The Cadillac Three are the new kids on the block in mainstream country music. Their big hit "The South" has been garnering some attention and buzz, and the band is certainly on the rise. While the lyrics sound like the same old same old, the sound of their music is a nice breath of fresh air.
I'll admit it. "The South" is catchy as all get out. The melody and beat is sweet modern southern rock at its finest. For the mainstream crowd, think of these guys like a modern throw back to the Allman Brothers and Skynyrd. For those of you savvy to lesser known modern acts, consider these guys the mainstream answer to Blackberry Smoke. The genre of Southern Rock is different than country music, but the two have always gone hand in hand. I'm not sure where else southern rock would fit in anymore but country radio. Rock has left that southern-side genre behind and it certainly wouldn't work on pop, so country is the lone gateway. It is very different that classical country, but it's good just the same. Listen to the music and rhythm when this song comes on the radio. It has a lot more substance than the other upbeat songs. Southern rock has natural groove and feel to it, and this song has it.
Lyrically, this song leaves a little to be desired. Blackberry Smoke mixes cool southern rock with great lyrics. This is just another pro-south cliche-fest. Nothing on it is particularly extra groan-worthy, but it's just drivel. They could have painted a little more realistic picture of the south and kept the same sound, but I'm not going to beat them up over it. This is what mainstream asks for and they delivered. I will say that when the music fits, the lyrics sound much more natural. They still have the cliches, but they feel less cliche somehow when its real southern music going with it, and not some pop-country mix-mash crap. Of course, the lame video cranks the cliche machine up to ten with women dancing in cages and the most stereotypical redneck crowd money can buy. I think if these guys put their heads together just a little bit and saw how cool of a sound they have and got serious and wrote some great lyrics, this band could be huge, I will have to wait until their full album to see if they have more meat on their bones or not before I pass too much harsh judgement on them.
The guests on the little choir in the bridge says all you need to know about this song. Dierks Bentley, Mike Eli of the Eli Young Band , and Florida-Georgia Line are in the Dixie choir. That's a perfect example of the song. It has more depth than others, like Dierks and Eli, but still has some frat boy to it, like FLA-GA Line. Overall, this song won't win any big awards from me, but getting some good southern rock represented on the radio is a big plus for me. I dig it.