This was going to be the year we finally turned it all around. The year we left any lingering fragments of the Bro-Country era behind us and moved on towards the much greener pastures of good country music. New year, new decade, new country music. That was the plan. The pendulum had already begun to swing back towards the traditional, and after 2019, it looked liked we were finally getting closer to righting this ship. Don’t get me wrong, country radio is still pretty bad, and we have this new “Boyfriend Country” problem to contend with, but things were looking up.
Tyler Childers had an explosive year, Cody Jinks dropped two incredible albums, we were introduced to the Highwomen, but even in the mainstream, we took some massive strides. Luke Combs was the biggest thing in country music, Jon Pardi put out another great country record, and Midland, Ashley McBryde, Cody Johnson, Runaway June, Riley Green… these sort of “neo-traditional” types, they all saw their stock jump through the roof.
And just like that, a flash of optimism for the state of country music, the faint flicker of a lighthouse can be seen shining on the horizon. After floating aimlessly in the dark, hopeless waters of country radio for years and years, dry land was in sight.
And then Dustin Lynch comes swinging from the rafters with “Ridin’ Roads,” the number one fucking song on country radio right now. Nobody is saying a word about this song, I’m talking crickets, and then some press release pops into my inbox telling me it’s the number one song on country radio. I know it came out in March of last year, but what in the actual fuck?
Knowing everything that we know now, being able to reflect back on the dog turds we pumped out to country radio in the past decade, how the hell are you still going to put out a song called “Ridin’ Roads” and not be joking? To be honest, I have a hard time believing this isn’t one giant troll job from Dustin.
“Let’s put out the most obnoxiously cliche, douchey, hyper-sexualized, R&B bro song we can possibly come up with and see if we can make it go number one.”
That had to be the conversation. It’s the only logical explanation…
This song is a parody. You know, the kind of song Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg would make for Saturday Night Live. And even though you’re a little bit pissed that they’re making fun of country music on SNL, you’d still laugh because they’re actually funny (and better at R&B) and deep down, you know they’re right about how fucking awful some of those songs used to be.
Seriously, if I wanted to write a country music parody song, I would without a doubt title it “Ridin’ Roads” and I’d fill it with the most atrocious country music buzzwords I could think of. I’d probably start it with a “Uh… yeah” and then go on to rattle off shit like “gassed up,” “Bullets ice cold,” “hand out the window,” “moon hits the water,” “ridin’ shotgun,” and of course the title, “ridin’ roads.” Then I’d throw in some phrases that I would never normally say in real life, things like “sip ‘fore we get gone” or “these 38s makin’ the world go ’round.” You know, just a couple a phrases to remind you that I’m cool, but not just any kind of cool, really cool. Sprinkle in some verbs like “kiss” and “slide,” a few “guuuurls,” and the obligatory “baby” and you got yourself a hysterically cringey country music parody song.
Just imagine a song like that…
Now imagine that it was actually serious, those were the real lyrics, and that today, in the year 2020, it was the number one song on country radio.
Like I said, ladies and gentleman… we have a problem.