Sep 30, 2009

.99 Review: Tim McGraw "Southern Voice"

.99 Review
Tim McGraw
"Southern Voice"

The People's Take

ok song (3 Stars) – I watch tim on thursday night football
-by Kylie Jo 1

Tim remains true to his roots with "Southern Voice" (5 stars) – Swiftly after the marginally charted "It's a Business Doing Pleasure With You", McGraw has released another single that will be a radio smash. "Southern Voice", a song that credits several historical and modern legends for their contributions to the "southern voice", is a twangy number that will force the listener to sing or hum along everytime it plays. McGraw's vocal performance in this song are, as he puts in the song, "smooth", and along with that, the honky-tonk instrumental aid simply adds to the overall "fun" that this sing-along single will promote.
-by Agent Ashcroft

My Take

I was hoping to give this a positive review. I actually enjoy a lot of Tim's music (a lot more than I should admit as a commercial country music farcer and a big alt-country fan) so I'm rooting for a comeback despite his recent song choice foibles and record company troubles. Also, I have a southern superiority complex - at least culturally and athletically - so I never tire of new pandering country hits to fuel my yeehaw. I even liked Buddy Jewell's hymn to the south - not the one about the southern border, mind you.

Some of the parts of "Southern Voice" are nice but the sum of the parts is meh. Trouble with this one is the overall presentation. Par for the country course, it's a listing song - listing people who happen to be southern and happen to have done positive things and been generally successful in life. Other than the fact that they sprang from the same geographic region and were not known for being crystal meth dealers, racists, arsonists, ignoramuses or barefoot yokels, there is little else to hold together this string of names. And another thing, any listing song about the southern voice that doesn't mention this guy is missing a major piece of cultural significance.

The music doesn't help with the presentation. I'd expect a song called "Southern Voice" to either sound really country or pull in some anthem-like Southern rock guitar. Wrong on both counts. The tune just kinda lays there like water in a jar ... or grits... and grits without bacon bits or pepper or sugar or butter, just plain-ass grits. Oh yeah, there's harmonica - so I guess the grits have (is grits a plural?) a dash of salt.

I won't say this is a terrible song (save what might be the clumsiest, most cliche ridden bridge ever). On third and fourth listens, it's actually starting to burrow into my ears a little and hey, I respect all the folks presented. "Southern Voice" just doesn't fuel my yeehaw.

An aside: here are a few of metrolyrics.com's interpretation the song's lyrics (lol!):
"Will Farmer wrote it"
"blows from Memphis down to Appalachia Coal"
"Don't let this old goat cross in this Almond Brothers t-shirt and throw ya"
"Dr. King paved it"
"Billy Graves saved it"

Total value: .55/.99

The Checklist

Check mark symbolChurch/God
Mama
Boots
Check mark symbolName Dropping
Dying Person
County Fair
Lost Love
Love
Hometown Pride
Kindly Advice
Truck
Check mark symbolWhiskey
Beer
Check mark symbolLife Affirmation
Check mark symbolUSA
Soldiers
Pop Sheen
Check mark symbolStar Power


Just because he's trending on Twitter: Yung Berg

I have no idea why stuff like #yungbergshead becomes a trending topic on Twitter. I just roll with it for the cheap hits...

Sep 29, 2009

.99 Review: Kingbilly "Waiting on You"

.99 Review
Kingbilly
"Waiting on You"

The People's Take (iTunes customer reviews)

Should Be #1 in Country Music (5 Stars) – Every time I have seen KingBilly the show has exceded my expectations. Now to here the magic that is their music captured in studio in one of the most beautiful songs ever written, it really blows my mind. If you haven't bought it, bought it. If you have bought it get everyone you have ever known to buy it. Too good for words!
-by techn8143

(All reviews are 5 stars)

My Take

*Note: This is actually Country California's CM Wilcox's take this time. I excluded myself from a review of this song because one of the band's vocalists/songwriters is from my hometown and went to school with my brother. I didn't want to step on any toes or show any undue bias in either direction but it's fine if CM does :)*
- - - - - - - - -

If you've ever dreamed of reading a love letter from one of the world's biggest pansies, KingBilly will hook you up. Every venture into intimacy leaves him and the woman crying, and he exercises no manly discretion in guarding that fact from public knowledge. In fact, he's just dying to tell you all about it: this song drones on well past the usual 3 minutes, ending closer to the 5 minute mark. KingBilly's apparent belief that a song this boring requires those two extra minutes could easily serve as fodder for a cautionary tale about excessive self-love.

