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Country Music Hate

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I'm curious how much of it we have in the OCR community.

Every genre has its following and it's critics but it seems like country music gets a lot of unnecessary hate. It's true, just like any other genre most of it sucks harder than a Bangkok whore. Some of it though is really good as well. Maybe you're not the type who's going to be joining into a line dance at Billy Bob's shindig while the band plays the banjo and fiddle, but you gotta admit that country music has some incredibly talented lyricists.

The truth is I haven't seen a whole lot of resentment towards Country Music online and not on OCR, but in every work place I've been in (back when I could still find work places) people decry it instantly if they catch you listening to it or heaven forbid you turn the radio on to a country station for a change-up.

For my part, well, I admit it isn't my favorite type of music. Generally speaking I'll take a hard rock or a top 100 or whatever, station over country but I would feel a little remiss if I didn't say that on the occasion I do listen to country I hear a lot of genius in some of it.

Thought I'd open up a little discussion on it. Do you like/dislike Country Music? Somewhere in between like me maybe? And why?

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There's plenty of terrible Country (like Billy Ray Cyrus) likewise to anything else, but currently, this musical category puts WAY more musical effort into their works than some others, likely with the exception of Classical or complicated, melodic Jazz music.

Within the genre, it is not hard to find a decent, less-twangy Country song that holds the following quality standards:

  • Decent, excellent or genius chord progression
  • More than one decent melody; non-repetitive
  • Coherent; has some sort of direction
  • Interesting subject that most or all can relate to
  • Substantial lyrical content
  • Not too loud or soft; balanced
  • Mixed properly; frequencies of sound barely or never intersect
  • Proper delivery of simplicity and/or complexity
  • Memorable
  • Classic

People who listen and judge solely on musical style are too accustomed to their preferred sound to regard, care about or even know this truth, but the fact still remains: forget genre, good = good.

Before I discovered my music talent, I was only comfortable with listening to certain genres, or having exceptions within context (disliking church music, but it's cool if it's in church) After studying music personally, it led to the universal knowledge and understanding of good songwriting. Forget genre, can you write a song?

I no longer hear this or that. All I can hear now is GOOD, GENIUS, TOLERABLE/POTENTIAL/OKAY or BAD because no matter the genre, music follows the same basic principles. Likewise to art, whether it's romantic art or anime/manga style, the simple principle of good and bad remains. Good is what works, bad is what doesn't.

It's that simple, despite the verbosity of this post.

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Funny, as of now, although there is terrible Country, likewise to anything else, this musical category puts WAY more musical effort into their works than many others, likely with the exception of Classical music. It is not hard to find a decent, not-unnecessarily-twangy Country song that holds the following quality standards:

  • Decent, excellent or genius chord progression
  • More than one decent melody; non-repetitive
  • Coherent; has some sort of direction
  • Interesting subject that most or all can relate to
  • Substantial lyrical content
  • Not too loud or soft; balanced
  • Mixed properly; frequencies of sound barely or never intersect
  • Proper delivery of simplicity and/or complexity
  • Memorable
  • Classic

Right now, I would say that in terms of quality, Country has been kicking Pop's, Electronica's, Rnb's, Rock's, Alternative's, Metal's and especially Rap's asses.

People who listen and judge solely on musical style are too accustomed to their preferred sound to regard, care about or even know this truth, but the fact still remains.

How is it that before I discovered my music talent that I was only comfortable listening to certain genres, or having exceptions of genre within context (disliking church music, but it's cool if it's in church)? And then later, after minimal, just minimal, personal studies of music led to the universal knowledge and understanding of GOOD!?

I no longer hear this or that. All I can hear now is GOOD, GENIUS, TOLERABLE/POTENTIAL/OKAY or BAD because no matter the genre, music follows the same basic principles. Likewise to art, whether it's romantic era or anime/manga style, the simple principle of good and bad remains. Good is what works, bad is what doesn't.

It's that simple, despite the verbosity of this post.

what the fuck is that ?

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I care not for those who write songs about how their dog died, their wife left them, keying others' trucks, or farmers. Or how they've been cheated on, for that matter. I kind of believe that if America weren't so dumb, country music would eventually die out, because it is made for those who can relate to it.

