Opinion: Modern country is the worst musical genre of all time

I seriously can’t think of anything worse. I grew up listening to country music in the late 80s and early 90s, and a lot of that was pretty bad. But this new stuff, yikes.

Who sees some pretty boy on a stage with a badly exaggerated generic southern accent and a 600 dollar denim jacket shoehorning the words “ice cold beer” into every third line of a song and says “Ooh I like this, this music is for me!”

I would literally rather listen to anything else.Seriously, there’s nothing I can think of, at least not in my lifetime or the hundred or so years of recorded music I own, that seems worse.


@thespeakerdude , thats interesting, meaning, the whole mind process behind someone's taste in music. Often I wonder what is more important,regarding our  choices,our cultural upbringing, or perhaps some inclination toward specific expression that we are born with, including our present state of mind and soul.  If I may ask, what are the other four examples of 'bad' music that you had in mind? I liked that clip you posted, not something that I would listen generally, but nonetheless it seems to be 'feelgood' music. By the way, the clip I posted, is a from very (unfortunately) prevalent 'music genre' among younger people in region where I live, called 'turbo folk'...but we have some others as well, almost bad as that one,ha,ha...

For me personally, 5 may be tough, but:

  • 60's manufactured music
  • Angry gangsta rap. If there is any musical value, I can't get past the anger / violence
  • Free jazz and/or highly improvised. I appreciate the musical talent, but cannot connect emotionally
  • House music - the stuff that was in the dance clubs late 80's/90's into the 2000's. No real songs, just a stream of bass beat.
  • I would have formerly put older twangy country in there too, but I think I have softened to it.


I think culture/environment is huge on our influence. What you posted reminds me of dance club stuff during my formative teens and 20's. Not always high art, but catchy and fun. I am influenced by parents into popular country and folk, but a general love of music, older siblings heavy into what is now classic rock, and my own rock/pop/dance influences.  I think my love of classical comes from movies.  I think jazz grew out of that.

@thespeakerdude , I would agree, to some point, about culture/enviroment influence. But, medias plays enormous role, now more than ever and it is almost dystopian to observe results of its influences. Perhaps it was like that before, but it took us more time to get 'influenced' without internet. Today, I would guess, that there are very few music forms (except perhaps some archaic or particular folk music ) that are not known to very wide and very different type of people or nations...so is that means that all 'culture' is becoming the same, or that our present 'culture' is not build on very solid foundations ? On the other hand, classical and jazz music stand for about only 4% of all sold music, so, not sure if wide spread flow of information has brought us anything good in that regard (call me judgemental ) I share your opinion on midlle 3 examples, but that 'turbo folk' is very high on my list. Must add that techno music has made heroin (in my country) very unpopular at the time when it first started to be played in the clubs. So,not all bad there, ha,ha. As for me, most of my posts are in Jazzaffc.thread and I have not bought more than 10 albums of other genres in last 25 years. In my next life I plan to listen classical music much more..and sometimes I am surprised how the music I enjoyed younger now seems unlistanable or at least not interesting....

For those who like Iggy Pop and dislike "modern" Country music, here’s a quote from IP about an old-timer with a new album: " ’London Too’ will break your heart if you’ve got one".

The song is on Tommy McLain’s new album I Ran Down Every Dream, his his first in forty years (!). Collaborators with Tommy on the album are Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Van Dyke Parks, Ivan Neville, Denny Freeman, and some others less well known. The album was released on LP and CD by Yep Rock Records (a very hip label) last year, and Tommy has been on the road promoting it (at the age of 82!), on some nights sharing the stage with Nick Lowe.

This album is just one of the many Country albums which you do not hear on the radio or TV, with songs that do not talk about going down to the river in a pickup truck to drink beer, are not sung with an exaggerated Texas accent, and are not played as Rock music. Would those of you who keep repeating the lie that THAT is what all modern Country music sounds like please stop doing so? There are dozens and dozens of currently-active Country artists who DON’T sound like that. Expecting to hear music you like on radio or TV is rather silly. ;-)

By the way, Iris DeMent’s new album is now available (sorry LP purists, at the moment only on CD), and her tour in support of the album is commencing. I’ve seen her live on stage three times, and she is a fantastic live performer. A startlingly-great singer, a powerful pianist (she plays a grand piano on stage), and a delightful entertainer. I saw her on her last trip through Portland, but this time she’s not coming up from San Francisco.

For anyone who wants to hear current Country music that will appeal to his or her Rock ears, try Larry Campbell and his wife and musical partner Teresa Williams.

Larry was in Dylan’s road band for eight or nine years, then lead the band at the Midnight Rambles shows held in Levon Helm’s barn in Woodstock for about the same length of time. Teresa was a regular singer at the Rambles, and she and Larry have two fantastic albums available on LP and CD.

Jim Lauderdale is another, a fantastic singer and songwriter (a lot of the 80’s-90’s Country singers recorded his songs). Jim wrote the song "The King Of Broken Hearts" after reading about Gram Parsons characterizing George Jones thusly. For female vocals, Patty Loveless is highly recommended.

All the above are real/traditional/"hard" Country artists, not Rock guys who decided to jump on the Country bandwagon (no offense intended to Robert Plant ;-) . No songs about pickup trucks or drinkin’ beer down at the river.