Tom: I’ve been driving through the midwest of America lately, and country music — or, rather, the mainstream country-pop that’s played by commercial radio stations — has been my soundtrack. It seemed right.
Tim: Makes sense, particularly as I now have a lovely image of you with aviator sunglasses and a sheriff’s stetson on your head.
Tom: No comment. But there’s something I’ve noticed, Tim, and I think it’s most obvious with this song. They’re singing “love bombs” not “F-bombs” in the chorus in the radio edit, by the way, that surprised me in this version.
Tom: This could be schlager.
Tim: Huh – yeah, you’re not wrong there. It’s certainly a heck of a lot more upbeat and interesting than that Sam Hunt track you brought to the table last week.
Tom: It’s three and a half minutes long. Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle eight, hammer the chorus home twice more, outro. All it’s missing is a key change — and, as far as I can tell, in country that’s replaced by a Southern accent, a guitar twang, and a wholesome message.
It was meant to be latin-pop. Then it turned into country. It doesn’t matter about the style: it could be any pop genre. The only thing that means this is being played on “KSKS Country” and not “100% NL” is that they’re using guitars and not synthesisers.
Tim: See, the thing that sticks out most in that paragraph is the bit about latin-pop – after all, we’ve seen any number of rock and guitar pop track redone as dance tracks. Hell, you could barely turn on a radio in the mid ’00s without hearing Cascada or DJ Sammy within half an hour. Never really imagined it with other genres. Though now I do, I guess we’ve also had Nica & Joe, and also Gregorian if that counts, and, yeah, many more.
Tom: I’m not saying all country-pop’s good, or that it’s even our genre. But sometimes, the Golden Rules of Pop shine through, and this is one of those times.
Tim: Yep. Good pop will always be that.