12 April 2015

United States #1: Some country music

Today is the turn for the first feature post dedicated to the music from the United States of America. I kind of have felt like that the American music is so well-known that it does not really serve anyone if I blog about it, but this is not a very good way of thinking and does not represent the ideology of my blog. And I want to feature all countries in my blog, so obviously I need to blog about US music too. So I decided I want to blog about country music from the States.

Wikipedia: United States

Country music is one of the first things that comes to my mind when I think of music from the United States. In my opinion country is very American, even though there are obviously country music from elsewhere too. The genre obviously originates from the southern parts of the United States and by far most of country music comes from the US. If I were to choose one genre of music to represent each country, I would pick country for the United States. I believe a lot of people would agree.

I have to mention I am not expert on country music and I actually do no listen to a lot of it. But there are some country artists I like a lot. And now let's get to the music:

First up is a band called Sugarland. Sugarland is a duo with Jennifer Nettles singing and Kristian Bush singing and playing instruments including guitar. The group was formed in 2003 and is currently on a hiatus since 2012. They have had multiple number one singles on the US country singles chart, including the song above, Want To.

This band is one of the first acts I listened to in the country genre, and I believe the first one I loved. I first heard Want To or its following single Settlin' around their release in 2006/2007. Especially with Want To it was love with first sight. Lyric-wise the song tells a story of uncertainty and breathes a feeling that reminds me of summer and somehow of childhood. The music is fairly light-spirited, but very country.

Like I said I loved this with the first listen, but over the time the feeling I get from this song has gotten stronger. Obviously with more age you can get better into the lyrics (I was probably just fourteen when I first heard it). This song keeps coming back to me even if I forget it for months or years and still after all this time I find it very touching. Definitely a timeless song.

The other song from Sugarland is called Stuck Like Glue. This song is a bit more recent being released in 2010. I myself heard this only couple months ago, when I once again got into the song Want To and decided to listen to some of their newer songs that I had not yet heard. This one grabbed my attention straight away.

Me being no expert on country music, this of course could just be my opinion, but music-wise I feel this song has a strong country-sound, but also a style that is not common is country music. Or it could be, but I am just not use to this kind of country music. I am not certain what makes me feel this way, maybe it is catchier than the most of country songs that I have heard?

Anyways, I find this song awfully catchy; Even with the first listen I could sing along the chorus at the end. Very catchy beat with simple, yet fun lyrics. Overall Stuck Like Glue is a very fun and catchy song. And being a creep, I obviously also like the story in the music video.

Want To was released as a single in 2006 and along with the mentioned Settlin' it is part of Sugarland's 2006 album Enjoy The Ride. Stuck Like Glue was released in 2010 as a single and on the album The Incredible Machine.

The other half of this post is dedicated to Kellie Pickler. She hit famous in 2005 competing on the fifth season of the American Idol and placing sixth. Even though she did not win the contest, she is one of the best selling singers from the entire franchise. Which is saying a lot considering how big thing this show is in the US and worldwide.

I have not watched American Idol besides one season and few random episodes, and I came across Kellie otherwise. I can not remember how, but I found her music around when she had released her first studio album. I immediately liked her music and her voice. I believe she has that kind of voice that you either like it straight away and dislike it likewise. Her music is country with slower and deeper songs and also more catchier and upbeat songs.

The song above is called Tough. I find this song's lyrics personally touching (even though there is a religious reference and I am atheist). From most of parts I find them fitting to me, so this song feels special to me. Besides the lyrics, I love the music and Kellie of course sounds great. The overall sound and Kellie's singing style fit very well together with the song's name.

The next song from Kellie is called Someone Somewhere Tonight. This song represents the beautiful portion of Kellie's songs (even though I find Tough beautiful too, but I think a lot of people would not agree with me). I was actually surprised how strongly the country sound can be present in ballads. I suppose I am just not use to country ballads.

This song is very simple, yet very beautiful. There is something magical in all this simpleness. The lyrics are very nice and I like them particularly much. The music video is also very simple, yet beautiful. As a fun fact, let's mention that Kellie participated in the show Dancing With The Stars in 2013 (and won) and in this music video she dances with her dancing partner from the show, Derek Hough.

I was actually going to only feature these two songs from Kellie, but now that we are at, I shall include this one too since I like this one too so much. It is called Red High Heels. It was Kellie's debut single released in 2006 and it sold Gold in the US.

Tough was darker and rougher song and Someone Somewhere Tonight a simple ballad. And then Red High Heels is a totally different song: It is a fun and catchy song. I really like when a singer can sing so different kind of songs without sounding forced. I think Kellie sounds very good in all kinds of songs, which makes her music interesting since she has all kinds of different songs.

Red High Heels is a break-up song and even though the lyrics are not that special it is a very good song. The music is catchy and I like how Kellie's vocals change throughout the song. This gets stuck in the mind very easily. Since this was the first song I heard from Kellie, it is the one song out of all of Kellie's music that has the strongest imprint in my brain. Along with the song I Wonder, it got me into Kellie's music.

Tough was released as a single in 2011 and on Kellie's 2012 album 100 Proof. Someone Somewhere Tonight was released in 2013 as a single and on the album The Woman I Am. Kellie's 2006 debut single Red High Heels can be found on the 2006 album Small Town Girl along with the mentioned song I Wonder.

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