More (Late) Music Thoughts: Time Changes Everything…

I really should read Jack Sparks more than I do…
Via Scott Chaffin, The Fat Guy, comes this, the Sparkster’s running commentary on the latest CMA Awards show. As with all his other running commentaries on the awards in years before, I found myself laughing and nodding my head in agreement. My attitude, though, is a good bit different than his — as opposed to his outright hostility, mine is more or less yawning indifference, with at least a couple of exceptions. I really liked Brooks & Dunn’s earlier stuff, and it’s still good…but more recently, I just find myself yawning as I change the station whenever they come on. I’m sure there are more than a few people who would say that with few exceptions, the best stuff from the albums (from every artist, not just Brooks & Dunn) isn’t released to radio, and I’d definitely agree with that. So I suppose they’re still making halfway decent music, but, for example, “Play Something Country” was just more of the same old tired turbo-tonk that pretty much ran its course about 1996 or so, and “Believe” was a pretty good song as far as lyrics go, but quite underwhelming as a record. Now that I think about it, the only consistently good Brooks & Dunn album I heard was 1993’s Hard Workin’ Man. (“Mexican Minutes” remains, to my mind, the best song they ever recorded, and ironically enough Kix Brooks was singing lead on that one.) I guess being exposed to so much of the music that came out before Hot New Country exploded out of the gate in the early 1990s pretty much ruined the appeal of a lot of the music from 1995 on for me. At one point about six years ago, I had most of Kenny Chesney’s then-current output, but once I heard Pat Green and Cory Morrow it went back to the used-cd store, and I never did like Rascal Flatts. As a matter of fact, I heartily despise them. I think they and bands like them pretty much encapsulate everything that’s wrong with mainstream country music; as some people might say, they make “country music for people who don’t like country music,” and the same could well be said for people like Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban, too, no matter how talented the latter might be with his guitar.
As for Alan Jackson “having the good sense to work with Alison Krauss,” well, I would have believed that was a sensible move on his part if he’d actually made a bluegrass record instead of whatever the hell it was his latest cd could be called. I really, really hesitate to call it crap, because I don’t want to think anything Alan Jackson recorded could really descend to that level, but from what I heard of it, I didn’t deem it worth spending my money on, and that’s about as charitable as I can be as far as that goes. Someday he “might grow into it,” I suppose, but then again I could never, ever see George Jones doing anything like what Alan did with Alison Krauss, and the same goes for Alan. It just doesn’t fit him, and quite honestly I don’t think it ever will. Alan’s a honky-tonker, pure country plain and simple, and that’s all he’ll ever be and all he needs to be. He needs to get back to that. One would think he’d have learned from George Strait. I’m all for taking chances and shaking things up, but I’d rather have seen that bluegrass record, or maybe even a Western swing album, although on second thought that last one’s probably more up the Strait man’s alley.
Am I still a mainstream country music fan? I don’t know if you could call me that so much anymore. It seems my radio is always on the classic country and classic rock stations now, and while I do still tune in to country radio regularly, it seems nowadays there’s much less that gets me even halfway excited. As the old song goes, time changes everything, indeed it does…

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