Don’t judge an entire genre on a few bad songs
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
“Everything except country music,” seems to be everybody’s favourite music genre. But what exactly is it about country that alienates so many people? Is it the simplistic lyrics? The twangy, rhythmic guitar? Or is it that people just love to hate things without really giving it a chance? I’m going with the latter.
I was once on the anti-country bandwagon, and I understand why it’s so easy to make fun of. However, I realized it wasn’t the genre that I hated, but the more mainstream musical stylings of “new” country singers such as Brad Paisley, Aaron Pritchett, and Keith Urban that gives it a bad rap. Old country music singers like Johnny Cash, John Denver, Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson have everything to love about country music: sentimental and catchy lyrics, funky guitar riffs, great beats, and singing that hits you in your soul.
You can’t judge an entire genre of music based on a couple of songs. People form their opinions on country based on the new stuff they hear on the radio, forgetting that there are decades of old country that doesn’t deserve the antagonism. Not all country music is about blue jeans, cowboy hats, pick-up trucks, and whiskey. Most songs have moving lyrics that talk about heartbreak, simple living, growing up, being in love, and family values. Some of the lyrics are also quite poetic. For instance, Johnny Cash compares being in love to being on fire in his song “Ring of Fire.”
All genres of music have something to hate about them, but everyone seems to hate country music for the same reasons, most of which are stereotypical and untrue — making me believe that the hatred for it is part of a hive mind mentality more than it is a matter of opinion. On an AskReddit forum, people discussed their reasons for hating country, and the answers are all repetitive; it’s cliché, the lyrics and music are too simple, or that there’s no sophistication. While this may be true for some songs, I would argue that you can say the exact same critiques for all kinds of music, not just country.
It’s time to literally face the music, because country music has some great hits. It may not be a genre for everyone, and that’s just fine, but at least give it a chance before you decide to actively hate it.