Dig Your Roots (Big Machine Radio Release Special)
Florida Georgia Line


Mar 20, 2019

Florida Georgia Line Has Me Feelin’ Some Kind Of Way With 2019’s Can’t Say I Ain’t Country

What the hell is happening to me? I used to take pride in absolutely decimating mainstream Pop music like this, finding it to be the bane of my existence & an industry-wide plague that was stagnating the creativity of far-greater undiscovered musicians out there in the market, but now I’m suddenly defending the very music I once thought to be utter trash. Am I just getting old & soft, weakened by years of monotonous mainstream radio performances? Was this music catchy all along & I was just too blind to see it? Or is it something else, like perhaps my progressed age has shown me how spectacularly entertaining it is to watch someone game the system entirely, knowing exactly how to tweak their sound to appeal to modern audiences whilst maintaining their individual schtick, thereby reaching the widest market & reaping the rewards monetarily? Whatever it is, it’s causing me to voice a very controversial opinion that goes against everything I’ve believe in for decades now: Florida Georgia Line are genuine geniuses of contemporary Country music, far more talented & impressive than we give them credit for – Yes, I’ve drank the fucking Kool-Aid & it’s incredibly uncomfortable for me. I know their first album Here’s To The Good Times… was influential & whatnot for how tremendously it shifted the Country Pop scene into the mainstream consciousness as a viable creative outlet & I get that artists should naturally improve their skillsets over the years like a fine wine aged in oak barrels, but their 2019 release Can’t Say I Ain’t Country has no right being as good as it is, literally living up to its namesake by delivering a stellar collection of backwoods jams that’re so clearly influenced by eighties- & nineties-era Country that you rightfully can’t pigeonhole the duo as being a bunch of braindead Popstars. Time & time again I find myself going into songs thinking ‘oh yeah, this is gonna be an absolute train-wreck,’ only to find that my expectations – typically based on their previous history of coopting Hip Hop culture for song names that have nothing to do with the actual lyrical content – were totally off-base, founded in stereotype with no confidence that Florida Georgia Line could actually produce anything worth shaking a tail-feather at, resulting in me eating crow more on this album than pretty much any artist I’ve reviewed in the last year who’s completely reinvented themselves as a sort of ten-year reunion present to today’s aging audiences – So, if you’ll humour me, prepare to uncover some of the best qualities about this album; You’ll likely be just as surprised as I was.

Mar 15, 2019

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.

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