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ToC Encore: Quit Complaining About Modern Country Music

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Collin Raye joins a growing list of seasoned country (and rock) singers with strong thoughts on the current Nashville sound. Raye politely told Fox News he didn’t care for the “dumbed down” sound of today, and predictably he found fans to agree with him. Taste of Country writer Billy Dukes says singers who look back longingly aren’t painting an accurate picture of the “good old days.”

It’s unfair to compare every song on the radio today with the greatest songs ever recorded. Doing so ignores the hundreds of lousy tracks released to radio at that time. Every artist has turned in a song that years later he or she regrets.

The larger point is that what makes good country music is subjective. Is a song a bad song because you don’t like it? More often than not the hitmakers of yesterday who whine about today’s country, sound like they’re squeezing sour grapes. For every Collin Raye, you’ll find two vets like Ronnie Dunn and Kenny Rogers willing to defend the modern country sound. Clay Walker says “traditional country music died,” but the 20-year hitmaker isn’t upset about it.

Next: Is George Strait the Greatest Ever?

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