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I'm going to make a comparison here, between country and rap, for the sake of the discussion. I don't mean to deviate, but I think country and rap are probably the two most hated on genres, I think they have a number of similarities, and I don't disagree entirely with all the hate.

Every genre is flooded with generic, middling trash, perfectly fine production wise, often decent composition wise, but that have no individuality, with uninspired, interchangeable melodies/beats/whathaveyou. In rap and country, specifically, we find singular lyrical content in this subset. Women & violence in the former, love & woe i the latter (with some acceptable deviation, we'll call it the lyrical margin of error).

In other genres the quality stuff doesn't always get drowned out. It's submerged a bit, we may have to wade through our share of the mediocre to find it, but the mainstream is littered with top-notch material here and there. In rap and country I find the mainstream is almost exclusively the aforementioned "generic, middling trash", and the quality music struggles to get attention.

As for your talented lyricists comment, I'd agree. I'd, again, apply it to rap to. Talented lyricists, to be sure, if only they'd write lyrics about something interesting rather than the same old crap.

[Obligatory, post-encompassing IMO]

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Emo music with cowboy hats.

Not a fan cause that is all that my parents listened to when I was a kid, and electronica is really more my speed.

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As a young lad, I joined my peers in country-bashing for no particular reason. But lately I find that distortion, shouting, and bad singing/talking are over-used in modern music. When I get tired of these things, country music offers a welcome haven, and little else will do.

True, it's pretty formulaic, both in terms of musical and lyrical content. But on the whole, the genre demonstrates a well-developed aesthetic sense for melody and harmony compared to other modern genres. I don't think we have to be singing about pink elephants on the dark side of the moon in whole tone scales with a chromatic chord progression for music to be enjoyable. I also think it's entirely appropriate for many (even most) songs to be about heartache and relationships, since these are some of the most poignant experiences for most people.

I'm curious: for those of you who despise the love/woe aspect of country lyrics, what would you rather hear people sing about? Certainly not brushing one's teeth with a bottle of Jack?

There are plenty of examples of "middling trash" in country, often accompanied by dumb or overly pious lyrics. But it's rare for me to find a duet as achingly moving as "Let Me Let Go" by Faith Hill and Vince Gill, a ballad as unbearably melancholy as "Maybe" by Alison Krauss, or a tune that rocks in quite the same way as "The Devil's Paintbrush Road" by the Wailin' Jennys (technically bluegrass). In fact, compared to how often I listen to country, probably a disproportionate number of my favorite songs are in the country/folk genre.

As for hillbilly jokes, it's not surprising to me that some of the subject matter will be lost on those who can't appreciate the simple beauty of rural life.

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what the fuck is that ?

I edited it. I realized that my words and points were run together.

Non-musicians, with a few exceptions, listen to music and have a completely non-scientific and non-theoretical way of hearing it; it's just likeable, stylistic noise that they grow accustomed to. However, you, my musician friend, are aware that a songwriter's mind understands music with the left and right brain with some nature and knowledge; music is an art and science; naturally, we get what works and what doesn't. Just like you wouldn't wear red, green and purple, you wouldn't put together incomplete, incoherent or nonsensical sounds, would you?

Isn't it all, regardless of style, sequences of chords (stacks of notes) that have rhythmic percussion and compatible melodies with harmonies that express emotion and tell a story? Are you not aware that all a listener hears is the style that they are accustomed to (exception: they can recognize a master from an amateur), and we hear what music is really, and we know the beauty of sound, regardless of a style? We're not bound by styles of sound; we hear how one sound goes with another, and if it's good or not.

The art is the idea expressed; the science is the logic required for music to make sense. That's all, right?

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I edited it. I realized that my words and points were run together.

Non-musicians, with a few exceptions, listen to music and have a completely non-scientific and non-theoretical way of hearing it; it's just likeable, stylistic noise that they grow accustomed to. However, you, my musician friend, are aware that a songwriter's mind understands music with the left and right brain with some nature and knowledge; music is an art and science; naturally, we get what works and what doesn't. Just like you wouldn't wear red, green and purple, you wouldn't put together incomplete, incoherent or nonsensical sounds, would you?

