Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's A Rant

Ok, what the hell, time for a rant.

Here’s a comment from the last post: dont talk trash about carrie said...
Carrie always does an amazing job no matter what she is singing and she sings I told you so just as good as Randy Travis or better. Find someone else to talk bad about.

For the record, I wasn’t talking trash about Carrie, I was making an observation about feeling old when stuff I grew up on is now a classic to be covered by the current radio darling. Still, let’s explore this a little for kicks and giggles anyway. Carrie covering a Randy Travis classic is ok, but to release it as a single is a little odd. It’d be like Keith Urban trying for a number one hit by doing a cover of He Stopped Loving Her Today. I like Urban, but that’d be weird. I have no problem with covers, but sometimes a cover of a classic should just be an album track, not a radio single. A nod to a favorite without trying to score popularity points.

Now I have no idea whether Carrie is a die hard Randy Travis fan or not, but from this cynics viewpoint, it just seems like savvy marketing, much like most of country music today (not just Carrie). An American Idol pop music winner, shrewdly moves into the much less fickle country market with a studio pushed custom made Faith Hill in waiting look and sound, wins big at awards shows on only one album’s strength to keep the Idol fandom/market happy and buying, and then after a couple radio friendly pop-ish hits releases a radio single of a classic “doesn’t get more country than that” song to bridge the gap to true country fans and works in an Opry appearance with the original singer himself. Either this is the luckiest girl on the face of the earth living a dream, or there’s a brilliantly savvy marketing team behind the curtain. I’m a cynic to the bone, so guess what I think?

I realize I’m no longer in anyone's sales demographic, but it just seems country music today is marketed straight to the 13 year old girl with expendable cash market. Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Taylor Swift (which one’s which?), Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, and too many other newbies to count have made my ears bleed with uninspired, tepid lyrics and pop blended beats. Can I not flip on my radio and find someone singing something that doesn’t sound like it just made it through a five step focus group and marketing session and blandified (Trademark!) for your protection? Sure, there’s still good singers and songwriters making their mark with solid art from the heart, but I have to go to the internet to find it. Forget CMT or KIX FM.

Or maybe, in the end, this is the way it is with every generation. What appeals to the age appropriate masses is turned away from by those who have lived a little longer and seen something with more quality than quantity. I’m sure when I was listening to Garth Brooks, my parents wondered what happened to their country. Now I have to hear Sugarland and wonder what the hell happened to mine.

Perhaps Vince Gill said it best...

You wake up one morning and it's passed you by.
Don't know when and you don't know why.
You feel like an old memory hangin' round.
And man, you've got to face it, it's a young man's town.
You knew this day was comin' all along.
So why bitch n' moan and say they done you wrong.
Just teach 'em what you know and pass it on down,
'Cause man you gotta face it, it's a young man's town.

It's a young man's town,
Full of young man's dreams.
And all God's children gotta learn to spread their wings.
Sometimes you gotta stand back,
And watch 'em burn it to the ground,
Even though you built it, it's a young man's town.

You always seem to be the last to know.
Man, that's just the way that the story goes.
There's nothing you can do when the fields have turned brown.
And man, you gotta face it, it's a young man's town.

It's a young man's town,
Full of young man's dreams.
And all God's children gotta learn to spread their wings.
Sometimes you gotta stand back,
And watch 'em burn it to the ground.
Even though you built it, it's a young man's town.
-Young Man's Town, by Vince Gill

Comments on "It's A Rant"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (January 21, 2009 12:02 PM) : 

What a flat, bland, emotionless rip-off of classic. Ms. Underwood has her choice of writers presenting her with new songs. There was no need to desecrate our memory of the Randy Travis version.


Blogger KEANAN BRAND said ... (January 21, 2009 12:08 PM) : 

I've said it here before, and I say it again: I, who used to be such a music freak, rarely listen to the music stations anymore, and have found some solace in the chatter of talk radio.

I can't stand much of the new music--good thing I kept all my old cassette tapes! (smile)--and though I don't like to be around a lot of people talking at once, at least talk/news radio can keep me informed.

Yeah. I'm gettin' old.


Blogger The Texican said ... (January 21, 2009 2:52 PM) : 

Rant away Wing. Most of the new stuff is garbage, bad lyrics and bad melodies. The King is as nekid as a Jay Bird and saying he isn't doesn't cover one inch of his body. I love the old stuff sung by the old singers. I like new singers who hold on the the classic styles while coming up with new "good" lyrics. I like singers with good voice quality and range. I don't like singers who don't know what genre they want to stay with. Most sound like they are having a difficult time on the commode. Someone's committing murder down on Music Row. Pappy


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (January 21, 2009 4:01 PM) : 

I don't mind Underwood as much most people. Randy Travis liked her version and it sounds like a different song coming from a woman. The version I've heard on the the radio is not the version I expected. Seems there is a duet version being passed around certain radio stations.


Blogger CntryMomma said ... (January 22, 2009 10:49 AM) : 

If I had never heard Randy's version of ITYS ( and if it was NOT my favorite song of his ) I could enjoy Carrie's version. I think she sounds beautiful in it BUT my problem is there seems to be a lake of passion when she sings her song. She sings the notes better than most, but there is not emotion behind them.

Awesome post!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (January 23, 2009 4:10 AM) : 

The original post reminded me of something else on the internet....


That was a nice rant. Parts had me laughing. :-)



Anonymous david cook said ... (March 13, 2009 8:23 AM) : 

Randy is BETTER than anyone in the country music industry right now. I am happy that he has teamed up with Carrie, but lets not forget the original artist who, himself, is still putting out amazing music!!!!!!


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