Usually, I try not to read Bob Lefsetz anymore- it’s just too aggravating. But sometimes I do slip and then I get reminded why his writing is so horrible. I guess what gets me really angry is that he’s got the ear of many people in the music biz so they might actually believe what he’s saying.
Where do you even start with this latest rant on New Country? As anyone who’s lived outside a Northern city can testify, there are millions of ‘hillbillies’ north of the Mason-Dixon line (hell, he even mentions Cincinnati later in the article). Plus, rap doesn’t use instruments? They’ve had to use ’em since labels started suing over sampling in the late 80’s? (doesn’t he read the trades?) Plus, rap has no melodies? Tell that to Outkast- I’ve heard dozens of rock, pop and even folk bands cover “Hey Ya!” Plus all the rappers who team up with R&B artists for songs ensure that you’re going to have melodies there plus the songs that rappers sampled for decades before that were full of hooks. As for lack of innovation in country, I’m guessing that ol’ Bob has never heard of alt-country or read an issue of No Depression- Alejandro Escovedo, Jon Langford and Wilco are hardly complacent.
I think the only line in that article that was really honest was the one where he admitted that he didn’t know shit about country. I’m guessing that next week he’ll “discover” gospel and then inform the online world that in that type of music, people are actually doing pop, R&B and rap (which has actually been going on for years).