Isn't it all, regardless of style, sequences of chords (stacks of notes) that have rhythmic percussion and compatible melodies with harmonies that express emotion and tell a story? Are you not aware that all a listener hears is the style that they are accustomed to (exception: they can recognize a master from an amateur), and we hear what music is really, and we know the beauty of sound, regardless of a style? We're not bound by styles of sound; we hear how one sound goes with another, and if it's good or not.

The art is the idea expressed; the science is the logic required for music to make sense. That's all, right?

lol what makes you think i am a non-musician ?

i think before we analyze country music we should all agree on what the fuck country music is.

because right now this will probably devolve into some sort of "i hate the mainstream because it is forgettable crap" hipster circle jerk

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i think before we analyze country music we should all agree on what the fuck country music is.

True, definitions may vary. Do we include old country like the music of Johnny Cash and Elvis? What about bluegrass and progressive bluegrass (a la mandolinist Chris Thile)? Much of this wouldn't be heard on a typical country station in my region of the U.S., but it shares some of the same roots in Appalachian folk music.

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this musical category puts WAY more musical effort into their works than some others, likely with the exception of Classical or complicated, melodic Jazz music.
100% disagree. Country is very predictable harmonically, it seems very 'cookie cutter'. You can sing along to a song you've never heard and guess the next chord in the sequence pretty accurately.

I've nothing against it as it's a pretty varied genre, however, most of the time, the slury, wailing accents the vocalists sing with irritate me.

i think before we analyze country music we should all agree on what the fuck country music is.
Actually, good point.

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Fact (lol): Western > Country; Blues > Country.

lol what makes you think i am a non-musician ?

"However, you, my musician friend, are aware that a songwriter's mind understands music with the left and right brain with some nature and knowledge"

:)

if you want good country look to chet atkins or even dolly parton. yes srs

Yup.

i think before we analyze country music we should all agree on what the fuck country music is.

because right now this will probably devolve into some sort of "i hate the mainstream because it is forgettable crap" hipster circle jerk

It might, who knows? And... I was talking about music in general.
100% disagree. Country is very predictable harmonically, it seems very 'cookie cutter'. You can sing along to a song you've never heard and guess the next chord in the sequence pretty accurately.

I've nothing against it as it's a pretty varied genre, however, most of the time, the slury, wailing accents the vocalists sing with irritate me.

The cliche stuff is predictable, and even some of the goods are. However, I am talking more of the "real" Country like Johnny Cash, Elvis or Lynyrd Skynyrd. Similar to how the "real" Rhythm and Blues were better back in the 70s/80s with artists like Rick James, Teena Marie, Marvin Gaye or Earth, Wind and Fire.

Even though there's still notable Country for this generation, a lot of it is just Pop meets Honkeytonk Badonkadonk. As for today's RnB, it's not only worse, but dead; we have today's pseudo-emotional, hiphop-electronica-crossover bullshit like Usher's OMG: a two-chord progression. Or, you just have generic hood hits with bad singing, random rappers and repetitive arpeggios.

I'm more about 'Oroku Saki' than I am about 'Plowing the fields', but I'll take a generic song from Tim McGraw or Keith Urban any day before I listen to this Nu-Metal Slipknot shit. Today's 'slayers' don't do it like their predecessors. But unfortunately, even maggots seem like beauty compared to modern Hip Hop. Although most of it sucks, at least Nu-Metal has passion and theme.

Passion and meaning > Cliches.

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I tend to hate on a lot of country music rather vehemently, but I have my exceptions. For one thing, bluegrass music--the Appalachian-derived folk stuff with lotsa banjos, fiddlin', and general fun--is one of my favorite genres to see live. Also, I tend to hate a lot less on country musicians that I've been able to observe personally as being humble, down-to-earth, hard-working, genuinely talented musicians, like my buddy

. Dude's poor as heck, waiting tables to get himself through school, but he's starting to climb the charts with singles like the one I just linked. How can you hate on that?

I guess living in Nashville for a few months took the edge off my country hate, but don't even get me started on Taylor Swift.

