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5 (Inaccurate) Complaints About Country Music
By JamishT | 19th September, 2014 | 12:12 pm

Country music is often looked down on and labelled backward or shallow. There's an old joke that says if you play Rock 'n' Roll songs in reverse, there's a message from the devil, but if you play a Country song backward, you get your wife, house, and dog back! Hahaha, so funny!

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I can't prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Country is a perfectly respectable genre, and I can't change your tastes, but I do intend to address some of the most common complaints about Country music. So jump up here, and let's take spin in my literary jacked up truck while I tune my Pandora to the Kenny Chesney station.

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It's like this, but with words and a keyboard instead of mud and a truck.


1. It's Not Real Country!

This is the first reason listed on both listicles I'll be referencing throughout this article. They make the case that modern Country is nothing like the good ol' days of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson. It's become too much like Pop and Rap, and real cowboys wouldn't listen to this crap any-more.

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I reckon that record you're playin' is dadgum awful!


How they're right:
Sure, Country music has changed since the 1960's. So has everything besides Weird Al's face. Seriously, go look it up, he hasn't aged. It's true that more and more Country songs have some four on the floor beats, rapping, and catchy hooks. I'll give them that. I'd also concede that today's Country music isn't something you'd hear from Cash or Jennings.

How they're wrong:
While more and more Country songs have Pop influences, I wouldn't say it's genre-wide. Actually, I would argue it's unfair to pigeonhole Country into one single genre. That's like telling Ambi that Metal sucks because you don't like KISS (they're considered Metal, right?). There are many sub-genres in Country, much like every other genre. If you want to hate on Country for sounding like Pop, hate on Bro-Country. As for today's Country sounding nothing like Johnny Cash or Waylon Jennings, I'd posit that's because their heyday was 30 or 40 years ago, and they're also dead.

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If you listen closely, you can hear his songs being played in reverse, as he decomposes.


Additionally, Country is still wildly popular and shows no signs of slowing down. I'm sure cowboys are still listening to it.

2. It Inspires Terrible Style Decisons!

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How they're right:
Country style can be very, very casual. Country style can be down right tacky in public.

How they're wrong:
Farm work is done in very, very casual clothes. What about those who go out in public like that? Maybe they don't really care what people think of the way they're dressed, that's not really a bad thing in my mind. As for the cowboy/country-style formal wear, I can't really defend the guys besides the fact that cowboy boots are more comfortable and can shine more than regular dress shoes. The rest of male country formal wear is usually quite tacky. As for the ladies...well, I've always found country girls incredibly attractive.

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Hello.


3. The Patriotism is Off the Charts!

The complaint that Country is way too patriotic is an old one, but since 9/11 it's become a little more intense. Toby Keith gets most of the heat for his uber-patriotic “Courtesy Of The Red, White, And Blue” and “Made In America”.

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How they're right:
Yeah, Toby Keith can be a little overboard (read: straight up racist), and I can't think of a Country song that mentions America without praising it. I'm not defending racism, and I'll get to that later.

How they're wrong:
America is beautiful and is pretty much the best. Case closed.

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Any questions? No? Good.


4. The Songs are so Shallow and Stupid!

Country seems to be mainly about trucks, girls, and beer. Where's the deep meaning and great metaphors? There's no substance to Country any-more!

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YEE-HAW!


How they're right:
Some songs are really just about a truck, taking a ride on a literal big green tractor, or going to a crazy party. The stories told in Country songs can be kinda pointless, too.

How they're wrong:
EXCUSE ME? Have you ever heard “Whiskey Lullaby”, “My Front Porch Looking In”, “Watching You”, or the other bajillion Country songs that have a meaning and moral behind them, or do you just listen to Bro-country? And even Bro-country has some meaningful songs! This charge is really what anyone says about any music style they don't like.

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"All music is shallow and depraved, you ruffians!"


5. It's Racist!
Some people point at the popularity of artists like Toby Keith and Hank Williams Jr. and proclaim Country fans as being racists. This blog post severely condemns Williams for his song “If The South Woulda Won”, and inevitably condemns the Republican Party and Fox News at the same time. But I digress: there are many who condemn Country fans and artists for using the Confederate flag on merchandise, album covers, etc., and seeming to be classic Southern racists.

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How they're right:
Racism is alive and well. I experienced it to a small degree in my rural high school because I have a dark complexion (and thus am Mexican, a perfectly good race to hate, apparently). Many country living people are stuck in their racist beliefs, and that's not good. Some songs are straight up racist, and some artists allow insensitive art to be used on their albums and merchandise. It's all true.

How they're wrong:
I don't know if you should paint an entire genre as racist because of some of the artists and fans. They're vocal, but definitely not close to a majority. Most of the time when a Country artist refers to the South as being great, they're talking about the food, the scenery, and the nice people, and they're not talking about the greatness of pre-Civil War South. That doesn't excuse racism when it does occur in songs, don't get me wrong, but I'd also point out that racists and instances of racism can be pointed out in basically every genre.

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I want YOU! To not only stop being racist, but also to stop labelling stuff and people as racist willy-nilly...


I don't expect anyone who hates Country to suddenly enjoy it after reading this. I do hope that you rethink the reasons you give for hating it. Maybe you just don't like it, which is totally okay. Maybe you don't understand it, and that's okay too. There are some genres I don't like, and I just don't get, but I don't want to call them or their fans stupid. I don't know everything about it, and I'm sure it takes some skill to do well. It's just not my thing. And that's okay.

Tags: Music, Country Music, Merica 19


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