Reviews | It’s good to like country music

When I was growing up in the semi-rural town of Sellersville outside of Philadelphia, country music was abundant. I remember dancing to Taylor Swift on the way home, the sound of Kenny Chesney coming off my dad’s radio while going fishing, and Jason Aldean’s drone in the stable when I was learning to ride.

However, not everyone loves country music like me. For the most part that’s okay, but when it comes to Trope “I like all music except country”, I think this is an exaggerated belief. How can you appreciate most types of music, but ignore the fact that some of these genres evolved from country? The feeling can make sense, but I think it’s time to start thinking about music as something fluid.

I’m not going to try to convince you to be a country music lover, but I don’t think anyone can – or should be – a rigid country music hater.

Sometimes I think what puts people off about country music is what it became after 9/11. Gender became something that was excessively patriotic, leaning more generally towards Republican views. Country music is often presented as a genre only about girls, beer, trucks, the American flag and guns.

That’s okay, but I find that I generally lean to the left of the political spectrum. There are other liberals who like country music too, with the term “Y’Alternative” is becoming popular on TikTok. In fact, I found a great Spotify playlist called “You grew up on country music but now you’re a gay leftistby Bec Ember of this trend. What I mean is that listening to country music doesn’t have to align with a political agenda, despite its stigma.

Country music artists have also proven this time and time again. For example, Tim McGraw’s song “red rag top“caught a lot of flak to normalize the process of abortion and then breakup. Dolly Parton, a well-known country music artist, financially supported the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine From the beginning. Country music is not made for a political party, although it may seem so at first glance.

With the aforementioned Tim McGraw song as a good example, most country songs tell really rich stories. Songs like “Love story” and “Very good” by Taylor Swift further illustrate this point, telling detailed stories of love and heartbreak. Yes, Taylor Swift was a country artist before becoming a pop superstar. Curiously, she grew up relatively close to me in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Although it doesn’t apply to everyone, country music is nostalgic. Country music surrounded me at a time in my life when I was just getting to know the world. I vividly remember climbing into my dad’s big Dodge truck on hot summer days, listening to country music with the smell of cigar smoke in the air that he gave me says to “keep the insects away”.

While country music can have native to the southern United States, it has since spread to all parts of the country. Pennsylvania would probably be the last place you’d expect to find country music when the genre first came out, but now we have country music artists growing up there. So kids “outside of Philadelphia”, I know your secret. You probably grew up with a bit of country music, just like me.

Country music is an unmistakably American genre, just as other countries have developed their own respective genres. I know we Americans like to be embarrassed by our motherland, considering all the irresponsible things it has done since its inception. But I don’t think hate should translate into country music.

It’s music, and most people love music. It can be politicized, stigmatized and used for propaganda purposes, but it only makes sense to the extent that you give it to it.

I think we should be proud of country music, in some ways at least. The ability of country music artists to tell a story is commendable. The aggressive patriotism that has seeped into the country music scene over the past 20 years may not be ideal, but the genre can and will heal from it.

The best example of this are some of the more recent developments in country music. Chris Stapleton began to merge folk and country music, marrying two genres that have nurtured each other for decades. Kacey Musgraves and The Chicks continue to make country-inspired music. Morgan Wallen does country pop, songs that even my friends who don’t like country have heard of.

You don’t have to shout from the rooftops that you’re a country music fan. But if you ever find yourself at Tequila Cowboy or Jam on Walnut and country music is playing, don’t be ashamed to dance a little. Country music is “What to be proud ofto quote Montgomery Gentry.

Jessica Snyder primarily writes about controversy in art and politics. Write to him at [email protected].

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