Nashville Scene Critics’ Poll Features Outstanding Commentary By Local Writer

The results are in for the Tenth Annual Nashville Scene Country Music Critics’ Poll. This year’s survey was created with the input of 77 nationally recognized country music critics, but there’s one that I’m sure you’ll agree is tremendously cooler and more insightful than the rest – our very own Dan Milliken.  Here’s just a sampling of his commentary, more of which can be read here:

One of the fascinating patterns of mainstream country in 2009 was that, as the sound moved further and further away from country music as we traditionally know it, the lyrics tried and harder and harder to pick up the slack. Seemingly every other song shipped to radio these days is about the singer’s inherent “country-ness,” either explicitly (“She’s Country,” “That’s How Country Boys Roll,” “I’m a Little More Country Than That”) or implicitly (“Small Town U.S.A.,” “Bonfire,” “Backwoods,” “Whistlin’ Dixie”). There’s a palpable self-consciousness to the trend, as though songwriters, labels and artists know they’re stamping out a large part of the genre’s core identity, but really, really hope you won’t notice.

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: We’re proud of you, Dan. Great work!


  1. This is too nice, y’all. It was just two comments! Not that I won’t take the free congrats. :) Very much appreciated.

    I know it might sound forced or something to say, but I really do learn by example on most things, so I want to acknowledge that. I was inspired to try and write comments in the first place by those who have done so in years past, particularly Jonathan Keefe, Chris Neal, Frank Kogan and Barry Mazor, all of whom show up again this year. They’ve been saying smart stuff about music since back when I was an eighth grader whining on LiveJournal – probably longer, for most of them. I feel indebted to them and others for getting me off my butt in some small way, so there’s my own “Bravo.”

  2. i particularily enjoy the way you use the element of surprise in your contributions – mostly very entertaining stuff, dan – congratulations.

  3. Terrific comments, Dan. This was only my second year to participate in the Nashville Scene poll, but I’ll say you’ve definitely shown up the “veterans” with your sharp observations and to-the-point writing. Standout work, really.

    I rather naively chose not to vote for the Ashley Monroe album, assuming most everyone else would classify it as being from 2006, but I especially liked your description of that record’s place in the contemporary country landscape.

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