it’s one piece that I always look back on with fondness.
Favorite post by another writer: Single Review: Taylor Swift, “Mean” (Kevin John Coyne)
I had always enjoyed Swift’s “Mean,” mostly because of the cool arrangement. But when Kevin posted a review of the song, I fully expected it to be a single sentence takedown, particularly since Kevin was not known for being a Taylor Swift enthusiast. My jaw dropped as I read. I found myself agreeing with Kevin’s praise of the song, and the purpose the lyric served. I found “Mean” quickly becoming my favorite Taylor Swift song, as well my favorite single of 2011 (I was even privileged to write the caption for it on our Best of 2011 countdown). Though there have been many excellent writers who have extended influence over my own view of music, this was by
far the most outstanding instance in which a review caused me to gain a whole new appreciation for a song – a testament to the power of a carefully thought out, well-written review.
Country Universe Turns Eight:
- An Introduction, by Kevin John Coyne
- Leeann’s Favorites, by Leeann Ward
- Dan’s Perspective, by Dan Milliken
- Tara’s Take, by Tara Seetharam
- Ben’s Best, by Ben Foster
- Jonathan’s View, by Jonathan Keefe