“This new music, it all sounds the same!” Does that sound familiar? Like something your dad or grandpa would say when you were a teenager? As it turns out, parents of today’s pop country music may have a case after all.
Well if you haven’t heard it yet, a recent YouTube mash-up, featuring 6 of last year’s country radio chart toppers, has garnered much attention across social media the last few weeks. The creator of the video proves irrefutably that there is indeed a formula, fleeting and disposable as it may be, by overlapping all six songs into one seamless mega mix. This is done with minimal editing yet all the harmonies, guitar solos, and lyrical cadences dovetail perfectly.
Almost as if they were all written and produced by the same people in the same studios on the same street, all in a row. One might call it a row of music.
Ours is not to denigrate someone else’s art. Nor speak ill of the folks who are out there doing what they love for a living. After all, isn’t that why we have genres, to group together things that are relatively alike? My question is when does the formula get in the way of the art? Does the craftsmanship of a product lose it’s luster when it begins to be mass produced?
I see two sides. Has the mathematical equation for churning out songs become a detriment to the art? Or, has the rise in pop country revitalized it to a younger audience, bringing much needed revenue to a genre that has been near extinction more than a few times? We see less and less heritage in the music, yet country artists have once more become major celebrities and Nashville is one of the nation’s fastest growing cities.
Veteran producer and CEO of Nashville Music Group, Denny Knight, gave these comments regarding the video,
“Yes it’s true..Country music does have a proven formula and we in the business know this to be true..but..this example is exactly what I’ve been saying for years..everything sounds the same…I tell our Artists / Songwriters..that train has left the station…you want to be the engine..not the caboose. You want to be what is NOT out there..be original.
If this article comes off derogatory I assure you that is not the case. On the contrary, fans love country music. That is why we want to hear more than the same tune done six times by separate artists. All of the songs used in the mix have been in the top ten and four have reached #1 on Billboard. The music is not bad, it’s just all uniformed. But don’t take my word for it, check out Sir Mashalot’s video by clicking here and let us know what you think.
By: Tony Manfetano