The country music industry is about ready for the same type of change that Noir brought to Hollywood. Michael Peterson is not, however, leading the charge in Wellesian fashion. Or even in the fashion of someone like, say, Billy Ray Cyrus.
On his second release, Being Human, Peterson has basically made the same album very latter day Nashville hat act makes. The album is full of bad, bad, lyrics, scantily clad re-dressings of Garth Brooks/Randy Travis type melodies, and not enough excitement to waste time or effort on. And if you’re the type to ask…yes. It really is that bad.
There is very little of value on Being Human. The lyrics, as mentioned, aren’t worth the pen and paper or even the hard drive memory that may have been used to write them. The idea that an entire song “Stomp” could be written for the occasion of stomping on the dance floor of a country-line-dancing club shows how emotionally ungrounded the lyrics can be. It’s painful to realize that mindless drivel such as this can actually make it onto a major label recording.
Another aimless tune is a waltz named “Slow Dance.” I am sure that people who enjoy line dancing find this tune to be a wonderful break from “stomping” all night, but anyone any further than 10 feet from a parquet floor could (and probably would), be bored to death, or at least bored to a state similar to some sort of coma. The lyrics talk about a slow dance, which when Michael Peterson is playing, may seem similar to a slow root canal, without the painkillers.
Oh yeah, Michael Peterson has a passable voice. Just a little bit of praise and a little bit of justification for giving more than zero on this album.
If Peterson were a little more willing to break the mold of the ridiculous garbage coming out of Nashville nowadays, he’d have a shot at a little bit of respect. He has a nice enough set of pipes that he could conceivably do some harm (or good), on the scene. It would be nice to see him try to say something with country music, other than, “dancing is fun.”
// Notes from the Road
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