It is not “Corn Star.”
Here is where the praise must end.
This is depressing. Trucks! Two-lane roads! Country girls! Swimmin’ holes! County fairs! Grits! Gravy! Soldiers! Old Glory! “Raise your hands!” “Hell Yeah!” “Amen!” “Yee haw!” “Y’all come back again!”
“The pretty waitress calls you baby” and “fellow toppin’ off your tank knows your name” are new ones, but there’s still nothing in this song that’s interesting enough to overcome the grating, repetitive checklist structure that’s been so done to death that it’s not even funny anymore. Likewise, there’s no disguising the fact that this song amounts to nothing more than blatant, obvious pandering. Tim McGraw did this with “Southern Voice.” Justin Moore did this with “Small Town USA.” Scotty McCreery is doing this with “Water Tower Town.” And just as an aside, “Where there’s more trucks than cars” is a really stupid title hook.
I do not appreciate this, Craig Morgan. In fact, I can’t help but feel that you’re insulting my intelligence to suggest that all I want to hear from you are reminders that trucks and small towns do, in fact, exist. Besides that, you’re actually a pretty talented singer, so I’m somewhat puzzled as to why you seem so satisfied to make such a flat, one-dimensional caricature out of yourself.
Country music’s current identity crisis continues. This song is a sign that it’s not going to get better anytime soon, and it hurts my heart to realize that this song actually stands a good chance of becoming a hit.
Written by Craig Morgan, Phil O’Donnell, and Craig Wiseman
Listen: More Trucks Than Cars
Craig Morgan clearly isn’t aiming at attracting fans such as myself (or most critics) with the kinds of singles he’s been releasing most of his career. I just don’t think I’m in the Craig Morgan demographic. So be it: I’m sure he has his fans and that some people enjoy his music.
Uh, don’t be so sure that this is headed for a hit. Craig Morgan’s decline from mid-level star and consistent radio presence coincides pretty closely with his selection of crappy singles in this vein. And continuing to choose them hasn’t put him back on the map yet.
Bonfire was a hit (but a lame song) and from there on out he had a minor hit with the pretty good This Aint Nothin and then totally fell off. Still A Little Chicken Left on That Bone (apparently not for Craig though) went nowhere, This Ole Boy somehow made the top 20 (but I sure never heard it anywhere), and Corn Star was apparently more embarrassing in the eyes of country radio than Truck Yeah.
That makes him 0 for his last 3. But yeah, releasing another similar song should help. Hey Craig, do you know what the definition of insanity is?
Why don’t we just sing the Ballad of Jed Clampet over and over again. It manages to encompass many of the same elements that today’s hillbillies like Jed Aldean, Jethro Morgan and Bubba Gilbert routinely sing about. And it manages to do so in a more interesting manner than this or any other redneck song.
So you know what, I want you all to…
Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
Then one day he was shootin at some food,
And up through the ground came a bubblin crude.
Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.
Well the first thing you know ol Jed’s a millionaire, Kinfolk said “Jed move away from there” said “Californy is the place you ought to be” So they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.
Hills, that is. Swimmin pools, movie stars.
Well now its time to say good by to Jed and all his kin. And they would like to thank you folks fer kindly droppin’ in. You’re all invited back a gain to this locality to have a heapin helpin of their hospitality
Hillybilly that is. Set a spell, Take your shoes off!
Y’all come back now, y’hear?.
What’s going on with Craig Morgan? It’s one bad single after another. Ugh.
I said that the song “stands a good chance” at becoming a hit, which I think it does, though it’s not a surefire hit as it would have been coming from Jason Aldean, for instance. Craig went Top 20 with “This Ole Boy,” so he hasn’t fallen off the radar just yet. This to me sounds like his plea for forgiveness for “Corn Star,” and I think it sounds like a very likely canidate for getting him back into radio’s good graces. I mean, can’t you just hear a song like this getting played endlessly on today’s country radio?
I used to really like Craig Morgan, but it’s been all downhill ever since “Little Bit of Life”. What a waste of talent.
I LOVE THIS SONG. I GIVE IT A.
I’ve given up trying to predict radio success, Ben. I’ve seen plenty of times an artist that’s had a couple top 10, or even number one hits in a row release a song that’s not radically different from what they’ve been doing and it just gets tanked. Other times artists release songs over and over again to no avail and for some reason one of the songs (usually not even the best one) strikes a chord with radio and they play it. There’s just no rhyme or reason to it. So yeah, this could be a hit. It sounds like other songs out there to be sure. If I were betting, I’d probably say it stalls out in the 30-20 range. BUT I DONT COMPREHEND THE MADNESS.
I’m with you Devin. As we wait for good songs to slowly go up the charts, one after another of guys hit #1. Now Blake just hit #1 with “over” which I think is one of his worse songs to date. But I know he’s got the world by the tail now with the hit show “The Voice”.
The two biggest travesties of recent memory are Ronnie Dunn’s Cost of Livin’ and Chris Young’s Neon. Those are fantastic songs that got/have gotten NO love at all. Such a shame.
Another song about trucks again. When is it going to end? I wouldn’t be surprised if there is going to be a new category at the CMA Awards this year — Truck Song of the Year.
“The two biggest travesties of recent memory are Ronnie Dunn’s Cost of Livin’ and Chris Young’s Neon. Those are fantastic songs that got/have gotten NO love at all. Such a shame.”
…fair enough, it’s a tad more superficial than “sunday morning coming down”, but the song describes a rural america that i quite often found like that on my trips through the us.
of course, one usually didn’t get “the full monty” like in these three minutes or so and grits still ain’t my favourite breakfast supplement, but “y’all come back again” just sounds jolly friendly in a sort of orally shoulder slapping way. in the british midlands the cashier used to calll you “luv” when settling the check.
if nothing else, it makes a good soundtrack to go with the dixie-holiday pixels on your facebook page. sounds like a minor hit to me, actually.
The thing that bugs me about country songs like this today is that there simply isn’t any reality to them, just merely what Ben says in his original review, a lot of pandering by use of the usual tropes in song lyrics. That an audience accepts this so uncritically, but knowing deep inside that they’re being had and insulted, however, is the real tragedy of it all (IMHO).
Yes Yes Yes!
Yes Yes Yes! I totally agreed on what Devin has said “The two biggest travesties of recent memory are Ronnie Dunn’s Cost of Livin’ and Chris Young’s Neon. Those are fantastic songs that got/have gotten NO love at all. Such a shame.”.
Since Ronnie Dunn Cost of Livin is over already. I shall now talk about Chris Young Neon song! It seriously got to be one of the best modern country songs I’ve heard in radio in a while. Can’t believe a few weeks ago it started to stale at the 24-25 place and now it has started to lose spins. Srsly how can country radio lose such a great awesome song! the thing is there’s still some time to save this song. So I demand everyone to go spam your local radio station to play this song!!
I don’t think he’s even trying anymore.
I enjoyed this song…right up until the part about praying for our “boys”. My wife is in the US Army, so maybe pray for both genders would be more suitable.