I know that this must be said by every generation…but, what the heck happened to music? Where did the soul go? I came across this meme (don’t ask me why it’s called that, because I don’t know…and more importantly, I just don’t care enough to find out why.) and I really think that it fits this enigma perfectly.
This meme got me thinking about what really did happen to music. I wish I knew what exactly happened that made music like Frank Sinatra, Bad Religion, or Earth Wind and Fire sang, obsolete. When I think about music, I think about one of my favorite genres: country.
I know more than a handful of people who cringe at the idea of listening to Garth Brooks. But country’s growing popularity is evidenced by hordes of not just the older people, but also the younger crowd that clog the dance floors at my local honky-tonk. (honky-tonk=country bar)
Country music as a genre has evolved over time. It’s taken cues from societal changes and has been able to adapt without losing is original spirit. Country music has stayed true to its roots without becoming a thing of the past. The roots I’m referring to is the subject matter that songs are written about. Country songs are written about real life, things almost all of us as humans can relate to.
Granted, there are other genres of music that share the same roots. But in comparison, I can’t think of one variety that has shown the kind of successful evolution as country music. Country music is one of the last popular genres left that sings about things that actually matter, things that make us feel something. Someone lie to you? There’s a song about that (listen to You Lie by The Band Perry). Are you in love? Got that covered too (listen to Honey Bee by Blake Shelton). Feel like kicking back and saying screw the world? You’re covered. (listen to Eric Church sing Smoke a Little Smoke) Thinking about a one-night stand? You bet you’re tookus there’s a few about that too (listen to Wanna Take You Home by Gloriana). Sure it’s nice to go out every once in a while, dancing to some mindless beat. But have you actually listened to the lyrics of most pop music these days? It’s the musical equivalent of junk food. The fact is, people can relate to what most country music is about. People want to listen to music that makes them feel something, other than some guy trying to rub up against you.
Speaking of which, one of my favorite things about country music and going to a honky-tonk is not feeling like a piece of meat at the market. Men ask women to dance. I’m talking actual partner dancing none of that bump & grind crap. Women don’t have to worry about getting felt up just because they said yes to dancing with someone. Country bars are some of the last places where men behave more like gentlemen and treat women respectfully, I suppose it’s just the kind of environment country music breeds. There’s rarely anyone being kicked out for fighting. They don’t pat you down for weapons or drugs at the door…which is nice.
The bottom line is this, people want music that means something more than how much money you make, what stupid crap you buy, how many people you’ve iced or how many women you’ve slept with. Sometimes you just get burned out on fast food. You start craving a home cooked meal because it feeds your body and your soul. This is why country music has become so popular. Some of us are just tired of junk food. What do you think?