Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A New Rating System & Steve Azar's Sunshine

I'm working on a new rating system. I don't just want to say, "Five Stars out of Five! Wow!" Because really, what does that mean? Rather, I'd like to let you know what kind of song it is if you haven't heard it, and where it rates on the country scale - of country-ness based on other, often older country singers.

This is the way it works: we've got Wood, Steel, Glass, and Plastic. Some don't fit into any of these. That's not a bad thing.

Wood. Now, wood's your old town, good ol' boy American, traditional country music. The stuff that makes you feel cozy and happy, the stuff that's really about the simple and the good life. Hank (you know what Hank.) is wood. More recent Wood is George Strait, Alan Jackson, and most recently Easton Corbin. Here's the kicker. An artist can't necessarily always be wood just because one of his songs is wood. It can change from song to song. You'll see what I mean as we go on.

Glass. This is the stuff that's been getting to me lately. Radio guys play this stuff on the radio all the time. Maybe it started when the MTV people bought out CMT, I don't know. But the thing is, these folk or these songs just don't have the country twang. They're clear, they're easy to hear, but they are not country. Jewel is a good and current example of this.

Steel. I know that as soon as you saw the title here, you knew what it meant. Johnny. Steel is kind of edgy, a bit more southern-rockish, but totally country. Cross-Canadian Ragweed. Earl Thomas Conway. Texas country. There is a lot more steel guitar in steel.

Plastic. When it comes to country music, I love it. I love almost all of it. Pretty much all of it. I even love those songs that I really hate. But here's the thing. Sometimes there comes along...okay often there comes along a song that is all about making money. It is a really generic, obviously trying to get everyone to love it kind of song. It is the kind of song that the radio lives off of. It's synthetic. It's Plastic. I really liked Rascall Flatts in the beginning of their career. But lately, they're Plastic.

On to Steve Azar and his song Sunshine.
The sound in this song is very different from what I was used to in Steve when he had his last hit songs. He was more Elvis-like Steel back then. Now, his song has more of a jazz/easy-listening feel to it. There is a light country accent, but the song seems to be leaning away, so as to not be offensive to the non-country folk. Guys? The guitar lick does not sound country, though the back music sometimes reminisces of "Midnight in Montgomery." Overall, the lyrics are pretty and sweet, but I don't really like it.

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