The assertion that all country music songs are about the same topics is roughly as old as the joke about how, if you play a country song backward, your wife comes back and your truck starts running again.
Trucks, chicks -- and, also, booze. Generally speaking, it's the genre's holy trinity. It was true when that joke was first cracked and whoa was it true in 2013, as a video put together by Entertainment Weekly's Grady Smith of some of the year's biggest hits makes pretty clear.
"I was inspired to make this supercut after posting my 10 Best Country Albums of 2013 list for EW," Smith writes in the video's description on YouTube. "A few commenters told me that my choices weren't mainstream enough, and I thought, "Well, yeah, because so much of what's on the radio these days sounds exactly the same!" So I decided to make a video to prove my point."
It's been proven.
Even the most enthusiastic, Wrangler-rockin', red Solo cup sippin' two-stepper would have to agree after listening to the stereotype-confirming snippets Smith pulled together from songs like Blake Shelton's "Boys Round Here," Luke Bryan's "That's My Kinda Night" and "Up All Night" by Jon Pardi, among a bunch of others.
The basic, worn-out seven-point narrative of pretty much every male country star's radio hits, according to Smith and supported by many examples, is:
- Boy likes pickup truck! And providing lots of free advertising for Silverados!
- Boy likes the bed of his pickup truck!
- Boy likes pickup trucks and dirt roads!
- And getting his girl inside said pickup!
- Specifically, girls with tight jeans!
- Boy and Tight Jeans Girl like driving to the creek to watch the sunset!
- Also: DRINKING!
Smith, a country fan, makes clear that he comes not to bury mainstream country, but to help it.
"I hope country fans will stop settling for this derivative junk. I love a dumb party song every once in a while (including some of these!), but when they're the only flavor available, they get old very, very fast. Here's to better music in 2014."
Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN