At least, that’s what I thought. With the exception of the classic artists I grew up listening to and the exceptional album here or there, country music just pisses me off.
The vocalists throw extra twang affectation into their voices every time they open their mouths. They write about the same boring, repetitive things using the same boring repetitive chords and rhythms. And then there are the new country-pop artists. Yeah, let’s do all of the above, but make the boring rhythms into stupid pop inspired rhythms, use auto-tune, and throw in cheesy guitar solos. I am not even going to go into how bad an idea this is.
The fact is that there’s just so little originality in country music. Everyone tries to do the same thing that’s been done for years – just do it harder, longer, or more. Or they try to mix a caricature of country with a caricature of another genre. It just comes out sounding like complete shit. Let’s be honest. Most country music blows chunks.
But I’m sitting here listening to Exodus of Venus by Elizabeth Cook. I saw an ad that she’ll be playing solo nearby in a couple months, so I thought I’d look her up and expose myself to something new. I’m glad I did.
Cook does it right. She gives country its soul and creativity back. She’s not afraid to sound like herself. Sometimes she sounds completely country, sometimes bluesy, and sometimes just like a gal with a guitar. (Important aside: I’m always happy to see a female musician with an equipment endorsement – cheers to her and D’Addario – the only strings worth buying anyway – for that.) I’m not gonna go all music reviewer on you and go through highlights and lowlights of the album. It’s great. Just listen to it. You can tell she grew up in music. This comes naturally to her, it doesn’t feel forced. It feels genuine, and that’s what’s so good about it. The songs are original. There aren’t trite references. There’s no cheesy forced twang. It’s just music being what it is – itself. It also happens to fit pretty well into what we traditionally call country music more than the other genres.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, my music provider recommends some artists like Ms. Cook and I think I’m going to go explore.