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starla's car has no antenna and the ONLY STATION we get is the country station. I like country about as much as I like any other mainstream music scene. No more, no less. It just seems with country their big hits are few and far between so they hold onto hit songs for a lot longer than most other genres do.

Obviously any part of a genre that's less "mainstream" than it's radio counterpart is much better, radio country is about as bad as other genres. The difference between country and rap is that rap is talking about drugs and bitches and street cred, and country is talking about old guys who's wifes day, and tractors, and farming.

Seriously, someone tell me what the difference between these 2 songs is:

The message is nearly exactly the same, and while it's more...moral(?) than rap music, it's equally exploitive of it's listeners.

And those aren't the only 2 about that kind of stuff on the radio RIGHT NOW, either.

tl;dr All genres have good and bad music. IMO it's relevant to how big your genre is and how many avante-garde scenes it can spit out. Country is no better or worse than anything else, but tries REALLY hard to be depressing and country.

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You're right, there is no better genre. Although I did say that I was more into shreddin' than honkeytonk, I don't care; good = good and vice versa.

Edit: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I was going to take "Real" seriously until the second verse. I could feel the whole death of a wife deal, but after a bit of listening, it began to sound pseudo-emotional and cliche. They're all going for that melancholy appeal. I am sorry, but change the title to something about high school, change those twangs into distortion, speed it up, and turn that country accent into a suburban White geek one. Voila! You'll have your average Alternative rock song!

Heh, they're dissing mainstream TV, but listen to this mess! The music is actually not bad, but it all follows the same pattern. Bow-bow-dickle-dickle, bow-bow-dickle-dickle, bow-bow-dickle-dickle, bow-bow-dickle-dickle...

:lmassoff:

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country music from the last 30 years is pmuch all shit pop music

if you want good country look to chet atkins or even dolly parton. yes srs

oh le lol .

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I care not for those who write songs about how their dog died, their wife left them, keying others' trucks, or farmers. Or how they've been cheated on, for that matter. I kind of believe that if America weren't so dumb, country music would eventually die out, because it is made for those who can relate to it.

What else would someone write about though. All genres that incorporate lyrics into the music talk about such things, unless of course your one of the people(big example would be lil wayne) who sometimes says random, meaningless shit just because he knows people will listen or buy it. Wouldn't all lyrical music die out if that were the case?

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if you don't like this you're a fucking idiot. chet atkins even fucking shreds, AND uses sweep picking all on CLEAN long before metal faggots were shredding. LONG before

also one of her more pop tunes but still fucking great

fuck you faggots who don't appreciate good country and won't click these links.

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Seriously, someone tell me what the difference between these 2 songs is:

The message is nearly exactly the same, and while it's more...moral(?) than rap music, it's equally exploitive of it's listeners.

lol yeah... won't be downloading those any time soon.

Probably my biggest complaint about country is not the subject matter, but the fact that much of it doesn't feel personal or genuine. I mean, how many of these guys and gals are actually farmers these days? I think the best of country is not so desperate to assert its identity as "country" -- in my experience, local musicians do a better job of avoiding this.

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if you don't like this you're a fucking idiot. chet atkins even fucking shreds, AND uses sweep picking all on CLEAN long before metal faggots were shredding. LONG before

also one of her more pop tunes but still fucking great

fuck you faggots who don't appreciate good country and won't click these links.

repost because fuck being the last post on the first page, you deserve to listen to this

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repost because fuck being the last post on the first page, you deserve to listen to this

Good stuff indeed.

As long as we're posting links, here are some examples of good, fairly recent country/folk imo:

(good foot-stomping rhythm, interesting vocal harmonies later on)

(some would call it emo, but feels genuine)

(awesome progressive bluegrass)

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It's not that I hate country, it's just that I grew up in the suburbs and never listened to it that much, so it's hard to relate to. Same with hip-hop. I freely recognize that it takes talent and practice to be a good rapper or a good country guitarist, I'm just not interested in it.

With that said, my dad is a guitarist, and he idolizes this guy:

(he doesn't start playing until about 1:10)

And I can see why.

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Country music has millions of fans, it's easy to become exposed to a vocal minority and assume that is the default position. Sure there's a lot of hate for country, but so there is for nearly everything else.

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