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In a former life as a young, misinformed idiot, I would make fun of country music artists for pigeon holing themselves. The lyrics always seemed to be predictable, with the artists constantly referencing their dogs in the back of pickup trucks or reminiscing on times back in high school when the only worry in the world was how they were going to buy beer after the Varsity football game ended.
This was an admittedly stupid thing for me to do because once I discovered that there were other country artists in the world outside of Kenny Chesney, my appreciation for the genre skyrocketed. Sidenote: I can tolerate Kenny Chesney on very certain occasions – like cruising around a lake on a pontoon boat or shotgunning beers on a back porch – but I just don’t think he’s all that great. Sorry.
I began delving into the George Straits and Tim McGraws of the world and realized what I had been missing. I’m careful now not to outright rip any genre of music as a whole because that is a dangerous thing to do.
By making an assumption that every country song was about ex-lovers, driving down dirt roads in a pickup, and drinking exclusively beer and whiskey I pigeonholed myself. It was a dumb thing to do and I’m more careful now when I become critical of music because it’s not fair of me to categorize country western music as some kind of one trick pony.
However, with all of that being said I unfortunately have to stick my neck once again to chastise country music. I didn’t want to have to do this. It brings me no joy to write this, but what is happening to country with the rise of bands like Florida Georgia Line is really, really bad.
FGL’s songs pollute every country station on the airwaves and have influenced countless other artists to begin experimenting with EDM and hip-hop inspired beats. I understand that music is ever-changing and crossover appeal is important for growth, but isn’t there a way to do it without FGL and other artists like them? Look at these fuckin’ guys. They’re like The Chainsmokers but somehow worse.
I had to watch that guy with stringy long hair grab his crotch in four different music videos to find that picture, and if I didn’t know that I was flipping in between music videos I would have thought that I was listening to the same song over and over and over again.
This subgenre, which has come to be known simply as “bro-country” would make the OG Hank Williams roll over in his grave. I’m not going to afford that band the opportunity for more clicks by embedding one of their songs in this column, but I’m sure you know about FGL by now.
Their songs “This Is How We Roll” and “Cruise” are essentially one in the same, talking about how their playlists have a little bit of Drake and little bit of Marshall Tucker. They like chillin’ on farms with girls, drinking Bud Lights and blah blah blah.
I thought Kenny Chesney was appropriating country music culture but FGL is in a whole different stratosphere. Props to them for finding a formula that the radio will play on a loop and for making a boatload of money but this music is bad. It’s offensive.
Bro-country is a laughable caricature of the Chesney “I’m a backroads whiskey sippin good ol’ boy” cliche. You want stereotypes about what outsiders think country music is? Look no further than FGL.
I thank God every day that the internet has brought us the Wal-Mart yodeling boy, also known as Lil’ Hank Williams, because if there’s anyone that can stop this onslaught of EDM infused country music, it’s a cute kid in cowboy boots and Wranglers singing “Lovesick Blues.” Florida Georgia Line needs to be stopped. They are an evil that is destroying the country music genre from within..