Martina McBride – “Ride”

Juli Thanki | November 20th, 2008

Martina McBride - Ride Songwriters: Michael Davey, Andrew Dorff and Chris Robbins.

After nearly a two year hiatus, Martina McBride is back with a new single off of her album Martina McbRIDE, slated for release in March 2009. Despite the success of serious songs such as “Independence Day” and “A Broken Wing,” McBride has spent the past few years traveling down the safe route with songs about babies, angels, and other inoffensive, Up With People subjects. It’s to the point now that these nearly interchangeable songs seem like mere vehicles for McBride to get to the chorus—any chorus—and sing the hell out of it.

“Ride” sees McBride (thankfully) toning down this tendency to slip into a Celine Dion meets Tammy Wynette style of overdramatic belting at every opportunity, and instead finds the singer using her velvety soprano to far greater effect by just plain singing. Without the vocal histrionics, McBride allows the passion in her voice to come to the forefront of the song without beating the listener over the head with her immense talent like it’s Country Night on American Idol.

Lyrically, “Ride” ishardly poetry–unless we’re talking about the Dadaist kind: “Life is a roller coaster ride/Time turns the wheel and love collides.” What? The chorus then strings together a bunch of clichés about touching the sky, shining while you have the chance to shine, and laughing even when you want to cry.

“Ride,” though catchy, is a little low on cogency–not to mention originality. And it essentially resolves into the same kind of positive “message song” that has defined so much of McBride’s recent work.

It’s difficult not to hope that McBride will eventually take an occasional trip back to the era of “Independence Day,” or “Wrong Again,” where the subject matter was powerful and the vocals were stunningly gorgeous, but never oversung. “Ride” seems to be a step in that direction vocally, but the song itself is more of the same new confection.

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  1. [...] the same kind of positive “message song” that has defined so much of McBride’s recent work. - The 9513 Best of all, she sounds like she’s really singing again, interpreting a lyric instead of [...]
  1. Paula_W
    November 20, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Though she has a few songs I really like, I’m just not a huge Martina fan. This song gives me no reason to change my mind.

  2. plain_jo
    November 20, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    I am a huge Martina fan but feel like she hasn’t put out alot of substance recently. Her last album was a disappointment. Hopefully she has some great songs on the new album.

  3. Chris D.
    November 20, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    I actually really like this song, it’s not anywhere near her best though.

  4. Hollerin' Ben
    November 20, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    haha, “Up with People”, awesome reference.

    though I don’t share your enthusiasm for Martina’s voice, I really enjoyed your review of this one.

    well done.

  5. Nicolas
    November 20, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    I love this song <3

  6. Juli
    November 20, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    I think Martina is one of the better voices in commercial country, I just wish she’s quit shouting at me, especially now that they’re playing Christmas songs on the radio. The night was divine…we get it, Martina. No need to yell.

  7. Guy
    November 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Good one, Juli.

    Funny … but you’re right. Martina does not need to “yell”. She is an excellent singer who does more when she’s restrained, gentle, understated in her delivery and interpretation.

    Less is more, Martina.

  8. songwriter1
    November 20, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    As a songwriter trying to make it, it`s discouraging that someone like martina would cut this

  9. Jim Malec
    November 20, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    Tell me about it, Songwriter1!

  10. Chris D.
    November 20, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    Her understated performances, like “Love Land” and “House Of A Thousand Dreams”?

    I love those songs!

  11. Craig R.
    November 20, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    I think that McBribe has one of the greatest voices of all time-but I agree that her song choices over the last few years have not had any charm, wit or realness. When I heard “Ride” on the CMA Awards it reminded me of that bad song “God’s Will” – a song that panders so much one wonders if maybe McBribe isn’t as smart and sharp as her voice.

  12. Margie
    November 20, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    I like this song!

  13. PaulaW
    November 20, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    I’ve never heard Martina sing “House of a Thousand Dreams” but I’ve loved the song since the first time I heard it over six years ago.

  14. Rick
    November 20, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    WOW, I never expected to see a “Dadaist” reference on The 9513! Will wonders never cease! (lol) I only discovered Dada art/philosophy when I purchased Tonio K’s “Amerika” album in the early 80′s and he had a song about Kurt Switters and liner notes about the Dada movement. Come to think of it, the programmers at AirHead Country Radio seem to be applying Dada philosophy to mainstream country music these days! Eureka!