The guys (there are six of them, overwhelmingly metrosexual in appearance) deliver a competent enough performance, which is even an improvement over some artists currently on the radio (read: Rascal Flatts). The production is pretty good, with some actual instruments audible. The harmonies are fine. So really the burden of suck falls squarely on the song itself, which isn't just outwardly boring but even nonsensical by its own internal logic: why would a guy's current girlfriend want a detailed description of his first encounter with another girl (crying and all), such as he offers in the first verse? “We both were breathing like we were in a race/Her hair was hanging down in my face”? Really?

What's she supposed to say to that? Why is he getting such a kick out of telling her? If she's turned on by hearing of his romantic escapades with other women, are there enough Kleenex at home to last through the steamy night ahead?

In summary, blech.

Total value: .20/.99

The Checklist

Church/God
Mama
Boots
Name Dropping
Dying Person
County Fair
Lost Love
Check mark symbolLove
Hometown Pride
Kindly Advice
Truck
Whiskey
Beer
Life Affirmation
USA
Soldiers
Check mark symbolPop Sheen
Star Power

Sep 28, 2009

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #18

Another e-mail question. Robert in Arizona wants to know "Why do you pander to the lowest common denominator in regards to the listening audience? Is simple songwriting just the most feasible way to make money in the current country music climate or are you actually that unintelligent?"

Okay Robert, I uh, I'll try to figure out what you're talking about, but I'm not that good at math. Pretty sure I got an F on the test about denominators. Those are like fractions, right? Wait, did you just call me stupid? You worthless steaming pile of longhorn sh*t. I'll put my boot so far up your *ss you won't be able to say all those five dollar words without a working knowledge of sign language. F*** you!

*Not actually written by John Rich.

New Ed Hardy shirt design

Sep 23, 2009

.99 Review: Carrie Underwood "Cowboy Casanova"

.99 Review
Carrie Underwood
"Cowboy Casanova"

The People's Take

Seizes to amaze!!!!! (5 Stars) – Carrie has done it again with her newest single! Can't wait for the new album!!!!!!<3
-Leah Cristine

She's a money-making machine. (5 Stars) – Good for Carrie. Once again, she churns out another hit. You go girl.
-legal-eagle-for-music (Please don't sue me!)

On Her Way To Being the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) (5 Stars) – This Song Is Great And Carrie Is Proboly The Most Talented Artist In Music Today No One Can Top Her Vocally And As We All See Here No One Can Top Her Songs Either I Cant Wait To Plan On November 3rd (C U 11/3)
-Tconlon2

Cowboy Casanova? (2 Stars) – Boring and cheesy song.
-Tonyaeds

My Take

Oh who am I kidding? I'm just reviewing this so I could post that person's iTunes review that says "Seizes to amaze!!!!!" My review is pretty much pointless after that blast of awesomeness! I'll give it a go anyway.

My first impression: It's possibly the furthest thing from country ever played on country radio. This is a pop song - that is a matter of fact and there is no room for debate. I guess it's a somewhat catchy pop song, though the Shania-esque "oohhh whoa's" are hellafied annoying. The only thing country about this is the title. Oh sure, it'll be a #1 smash and is probably a great lead single for her forthcoming album, but it won't reverberate across time with its artistic excellence(or even above average-ness). It won't even reverberate across my ear drums again if I can help it.

