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Old 04-10-2015, 02:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What's Missing in Country Music Today?

Hey everybody. There're a lot of great new artists and songs coming out this year, but I'd be interested to know what everyone thinks is MISSING in country music right now.

What are your thoughts?
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Not being dull and predictable.
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ah ok. You mean, in terms of the words/lyrics, or even going into the melodies and chords as well? Or even the subject matter.
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Like blues, and bluegrass, country is a very rigid genre that isn't as open and friendly to stylistic experimentation as some genres are. You take one step outside of the box and you become "Alt Country or Americana". So under the "country music" flag you end up with endless numbers of tunes entirely built on rehashing past writing styles. This of course applies to many other types of music but it's the reason long lasting genres like blues, country, bluegrass, or even a lot of metal genres get labelled as boring and repetitive. Unless you really jive with the "country music" sound, and there are a lot of people that do, you're going to start looking elsewhere for sounds you do enjoy.

I think if you asked old country music fans what modern country music is missing they'd probably say "grit and honesty". Most commercial country music stars I've seen come across as pretty glammed up. The old legends like Willie Nelson or Hank Williams were hard as nails bad mother****ers.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ah ok. You mean, in terms of the words/lyrics, or even going into the melodies and chords as well? Or even the subject matter.
I mean all of it. Too much modern country is content to be just pop with a southern twang or to be a rehash of the same old things. A lot of the time I find that I can hum the melodies of country songs as I'm hearing them for the first time, which means those songs are incredibly predictable. I know that country as a genre can be better than that, and wish more country artists would try.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's missing the sinister. It's become too bubble gum and happy, reminiscent of Daisy Duke. I hate that stupid 'chicken fried' song, and I've never heard a female country singer I could get down with. They just sound like alternative rock-pop sung in a southern accent.

While I'm in this thread, totally open to recs on the latter because fempower. Also I really, really hate that stupid chicken fried song.
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Totally agree with the general direction of the response on this thread. Just focusing on the lyrics side of things, country music values simplicity. Whereas older country music artists reveled in this, and the product was raw, honest, unpretentious stories about life that were just so damn true, as it has become more commercialised things have swung the other way. Simplicity is also country music's own worse enemy because you get vacuous pop-y artists with nothing profound to say making mind-numbingly predictable, formulaic dross which is practically composed in monosyllables.
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The answer to this question changes depending on if you're specifically referring to the "pop country radio / awards show industry" or the whole of country music as a genre.

If the former, the answer is "Pretty much everything that defines traditional country music as country music except some of the instrumentation and the accent - and even that some of the time." Though, there are plenty of exceptions.

If the latter, then the answer is "Nothing. True, honest, heartfelt, country music is still out there and being created and released every day. You just need to stop turning on pop country radio expecting to find it."

Find what you consider true country artists, then find interviews with them and take notes on other artists they collaborate with, listen to, etc. Find small town venues who have live music and cater to country music types and fans, the ones who host full-time gigging acoustic singer-songwriters. Check out their music. Check out the venue's calendar to see who else is on it. Follow these artists on social media and see who they talk about and who they play shows with.

And when you do find "pop country radio" songs that resonate with you, it likely means there's a talented country songwriter somewhere in the background. Look up who wrote the song and go find them via their website and social media. Many of them are gigging musicians who release their own music. Who knows, you might even find that you much prefer their own version of the song to the one with that Nashville polish and production.

If you really care about music and discovering new artists you'll like, it doesn't require much effort. Maybe a little more than turning your car's radio knob, but let's not be lazy. And you might even find yourself expanding your musical horizons into the related Folk, Americana, and Bluegrass genres. When you get to real, heartfelt music, it often spans genres or rides that edge.
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