Boys' Noise Buoys Biz

By Barker, Andrew | Variety, November 25, 2014 | Go to article overview

Boys' Noise Buoys Biz


Barker, Andrew, Variety


No one can quite agree where "bro-country" started, and most of its primary practitioners are hesitant to embrace the label. Nonetheless, the sudsy, party-hearty, hip-hop inflected, Ft. Lauderdale-fetishizing style that has seen the likes of Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Jake Owen and others notch chart-topping records over the past two years, is a subgenre that's thriving. And despite the hand-wringing it may inspire in country purist circles, it may go a long way toward sketching out the future of Nashville pop.

When the Oxford English Dictionary looks for a primary source for the term, it will likely zero in on New York Magazine music critic Jody Rosen, who popularized the label in a 2013 essay about Florida Georgia Line's "Cruisin'." To Rosen, the new breed of male stars made a clean break with much of what distinguished a country male vocalist, particularly the "devotion to realism, to songs about Saturday night's hootenanny and Sunday morning's moral reckoning, not to mention the kitchen-table truths of Monday through Friday." For the bro singers of contempo Nashville, the hootenanny has been moved to the frathouse, where the kegs are tapped all week.

While "Cruisin'" was bro-country's bellwether - registering a record-setting 22 weeks at the top of the Hot Country chart - its patron saint is likely Bryan, who notched two No. 1 albums in 2013. Though even he has expressed discomfort with the bro tag, a glance through his album titles - "Tailgates & Tanlines," "Crash My Party" and this year's EP, "Spring Break 6 ... Like We Ain't Ever" - leaves little doubt where his interests as a songwriter lie.

Country's he-man brigade has seen little slowdown in sales over the past few months, with Shelton's "Bring Back the Sunshine," Aldean's "Old Boots, New Dirt" and Florida Georgia Line's "Anything Goes" all topping the album chart one week after another.

But with this success has come some substantial criticism. Country purists have by and large been horrified by some of the stylistic promiscuity on display - Zac Brown broke with Nashville's typical code of conduct when he referred to Bryan's hit "That's My Kind of Night" as "the worst song I've ever heard" - and different groups have taken issue with the actual promiscuity in the lyrics.

In classic Dolly-and-Tammy fashion, newcomers Maddie & Tae notched a 2014 summer hit with "Girl in a Country Song," which skewers the ornamental role played by women in bro-eountry anthems with ruthless precision. Even Kenny Chesney, a real-life former frat brother who once bridged the gap between Garth Brooks and Jimmy Buffett, targeted country's objectification of women in a Billboard interview earlier this month, saying: "Twenty years ago, I might have written a song like that - I probably did. But I'm at a point where I want to say something different about women."

It's debatable whether these lyrical themes are anything new; after all, goodtime country drinking songs are as old as "White Lightning," if not white lighting itself. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Boys' Noise Buoys Biz
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.