Written by busbee and Maren Morris
I’ve never been a country music purist. Much of the music I’ve enjoyed the most in my quarter century of listening to the genre has borrowed liberally from pop, rock, and soul. Just about all of my favorite artists have struck a balance between traditional and crossover elements, even if they’re primarily identified as being one or the other.
But the latest Maren Morris single is completely untethered from country music. There isn’t a single element that remotely resembles anything associated with country music. “80s Mercedes” is the unholy love child of Lana Del Rey’s “American” and Rebecca Black’s “Friday.”
It lacks the substance of Del Rey’s record and the personality of Black’s. It’s an entirely superficial exercise in nostalgia through pop culture references, and it is completely sterile and lifeless.
“80s Mercedes” represents a hijacking of country music, and with a record this bad, it’s a suicide mission.
I do love the hook, but that’s about it. There’s nothing about this song that I can latch onto even from a pop perspective. Morris doesn’t even try to be country here, mentioning things like Ray Bans that owe more to urban pop than the likes of Faith Hill, Martina McBride or Trisha Yearwood.
She’s channeling Sheryl Crow, but without any of the flavor and personality that drove her biggest hits. I really, really wanted to like this, but I just…can’t. ’80s Mercades’ is just there, doing absolutely nothing for me. I haven’t listened to HERO yet so I can only hope she’s got something a lot stronger up her sleeve.
The ray bans reference made me wince!
A few days ago when talking about Kelsea Ballerini, I made a comment about Maren Morris and kind of how disappointed I was with that album. It was an album that at the time recieved high praise and I decided to buy it because of said praise and because I was a fan of My Church. While it’s a decent album, it’s not a country album. It’s fallen in to that same criticism I have with a lot of the albums that’s come out lately, namely Little Big Town, Zac Brown, Band Perry, and now this one. These artists are selling their generic pop sound as country when it sounds anything but.
This album, and this song should not be on Country radio, but maybe that’s saying they were not very talented to make it to pop and Country for whatever reason is more accepting to low level pop artists. That’s kind of what I see Morris, unfortunately. You listen to the album and wonder what the difference is between this song and any other song she has. It all sounds generic and boring. I want to like her because I do think My Church was a great song, but after listening to her other offerings, she’ll be forgotten in about 3 years, just like The Band Perry and maybe Zac Brown.
I’ll admit that I love the melody and like the hook on this song, and I think Morris is a superior singer to many of the other women who have been angling for a commercial breakthrough. “80s Mercedes” obviously isn’t country in any identifiable way– certainly not the production, but not in its lyrical content or construction, either. Were this one scoring airplay at Adult Top 40, I wouldn’t bat an eye.
When I reviewed “My Church,” I compared it favorably to Sheryl Crow’s classic self-titled album and its follow-up, The Globe Sessions. This song falls well short of those comparisons. Morris’ album, Hero, was fine enough– there’s far more personality in her songwriting and singing than are on display in this single– but it’s more in-line with Crow’s Tuesday Night Music Club. Which is to say that I think Morris has worlds of potential that she hasn’t yet fully tapped into.
Don’t like the song or Morris as a singer.
I bought Hero hoping the good reviews were true. They weren’t and I was very disappointed. But then I saw her cover Delta Dawn on an awards show and she was a revelation. I hope she goes a whole lot more country on her sophomore effort.
I agree with Jonathan regarding this song and Morris as a singer.
I also agree with Jonathan regarding this song and the singer. Since I’m not much interested in modern A/C, I will list to all tracks before deciding whether or not to buy her next album
Man, I want to like her (I Wish I Was and I Just & I Could Use A Love Songs were the only songs I liked from her album), I just can’t. There just seems something about her.