Tag Archives: shit disguised as country

Single Review: Thomas Rhett Brings Music to an All-Time Low With “Vacation”

Rating: 0/10

Much like Luke Bryan’s atrocious “Strip it Down,” I had planned to wait until Thomas Rhett’s album release to pass judgment on this song. But much like “Strip it Down,” a couple of sentences on an album review isn’t going to do this little work of art justice. Fourteen songwriters are given credit for this work of brilliance because it is so similar to “Low Rider” that the original writers had to be cited. Yes, my friends, that’s what country is today–the taking of previously good pop, r&b, and/or hip-hop songs and making them into your own brutal mess that wouldn’t pass for good music in any genre except country. But why spend any time crafting any original thoughts when country radio will play anything? No, it’s better to take another decent song and add your own shit. Then you only have to do half the work, and the teenage fangirls will buy it. If you were Thomas Rhett, and this is all you had to do to make money, doesn’t it seem reasonable that you would do it too?

And speaking of the fangirls, I am told by Trigger and the good commenters of
Saving Country Music that the video is full of preteen girls dancing around in bikinis singing about drinking beer. This is something I can’t verify, as I am blind and can’t judge the video, but I have no reason to doubt them, and this fact is possibly even more disturbing than Luke Bryan releasing his “Strip it Down” video to Tinder. Can country get any more embarrassing and sleazy?…no, Chase Rice, don’t answer that in your next video. Again, I’ll quote Maddie & Tae–“We used to get a little respect, now we’re lucky if we even get to climb up in your truck [to dance around in your video], keep our mouth shut, and ride along, [and sing along], and be the girl in a country song.” Let me speak as a woman to other women here…do you see this as respectful, and is this how you want your daughters to see themselves? Do you want your daughters or future daughters to view this as normal behavior for, and treatment of, women and young girls? Things like this have gotten so normal in our culture that they are too often ignored, but Maddie & Tae are right, and it sickens me to see women, especially mothers, being okay with this sort of thing.

The actual song that these fourteen have concocted is some sort of party song where the premise is “let’s party like we on vacation.” Fourteen songwriters, and no one thought to mention that in country, “we” = “we’re.” The rest of the lyrics aren’t any better, and it is a waste of my time to quote any…feel free to listen to them yourself. Keep in mind, it took fourteen songwriters to come up with them, so I can only imagine the country gold we’d get if one of them had to manage alone. The instrumentation is, to keep this short, a headache-inducing blend of anything but country. It doesn’t have a token banjo to pretend. It’s blatantly flipping off the entire genre. In an earlier review, I said that in 2015, you can call anything short of straight rap country, and that’s probably coming. Well, here it is. Now, we’ve had rap in country before, most notably from Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem,” which made the whole thing somehow acceptable for the first time. But again, there were token country instruments thrown in. This is a song where, if I turned on the radio, I wouldn’t even be able to mistake it for maybe, possibly being a country station. This is country losing its entire identity.

All this makes it arguably worse than “B.Y.H.B,” which I reviewed on July 14th as
the worst song I’d ever heard, from any genre Well, congratulations Thomas Rhett, you’ve topped this piece of shit in less than two months, because your masterpiece will actually get played on country radio. Why? Because Thomas Rhett released it, so it must be good. This is why the mindless fans of “music” like this are worse offenders than the artists. Artists make this shit because, as I mentioned above, this sells. This says Thomas Rhett and his team are good businesspeople, sellouts, not country, don’t care about music, etc. This says that our culture is actually so gullible and lazy that the majority of people will not only stream and purchase this song, they will consider it good country music. Right now, I have much more respect for pop and r&b fans than the fans of mainstream country radio, because this trash would have been laughed out of any other genre (evidence = Sam Hunt.) But apparently the “evolution” of country music means that terrible pop/r&b/hip-hop music now = good country….nice. This is a train wreck in any genre and a blatant mockery of the genre that Thomas Rhett professes.

Random Thoughts of the Week: What Happened to the Class in Country?

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard Luke Bryan’s chosen “defense” for his brand of “country,” as told in an interview Thursday. But in case you haven’t, here’s the now infamous quote, given in an interview with Hits Daily Double:

Well, yeah. I think that people who want Merle, Willie and Waylon just need to buy Merle, Willie and Waylon. I’ve never been a ‘Those were the good old days’ kind of guy. I’m not big on looking back on the past. I’m not an outlaw country singer. I don’t do cocaine and run around. So I’m not going to sing outlaw country. I like to hunt, fish, ride around on my farm, build a big bonfire and drink some beers—and that’s what I sing about. It’s what I know. I don’t know about laying in the gutter, strung out on drugs. I don’t really want to do that.

