A little honesty from Nashville
|Ok, I admit it. I read blogs about Nashville and country music. I love the stuff. I don't listen to country radio anymore because a lot of it makes me cringe, but I was raised on it and I believe Nashville draws some of the world's best troubadours and writers forever and ever amen. It's an image driven city, for sure, but I still think there is room for the Song, and maybe a good chunk of the Nashville machine will still tell you that. It gives me hope for commercial music.|
One of my favorite bands in Nashville these days is Sugarland, which is odd because they're actually popular. I can't say that about too many of my favorite artists (besides the Chicks, I guess). Jennifer Nettles is the lead singer, and much like Natalie of the Chicks, Jennifer has a voice you either love or...maybe don't love. That's ok. I've got albums from Jennifer's previous days in Georgia-based bands like Soul Miner's Daughter...and while she's more Nashville than folk or rock these days, the pipes have remained the same. You can't miss Jennifer singing. (She's so young here!)
So these country music blogs I read...a few were chattering about the new Sugarland video and how amazing it was. So I checked out "Stay" and wow. It is pretty different for a Nashville product. "Stay" is a great song in the tradition of heart-wrenching, cheating, story-telling country songs...but instead of flashy production and perhaps showing some leg, we get Jennifer up front and center, pretty exposed and um-glammed...singing and crying.
Some people think it's over-acted sap, but I think the material is excellent, the vocals are well done, and she's channeling something from somewhere. Either way, it proves that Nashville doesn't always have to turn out well-polished little bits of media glory. "Stay" is polished in its own right, yes...but they left some of the dirt on, too.