This year’s CMA nominees are the best in years, with multiple nominations for Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, and Brandy Clark. Country radio may still be shunning women, but their embrace by CMA voters suggests that the industry knows who is really leading the way in the genre these days.
Entertainer of the Year
Who’s In: Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban
Who’s Out: Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift
George Strait, a surprise winner last year, is nominated again in a year that includes his record-shattering final concert. Miranda Lambert’s domination of this year’s nominations extends to the big category, where she competes for the first time since 2010.
One hallmark of a great singer is the ability to suspend the listener’s disbelief.
The storyline of “Cop Car” is very far-fetched, one of those Nashville compositions that takes fantastical lengths to try and tell the story of a young couple falling in love. In this case, they’re doing so right after being arrested for trespassing, while in handcuffs in the back seat of a police car.
Keith Urban’s heartfelt delivery and careful choice of what lines to emphasize keep the proceedings grounded. He’s so effective at capturing the feeling of falling in love that the specifics of the event surrounding the moment are appropriately secondary to the emotions at play.
I don’t believe the story, but I believe him.
Written by Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, and Matt Jenkins