I stopped listening to country music on the radio a few years ago, right as “bro country” was beginning to become mainstream. I wouldn’t be able to tell you any of the new songs or new artists, but every time I happen to come across a country radio station it always seems to be the same thing: dudes like Florida Georgia Line bro-ing it up and singing songs about their trucks or how country they are. I know that doesn’t describe all country music on the radio these days, but it’s apparent that bro country is what the industry thinks will sell the best. Maybe it’s just my West Texas roots, but to me that isn’t even close to what country music is supposed to be.
Yesterday as I was scrolling through Facebook, through the dozens of stories and articles being “shared” by my friends, I saw one video that really caught my eye and seemed to prove my belief today’s country music. If you haven’t already seen the video I encourage you to watch. It’s kind of eye-opening about the state of country music today.
Pretty crazy, right? That seems like pretty solid proof that Nashville is just pumping out the same song with different words, and people are buying it. That video reminded me of a different video that came out at the end of 2013 with the same concept, but it was a review of more than just six songs:
Whether you like that type of music or not you have to say that video is pretty funny. To me, it is kind of depressing to see country music deteriorate to this state. I guess if that’s what the people want then so be it. I just think that bro country is meaningless and repetitive, and these videos seem to back me.
They say there’s a George Strait song for everything, and the topic of bro country is no exception. In 2001, a full decade before bro country burst onto the scene, George Strait released a song called “Stars on the Water” as part of his The Road Less Traveled album. The song is most likely the first use of auto-tune in a country song, except it is Strait’s way of mocking “stars” who use voice enhancers and other things of that nature. “Stars on the Water” makes George Strait seem almost psychic, giving a subtle dig at the future artists who dominate the world of country music today.
Strait also collaborated with Alan Jackson on “Murder on Music Row”, in which they claim “someone killed country music” in the chase for “the almighty dollar and lust for worldwide fame”. The lyrics to this song perfectly describe bro country music, and they are probably right when they sing “Ol’ Hank wouldn’t have a chance on today’s radio”.