Friday, February 14, 2014

Florida-Georgia Line & Luke Bryan "This Is How We Roll" Single Review

     In a match made in frat-boy heaven, Florida-Georgia Line teamed up with Luke Bryan for the new single "This Is How We Roll". With a creative title like that, you know this is going to be an instant classic, right? Right? Anyone? Shockingly, this song is actually a shallow exercise in gouging for money from a public that simply doesn't demand quality anymore. This song is a shining example of what is wrong with country music.

      This song literally has every single thing on the list of problems with modern country. It name drops a legend in a song that said legend wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole (Hank in this case). It name drops rap stars as well for some reason (Drake). It talks about driving big trucks and sipping something strong, and seems to imply these are being done simultaneously. It regards women as simply "fresh" instead of treating them with respect and not as property. It uses urban slang and mannerisms, including a rapped second verse and dropping in a flat-billed hat mention. It needs two artists to say all this mindless jibber-jabber because collaborations are big money makers. There is literally nothing to like about this song.  Sure, it may be catchy, but at what cost? Can a song have a catchy melody AND not sound like it was written by a third grader? Can a song be fun and also not belittling and patronizing? Anyone with half a brain knows the answer is yes, but for some reason these effortless carbon copy pieces of garbage keep getting produced and, even more baffling, we keep buying it.

     I know the response. "JC, you just don't like anything new. Country music has to evolve. It's a fun song. Not all songs have to be about death and break-ups. You just aren't open to other kinds of music, there's more than just country!" You're right about all of these points, but none apply here. First of all, Anyone who reads this site knows I promote new artists all the time. In fact, I write abundantly more about new artists rather than the older ones. I love classic country, but I want the genre to continue to grow and thrive, and you can't do that living in the past. As for this song being about "evolution" by mixing country with rap, that's not evolving. That's combining two different things, both of which have been around a while. It's marketing to reach a broader fan-base. As far as fun songs go, there is nothing wrong with silly songs that have little to no artistic value. There's nothing wrong with a silly song about trucks or a good party anthem. The problem is when we have NOTHING but this on the radio and on albums.

      I recently read an article criticising rap for focusing on the same themes over and over, and one of the points claimed that rap was overdoing the same ideas so much that they were turning into country music. That should make you mad as a country fan. We are a joke now. Variety is something sorely missing. Nobody would diss all the party songs if artists spread them out and kept the ideas fresh and new. It takes a little more effort and faith to do this, and most big stars simply don't want to take the risk.
     There isn't really anything I can say more about this song. "This Is How We Roll" is so unoriginal and bland that I can't insult it or rant about it without being unoriginal and bland myself. All I can say is that we deserve more. Country music fans are loyal and dedicated. Music Row is risking losing their steadfast and steady fan base they've built over decades just to chase some latest fads. If they can't keep the foundation of the fan base happy, the whole genre will crumble. This song features no effort, no talent, and is just a ploy to make money by capitalizing on recent trends. Nashville needs to find a balance between revenue and art, or they will collapse the once great country music genre.

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