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article imageOp-Ed: Why country music was awesome in 2013

By Markos Papadatos     Dec 23, 2013 in Entertainment
According to a recent video that was posted on YouTube, the genre of country music was quoted as being "awful" in 2013, however, I seriously beg to differ, especially since I reviewed most of the singles and videos in question.
The YouTube video that inspired me to write this opinion piece as a rebuttal can be viewed by clicking here.
When I reviewed Billy Currington's "Hey Girl" for Digital Journal a few weeks prior, I found his vocals smooth, impressive and extremely radio-friendly.
Although Jake Owen's "Days of Gold" and Cole Swindell's "Chillin It" have yet to reach No. 1, it is bound to happen sooner or later, since they are both fun, uptempo and catchy.
Kip Moore's "Beer Money" was a great song to sing along with whenever it was played on country radio, but his talent was not limited to that. He also had "Hey Pretty Girl" released this year, and that was a poignant love ballad that most men would love to have featured at their wedding receptions.
Same holds true for Lee Brice's "Parking Lot Party." While the YouTube video criticized that single (which peaked at No. 6 on the country charts), it bears to mention that Brice also had the deep, powerhouse single "I Drive Your Truck" that topped the country charts and subsequently garnered him a Grammy nomination for "Best Country Solo Performance," as well as the No. 1 spot on my list of the 10 "best country singles of the year." Regardless, at any country music concert that any concertgoer went this year, it is safe to say that "parking lot parties" were ubiquitous, so having a song written about them was not a bad idea after all. In fact, it became a theme song for tailgate parties.
It is no wonder that the majority of the songs went to the top of the Billboard country charts. They connected well with the fans and they were uplifting and feel-good tracks with a laid-back vibe to them.
All of these aforementioned artists are extremely talented themselves since in one song they can show their fans how to have a good time (such as Blake Shelton with "Boys Round Here" and then they can warm their hearts with the moving ballad "Mine Would Be You," which was also a deep, chart-topping mainstream country single); moreover, similar to Lee Brice, Shelton garnered a Grammy nomination for his poignant tune "Mine Would Be You."
The boys of Florida Georgia Line (Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard) had an amazing year with such chart-topping singles as "Round Here" and "Get Your Shine On," both of which are refreshing and infectious and their hit single "Cruise" was a global phenom. Not only did it crossover to other genres of music, it stayed at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts for 24 weeks, thus shattering a record for most weeks at the top of those charts by any single in country history.
Justin Moore's "Point At You" was another fun tune that went on to peak at No. 1 on the Mediabase country charts and a great introduction to his new CD, as Digital Journal had previously reported back in July.
Atlantic Nashville recording artist Brett Eldredge's "Don't Ya" single was singled out in that YouTube video, yet I found his vocals smooth and sultry and reminiscent of country singer James Otto; moreover, I found his album Bring You Back to be the most well-crafted CD this year by any artist in the genre, male or female, and that collection contained some really deep songs such as "Raymond" and "One Mississippi."
Columbia Nashville's Tyler Farr's "Redneck Crazy" was one of the most unique songs I've heard on country radio this year, and his vocals were reminiscent of Kip Moore and Brantley Gilbert as I had previously reported. Many male country listeners can relate to it, since it deals with the subject of infidelity and angst about a prior relationship.
With Jon Pardi's "Up All Night," the listener can let loose and enjoy the weekend after a hard week's work. There is nothing wrong with that.
Randy Houser's "Running Out of Moonlight" was one of the catchiest songs of the year, and once it got in the listener's heads, it was difficult to get out of. This tune also made my list of Top 10 singles this year.
Overall, while these songs that were played on contemporary country radio stations may not be traditional or your parent's country music, they are still well-crafted songs that fared well with the fans. They had great melodies, nice riffs, hooks, and they were backed by great production. The same artists are also known for recording songs with deeper messages to them and I'm sure if their other songs were released to radio, they would fare just as well. (For example: Luke Bryan's latest single "Drink a Beer," is melancholic in its nature and moving and it will most likely go to No. 1. This is from the same artist that sang "Crash My Party" and "That's My Kind of Night").
I would like to thank all of these aforementioned country artists, their labels and their teams of people behind them for releasing such great music for the fans to enjoy and the journalists/critics to review. I thoroughly liked all of these songs and it bears to mention that I love both the traditional and the modern genres of country.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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