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anatomy of a country music song

Anatomy of a Country Music Song, Part XI

Figure 1. I don't entirely agree, but whatever.

Figure 1. I don’t entirely agree, but whatever.

 

Justin Moore’s “Back That Thing Up” is terrible-yet-endearing to me, because I use it as the ringtone for when Christa Desir calls me. So it always signals something good’s about to happen to me personally.

My family HATES this song so much. Why wouldn’t they? It’s corny as hell. But what else would you expect from Justin Moore, who’s another one of those “all hat & no cattle” cowboy types that Nashville is lousy with lately. Of course he’s going to up turn the dial all the way to 11 when it comes to the Shameless Redneck setting.

Mainly, I love hearing it come on around someone who’s never heard it before and watching their face as they listen to the lyrics. One of life’s great joys.

Here’s the video (which I can’t vouch for) if you want to hear it, too; analysis after the break…
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Anatomy of a Country Music Song, Part X

 

 

Figure 1. My friend Danielle used to drive an orange VW Beetle with a bumper sticker that said this

Figure 1. My friend Danielle used to drive an orange VW Beetle with a bumper sticker that said this

 

Today’s song, “Like A Cowboy,” has little analysis, because I absolutely love it, and its writer/singer, Randy Houser, so sorry if it’s not amusing. The paradox of praise: it can be deadly dull.

Randy Houser has some of the best pipes in country music today. And some of the best songs. Because unlike lots of country performers, he got his start writing songs, versus being some over-styled guy with abs and a Jack Daniels tattoo on his trainer-enhanced biceps.

The lyrics are good, the music is good, and his VOICE. Holy shit. He’s got some lungs. I saw him this summer in concert with several other acts (Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line) and while Randy Houser can’t wear skinny jeans or muscle shirts or shake his butt at women til they scream like those dudes, he was far and away the best act of the night for me.

So here’s the video (again, I’ve never watched it, so can’t vouch for content, but here it is so you can hear the song itself) and my brief commentary is after the break…
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Anatomy of a Country Music Song, Part IX

Figure 1. My friend Danielle used to drive an orange VW Beetle with a bumper sticker that said this

Figure 1. My friend Danielle used to drive an orange VW Beetle with a bumper sticker that said this

 

“Smoke Break” is probably the dumbest song I’ve heard in a long time. And it’s wildly popular. Usually I like Carrie Underwood, even with her boatloads of gross gold jewelry, so this is a disappointment.

Here’s the video, which, as always, I cannot vouch for; I only add it so you can hear the song itself if you’d like.

Mainly, the lyrics are just total junk. They want to have it all ways. Seem super blue-collar, while not endorsing so-called blue collar vices. What the fuck ever. It’s like a country song that they’d feature in the Weekly Reader for elementary school students who need to learn what country songs typically sound like.

(Okay, that makes no sense. But neither do the lyrics of “Smoke Break.”)

Lyrics, with my comments, after the jump…

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Anatomy of a Country Music Song Part VIII

 

Figure 1. My friend Danielle used to drive an orange VW Beetle with a bumper sticker that said this

Figure 1. My friend Danielle used to drive an orange VW Beetle with a bumper sticker that said this

 

Remember how I said that one thing I love about country music is that it’s basically a catalog of white male entitlement and cultural beliefs?

No?

Well, too bad. I said it once. Trust me.

Anyway, that’s not the only thing I love about it, but there is something in me that remains constantly intrigued by notions of “masculinity.” I don’t profess to understand the minds of men just because I understand my rank here in the patriarchy. Patriarchy only tells me about who has power and who doesn’t. It doesn’t tell me what men are thinking, either as individuals or as a group.

If yall find the minds of men transparent and obvious, well, then, lucky for yall. Leave me to my fascination. But I didn’t grow up with brothers or a lot of male cousins. I don’t have boy children. I had a lot of boyfriends, I guess, but they didn’t really give me much access to their inner reflections.

So I contemplate my own sensibilities as a lady and then compare them to dudes. Then I marvel at how we’ve arrived in Our Current Predicament.

This song by Jason Isbell, which was written back when he was a part of Drive-By Truckers, is a really nice find if we’re talking about cultural messaging from fathers to sons. It’s funny and it’s sorrowful (the best things tend to be this mix) and it’s romantical in that the father in the song is speaking much like a honorable-yet-defeated knight.

(Romanticism about their lives and roles in the world seems to be one constant in masculine thinking. I find feminine thinking much more brutally practical, to be honest.)

Not much to make fun of here; much to admire. Lyrics after the jump.

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Anatomy of a Country Music Song, Part VII

 

Figure 1. My friend Danielle used to drive an orange VW Beetle with a bumper sticker that said this

Figure 1. My friend Danielle used to drive an orange VW Beetle with a bumper sticker that said this

 

Sorry it’s been a while since we did one of these. I’ve not been busy, really. I don’t know what the hell I’ve been doing. Stuff? Who cares.

Anyway, I like Tim McGraw a whole lot, despite his cheesy-ass Jesus Fish Bicep Tattoo. Normally, these posts are about me making fun of country songs and I won’t stop doing that.

But “Red Ragtop” is one of my favorite country songs. No lie; I adore it. The story, the sound, all of it. I know Tim McGraw didn’t write it, but I have to give him snaps for performing it, given the traditional conservatism of Nashville and the whole OH MY GOD ABORTION NOT THAT dust-up that occurred with many radio stations when the song came out. It’s kind of fun for me to imagine Faith Hill being like, “Tim? Honey? Enough with that abortion song; I’m on the cover of Family Circle again, you’re making it awkward…”

Listen to the song here; analysis after the jump…

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