Then, after the backlash from a significant portion of the country community, Luke took to Twitter to respond (in other words, his manager told him, “Hey, everyone thinks you’re a douchebag, and your public image is in jeopardy.”) Here’s his response

I’ve been thinking about this all day, every now and then I feel I need to defend myself in this business. I did a great interview with many topics discussed. It’s so frustrating that something negative has spun out of the story. I would never speak against any artist. It’s not my style. I consider Willie, Waylon and Merle musical heroes. I was trying to state what I was about and where I come from with my music. It’s simple as that.

Now, before I pick apart this ridiculously fake “response,” let me first say that “outlaw country” refers to taking creative control of one’s music. I am not going to spend a lot of time covering this; a lot of other blogs have done a great job with this. I will simply say that Luke isn’t an outlaw country singer because he sings whatever the labels throw at him. He sings shit like “Kick the Dust UP” and “That’s my Kind of Night” to make money. He has no original thoughts of his own, and even if he did, his desire for money has overshadowed them. Outlaw country spawned the Texas/red dirt country movement, and that’s where you will find today’s outlaws; they are people like Wade Bowen and Randy Rogers who sing about having “standards” as opposed to making “hits” and are relegated to the Texas Music Chart and Texas and Oklahoma stations willing to play their music.

But let’s pretend “outlaw country” did mean “laying in the gutter, strung out on drugs.”
Saving Country Music has a great article documenting Willie, Merle, and Waylon’s own words about their experiences with cocaine, and I have copied the link here. To summarize, Willie fired anyone in the band caught with cocaine, Merle tried it once and would never do it again, and Waylon was a long-time addict who finally quit and overcame his addiction. So now we can add “uneducated idiot” to Luke’s first crime of “classless douchebag.”

But let’s pretend further that they did, in fact, “do cocaine” and “run around.” This boils down to Luke’s lack of disrespect for legends of the genre that allowed him to become successful. Country music is (or used to be) about class. Here’s what Toby Keith had to say about Willie Nelson after the success of their duet “Beer for my Horses:”

When you see somebody that still has the love and passion that he’s got, you don’t understand why they can’t have a [No. 1] shot like these young guys and girls…but I’ve told him time and time again that I’m glad to be the guy that got to take that ride with him

And here’s Kenny Chesney, atWaylon’s passing: “I learned a lot from him, for not even meeting him. He had his niche. He had his style. He blazed his own trail. He didn’t care what anybody thought about it. That was a true artist.” (Also, apparently Kenny knows what “outlaw” means.)
And finally, just last year, country artists voted Merle Haggard the first-ever
Artist of a Lifetime and numerous artists spoke about his career and influence. And now Luke, who says, “I would never speak against any artist” has chosen to do just that–instead of defending his douche “country,” he has chosen to misuse the term “outlaw” and drag the names of legends through the dirt for his own gain. So it wasn’t enough to destroy country radio with the shit you call music, Luke, but now you are seeking to destroy the last shreds of class and knowledge left to country music with your ignorance and disrespect…nice.

Waylon’s daughter-in-law, Kathy Pinkerman Jennings, has spoken out against Luke in a Facebook post and YouTube video. I will close this post with her thoughts, as I couldn’t have said it better myself

To Luke Bryan:

I hope your family members are proud of you for using your WORLDWIDE platform to take the time to disrespect my Father in Law. You have managed to PROVE to the world your true self.

Albeit that Waylon’s drug use is well documented and something he overcame, I assure you, he was never “laying in a gutter.” At the peak of his career and drug abuse, he was making history and setting records. He, single handedly paved the way for you and everyone else to make music the way the artist wanted to make it. I’m not willing to waste my time to debate your “music” and / or the fact you have zillions of fans – I will however, not sit back and be quiet when you have so blatantly disrespected Waylon.

I recall the time I was at the Grand Ole Opry to visit with Andy Griggs, you were making your debut appearance. My friend that was with us had just seen your video. As we stood at the side of the stage, Jeannie Seeley [Seely] was talking to us and you walked over to introduce your self to her and told her how much you admired her, she in turn introduced you to myself and my husband. I almost got a cavity because of the sweetness of the words coming out of your mouth – you told us Waylon was one of your musical heroes. You went on and on and on.

This is not about music, Outlaw Country, whatever – it’s about DISRESPECT.

You are a platinum, disrespecting, no singing, whining, grasping for media attention, asshole. Use your platform for something good, instead of bashing the LEGENDS that came before you.

Tomato of the Week: Sunny Sweeney

As she just had two singles hit No. 1 on the previously mentioned Texas Music Chart, I thought it appropriate to feature her this week. Check out her full article on Female Friday!

Random Country Suggestions

This week I am including two country suggestions, because they both seem appropriate. There will be no non-country suggestion.