Aug 13, 2014

My How Times Have Changed


  1. Have times really changed that much? Both "Check Yes or No" and "Gonna Wanna Tonight" are absolute lowest common denominator songs. George Strait was a talented entertainer and I think he did this better that Chase Rice does. But mainstream country was far from sophisticated in 1995 and its far from sophisticated in 2014.

    I guess the George Strait song is "cute" and the Rice song more explicit ("put your hands wherever they wanna go" Rice sings). But Strait mentions chasing his wife "around the bed in our room" in "Check Yes or No," so that song fairly clearly references sex as well.

    In 1995 there were complaints that "Hot New Country" had caused popular acts from the 1980s to get pushed aside who had less talent. Today we hear complaints that George Strait has been pushed aside for younger, less talented acts.

    I'm not defending Chase Rice. The song is bad. But Check Yes or No isn't much better.

    1. The song is bad. But Check Yes or No isn't much better.

      I'm not the biggest fan of "Check Yes or No," but the above statement is just so self-evidently ridiculous that any further debate of it is moot.

  2. The point is that country has gotten more crass. "Check Yes or No" is definitely one of Strait's weaker songs, but it's infinitely classier than Rice's bro-bravado come ons.

    1. I agree, Farcer, that there is a lot of crass stuff in today's country. Now: is that necessarily bad? Farcethemusic is an awesome blog that often uses crass humor to satirize modern country. Hank III is vulgar and filthy, but sometimes makes good music...

      "Gonna Wanna" is boring. The whole song is: lets get in a truck, ride around in some field, drink some booze [hopefully not while driving!], and maybe the girl will wanna fool around. Rice is such a bland singer that I don't really care how this date ends...

      You say "Check" is "infinitely classier that Rice's bro-bravado come ons." But "Gonna Wanna Tonight" isn't bragging about having sex. Rather, Chase he is hoping to get some sex at the date's end. Chase's bro-bravado is nothing compared with Straits cowboy-bravado in "Fireman."

      And Strait's morals/class levels in The Fireman, We Really Shouldn't Be Doing This, All My Exes Live in Texas, Hollywood Squares, and The Seashores of Old Mexico are questionable.

      In "Seashores," and "The Fireman" Strait is bragging about his sexual adventures with women who are attached to other men. In his "Seashores" cover, Strait is a criminal, flees the country to avoid his sentence, and finds romance with someone's wife. Strait's vocals indicate that he is proud of all this. Rice looks like an angel in comparison...

      In "Hollywood Squares" Strait runs away from debts he won't repay (bill collectors), his exes live "across the country," and he mentions "child support." He may be paying child support but he is almost surely an absentee father. And of course, in "Exes Live in Texas" Strait runs away from the law and the multiple women he has mistreated.

      I prefer Strait, though not because Strait is "classier." Rice is boring and his song assaults my ears. "Check Yes Or No" is hardly a masterpiece. I suppose it has more "class" than "Gonna Wanna," but the "un-classy" Strait songs I mentioned are far more interesting than "Check Yes Or No!"

  3. It clearly references sex with his wife who he had met in high school and still finds attractive enough to chase around the bed in their room. The other song clearly references sex with some hottie that could just as well be any girl he happened upon that night. Big difference . Sex is always going to find its way into songs but the difference is in its portrayal/

    1. Brad says "the difference is in the portrayal" although Brad never mentions why the differences in portrayal he cites are relevant.

      Also, Brad reads stuff into the "portrayal" of sex in the Rice song. First, the Rice song doesn't "reference sex with some hottie that could just as well be any girl he happened upon that night." In the song, Rice wants sex, but the song never tells us whether any sex happens.

      Second, while the girl could be "any girl he happened upon that night," the girl could be someone he has been dating for a bit. The song gives us no indication either way.

      This is probably a young couple: younger people fool around in trucks in part because they live with parents and/or roommates and maybe can't take a date home. Older people have their own master bedrooms.

      So if the "difference" is that the Strait couple is older than the Rice couple, or further along in their relationship, I fail to see why that makes the Strait portrayal somehow more acceptable. I think all stages in a courtship are "valid" and country music should portray them all. The night on the town that George Strait sings about likely was preceded decades ago by nights Chase Rice is singing about.

      I'd add that unlike much bro-country, this Chase Rice song does not portray women as sex-objects. There is nothing here to suggest Rice cares only about this woman's butt, or that she is even a "hottie." We don't know why he likes her. There is no idiotic frat-boy partying in this song.

      Nor is sex portrayed explicitly or in a particularly objectionable way compared with Check Yes Or No. Neither song is explicit or degrading in their references to sex.

      Both songs probably feature alcohol, though: Rice explicitly suggests getting a "buzz" [but not drunk] and Strait mentions taking his wife out in a "white limousine," strongly suggesting a possibility that the couple got buzzed (or worse) on the town and/or drank in the limo as well. But neither suggests that alcohol was used immorally nor does either song celebrate immoral combinations of sex and booze. Admittedly, the Rice song is a bit more explicit in terms of the booze, but Rice limits this to getting a "buzz" so I don't really have a problem as long as long as the couple is sober before they drive.

      I'm not clear why the Chase Rice song portrays sex in a way significantly worse than the George Strait song.

    2. ^ I present to you Chase Rice's #1 fan!

  4. He met her way before high school, it was third grade and her name was Emmy Lou Hayes.



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