No Picture

Forgotten Hits: Clint Black, “Burn One Down”

February 11, 2010 Kevin John Coyne 17

Burn One Down
Clint Black
Peak: #4
Written by Clint Black, Frankie Miller, and Hayden Nicholas

One of Clint Black’s greatest singles didn’t quite make it into golden oldie rotation, sandwiched as it was between two bigger hits from his third album The Hard Way, the #2 kick-off “We Tell Ourselves” and the #1 hit “When My Ship Comes In.” Both of those singles fit the climate of 1992 radio perfectly, as the format was beginning to be a bit more aggressive in its incorporation of pop and rock flavor into the new traditionalist sound.

There’s nothing new traditionalist about “Burn One Down.” This baby is old traditionalist, something that could have been released as is during the heyday of Haggard and not sounded out of place, the digital clarity being the only clear indication that this came out in the CD era. It’s very rare to hear anything like this today that isn’t either a self-conscious or ironic throwback.

No Picture

Single Review: Tim McGraw, “Still”

February 7, 2010 Kevin John Coyne 9

Wynonna once sang about driving down an old road that “can take you back to the place but it can’t take you back in time.” The road she longed for doesn’t exist in physical reality, but as Tim McGraw observes in his new single “Still”, they do exist in your mind, provided you allow yourself the quiet and stillness needed to travel down them.

This is the part of the review where I should continue waxing philosophical and pretending there is a professional distance between myself and this song, that the “A” grade that follows is based on a purely objective and thoughtful analysis of the record’s components and how they come together. That would be a lie.

The truth is that my memories are my only tangible connection to most of the significant people and places in my life, and while the details may differ from what McGraw describes in this song, the process of reconnection is the same. I just need to be still, to allow the quiet and alone that are needed to go back in time again.

No Picture

The Success of Taylor Swift is Not a Moral Issue

February 4, 2010 Kevin John Coyne 103

I slept through the Grammys this year. I’m not being figurative here. I was literally asleep before the show began, and I read about the telecast winners the next morning.

In the days since, there has been a lot of chatter, including some at Country Universe, regarding both her wins and her performance on the show. Reading through the comments for the first time yesterday, I was struck by how passionate both sides are when debating Swift’s worthiness to be a Grammy winner, standard bearer for country music, or even a recording artist at all.

I’d like to suggest that there is no moral dilemma being created by the success of Taylor Swift. Country music has been around for a long time before she came along, and it will remain long after she’s gone, whether that’s a year from now or fifty years from now.

I say this as someone who is remarkably indifferent to Swift, even though I tend to agree with the major criticisms of her. Can she sing? Dear God, no. At least not on a live microphone. I’m sure that pairing her with Stevie Nicks was the travesty that it’s being described as.

But it’s not like country music hasn’t been embarrassed before. Anyone who witnessed John Michael Montgomery’s atrocious butchering of “I Swear” on the Grammys or saw the Cyrus Virus at its mullet and exposed armpit peak can attest to that. Country music will survive.

1 2