It Was The Pleasure Of My Life
by MOLLY LAMBERT
I am the common woman. Confused by whothefuckall was at the Grammys? I'm here to help you sort it out. Songs from the billboard 100. Nothing on the pop, rock, or rap side of the fence, no Cascada or Daughtry or Iyaz. Just pure country magic.
Til Summer Comes Around - Keith Urban
Keith Urban, where the fuck did you come from? Australia, obviously, but also what is this MOR hybrid countrypolitan balladeering genre that is so clearly dominating the charts? Why doesn't he have an Australian accent? Is this Avatar? Nicole Kidman is basically a ten foot tall alien. The part about the ferris wheel reminds me of the movie FEAR when Marky Mark fbangs Reese. The wave sounds are a classy touch, an allusion to Don Henley's "Boys Of Summer" perhaps? It makes no sense that he sings about the 4th of July. Don't you mean Australia Day? LOL country star whose last name is Urban.
Key Lyric: "The boardwalk's quiet and the carnival rides/are as empty as my broken heart tonight."
Highway 20 Ride - Zac Brown Band
Country songs about divorce are usually a slam dunk. This is just "eh." I don't know what genre this is considered. It's pretty fucking close to the folkier side of indie rock with all the other bearded sad guys, but also very reminiscent of sorority girl music. Maybe the genre should just be called Bonaroo. This Zac Brown character sings too silkily for my taste, but I realize he's going for a James Taylor thing. Which is not my bag, but hey! I guess it's lots of other people's, so more whatevers 2 ya ZBB.
Key Lyric: "Son, there’s things I haven't told you/Your mom and me couldn't get along"
A Little More Country Than That - Easton Corbin
For some reason based on the title I imagined this would be a real barnstormer, but it's another one of these stupid wistful ballads by a guy in a baseball cap. Countryness is associated with monogamy and old guys. The lyrics are creaky with references to creek poles and channel cats, and a first name shout out to "Hank." A real grower.
Key Lyric: "I just want to make sure you just know who your gettin' under this ol' hat/Cause girl I'm just not the kind of two time or play games behind your back/I'm a little more country than that"
Hillbilly Bone - Blake Shelton ft. Trace Adkins
Alright! Here come the grooves! First some New York city bashing (they've never heard of Conway Twitty! they don't eat grits or greens!) This is by far the most embarrassing song on the countdown yet. Chorus of "Hillbilly Bone Ba Bone Ba Bone Bone" both makes me LOL and gives me severe embarrassment. The video takes place in a fancy resturant where the singers are clearly out of place (because hats?), another trope often seen in rap videos (new money vs. old money). Trace Adkins is undeniably cool. Country street cred from his wikipedia: "He was involved in a number of bar room incidents, and was also shot in the heart and lungs by his second wife."
Key Lyric: "Ain't nothing wrong just getting on your Hillbilly bone-ba-bone-ba-bone bone/Hillbilly bone-ba-bone-ba-bone bone/Hillbilly bone-ba-bone-ba-bone bone"
American Saturday Night - Brad Paisley
I guess Brad Paisley is trying to convince us he's some sort of cool new tolerant Republican with this song about how America is a melting pot, but apparently made up of primarily European nationalities? I have always found the melting pot metaphor semi-horrifying because it makes me think about human beings being melted down like fondue, and therefore also sort of cannibalism. Brad Paisley has another song right now called "Welcome To The Future" about Obama. I'll believe it when I hear your views on gay marriage and abortion, mister! Great video, motion effects rival "Pon De Floor."
Key Lyric: "It's like we're all living' in a big ol' cup/Just fire up the blender, mix it all up."
Do I - Luke Bryan
I'll let the YouTube comments speak on this one:
dawnmarie1989 (11 minutes ago) I feel like this song was written for me! I cry to it every night! relationships are so complicated and get way more complicated when you get cheated on. A person can only put so much into a relationship before they get sick of getting nothing in return!
CountryGurl4lif31 (50 minutes ago) i wish my boyfriend and i still felt the same way when we first met...now everything is going down hill.
kwingy51 (1 day ago) dude your lucky you have a girl. treat her well dude cause not having anyone to hold is the worst thing ever
angie71499 (2 days ago) my ex sang this song to me i dont know if i should take him back or not plz help me and give me some advice plzzzzzz :(
medzman86 (5 days ago) dude i know EXACTLY how you feel...my gf of 5.5 yrs left me 5 months ago and it STILL hurts...ur not alone bro
Key Lyric: "Do I turn you on at all when I kiss you baby?"
I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes - Dierks Bentley
Mainstream country music is primarily about monogamy and its discontents, the way rap music is about bachelorhood. Dierks Bentey is really tolerable, even with a ball chain necklace. This is another one of those earnest love making tunes. For some reason I can only imagine the title being said in a super date rapey voice. For a sex jam, it is not really very sexy. Somebody needs to send Dierks a copy of 12 Play.
Key Lyric: "You can make me work for it girl if you want to/Just leave a trail for me to follow you into the bedroom"
Consider Me Gone - Reba McEntire
Not just a lady but the baddest ginger betch. I used to watch her sitcom Reba all the time. This is not the greatest Reba song of all time, but it's a nice enough showcase for her amazing voice and phrasings and the bridge is pretty good. I love how country music tends to honor and respect its female legends.
Key Lyric: "If you don't get drunk on my kiss/If you think you can do better than this"
History In The Making - Darius Rucker
Is it racist that I thought this might be an Obama song? It's not. It's just another "aren't relationships awesome" jam, which seems to be the dominant theme of this genre (aside from the other major theme, "aren't relationships terrible") This song is hella mediocre but I ain't mad at ya Hootie.
Key Lyric: "Inside, baby inside/Can you feel the butterflies?"
Southern Voice - Tim McGraw
Second reference to Hank. First reference to Chuck Berry! McGraw namechecks Southerners from Willie Faulkner to the Allman Brothers. He follows up a mention of Dolly Parton with a shoutout to Rosa Parks. Don't you know how much trouble Outkast got in for that, Tim? No fronting on the fucking majesty of this bridge:
Jesus is my friend
America is my home
Sweet iced tea and Jerry Lee
That's what gets to me
I can feel it in my bones
Although word up Timbograw, claiming Michael Jordan for the South is iffy as hell.
Key Lyrics: "Hank Aaron smacked it, Michael Jordan dunked it/Pocahontas tracked it, Jack Daniels drunk it."
Why Don't We Just Dance - Josh Turner
If you couldn't tell this was Christian pop from the title, well it is. A sexless undanceable "rock" tune sung by a low-voiced god goblin. Advocates turning off the news because it's too depressing. Fuck church, let's dance. As an abstinence jam it has nothing on Jermaine Stewart's "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off."
Key Lyric: "Guess the little bitty living room ain't gonna look like much/When the lights go down and we move the couch, it's gonna be more than enough"
White Liar - Miranda Lambert
I love Miranda Lambert, and not just because she has my initials and last name. I think she's genuinely talented, with a good weird voice that sounds kind of like Natalie Maines, and, I don't know, she's got spunk. She's like a little country music Veronica Mars. She put out a hit album called "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend." There's nothing not to love. This is my favorite song on the countdown thus far. I love songs with plot twists!
Key Lyric: "You said you went out to a bar/and walked some lady to her car/but your face has more to tell/cuz my cousin saw you on the street/with a red head named Bernice/Turns out you don't lie too well"
Cowboy Casanova - Carrie Underwood
I hate when a song has a great title and doesn't live up to its promise. This is from the Shania Twain school of bombastic country pop. The lyrics are really not terrible, but the production style is just so over the top. It was co-written by Mike Elizondo, he of "The Real Slim Shady" and Extraordinary Machine (how's that for a diverse résumé?). The video is set in a bordello and is sort of Moulin Rouge themed, can this style of video please die for a long while? If this were produced differently it could be great.
Key Lyric: He's a good time, cowboy casanova/Leaning up against the record machine/He looks like a cool drink of water/But he's candy-coated misery."
The Truth - Jason Aldean
Maybe I've watched too many of these in a row, but this Jason Aldean jawn is sounding pretty good to me right now. Maybe it's the mournful rock organ or the part about going to Vegas. The chorus is hard to deny, and I like videos where it starts raining at the dramatic climax, which here is Aldean sitting in a lawn chair by a pool getting all rained on. I would murder this shit at karaoke, definitely.
Key Lyric: "Just don't tell em I've gone crazy/That I'm still strung out over you/Tell em anything you want to/Just don't tell em all the truth"
Fearless - Taylor Swift
Taylor really reminds me of Nicki Grant sometimes. She's so weirdly chaste and grossed out by sex for a 20 year old. The apartment she's building sounds like Mariah Carey's butterflies and mermaids palace, but also MJ's Neverland. Maybe she is a pedophile? (JK I don't think TS is a pedo). But I do worry about her. Like girl I know you are really into kissing in rainstorms, but you can't be a fucking princess.
Key Lyric: "And I don't know why but with you I'd dance/In a storm in my best dress, fearless"
Need You Now - Lady Antebellum
This is barely country music. How this falls into that category is beyond me. They're from Nashville? There are mandolins? Basically soft modern rock. Oh, but with a male and female trading off vocals, like "Don't You Want Me." This song is about drunk dialing. Lady Antebellum is such a terrible name. This is so unabashedly corny and pathetic that I'm kinda digging it. I'll bob my head in the drugstore to this.
Key Lyric: "It's a quarter after one I'm all alone and I need you now/And I said I wouldn't call but I'm a little drunk and I need you now"
That's How Country Boys Roll - Billy Currington
Bland as hell. I remember this guy from his duet with Shania, because I was into that song. Especially the spoken intro. I could listen to Shania Twain say "hey Billy, I'm having a party" all day. Shania's like a Kristen Wiig character. Billy Currington gives me a Bradley Cooper vibe. I don't hate this song, but it's just so plodding and grooveless.
Key Lyric: "Yeah, they work, work, work, all week til the job gets done/Weekends they bar-b-que and have a cold one/They run on a big ol’ heart and a pinch of Skoal/That’s how country boys roll"
Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You - Kellie Pickler
A sensitive ballad from Clown Tits McGee.
Key Lyric: "I remember the way you made love to me/Like I was all you'd ever need/Did you change your mind?/Well I didn't change mine"
brand newly minted Grammy award winners Lady Antebellum (L- R) Kill, Fuck, Marry
Winners: After editing this post for way too long, and spending some time with these songs bouncing around my head, the winners are obvious - Miranda Lambert "White Liar," Jason Aldean "The Truth," Tim McGraw "Southern Voice" (that bridge!), Taylor Swift "Fearless," and Easton Corbin "A Little More Country Than That." The Kellie Pickler ballad is also making a successful late break for my brain space. It's true. We all got a hillbilly bone down deep inside. Hillbilly bone ba bone ba bone bone.