Thursday, November 10, 2011

She's country

Since I have just spent about a half hour pestering Andrew (who is trying very hard to get homework done) with the results of the CMAs and going through why I dislike Taylor Swift (which he has heard 10 times before), I decided to make a better use of my time by -- that's right -- telling all of YOU about it! :)

I get into these country phases suddenly when something triggers them. First, it was my grandfather's death in 2009 that set off an obsession (and, subsequently, at least $50 in music downloads) with country for months and months. Since that point, I go in and out of country phases, and the current one started when someone at work suggested that this Friday be "dress-like-a-cowboy" day and started blasting country music from his cubicle this afternoon.

Of course, it didn't help that the Country Music Awards came on tonight and some of my favorite artists sang (which resulted in several more music downloads within the past hour). So here's my low-down on the winners:

Taylor Swift: I admire Taylor Swift's songwriting ability and have two of her songs, but the girl CANNOT PERFORM LIVE. Seriously. Andrew and I heard her sing once on a TV show, and it was awful. As a singer, I have performed many times on a stage with a microphone, and I know how hard it is to stay in tune when the music is playing behind you and you're focused on performing well to a crowd. This is why I also have little sympathy for multimillion dollar artists who suck onstage. Anyone (OK, not anyone) can sound fabulous inside a recording studio with equalizers and headphones and a quiet, soundproof room. The real test is whether you can perform well under pressure, and in my opinion, she can't. So I disagree with her award as Entertainer of the Year. Give that to someone who really has pipes, like Carrie Underwood (and definitely not to Faith Hill, who also is terrible live and was not too great singing at the CMAs tonight).

Blake Shelton: I like Blake Shelton's voice, but unfortunately, two of his most popular songs are covers that ruined the originals: "Home," by Michael Buble, and "God Gave Me You" by Dave Barnes. I mean, really? Both of those songs were amazing by themselves, and all Blake Shelton did was add a twang to them and slow them down. Artists who countrify pop songs really bug me (case in point: Reba's cover of "Because of You"). Don't get me wrong. I love a lot of covers out there. But if you're going to cover a song, it needs to either be better than the original or add some kind of depth and uniqueness to it. Sorry, Blake -- you did neither.

Phew. Glad I got that off my chest. I was planning on following up my rant about the artists I'm not big on with the country artists I love, but it's midnight and I'll regret it when I have to wake up in the morning. So, until tomorrow, friends! If you're a fan of country, please let me know! It's fun to discuss opinions with someone else since my family hates country. :)


  1. I agree with you, Lindsay!
    I have an opinion on Taylor Swift, wanna hear it? Okay.
    I admire her because she writes her own music and it's relatively clean. The girl looks like she's having the absolute time of her life--she seems to be true to herself as far as I can tell. I like the songs she writes and her videos are creative. Good job, Taylor.
    I have beef with the latest song I'm hearing--sparks fly. It feels like a gimmick to me because she sings about sparks and a firework show and rain. She loves using rain in her concerts and to reference a firework show just makes it look like you picked a few things you wanted to use in your performance and plan a song around it. Gimmick. The gimmick worked, I suppose, so good job again. But little Jessie over here thinks it's cheesy. My two cents! Thanks!

  2. I feel the same way. I think most of today's twenty-something "country singers" are nothing more than pop stars with a twang. They can't sing live; they can't do anything outside a studio. Their performances are based on theatrics, not music (since they're lip-syncing anyway). I compare them to artists like Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, and Martina McBride who live and breathe country and folk music and harmonies, and have been performing live their whole life--not just for Star Search or American Idol. And don't even get me started on Taylor Swift's constant and ridiculous cat eye makeup. It bugs me to no end.


Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts! I love reading them.