The Tale Of How Florida Georgia Line Reshaped Country Music As We Know It
In popular media, there’ve been countless instances of underdogs facing insurmountable odds to change public opinion of a certain genre, from Trap instrumentation invading all manner of music to become the hottest sound in the industry to once-sidelined pre-teen musicians suddenly ruling the market with an iron fist in the internet age, proving you’re never too young to leave your mark on this world in a big way, but perhaps the most astonishing curveball was how quickly Country music erased its stereotypical redneck image in the early-teens to become one of the most profitable & critically-acclaimed genres of the modern era. For what must’ve been decades, Country existed as this niche genre you only listened to if you were born on a farm or lived in the red-belt of America, every Tom, Dick & Nancy who claimed to be an open-minded audiophile confidently stating ‘I listen to every genre of music…well, except Country, of course’ as if that somehow gained them entry to the cool-kids club; I mean, I can distinctly remember driving with friends on exceptionally long car rides through the more rural parts of California where acceptable radio stations were few & far-between, said companions willingly deciding to listen to the Regional Mexican radio channels if their only other choices were Country or static, illustrating how vehemently people in the noughties kept their distance from the genre for fear of looking like an inbred simpleton who supported the Republican party. All of this changed in 2012 when Nashville, Tennessee natives Florida Georgia Line dropped their first formal studio album Here’s To The Good Times, forever cementing Country Pop as a genre capable of appealing to mainstream audiences with gusto thanks to a focus on feelgood vibes, genre-bending crossover tracks & a less-stereotypical southern charm that actively sought to break away from the hoedown aesthetics of their predecessors – You could undoubtedly make the argument that prior Country Pop acts had already done much of the heavy lifting from 1995 to 2007, as Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Gretchen Wilson & Big & Rich essentially spawned the whole ‘we get down & dirty but can be sensitive at times’ aesthetic, but as these groups aged & audiences turned ever-more-youthful we started seeing an aversion to cowboy hats & side-mouthed twang since it typically represented old-world ideals steeped in misogyny & hatred, a vibe millennials were having absolutely none of once their voices were formally recognized as the driving force of the internet generation, giving Florida Georgia Line the perfect opportunity to shake up the system with a formula more attuned to modern, sexually-liberated, disenfranchised youth culture. While this saved Country music from imploding upon itself at the start of this decade, the band aren’t without fault as they simultaneously birthed a movement that would almost destroy Country once again come 2018.