Saturday music musings.

Shoulda known Gary Allan would speak up up sooner or later:

The parade of country artists coming out to criticize the direction of country music continues, with Gary Allan now coming out in an interview with Larry King, decrying country music’s move towards pop, and specifically Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

Of course, such isn’t the first time Allan has spoken about the shape of mainstream country music, but I thought it took some stones for him to come out and say that he actually didn’t like it. Given that, and Gary Allan’s music that’s never gotten played on the radio, I must admit I think it’s sheer lunacy to claim that Gary Allan is about as country as Snoop Dogg, as one commenter did.

But the comment that really got me was this one, on Carrie Underwood:

She may be far from traditional country- but she is contemporary country and deserves better than a snarky comment saying she is using the genre.

My response: No she doesn’t. Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift are just two different kinds of crap, really. Just because Carrie Underwood doesn’t court pop music fans as aggressively as Taylor Swift does not make her any more of a country singer or better for the genre. Given Underwood’s favorite music as evidenced by some of the songs she’s covered, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if she courted the ’80s rock/hair metal crowd if that particular genre was anywhere near as commercially viable as it was way back in the day. So in terms of country music, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood really just boil down to two kinds of bad — sugary teen pop versus glam metal; in other words, the absolute worst of the ’80s and ’90s.

Not that I’d like Carrie Underwood any better if she was aping, oh, I don’t know, Ann Wilson or Bruce Dickinson, but still — tell me again why this should be the accepted evolution of country music?


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