FGL's "Dirt" is a virtually hookless listing song that covers well-worn ground (pun not intended?). It features a bombastic chorus with difficult-to-discern lyrics. Included in the aforementioned laundry list are bro-country tropes like jeans being peeled off, trucks circling up for a party, bonfires, and boots being used for something other than work. All this from the guys who never met a cliché, irrelevant rapper, canned beat, or cheesy slang phrase they didn't like. "Cruise," "This is How We Roll," "Get Your Shine On"…the list of grievances against Florida-Georgia Line is virtually endless despite them being only one album into their career.
So, why do I like this song as much as I do? Head injury? Reduced expectations? Secret payoff by their record label? All these have been offered up as possible reasons for my positive comments about the song on social media. The answers to those questions are: maybe, possibly, I wish.
"Dirt" is an actual country song, or as close as you're likely to get on mainstream radio these days. I know what you're thinking… "what do you want, a cookie? It's supposed to be country!" Yet, in this day of Sam Hunt's Jason Mraz stylings, Taylor Swift's complete shift to pop, and Hunter Hayes' teenage girl-friendly pop-rock, something that actually resembles country is an anomaly. In FGL's own repertoire, this song is an anomaly.
It's a serious song that straddles the divide between ballad and mid-tempo anthem. The titular dirt is the common element that ties together all the memories, future plans and simple philosophical musings (someday you'll return to it) on the cycle of rural and small town life. Sure it lists lots of country things, and no, there's no storyline, but the details and the manner in which they are related feel, if not fresh, at least passionate and authentic. It's a mature and moving song, if you let it be.
"Dirt" is also a very good song, and probably the only FGL song I don't mind getting stuck in my head on an endless loop. There's not much range but it's improbably catchy. The other dude even gets to sing a verse and hey, he sings better than the main bro (which I know isn't a high bar to clear, but still).
"I wouldn't have told that" is what some of you are thinking now. Even had a tweet saying they'd lost respect for FTM. Not sure if it was serious or not, but if my opinion on one mainstream song sways your confidence in FTM's credibility, please find your way to the unfollow or unfriend button or make your way to a blog that only speaks glad tidings of gritty, bar-touring independent artists (who we love by the way). We don't want you unhappy.
I owe it to myself and Farce's readers to be honest - if I like something or think it has strong artistic merit, I'm going to tell you about it. I don't care if it's a song from one guy picking a homemade banjo on a washtub in his yard, a homeless rapper from Taiwan, or a millionaire pretty boy… the song is the thing. And "Dirt" is a good one.
By the old ".99 Cent Review" grading method: