If You Don’t Like American Aquarium’s New ’90s Country Cover Album, You Don’t Get It

A group of people posing for a photo
Joshua Black Wilkins

Let me just cut to the chase:

If you don’t like American Aquarium’s new 90’s country cover album, you just don’t get it.

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:

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:

And I know this is what everyone’s been wondering since they named it Slappers, Bangers & Certified Twangers, Vol. One… yes, there’s ANOTHER volume coming:

So, let’s all take a deep breath and enjoy the greatness that is a ’90s country hit like these gems… covers or not.

“She’s in Love with the Boy”

“John Deere Green”

“Should’ve Been a Cowboy”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock