Oh Gwyneth Paltrow, you've gone country. Last night, in order to promote your upcoming new film Country Strong where you play a country singer who is attempting to make a comeback after being in rehab, you performed on the Country Music Awards. And actually you weren't terrible. You had something resembling stage presence and stayed in tune for the most part. Normally those things that we shouldn't happy like EXTRA happy about since you would assume that's sort of a fundamental part of the gig, but after withstanding the ever shaky warbling of one million-albums-in-a-week-seller Taylor Swift who got a standing ovation after her performance last night because, well, we're not quite sure. She played the piano? People were merely thankful it was over? We can't quite be sure.
Anyway, back to Paltrow, we're sort of disheartened seein Paltrow having to shill her film on CMA simply because going country is always one of the biggest signs your career has gone to shit. COME AT ME COUNTRY FANS.
You know it's true. Every time some pop star's well of hits starts running dry, they suddenly become interested in country music, a genre they ALWAYS wanted to do but couldn't because the powers that be held them and made them pursue a mainstream pop career and blah blah blah PR spin for album wank. So while stars like Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum cross over to the pop charts, people like Michelle Branch and Jewel try to keep the Terri Shiavo that are their career propsects alive by adding some fiddles in the background and try to make an appeal as being a more "down home" sort of personality.
So in today's mixtape, we're taking on the stars that have gone country, y'all. So let's dosey doe this motherfucker out!
First up, Darius Rucker aka the Artist Formerly Known as the Hootie of Hootie and the Blowfish and his tune "Alright."
We'll admit that Darius going country is less awkward than say, I don't know, when Nelly and Tim McGraw teamed up for that one song. But still, the move sort of reeks of desperation to maintain some kind of music career, which isn't all bad I guess.
It would be difficult to go from a band that somehow, most likely through a deal with the devil, was able to sell some 19 million records of their debut album Cracked Rear View. I mean, think about it. You're a band that is pretty much a glorified frat party outfit and suddenly you're selling out stadiums and becoming pretty much the only thing played on Top 40 radio for a period of time. Going from that to nothing would be more than a little shock to the system.
So we'll give Darius props for not only going country but actually making it a successful bid, with several country singles reaching the top of the charts.
That can't be said for our next person on our mixtape, that former Newlywed, pop star and John Mayer-approved piece of "sexual napalm" Jessica Simpson.
People often times talk about how calcuated pop music is (LOOKING AT YOU GAGA, RIHANNA) but country music is almost as much or even more than pop music. And Jessica Simpson's video is a screaming example of this: the requisite farm in the background, the gauzy country way the video is shot, the Laura Ingalls Wilder shirt paired with a Brokeback Mountain belt. It all smacks of disingenuous grab for cash. It's probably why just after one album, Sony Nashville ditched Simpson faster than Tony Romo.
Also, what asshat, YOUR DAD, thought it would be a great idea to launch your big huge country music career with a song that is also the title of Shania Twain's huge selling album. Bad decision remains bad.
Probably the most hilarious pop star to country venture that we can think of at the moment is the following:
That's right David Lee Roth went bluegrass. With Van Halen tunes. There are just no words really for all of the awfulness of this. He sounds a mess while rocking a KD Lang haircut, dressed like he's about to go to mini golf at the mall, and wearing Ryan Atwood's choker from season one of The O.C. He also seems way to excited to be singing this shitty version of the song like he may actually, underneath the several layers of spray tan, actually believe that is in fact good. Plus, when Jay Leno, JAY LENO, is snickering at the career choices you're making, you've truly FUBAR-ed your life.
We leave you know with Ms. Coldplay's performance on the Country Music Awards. And as always, wish you love, peace and downloads!