2004 was "Big & Rich", sorta

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Well another year has passed. The end of the year reviews are complete, published, and talked about. Billboard, CMT, my site, and all the rest have had their say. The book has closed on 2004. However, now 2 days into 2005, we should take a look at what has changed or what has been learned in country music in the last year.

The biggest change, if you will, in country music this year was introduction to a new style of country music. Every decade, just about at the turn of the decade, country music seems to go through a change. This change we usually don't notice til its over. I think 2004 though showed us what movement country music will be apparent when we look back in 2010 at the 00's. The pop/country sound will be prevalent when we look back.

Big & Rich has lead this movement, like them or not, they have changed country music. Their high paced, rock influenced, mimicking style has become one of the hottest groups in music. They have crept their way onto the "I don't like country, BUT I do like..." Artists list.

Their style is definitely not what could be called "traditional," but they do have a country music influence in their music. Also, in songs like "Holly Water," the country music influence and tone is there to hear. Many traditional country music fans find the embarrassing and intolerable.

Which side of the issue you are on is for you to decide and has been debated since the release of their debut album in May 0f 2004 (that ended up #5 in the year end Billboard issue). However, like it or not, they are a part of the country music community now. Other artists with like sounds are sure to come around and even some that are around share the same sound as well. 2004 brought that to light that this decade will be remembered as one of a much more pop influenced country music sound.

Yes, there many great traditional artists still thriving... Alan Jackson, George Strait, Brad Paisley.. The list goes on. At the same time though, new artists continue to thrive in the new pop/country movement. The next year will definitely be interesting to see if the movement continues. I believe it will and only come stronger. I don't think it will be quiet a change as it was in the 90's with the "Class of 89," but close to it.