Review by Andy Hawes for MPM
Georgia native Brantley Gilbert returns to action for the first time since his 2020 album ‘Fire & Brimstone’ with a song featuring singer-songwriter Hardy and Country legend Toby Keith. It’s a feel-good, fun track with lyrics that are basically a pastiche of everything that the typical male Country artist in Nashville writes about in their songs.
Essentially, Gilbert and co are telling the world that they hate pretty much everything that Country music usually represents lyrically, hence the song’s title – ‘The Worst Country Song of All Time.’
This appears on first listens to be a very tongue-in-cheek track and, on those first couple of listens, it’s quite funny if you’re a Country fan. It even includes that most un-Country of things, – a saxophone solo! Not something you’d typically ever hear coming out of Nashville and especially not in Gilbert’s Hard Rock/Southern Rock-inflected Country sound!
However, the jury is still out on exactly what Gilbert is trying to achieve with this track. For Country fans, there’ll be plenty to smile at in the clever and well-written lyrics, but the danger is that, like most tongue in cheek songs, the amusement fades after a couple of listens and what we’re left with is something quite throwaway.
Then again, maybe there’s a bit more to it than that: maybe Gilbert is trying to make a point here aiming the song at the ‘snowflake generation’ and almost encouraging them to be offended at some of the sentiments within the lyric.
He is, after all, a man renowned for the strength of his beliefs around such things as the US second amendment and isn’t the kind of guy to take liberalism or perceived anti-US views lightly.
He’s not exactly the sort of guy to release something tongue-in-cheek either, so I suspect the latter is somewhere nearer the point – maybe the song is telling people how they shouldn’t feel about all this stuff and is therefore reminding us all of the importance of ‘the American Dream’ and all that goes with it.
Well, whatever the purpose of this track, it’s undeniably catchy, is really quite clever lyrically and the Vevo lyric video has had almost 337,000 views and over 10,000 ‘likes’ on YouTube in the past week (with only a comparative handful of ‘dislikes’) which should tell you something.
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