Thursday, January 20, 2011

Aaron Lewis, "Country Boy"

Two things I'm getting tired of: (1) Washed-up rockers emigrating to country music (2) Songs that scream "I'm so country!" in the most typically one-dimensional format imaginable.  This is the first single I've heard that was guilty of both offenses.

First of all, Aaron, I have a hard time believing you here.  You were the frontman of the rock group Staind.  Now this guy's coming out and telling us that he really was a country boy all along?  Or is he saying "A country boy is all I'll ever be... starting NOW"?  It's an unfortunate truth that being the frontman of a rock group hurts your country cred, and when a rocker-gone-country comes right out of the gate proclaiming his countryness, it is not going to sound authentic.  That problem is not helped by the fact that "Country Boy" essentially sounds like a rock song.

The lack of authenticity may be the most obvious problem, but even the most Southern backwoods hick of an artist would have a hard time selling me this song.  It might seem more authentic coming from such an artist, but the song is still a bore.  The melody plods along in a lethargic and repetitive manner, and the lyrics just string together all the palatable sentiments that country radio loves to hear.  It begins with the typical images of dirt roads and drinking.  The next verse, which is actually semi-interesting, describes how Aaron has maintained his country-boy identity despite pressure from his record label.  Then the song ends with some safe and inoffensive expressions of patiotism. (I'm not quite sure how the line "A couple extra pounds never really hurt" is supposed to fit in here) The verses are loosely-connected at best, with each verse culminating in his declaration of being a country boy, but there's no discernible running theme beyond that.

While Aaron portrays himself as one who refuses to bow to current trends in the music business, such a claim would carry much more weight if this song as a whole did not carry the unmistakable stench of pandering.  At any rate, "Country Boy" doesn't seem to bode well for Aaron's country career.  If this song tops the country charts, I just might toss my cookies.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)