Mar 29, 2017

Farce Madness: The Infernal Four

We've pared it down from 64 to 4. Voting for the Infernal Four will take place on Twitter this Friday. Here's a breakdown of the remaining "teams."


4. "Any Kane Brown song"
In retrospect, this shouldn't have been included. Not saying his output has been anything but substandard, but I think the way it's listed, people were voting for/against Kane's combined catalogue vs. single songs. Funny? Yeah. A very "Farce the Music" result? Oh yeah. Fair? Probably not. Even Kane's worst song "Ain't No Stopping Us Now," while trite and mind-numbing, is nowhere near as bad as Danielle Bradbery's putrid "Friend Zone." But is Kane Brown generally less listenable than Danielle Bradbery? That's a yes from me dawg I get it.

Anyway, this entry is a powerhouse and has as good a shot as any to beat Sam Hunt's modern anti-classic atrocity. But I hope it doesn't.


11. Sam Hunt "Body Like a Back Road"
I've wondered about this one through the voting process. Is it actually that bad, or is recency bias clouding judgment? Do people just dislike Sam Hunt's music this much? Yeah, but… I'm coming around to agree with this song making the last 4. It really is that bad. Even the criticisms have become cliché… not country, clichés galore, creepy, bad metaphors…but it's all there. Sam went all in on this song, and he'll score another big hit because of it. What's that really mean anymore, though, in a world where Michael Ray's tepid slop can be politicked and publicized up to number one?

Sam has said recently that preparing for his upcoming marriage will take precedence over getting new music out. Good for him - I really mean that. But also, good for our ears!


1. Luke Bryan "Country Girl (Shake it For Me)"
While I'm not even sure this is Luke's worst song - "Kick the Dust Up" and "That's My Kind of Night" want some of that action - "Country Girl's" position here is well-deserved. It is literally and symbolically the moment Luke Bryan went from kinda traditionalist B-lister to butt thrusting megastar. We've gotten comments on Twitter saying this song isn't really that bad and more comments saying it's basically worse than stomach flu. Average those out and it's still not good. This song is a perfect figurehead for how most Farce the Music readers feel about Luke in general. With the visceral hatred of Luke Bryan's music swelling to fever pitch nearing the climax of Farce Madness, this one's going to be very hard to take down.


2. Billy Ray Cyrus "Achy Breaky Heart"
Not even gonna lie. I liked this song enough in 1992 to buy the cassette tape. To this day, I don't necessarily hate it… I recognize that it's a stupid song, maybe even objectively bad, and I don't actively seek it out to listen… probably haven't heard it in full in decades …but I don't hate it. That said, I understand its significance and its rightful spot here in the Infernal Four. You can't listen to the song without picturing shredded acid washed jeans, a mullet, and a ridiculous line dance. It's a distillation of the early 90s… which really wasn't a bad time, but it's all pretty cheesy. The song is catchy, bouncy, and grating all at once. It's a joke, it's a punchline, it's an example country music haters point to. It's …oh crap, pretty much the equivalent to "Country Girl (Shake It For Me)" if I'm honest. Where that song came out when I'm older, more mature, more musically snobby, more a fun hater, "Achy Breaky" came out when I was a kid, still not opposed to fun. The difference here for me is that Billy Ray didn't change the landscape of country music. Sure, it ushered in an era of white people standing in lines doing synchronized moves to country remixes, but it didn't open the sewer floodgates the way Luke's song did. Anyway, I'll stop. Wouldn't wanna influence the vote any more than I have.

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