Is Country Music That Bad?

Most people think country music is a bunch of cowboys sitting around a campfire with a banjo, singing about their pasts. While country music gets a bad rep due to the sometimes twangy songs that tend to be stereotyped with it, artists such as Luke Combs and Morgan Wallen are introducing new songs into the realm of country music that have been putting it in some of Spotify’s and Apple Music’s top playlists. 

Songs like “Forever After All” and “7 Summers” have been sneaking their way into some of the shower playlists of even the most hardened country-haters.

Person Playing Sun Burst Electric Bass Guitar in Bokeh Photography  

Now I’m not exactly a country lover myself -- if anything I don’t mind country music and have certainly heard a fair share of songs that don't fit my style. Still, the way that country songs are written is something that I’ve always admired. 

Music with any kind of country always tends to be better at telling a story more than other kinds of music, like rap and pop tend to. For example, even some more popular mainstream country music begins with a story. Take Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats,” where the artist begins by telling us the story of her now-ex boyfriend being in a bar with a “bleached blonde tramp” and teaching her how to shoot a combo in pool.   

A lot of music today doesn’t do that and while you don’t have to love country, you can at least admire a lot of work that goes into constructing a country song, as well as, it’s uniqueness -- you ALWAYS know when a country song is on… Although usually this results in groaning, crying, and -- in extreme cases -- even vomiting but that’s not the point!

The point is, although widely unaccepted by most people, country is different from most other music for the way in which it tells stories and is almost always acoustic, using guitars and other instruments to convey the feeling of being in the live audience of a small show. 

people at a concert Photo by Nainoa Shizuru from Unsplash

Another aspect of country music to consider is that it takes into account multiple different culture types; western, southern, cowboy, and even folk all are considered in the making of these songs. 

While certain aspects of country are unappealing to people, the majority of country is written as ballads which typically means love songs. Prime examples being “Forever After All” and “7 Summers” although both tend to go in different directions. 

While Luke Combs introduces the comforting nature of his life-long affection, Morgan Wallen is the cowboy sitting around talking about his past. But both are speaking of their loves. This solidifies their place in the country genre as well and when done in the right way, can attract new people to the country genre as well. 

Country is still versatile and while many songs rise in popularity, such as Lil Nas’ “Old Town Road” I think we will be seeing a lot more people open to country music and all of its subgenres.