Why Country Music Fans Can’t Stop Listening to the “Same Old Song”

Brantley Gilbert has never been known for the depth of his lyrics in his songs. As a disciple of the “bro country” fad which has seemingly dominated Nashville for the past couple years, most of Gilbert’s songs convey a pretty similar message about tailgates, tan lines and moonshine. I use the word “most,” however, as one of his more recent songs containing some of the same stereotypical ideas of “bro country,” takes on a completely different message. Everyone knows Brantley Gilbert for his hits such as “Bottoms Up” and his more recent “Hell of an Amen,” but not many have heard the less popular song off of his new album, “Same Old Song.” While “Same Old Song” has all the bro country components of bonfires, whiskey and tailgates, the meaning behind the song is stronger than one might think. In the song, Gilbert argues that although these subjects may be cliché by now, it’s what he knows and it’s what he grew up on: “I hear there’s folks/Tired of us talking about dirt roads/Tailgates, tan lines and corn rows/ It sounds made up but that’s the life I know.”

Most country songs being released from Nashville these days all contain the same content, and Gilbert acknowledges this, but he retorts by saying that although it may seem made up, it’s what he was surrounded by growing up in Georgia and its part of the culture many country artists hail from. Undoubtedly, Brantley Gilbert blows the situation way out of proportion, essentially stating that bonfires, whiskey and tailgates completely dominate every southerner’s experience, but at the heart of the song, his message rings true.

Growing up in a rural area, as many Americans across the nation do, “Moonlight, bonfires/Seein’ all the stars on a summer night” are very real and common experiences. It’s something many listeners can relate to, and that’s why it has become such a staple. While nobody wants the country music industry to transform in to a genre of homogeneous music all based on the same five or six concepts, subjects such as bonfires and a night sky full of stars have become country music staples for a reason. At the end of the day, country music is about relatability and American culture. Just like Brantley argues, country music can be criticized for being repetitive, but it’s repetitive because the ideas expressed in many country songs are based on experiences that thousands of Americans are familiar with, and which have become a source of pride for many. Nashville is undoubtedly becoming too unoriginal in the ideas that it portrays in its songs, no matter the artist, but who can blame the industry for releasing music based on what most listeners know and treasure? The reign of bro country might finally be coming to an end in the country music genre, and for all of its faults and lack of depth, the relatable lyrics and catchy tunes will keep many of us “sangin’ that same old song” for a little while longer.


Filed under Blog Post 2, Bro Country

3 Responses to Why Country Music Fans Can’t Stop Listening to the “Same Old Song”

  1. Hannah Evans

    Thank you for writing this article! I get annoyed when people bash on country for singing about a lot of the same topics. Just because they may not be the most deep at times, doesn’t mean that the music is bad! Different songs hold different meaning to people…and people can be really snobby about what “good country music truly is” sometimes…so I’m glad you discussed it. A lot of this “bro-country” does a good job at making the listener feel nostalgic, and I think that’s something a lot of people like about it. I’m definitely going to go check out some more Brantley Gilbert after reading this. Thanks for sharing!

  2. John Monroe

    This was a very interesting blog post to me because nearly all the things I’ve read on this blog speak out against the repetition of “bro-country”. It got me thinking about subject matter in genres more broadly. First, for a topic to be cliche there has got to be a grain of truth or something behind it to make so many people like it. Also, in one of my favorite genres, Blues, I also hear people complain about it being dominated by one topic – a woman leaving a man, and it doesn’t ever bother me. So, while I may not like most of the bro country movement I’m glad to hear a voice for it!

  3. Tyler Dial

    Dear Matt,
    I’ve never heard this song before and I have to admit, I’m not the biggest Brantley Gilbert fan. Even though he is defending his country brothers who sing about the same old stuff, I feel like this song lacks depth in the production and in the lyrics. I do, however, have a lot of respect for an artist who doesn’t let criticism affect the songs he writes and records. Brantley Gilbert definitely has the bad boy image going for him but I fear that singing the “Same Old Song” will get very old very fast. I’m interested to see what’s next in Gilbert’s career!

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