Sunday, June 7, 2009

The harshest critic


I could never be hired to review music for a magazine or newspaper. I'm far too harsh in my opinions.

Case in point: The only way you could persuade me to attend a Keith Urban concert is if you paid me. (Wait... reviewers DO get paid for this.... !)

Further to my point: The only way you could get me to enjoy a Keith Urban concert is if he only played his hits from spring 2005 and earlier.

All of his music from late 2005 to present day only serves to make my ears bleed.

Ahem. I can already envision my inbox being flooded with the predictable stream of teenybopper hate mail....


"Keith Urban is HOT, HOT, HOT! Who are you to judge him??"

"How can you be so mean?!?!? What did he ever do to you?!?!"

"Millions of fans all over the world can't be wrong about how amazing he is. How many fans do YOU have?"

"He's singing those songs to ME, you know. One day I know we'll be together...."



Oh dear lawd.

In my defense, I do believe that Keith Urban is a gifted songwriter and a talented musician, which is exactly why I expect so much more out of his albums.

I hate to say it, but the quality of his writing was far superior when his personal life was in a bit of turmoil.

Seriously, he went from such brilliance in Raining on Sunday and You'll Think of Me (the ULTIMATE break-up song).... to the lame, teenybopper-esque sounds of Kiss a Girl.

Now I know this isn't always the case, since one of our wedding songs was Keith Urban's very happy and touching Making Memories of Us .... but that was also the very last song of his that I actually liked. Everything since then has only resulted in a mad dash to change the radio station.

But there is some accuracy in suggesting that many of us are at our most creative during times of personal darkness. (Umm, hello, van Gogh, anyone?)  

Jamey Johnson -- another extremely gifted songwriter and musician who not only has his own hits but has also penned winners for George Strait and Trace Adkins -- has this note written on the inside of his CD jacket for his second album, That Lonesome Song:

"I woke up in my truck one morning after a hard night out on the town. With divorce on the horizon and my record deal taken away, I set out for relief by getting out of my head for a while. Instead of risking the drive home (I was staggering drunk) I just threw my keys in the bed of my truck and went to sleep in the passenger seat. It was over a year later, after receiving Song of the Year at the ACM awards in Las Vegas, before I'd have another drink. That Lonesome Song is a collection of my observations of my life as I saw it during that time."

And, in my opinion, this album is terrific.

It is, at times, painfully honest (High Cost of Living), and at other times just a beautiful reflection of the people around him (In Color). 

He's bad ass, and his music and voice make me melt.

Which is why I was so appalled when my husband announced yesterday that he didn't much care for Jamey Johnson.

In fact, I believe his exact words were, "No offence, but I don't really like his voice."

That's it. Stop the car. He doesn't like his voice. 

I should have expected as much from someone who worships The Beatles.

And had a Beatles haircut in high school.

In 1995.

Now I know that not everyone will be able to relate to or appreciate Jamey Johnson's brand of country music, and that's okay. But his voice is solid gold! What's not to love?

I felt like hollering to him: "How can you be so mean?!?!? What did he ever do to you?!?!"

Not to be outdone by: "Millions of fans all over the world can't be wrong about how amazing he is. How many fans do YOU have?"

*sigh* It's true. I am a thirty-something teenybopper fan of Jamey Johnson.

So should I be proud or ashamed? I guess that's a matter of opinion, like with everything else.

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