Thursday, March 13, 2014

Talk About It Thursday (#5): The Stigma Against Country Music

Every other Thursday I will make a post that's meant to bring about some conversation, discussion, and perhaps even a debate.

Today's topic is NOT a bookish one (sorry, book bloggers!). But if you are a book blogger, feel free to still give your 2 cents. :)

I'm starting off by saying that, as a general rule, I like country music. As long as it's not TOO country, I'll give it a try. I love Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, The Band Perry, Hunter Hayes (I think he counts as country), and more. I'm not ashamed to admit that.

Note: In talking about country music, it also sort of contains folk because they're often put together.

But I've noticed that there's a stigma against country music. Don't get me wrong; I don't care if you're not a fan of country music. I'm not a fan of rap. But there are people that dismiss it without giving it a try, and on top of that, they also try to shame people that DO actually enjoy country music. If it's not for you, fine. But at least give it a try, and don't criticize or make fun of people that do like the genre.

If you have a legitimate reason for not liking country music, then please, continue on. I don't like rap because that kind of music doesn't appeal to me. It's not something I like listening to aesthetically, and while there are obviously exceptions, I don't like the general image of rappers and of the themes in their music. That's just me. It's legitimate. I don't bash people that like rap; I just don't agree with them and sometimes I don't understand how they can like rap.

But let me tell you why I generally like country music. Most of the time, country artists have this certain aura of almost innocence around them. Innocence is definitely not the right word for it, but country singers generally won't go around cursing in their music. Their music usually deals with a variety of themes and subjects, not just love and/or heartbreak (though there's a lot of that too!). There tends to be immense depth in the lyrics. If you know me, you'll know that one of the primary things I look for when I listen to music is the lyrics (one of the main others being the singer's live singing ability, which I'll mention later). Many times, lyrics to country music have meaning. They truly invoke emotion. That's not to say that all do, and that's not to say that genres of music don't, but this tends to be a more persistent pattern. And I think that ties back to that aura surrounding country singers. 

And country music can be upbeat and fun too! One example is The Band Perry. They are very clearly country, but their music is also upbeat and fun and totally fun to dance around to and scream out the lyrics to. And there's also softer music, such as some of the songs by Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert (both of who have a wide variety of music, ranging from sweet and ballad-y to upbeat and fun). There's so much variety in this genre and so many different sounds (going from sounding VERY country to barely) and tempos. I'm bound to find something I like to listen to!

Lastly, there's the live singing aspect. For the most part, country singers are amazing when singing live. Many artists in general are, of course, but with other genres, it can be easier to pitch or fix an artist's singing when recording. With country singers, their sound is generally more natural and less done over. I'm not saying that they're completely perfect or that their singing isn't ever touched up on, but these singers generally are amazing at singing live and are good at choosing songs and vocal ranges that work best for them. I really appreciate artists that sound pretty similar, whether live or on record. 

So my question is, why is there such a stigma against country music? Why should I be almost afraid to say that I enjoy country music because I'm scared that people will laugh at me and make fun of what I enjoy? It's one thing to not like something; it's another thing to make people feel so uncomfortable about what they like. Is it that many people just don't give it a try? But then, why don't they? Why assume something about country music or make sweeping generalizations about country music? Why is country/folk considered this way as compared to pop music or rap or hip hop or electronic/dance music?

What are your thoughts? Why do you think there's such a huge stigma against country music? Do you like country music yourself? Why/Why not?


  1. I totally agree that you shouldn't slam anyone else's likes. It's just so wrong and cruel. :/ I personally don't like country music, but I'm not about to make fun of people who do! It just doesn't really work for me...I'm really more into the indie rock sort of stuff. ;) I do wonder why country music cops so much flack though. I mean, HEAPS of people hate rock, but it doesn't get such a beating as country does. Why?!

    1. For sure! Yeah, I'm fine if you don't like country music if you have a reason for it, you know? (PS. I also love indie rock. If you have recommendations for me, I'd love to try out some new artists/bands. ;) ) YEAH! Exactly! I wish I knew...

  2. I love country music. Being a Yorkshire girl I didn't discover it until my teens, but it filled a gap in my eclectic music tastes that I didn't realise was missing. Which sounds really cheesy! I love male country voices the best, like Blake Shelton and Chris Young.

    ★ Under The Mountain ★

    1. I definitely agree! There's something so different about country music, and it just fits in with everything else that I love. :) I've only listened to a few/some of their songs,


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