The theme for this week’s Sunday Selections post is, “What year do you think it is?” One of the week’s few new releases has garish cover art that looks like something from the late 90s, while a host of writers made outdated and inexplicable references to “bro country” as a primary talking point in country music in 2015, which is simply wrong on merit. In the week’s more successful throwback efforts, Ashley Monroe, Chris Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves, and Tami Neilson all shared some old school cover tunes, and Netflix doubled-down on nostalgia with a promo video for an upcoming original series. Onward!
The pop music world is still buzzing over last week’s release of 1989: Not Taylor Swift’s pop-cultural juggernaut, but alt-country singer-songwriter Ryan Adams’ cover album of 1989 “in the style of The Smiths.” A quick review of the iTunes comments on Adams’ version of 1989 reveals that a not insubstantial portion of Swift’s fanbase hasn’t gotten a handle on his angle or his appeal, while the mainstream music press is agog over Adams’ guile and audacity.
I was listening in the car today to a track from the Caitlin Cary and Thad Cockrell album Begonias. It’s a winding, bittersweet epic that clocks in at over seven minutes. The title? “Conversations About a Friend (Who’s in Love with Katie).” It captures the content and mood of the song, rather than just taking a line from the chorus and making it the title. Though I can name countless pop and rock songs like that, I couldn’t think of too many country examples of this. There’s Emmylou Harris’ “Prayer in Open D”, which is as evocative a title as it is a song. Rosanne Cash’s “Blue Moon with Heartache” was actually a #1 hit despite its mysterious title, which captures the muddled, melancholy moodiness of the track. Then there’s my ring tone for a good two years, Dixie Chicks’ “Lubbock or Leave It.” Since it’s the only upbeat selection Read More