Sabra, night before last at Bill Miller’s, as we were being subjected to Kelsea Ballerini’s “Dibs” on Y100:
“Tell me again why I should accept this as country music?”
Me: “Evolution of the genre. Or something.”
And now that I think about it, there’s also the fact that Ballerini has the right set of naughty bits. “Dibs” is the perfect encapsulation of what I was talking about when I voiced my skepticism about people’s approach to the gender imbalance on country radio. That song, and Kelsea Ballerini’s “artistry” in general, is the musical equivalent of cotton candy or frosting. It’s a waste of time, bandwidth, and hard drive space. As Trigger said at Saving Country Music, it’s not even worth the effort to steal. There is more soul and substance in any one lyric sung by Lee Ann Womack than in the entirety of Kelsea Ballerini’s musical output.
And yeah, I know. Not every song has to be deep and substantive. (Never mind the fact that were not getting anything deep and/or substantive on country radio in the first place anymore…)
Beyond even that, though, why does this have to be country instead of, say, progressive metal? It bears about as much resemblance to Dream Theater as it does to actual country music.
I’ll tell you why it can’t be progressive metal, or jazz rock, or whatever — because no self-respecting fan of any of those genres would stand for their genre being sullied like that.
Speaking of evolution of the genre, I thought of something this morning that put that whole thing into even starker relief, courtesy of a certain song.
16 years ago, mainstream country music was Alan Jackson covering Jim Ed Brown and Charley Pride and talking about how much he loved George Strait and Merle Haggard.
Today, mainstream “country” “music” is Thomas Rhett ripping off Sam Cooke and War (on the same damn album, even!) and talking about how much he loves Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake.
“Murder On Music Row,” indeed.
Boy, I’m just full of sunshine and rainbows today, aren’t I? Here, have some Turnpike Troubadours.