I’ve seen a few comments, on Twitter mainly, circulating about how frontman BJ Barham’s best attribute isn’t his vocal talent or how the individual songs on this album aren’t as good as the original versions, and so on, and I’m just sitting here thinking, isn’t that all obvious?
And I can’t help but wonder…. who really gives a shit?
The vinyl sold out in a matter of hours, and even though it was only released on Friday, it has already brought me exuberant amounts of joy. And from what I can tell, a hell of a lot of other people, too.
Sure, BJ and company’s rendition of “She’s in Love with the Boy” isn’t Trisha’s, but last time I checked, BJ isn’t Trisha Yearwood.
He addressed some of the criticisms himself directly on twitter recently, also noting how some fans keep bringing this fact to his attention:
Few folks writing to tell me our covers aren’t as good as the originals. Well, no shit. Do you really think I woke up thinking I was gonna get the best of Faith Hill in a sing off? We made this record as an excuse to get together mid pandemic and have fun, not win a fucking CMA.
I couldn’t have said it any better myself.
I feel like we always hear artists hint at possibly covering a country song from the ’90s, or even say they want to make an entire cover album, but nothing ever comes of it.
Granted, I also think, had a different artist done the same exact thing (one far less talented than BJ and his band), we’d be hearing the same exact comments. So, it’s essentially a “damned if you do or damned if you don’t” kind of scenario. (That’s how it typically how it goes in the landscape of musical criticism and commentating).
Which leads me to my point: can’t country music just be FUN sometimes?
As someone who equally despises poorly written and sonically repulsive country music as much as any other writer out there, I sympathize with you, but we needed this and it’s far from any of those things.
I mean, I can’t really understand how anyone wouldn’t want to listen to this album, whether you’re someone who listens to American Aquarium or not… but BJ will tell you straight up this was purely for fun and not to win an “Album of the Year” award:
If I’d wanted to win any awards, I’d have just had @jamielinwilson sing everything and parked my ass in the control room. What fun is success in the music business of you can’t rent out a studio with your friends for three days and belt out the songs of your childhood. 👋🏻💥🤠