    I’ve never been a big Martina fan although I liked some of her earlier singles like “Independence Day”. Martina just doesn’t sound “country” to me in any fashion. This single is quite a step down from her best material, but then again Top 40 country radio isn’t very demanding these days for established artists that are still on the welcome list.

  15. Jim Malec
    November 20, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Is it any wonder that McBride’s music has changed for the worse in recent years? Her signature hit was a Gretchen Peters song. Her current single is a Michael Davey, Andrew Dorff and Chris Robbins composition. No offense to any of the above, I’m sure they are all capable writers. But they aren’t Gretchen Peters.

    Nashville has a warped sense of what “great song” means right now. The 90s were not the Utopia some of us might like to think they were, but it was a time when there were a number of storytellers who were getting cuts. Who are today’s storytellers in mainstream country music? The Warren Brothers? I hear jingle writers, not storytellers.

    In my opinion, this is all about audience. As country music has attempted to broaden its audience, it has tapped into a pool of people who don’t particularly want to hear stories. The soccer mom driving her kids to school in the morning isn’t particularly interested in hearing an intelligent and possibly thought provoking narration. She’s interesting in hearing something she can consume and process quickly and without much effort.

  16. Drew
    November 20, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    I didn’t hear this song until she performed it at the CMAs, and I was thoroughly unimpressed.

  17. Hollerin' Ben
    November 20, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    “The 90s were not the Utopia some of us might like to think they were…”

    seriously?

  18. Razor X
    November 20, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Martina is capable of so much better than this. Her last album was a huge disappointment and based on this single, the new album doesn’t seem like it’s going to be any better. I am SOOO tired of this kind of crap; I really am. Martina’s credibility as an artist is really going to suffer as a result of releasing so much of this kind of dreck.

    Jim, the 90s definitely were not a utopia, but the music was infinitely superior to what is getting radio airplay today. There were plenty of fluff songs even then, but a little fluff now and then is OK. A steady diet of it, however, like we’re getting today, gets old fast.

  19. Bobby
    November 21, 2008 at 11:40 am

    I think that Martina’s full throttle approach has only worked on two songs: “A Broken Wing” and “Whatever You Say”. The rest are just screechers.

  20. Peter
    November 21, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    LMAO @ Juli…

    @ Rick – Sara Evans recorded a Tonio K. song for The Girls Night Out collection “Almost New”

  21. maria
    November 21, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    martina is an amazing singer and simply and inspiration for so many .. RIDE is great song with an AWESOME message :.. LOVE MARTINA SHE ROCKS!!!!!

  22. #1MARTINAFAN
    November 21, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    JULI- Not funny, at all…really, download ANY version of “O Holy Night” and EVERY artist will sing the “Devine” note as loud as they can, it’s HOW the song is supposed to be sung.

    I love Martina obviously, she is my favourite artist and while I agree I really love her old stuff and I’ve seen her career wind down a bit I still think she is the amazing woman who began her career in 1992. “Ride” is the best she’s had in a couple years so I’m interested in where this next album will take her. Waking Up Laughing was something new. Change isn’t always bad and as someone else said “there’s always room for more hope in this world” and Martina supplies that hope.

  23. Juli
    November 22, 2008 at 7:42 am

    #1Martina Fan- There are numerous artists (just a few: Randy Travis, Sufjan Stevens, Joan Baez, Eric Cartman, and I think Jewel does a nicely understated version as well) that manage to sing the song without a bunch of histrionics that detract from the gravity and beauty of the lyrics. In fact, I’d suggest that the only singers who can get away with belting out “O Holy Night” are Mahalia Jackson and Pavarotti, if only because they still manage to do so without becoming too ostentatious and overselling the song. On her recording, Martina shouts just for the sake of shouting and in doing so overpowers the entire meaning of the song.

    “Ride” will probably fly up the charts because if there’s anything country radio loves, it’s a song full of nonsensical and vaguely optimistic catchphrases. Personally, I think that right there is the cure for hope. Well, that and John Rich’s continued existence.

  24. TAYERS
    November 22, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Every time I’ve added a Martina song in the past two years or so, it’s spent most of its radio life as overnight filler. We may need a female tempo song in that category next week, so I’m pretty happy about this song. Hooray for filler!

  25. Rick
    November 22, 2008 at 11:22 am

    One of the best versions of “O Holy Night” I’ve ever heard was performed live by Danielle Peck back in Decemeber 2006 in Santa Ynez, CA. It was just Danielle accompanied by an excellent acoustic guitar player and she nailed the song. Danielle has a tendency to go a bit off pitch on her recordings, but she was spot on that night. Taylor Swift’s Christmas song that night was something like “Santa Baby” and was horrible in comparison.

    Speaking of Martina, I do like the new duet with Elvis on “Blue Christmas”. That being said Martina’s vocals don’t hold a candle to Amber Dotson’s killer version on the “Christmas Angels” compilation album from a couple of years back. Amber’s verson is so good I listen to it year round just to hear her great vocals on the song.

  26. TAYERS
    November 22, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Best version of O Holy Night? Okay, don’t laugh, but my two favorites are by Josh Groban…and NSync. Please remember that I asked you not to laugh. They’re both really good. For real.

  27. Brianna
    December 2, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    I love Martina McBride!!!! XD She is so beautiful and amazing (: I love all of her songs and i know all the words to all of her songs too lol… I have seen her 2 times in concert lol and she was amazing both times (: I really lovelovelove her lol

  28. Jim King
    December 5, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    This reminds me a lot of “A Real Fine Place To Start,” which I loved from the moment I heard it, and it went straight to number 1. It’s much more difficult for a female act (even Martina) to get to number 1 today, but I have my hopes up for this fine tune.

  29. B
    December 18, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    I’m a huge Martina fan. I love her voice and her persona…however, I think your review nails exactly what’s wrong with Martina lately. We fans complain that Martina does not get enough airplay on Country radio, but, quite frankly, the last several songs (and albums) have suffered from this problem you refer to. Her version of “Help Me Make It Through the Night” on her Timeless album was incredible, but it wasn’t original. I am hoping that we’ll see more of the old Martina on the new album.

  30. Billy
    December 29, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    I got this song from iTunes yesterday, so I can finally say my opinion on it. Yay.

    I like Martina. She is one of my favourite songs. Independence Day and How Far are among my favourite songs by her. Ride is a decent song, but it does suffer from being unoriginal and utterly cliched.

    It is an improvement over some of her other work where she shouts. (See the ending of Anyway for futher information.) I have high hopes for her next album, which comes out March 31.

    Look at the positives of this, it’s one less thing that’s not Rascal Flatts on the radio.

  31. Billy
    December 29, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    The first line of the second paragraph should read, “I like Martina. She is one of my favourite singers.” Heh, oops.

  32. Marlord
    January 24, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Martina McBride has the best voice ever!! For all of you douchebags who are dramatically commenting on this song and her, Be glad we even have a powerhouse voice like her. Her voice is compared to the Celine Dion and that should tell you something right there. Ride is an uplifting song. The reason why some of you Haters dont like it because ur so down. She is trying to make the world a better place. With such an incrediable voice and the beautiful woman she is. She can’t help but scream at u people to make u get whats going on… Her voice is an angelic soprano voice that there is few woman in any Genre that can sing like Martina. If u notice she is a well respected female who is pop/country. Only a true fan like me would know this. Listen to her music feel her words! Its not my fault u dont understand this voice of an angel!

  33. Leeann Ward
    January 24, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Being compared to Celine Dion isn’t exactly going to win favor with most of us. Likewise, being called a douchbag won’t exactly endear anyone to your cause.

  34. Juli
    January 24, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Martina has the best voice ever!!

    This might be true in an alternate universe where Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Emmylou Harris, Ella Fitzgerald, Neko Case, and Alison Krauss never existed. But even there, I wouldn’t count on it.

  35. Jaime
    January 24, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    I really like Martina McBride’s voice. But this song is drivel.

  36. Stormy
    January 24, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Marlord: I usually use Celine Dion as a derogatory comparison.

  37. Vicki
    January 25, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Ok..I see the comparison here. We want Martina and Carrie, two powerhouse singers, to stop belting and just sing with their God given talent. I say, they just need to have more good singing/good written songs without the loud belt in each of them. I know Carrie’s “I know you won’t” is better sung on the album than her Opry or People’s choice performance. Me thinks when she’s nervous, she belts. Kinda like when I play trumpet..when I’m nervous, I’m too loud on the high notes instead of creating the needed embousure.

  38. Razor X
    January 25, 2009 at 11:59 am

    “I know Carrie’s “I know you won’t” is better sung on the album than her Opry or People’s choice performance. Me thinks when she’s nervous, she belts.”

    I’ll never cease to be amazed at the excuses Carrie’s fans come up with to justify her shortcomings.

  39. Mwho
    February 2, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    I’m amazed at the minutiae featured in some of these reviews by persons far more impressed with their opinions than the talent they criticize – but, as has always been said, critics are those who can’t. Martina McBride has a voice matched by few in memory of those with six decades like mine. More importantly the messages she chooses to promote have the ability to improve people’s lives. What a novel concept. Have a purpose for your life. Bring hope, optimism and feelings of self-worth to others. Put your family first in your life even to the point of not pandering to become a superstar. Give to causes and individuals who need help. Wow. What am I thinking? Why do I watch? Why do I listen? How about respect … how about excellence … how about commitment … how about values … how about a pretty cool human being who has made the most of her God-given talent and loves that others appreciate it. Martina McBride!

  40. Sue
    March 14, 2009 at 11:41 am

    I’m actually pretty heartbroken to read some of these comments. I have been a fan of Martina McBride since I was a little girl, singing to “Independence Day” and “My Baby Loves Me” for their beat and power, until I grew and started singing to them and appreciating them for their meaning. In a world where there is so much hate, violence, depression and suffering, I truly welcome music that empowers a person and inspires hope and dreams rather than continuing to focus on all of the negativity. Do you listen to lyrics to some songs anymore? I’m sorry, but I would much rather have the youth in America listen to “Ride” and “House of A Thousand Dreams” and any of Martina’s songs than “Billys Got His Beer Goggles On” or “I Got a Brand New Girlfriend” which have no lessons in them, they’re supposed to be humerous but are simply ridiculous..among various others. Martina can capture a feeling of loss in her song “Love Land”, anger in “If I Had Your Name”, and everything that a marriage should be about in “I’ll Still Be Me”. I think Martina has gone in a different direction with her career with her last few albums, but you know what? I see it as a step in the right direction and I hope other artists will follow. I’ve seen her in concert several times and she is nothing short of amazing and has brought me to tears from the beauty of her voice on numerous occassions. Instead of belittling her for trying something different, maybe people should take the time to analyze themselves…the immense pain in this world leads to people needing to hide behind the bad because the fear of the loss of everything good is too scary to think about, and so people become angry at joyful things. Martina is a role model to millions of little girls out there. And before this, she is also a mother, a woman, a human. Maybe she just wants to remind the world that it is the simple things in life that truly matter. Maybe instead of criticizing her, we should be idolizing her. I’m sure out of most musical artists in this country, God smiles the most on Martina because she doesn’t just sing and perform her music. She feels it, lives it, and ispires it.

  41. Stormy
    March 14, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I used to be a fan of Martina McBride’s but she lost be for good when she decided that I was, at age 30, a “girl” and would remain to so well into my 90′s. Also, I was exactly the same inside as all those girls out there. And I would be fine as long as I kept my virginity through high school and didn’t use any anti-aging products because I am beautiful no matter what they say and words can’t bring me down. It took me a lot of years to crawl out from under all that kind of bullplop baggage and, as a femininst, I really don’t want it being laid on my neice. I understand that Martina wants to be a god role model for her daughters, but surely there has to be a better way to do it than these vapid cliches. And I don’t mind Martina being didatic, but what exactly am I supposed to learn from Ride? What if what you feel inside is burning rage because you and a thousand other California school teachers are losing your jobs because The Termintor cannot ballance a budget? Are you still supposed to hold on tight to that? And if not, why not, that rage is certainly legitamate. The problem is that Martina sings about all these “She’s a Butterfly” people–blankly happy and smiling and pretty, natch, with no real substance and always the emphasis on how pretty you are always. One of my favorite songs by a female singer last year summed up the difference between these girls (who are never allowed to be women)and most of us thusly, “Good girls are pretty, like all the time/I’m just pretty, some of the time.” My world is peopled by women like Matraca Berg’s “Good Old Girl” or Lucinda William’s Sylvia.

  42. Stormy
    March 14, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    I think a lot of mother’s can relate to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pi7TKq_0_a8&feature=PlayList&p=71810C9826FEB8FB&index=0&playnext=1 more than they can to Blessed at this point.

  43. Razor X
    March 14, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Maybe instead of criticizing her, we should be idolizing her.

    I think we do artists a great disservice when we begin to “idolize” them instead of letting them know when we think they’re veering off course. How many times do we hear fans say, “I could listen to (name or artist) sing the Yellow Pages” or something to that effect? Well, if you demand so little of artists, that’s exactly what you’re going to get.

    Martina is incredibly talented and made a name for herself singing songs that had something to say, songs like “Independence Day” and “A Broken Wing” that had a lot of weight and substance and acknowledged that life isn’t always happy. Martina’s material has declined in quality in recent years, relying on cliches and Hallmark sentiments. There is nothing wrong with positive, uplifting songs but a steady diet of them gets to be very dissatisfying after a while.

  44. Leeann Ward
    March 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Razor X said: “I think we do artists a great disservice when we begin to “idolize” them instead of letting them know when we think they’re veering off course. How many times do we hear fans say, “I could listen to (name or artist) sing the Yellow Pages” or something to that effect? Well, if you demand so little of artists, that’s exactly what you’re going to get.”

    Exactly how I feel. It’s a pet peeve of mine when we’re told to blindly follow an artist. There’s no way I can do that.

  45. Vicki
    March 14, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    I feel for the artists today. They want to remain country and they do a traditional country album, but then the current contemporary artists are the ones that get the big bucks and honors. So where does an artist fall? Is it the fault of the award shows who honor contemporary country artists? I’ll say it again, there needs to be a traditional and contemporary categories instead of just “country” category on these award shows

    Also, more contemporary artists seen to want to bring contemporary country to the world-Sugarland/Taylor Swift and their Europeon Tours. Is traditional country big in Europe? I figure Taylor and Sugarland will do well as they have a lot of pop sounding songs.

  46. Razor X
    March 14, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    “Contemporary” is not a style of music. Anything that is current will be contemporary by definition. I’m also becoming increasingly opposed to the term “traditional” to describe country music because it is so frequently misused. Usually it’s just a term used to marginalize the opinions of anyone who is critical of today’s country music.

    Artists like Brad Paisley, Clint Black, Tanya Tucker make music that is country-sounding; it’s not mainstream pop, but it’s not traditional, either. The same can be said of much of Sara Evans’ music, as well, though some of her material (i.e., “I Could Not Ask For More”, “Saints & Angels”) is definitely more in the pop category.

    What we’re really talking about is pop music that is being marketed as country music. We shouldn’t validate pop-disguised-as-country by calling it “contemporary country”. And there’s definitely no need to create more award show categories.

  47. Stormy
    March 14, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    This is from an interview Neko Case gave recently,

    Case continues, “[The] likelihood is, somebody who’s interested in my music won’t have a job for very long at a major label. It wasn’t that I thought major labels were bad, it’s just that the climate isn’t good for them right now and I’m not willing to give up ownership either. I could have made the gamble but it didn’t seem like a good one. You could make a record, work really hard on it and then your label representative gets fired. Then, there’s nobody interested in your record anymore. It may never come out and maybe you don’t own it. You would have made this thing for nothing, which would be very sad. I’m very happy where I am.”

    http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/News/neko-case-surprises-311/

    I think that is something that a lot of artists don’t think about in the initial contract signing phase.

  48. Vicki
    March 15, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Raxor X, so you would rid the “Country” arena of all pop sounding artists regardless of if they did some country sounding songs? What about Dolly? She was definitely Country but she also produces a lot of pop sounding songs too.

    Keith Urban..Is he country? A lot of guitar and drums..sometimes a banjo but I think I remember you saying steel guitar and banjo doesn’t mean a songs country.

    Carrie began her career with “Jesus Take the Wheel” and “Don’t Forget to Remember Me”. To me, those are true country songs even “Before He Cheats” is a country song. But Last Name..is pop for sure.

    Who is going to be the measure stick to say this is country this is not.

  49. Razor X
    March 15, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Raxor X, so you would rid the “Country” arena of all pop sounding artists regardless of if they did some country sounding songs?

    No, I never said that. In fact, it’s another reason why your idea of splitting the awards categories into “traditional” and “contemporary” won’t work. Many artists are hard to categorize as one or the other.

    Keith Urban..Is he country?

    No.

  50. Jon
    March 15, 2009 at 9:05 am

    So, it’s hard to categorize artists as “traditional” or “contemporary,” but easy to categorize them as “country” or “not country?”

  51. Razor X
    March 15, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Correct.

  52. Jon
    March 15, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Why? What comes into play in making the one determination easy that doesn’t exist with the other?

  53. Razor X
    March 15, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Because one is a comparison between two genres and another is determining a particular style within a single genre. As I said before, by definition, any current music is going to be contemporary. Some of it will also be traditional, some of it will not. Since a single album can consist of both traditional and non-traditional material, which category would it fall under for award nomination purposes? For example, take Patty Loveless’ “Dreaming My Dreams” album. It contains songs that are both traditional and non-traditional, but all of them are indisputably country. So if it were nominated for an award, should it go under “traditional” or “contemporary”?

    Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the pop music we’re being told is country is “contemporary country” (i.e, Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts). That isn’t what I’m talking about.

  54. Jon
    March 15, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    You’re just restating your claim there, not explaining it. Why is making drawing distinctions between what you consider to be different styles within a genre harder than drawing them between what you consider to be different genres even though they’re not presented as such?

  55. Vicki
    March 15, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Look at the Dove Awards..they have all kinds contemporary and traditional awards. It can be done. Look it’s not the artist so much as the song. The same artist could be up for a traditional country award as well as contemporary award depending on the song. Look, we all know Taylor, Carrie, Kelly, Martina, Rascal Flatts, Faith, etc are contemporary where as Randy Travis, Ashton Shepherd, Joey and Rory, Jamey Johnson, are more traditional. Brooks and Dunn swing both ways..but I would consider “Cowgirls don’t Cry” traditional.

  56. Jon
    March 15, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Actually, the GMA has the traditional qualifier in just a couple of categories, and there’s been some grumbling about that. Same with the SPBGMA for bluegrass, and for the traditional/contemporary categories in the Grammy awards. I don’t disagree with RazorX about the difficulty of making such distinctions when it comes to what’s “traditional” or not, it’s just that I see difficulties in making distinctions about what is or isn’t “country,” too (and, of course, I’m talking about with respect to Taylor Swift or Rascal Flatts, not Beyonce or Li’l Wayne, so no need to go there). With more than 40 years of listening and playing under my belt and a good deal of time spent studying country music history, too, it looks like to me like drawing some kind of bright line around country is, and virtually always has been, an impossible job.

  57. Razor X
    March 15, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Look, we all know Taylor, Carrie, Kelly, Martina, Rascal Flatts, Faith, etc are contemporary

    You mean they are pop.

  58. Nicolas
    March 15, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Country contemporary is more like Miranda Lambert or Trisha Yearwood; those artists you listed are more country pop

  59. Vicki
    March 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    But I wouldn’t call some of the songs they sing all “pop”. Carrie’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel”; “Don’t forget to Remember me” are NOT pop. But what do you call Miranda’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”? It’s definitely not country or pop. It’s hard core rock. Then..you start getting into Southern Rock which some say is country. Then how did the Eagles get into the genre of Country?

    Look at Garth. Some songs are pure country but then his most recent song..well, I would have to say it’s pop. So it’s not the artist so much as the song they are sing

  60. Razor X
    March 15, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    But I wouldn’t call some of the songs they sing all “pop”. Carrie’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel”; “Don’t forget to Remember me” are NOT pop.

    Ray Charles did some country songs, too, but I wouldn’t call him a country artist.

    Then how did the Eagles get into the genre of Country?

    They didn’t.

  61. Nicolas
    March 15, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is country, it might be a little more of a rock-edge, but I would say its def country (or maybe country-rock at the very least)

    It’s not a rock song

  62. Vicki
    March 15, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” sure sounds rock to me. Well, perhaps the Eagles themselves don’t call themselves Country but they are listed country at the Grammy’s and other Country award shows.

  63. Razor X
    March 15, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Well, perhaps the Eagles themselves don’t call themselves Country but they are listed country at the Grammy’s and other Country award shows.

    Yes, regrettably.

  64. nm
    March 15, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    No-longer-successful roots-rock and roots-pop acts are now automatically country, the same way that not-quite-successful country acts are automatically alt-country.

  65. Razor X
    March 15, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    No-longer-successful roots-rock and roots-pop acts are now automatically country, the same way that not-quite-successful country acts are automatically alt-country.

    I hadn’t thought of it that way, but you make a good point.

  66. Jon
    March 15, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    It’s a funny point, but it’s not “good” in the sense of conveying any particular truth. For one thing, the Eagles weren’t “no longer successful,” they were disbanded – and when they did their reunion thing last year, they were among the top-grossing concert acts in the world.

    In any event, I’m still waiting to hear from Razor X as to why he thinks that drawing distinctions between what he considers to be different styles within a genre is harder than drawing them between what he considers – even though they’re not presented as such – to be different genres. Is there some set of markers that have to be present in music for it to be considered country? Some set that can’t be present for it to be considered country? Or is this nothing more than “I know it when I hear it?” But then, if it were that last, why would it be harder in the one case than the other? The whole thing is very confused.

  67. northtexas
    March 15, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    “Country contemporary is more like Miranda Lambert”

    I love Miranda but with her head-banging and that mohawk guy in the band she’s more country-rock then contemporary.

  68. J.R. Journey
    March 15, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    “Is there some set of markers that have to be present in music for it to be considered country? Some set that can’t be present for it to be considered country?”

    If you have to ask if it’s country, it’s probably not.

  69. Razor X
    March 15, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    I’m still waiting to hear from Razor X as to why he thinks that drawing distinctions between what he considers to be different styles within a genre is harder than drawing them between what he considers – even though they’re not presented as such – to be different genres.

    Asked and answered, Jon.

  70. Nicolas
    March 15, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    @northtexas: Miranda isn’t country-rock, she has some songs that could be considered so, but overall she’s contemporary

    There’s nothing country rock about “Dry Town”, “Bring Me Down”, “Me and Charlie Talking”, “Famous in a Small Town” … etc.

  71. Vicki
    March 16, 2009 at 5:50 am

    “There’s nothing country rock about “Dry Town”, “Bring Me Down”, “Me and Charlie Talking”, “Famous in a Small Town” … etc”

    I agree there. Kinda like when Carrie started with “Jesus Take the Wheel” etc. The second album had a mixture. “Last Name” and “I Told You So” all in the same Cd

    The same with Miranda (Who I love too!) “More Like Her” and “Ex Girlfriend” and “Gunpowder and Lead”. That last one has a country message but boy do those guitars rock that song.

  72. Jon
    March 16, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Well, no, Razor, it wasn’t answered, not unless you believe that restating a proposition – and a circular one at that – is the same as explaining it.

    And J.D., with all due respect, that’s a bumper sticker, not a conceptual framework.

    For someone who’s been around country music for a few decades, this discussion has a powerful scent of deja vu, compounded by the irony that resides in the fact that in the past, some of the very same artists you hold up as archetypically country were held to be on the wrong side of purportedly easy-to-see country/pop and country/rock divides.

  73. Paula_W
    March 16, 2009 at 10:03 am

    I think there are “shades” of country, just like there are shades of blue. We could all look at the exact same object and some of us would call it blue, some teal, others azure, and so on. Then there’s purple. Well, purple is made of blue and red, but is it really a shade of blue? And at what shade does it become mostly red and only a little blue? Same with country. We’ll never all agree.

  74. Jon
    March 16, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Whoops, sorry, J. R. …

  75. Matt B.
    March 16, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Regardless of what’s country or not (based on opinions), Martina’s upcoming album is quite good and will surprise many.

  76. Razor X
    March 16, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    The tracks she has on her MySpace page are anything but good. Just the same old overproduced pop.

  77. Matt B.
    March 16, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    That’s funny. I only see “Ride” from her current album on her myspace page.

  78. Razor X
    March 16, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Yeah, you’re right. “Ride” is the only one that’s there currently. A few weeks ago there were 3 or 4 tracks — “Ride”, “Wild Rebel Rose” and another one that I think was called “Sunny Side Up” or something like that. We were discussing them a bit at y Kind of Country.

  79. Matt B.
    March 16, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    ahh well “Wild Rebel Rose” and “Sunny Side Up” don’t sound like pop songs, at least the pop that’s played today.

  80. Razor X
    March 16, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    “Wild Rebel Rose” is her latest victim song; just the latest incarnation of “Concrete Angel”, “God’s Will”, etc. It’s getting pretty old hat by now. It may not sound like the pop that’s played today, but it certainly doesn’t sound like country and it’s definitely overproduced.

  81. nm
    March 16, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Jon, I’ll happily substitute “over-the-hill-or-no-longer-successful” for “no-longer-successful.”

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