Musically this recalls Kelly Clarkson, Shania and Joan Jett. Vocally it recalls her own "American Girl" with its overreaching screams. Lyrically, it recalls every song ever written about a guy who isn't all he appears. The words bring absolutely nothing new to the table - there's nary a clever turn of phrase to be heard. I'd go as far as to say they're some of the least interesting lyrics I have ever heard in a commercial country song - wow, there's even a big name songwriter attached to this.

Overall, the tune brings the term "country" as it relates to the mainstream portion of the genre, a great deal closer to irrelevancy. I'm going to listen to some BettySoo now.

Total value: .22/.99

The Checklist

Church/God
Mama
Boots
Name Dropping
Dying Person
County Fair
Lost Love
Check mark symbolLove
Hometown Pride
Kindly Advice
Truck
Whiskey
Beer
Life Affirmation
USA
Soldiers
Check mark symbolPop Sheen
Check mark symbolStar Power

Sep 20, 2009

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #16 & 17

#16 Try not to get hooked up with a writer or performer who has wildly different ideals than you. I mean, say for instance, you're a party hard, rockstar, jet flying, limo riding outspoken pimp who's on the Republican side (the right side)... you might not want to team up with a long haired, nice guy, peacenik, hippie dippie, lovin' everybody, helping the poor liberal kinda dude. Again, that's just a theoretical example, but when they say opposites attract... well maybe, but it can make for some damn frustrating songwriting and some spotty output. Not that I'd know about any of that.

--------------------------

#17 It's only okay to experiment when you do so with an eye on whatever styles are cool in the mainstream at the time. When we did "Save a Horse," rap was popular. When we put out "Big Time," songs that didn't become hits were the in-thing. We released "Comin' to Your City" when godawful tunes that could be used as annoying sporting event anthems were all the rage. Keep your finger on the pulse of what's hot. I keep my fingers all up in it. On my next album, I'm all about the autotuner.

Sep 18, 2009

Video Gems: Lucero

Farce the Music's favorite band, Lucero, is releasing a new album entitled 1372 Overton Park on October 6th and they've let fans film videos for all 12 songs on the record. The first one is called "Darken My Door" and it's equal parts hilarious, disturbing and sad. Enjoy!

Darken My Door from Lucero on Vimeo.

Sep 17, 2009

___ Deserves a Sackpunch







Nickelback Fan

Admit it. You don't really like music. You just like the way the high school girls look at you when you drive by band practice with "Something in Your Mouth" cranking out the windows of your ragged out Mazda that still has the loud pipes. The huge guitar riffs stand as tall as the popped collar of your creatine fueled muscle filled Affliction polo shirt as you nod and raise an index finger towards the cute blonde with an oboe in her mouth. The bass in your Kenwoods pounds as hard as your Red Bull-juiced heart as you glare at the skinny high school boys waiting for their girlfriends by the band hall. You could kick all their asses at once, couldn't you? And Mr. Kroeger's garbage post-grunge hard rock band would also play on the soundtrack to that melée, wouldn't it?

Some would say it's Nickelback who's at fault here, but I'm gonna disagree. They're just a few guys who got lucky and found the magic formula for making millions of dollars a year by reproducing the same song over and over and over and over, throwing in some naughty sex talk every now and then for spice. That formula has earned them groupies, fine cribs, fancy whips, country songwriting gigs, record companies and fame. Who would give up that meal ticket? I wouldn't. Good on 'em. I can't stand them, but good for them! You go Chad!

No, it's you, Nickelcrack fan, who needs to feel the insane pain on your lower membranes. You are the one who fills the band's coffers year after year, despite their general repetitive suckiness. You are the douchebag who hates music unless it makes you look cool to the underage girls you stalk on your lunch break from Kinkos. You need something to pump you up while you're stinking up the Bally's leg press machine in your Ed Hardy wife beater. You're the tool who gets so drunk at the concert you don't even remember anything about the show except "that dude I beat up in the bathroom after I puked." You suck worse than the band. "How you remind me" of people who end up in jail for nefarious sex crimes and arson.

You probably don't have a very large target due to the 'roids, but assume the position. It's time for a migraine inducing, sperm-count reducing sackpunch!

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