Garth Against the Machine

garth brooks black hat reuters
From a young age I listened to Garth Brooks around the house. My mother is a huge fan of Garth Brooks. My mother was actually in the Primetime documentary about Garth Brooks in the front of the crowd at one of his concerts in July of 1992 in what used to be called the Coors Amphitheater in Southern California. She was at the concert with a big group of friends and just happened to be filmed. This is her claim to fame and I will never forget this story.

Unknown-1This is why I took great joy in informing my mother that after 13 years of retirement Garth Brooks is making a comeback with his new album called Man Against Machine under the label RCA Nashville. This album will be quite different than most of the music circulating around other male Country Music singers. Brooks looks past partying and rural life to music that better speaks to the common man. In his album Brooks is representing the middle class that works day in and day out without time for excessive partying and celebration. I am very interested in seeing how listeners will react to this divergent theme. This album shows influence from Jason Aldean and Eric Church with its heavy guitars and dark-hued themes. He doesn’t include auto-tuned vocals, rhythm loops or rapping unlike most modern male country stars. His tracks are weighty and wordy, just like his previous albums “Scarecrow” and “In the Life of Chris Gaines” left off.

Due to this type of construction of the album I get a new traditionalist subgenre vibe from Brooks new album. He reals country music back in to a more traditional standpoint unlike the modern country music that is currently popular. Although his album strays from the current modern country themes produced by male country stars, in my opinion, his desire to address life’s important themes should be more successful than the more superficial themes currently popular in Country music. The themes in Man Against Machiene, show that Garth still nods to his Oklahoma roots, patriotism, parenthood, and there are trademark dashes of feistiness. Mostly, though, there are well-constructed songs with catchy melodies and a sturdy voice that show that a decade of rest has served Brooks well. This album brings together a new and old Garth Brooks. I urge all of you to check the new album out, and hopefully you will connect to it and enjoy it as much as I did.


Filed under New Country, News

5 Responses to Garth Against the Machine

  1. Mark Anderson

    Good job Makayla…. I agree with the fact that he should be more popular since he addresses more important themes in his music than other current country artists. But, sadly, people will respond better to songs about partying and having a good time rather than anything heavier. It sounds like he definitely has an older, more traditional view of what music should be about, and I agree 100%. I have never heard of any of Garth Brooks’ music before, that I know of. But, he sounds like a respectable country artist who looks deeper into life and translates that into his music, which is always a good thing.

  2. Gosh, MaKayla. I just don’t know what to make of Garth Brooks. He was a huge deal when I was a kid. Every summer, a number of country performers play the outdoor rodeo arena at the Cheyenne (Wyoming) Frontier Days, and when he would come the show would sell out within minutes. He was all my friends’ favorite singer up through middle school and then, suddenly, he got unpopular and retired. It didn’t help that he released a Christmas album with this ridiculous cover (seriously, what is going on in that photo?) or that he released a terrible album under the name of his alter ego, Chris Gaines. He was one of the first celebrities that I watched “go crazy” under the pressures of fame the same way Brittany and Lindsay would implode a few years later. Anyway, despite all this, he seems to be making a comeback. But what is his role in the current country music? Is he the veteran who has returned to give guidance to new stars? Is he the grouchy old man come out of retirement to bring country music back to its roots? Or is he simply trying to cash in after all the years away from the spotlight? I guess time will tell.

  3. Brent Borman

    I am not going to lie, I am a bit disappointed to find out that Garth Brooks is NOT making a album of Rage Against the Machine covers. Regardless, you have convinced me to give this album a listen. I am definitely a fan of more traditional sounding country music, and would not miss the auto-tune or rapping elements. His middle-class perspective sounds much more relatable than generic tracks. I would much rather hear about the struggles of pain, loss, and parenthood than some dumbed down song about taking your truck mudding or getting wasted and fighting. To me, meaningful country artists (like Hank Williams) seem to convey their own life experiences through their music. It sounds like Garth Brooks’ new album does just that, so I believe I’ll give it a listen.

  4. Gerrit Cook

    You hear a lot about Garth Brooks in Minnesota (my homeland), and they are only good things. He was just in Minneapolis and played a first show at 6pm and then another one at 10pm because there was such a demand for tickets. I love it when musicians make a “comeback” album, and it is cool to see how they may or may not have changed their sound to complement mainstream country. just released an article about the history of Garth Brooks performing in Minnesota. He says some pretty cool things that country fans might want to check out. Here is the link:

  5. Brittany Fietsam

    Makayla, I really enjoyed your post about Garth Brooks! I also grew up a big fan of Brooks. I have not heard about this album and am very excited to check it out! I am also happy that he chose to stick to his more traditional topics and sound. I love your mom’s little claim to fame story too! I bet she was ecstatic to hear about this album and his return after so long! I also am interested to see how people will react to this album. I am so excited to see the new Garth Brooks and I hope he’s as good as the old one!

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