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    Is Country Music The New EDM?

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    Pop music is more varied than it's ever been, and trends are coming, going and overlapping like never before. From tropical pop to Latin vibes to sparsely produced techno-inspired EDM, there's a plethora of genres available for listeners. And if releases from three of the worlds most influential female artists are anything to go by, it seems as though country may be the new waters that the pop world is set to start charting.

    As tends to be the way, Lady Gaga started the trend with last year's Joanne. Although it received mixed reviews upon release, Joanne has proven to be one of Gaga's most iconic eras, and included the biggest Super Bowl half-time show performance in the history of the game, a sold out world tour, a well-received Coachella performance and some of the best visuals she's put out in years. Joanne also explored an unashamedly hillbilly vibe, from the foot-stomping rock techno fusion in lead single 'Perfect Illusion' to the soulful, heartbroken country diva we hear in the album's biggest hit, 'Million Reasons'. But for all it's successes, there was always something that seemed somewhat insincere about Joanne. Gaga has the laidback attitude and damaged pipes to pull off country music, but her transformation into a backwoods babe never seemed quite fully realised - perhaps because she was still dipping her toes into heavy metal with Metallica and releasing dance-pop bops like 'The Cure'.

    On the other hand, Kesha's recent release Rainbow has to be one of the most natural progressions into country and rock we've ever seen. Kesha has long expressed an interest in returning to her Nashville roots - 2012's Warrior was originally envisioned as Spandex on the Distant Horizon, a "cock-pop" album (which was to be a fusion of country, rock and pop). But label issues and a well-publicised lawsuit in which she accused former producer Dr. Luke of rape stopped her from making the album of her dreams - until now. Rainbow excels at showing off Kesha's stellar and previously under-utilised songwriting skills, such as with lead single 'Praying' which is sure to never leave a dry eye in the house. But the spirit of the old party girl Ke$ha is still alive in the album, as we can hear in songs like the boisterous 'Woman' or the sassy 'Let 'Em Talk'. Far more than Gaga did with her somewhat pretentious notion of continuing her dead aunt's legacy through a pink hat and a guitar, Kesha has nailed a natural progression from her old pop sound to the cock pop she's long wanted to explore, and we can't wait to see where she goes next.

    But Kesha and Gaga aren't the only ones to explore country in their new releases. Miley Cyrus's upcoming album Younger Now is also set to explore a countrified sound, and we can't say it's unexpected. Like Kesha, Miley started her life in Nashville surrounded by country music, but has rebelled against her upbringing with recent forays into pop and R&B. Now with new single 'Malibu', Miley has returned to country with acoustic guitar, sprawling vocals and a refreshed, transformative message to match. All we can hope is that Miley is still able to maintain the sassiness she exuded during #Bangerz into some of these new songs - a fully acoustic album would be a little too much for us.

    So far the country music trend hasn't seemed to pervade the rest of the pop world outside of these three women. There's relatively few indie breakthroughs exploring it, and there don't seem to be any males making waves in pop music with this kind of sound. But with each of these women finding success with their sound, it's unlikely it will stay that way for too long.

    More interesting is what exactly is causing the shift towards country. Are people searching for true old-fashioned American values in a time when many are questioning what it means to be a patriot under Donald Trump? Or maybe the stories of lone rangers in the wilderness appeal to these three hardly done by women?

    Let us know your thoughts about the country revolution in the comments below!



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    People seem to be forgetting that Queen Carrie Underwood already successfully creates a dynamic country/pop sound. Have y'all heard Quitter, Ever Ever After, This Time, See You Again????

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    2 hours ago, Joe said:

    People get down to Woman at our local gay bar.

    I'm still trynna understand why that wasn't the official second single... :'(   

    3 minutes ago, itskelan said:

    People seem to be forgetting that Queen Carrie Underwood already successfully creates a dynamic country/pop sound. Have y'all heard Quitter, Ever Ever After, This Time, See You Again????

    giphy.gif

    If only Carrie was relevant outside of Wisconsin... :idkher::hottie: 

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    4 hours ago, Tweener said:

    Taylor Swift is a pro. Don't pay her dust just because we all hate her. She has great music!

    This article is about the new wave of country-pop musicians, Taylor hasn't released a country song in five years... :hottie: 

    4 hours ago, itskelan said:

    Before He Churns Someone Else's Butter :bop:

    :idkher::idkher::idkher:

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    "and there don't seem to be any males making waves in pop music with this kind of sound"

    Hasn't like Sam Hunt been doing country-pop for like two or three years now at least?

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    Back when gaga released joanne i was ready to listen to a shitty album, but i was surprised to like it, only the bonus tracks are forgettable and million reasons is annoying, if i didn't had any kind of dislike through her person i probably would really have listened to this album lots of times. As you said tho, something about this era was really out of place and insincere (maybe that's been my problem with her because i think that she always tries tooo hard with her concepts).

    Kesha did an amazing job with Rainbow and it really sounds as a honest record, i'm proud of her and also happy that she could finally release that album. I really enjoyed Malibu, but Inspired was forgotten by me two days after it was released, i'm still excited for the album though and hope that she explores different kind of sounds on it. I can't imagine any other mainstream female pop singer going to this sound though, or at least it would be really weird, at least Kesha and Miley have some roots that brought them until these albums, which makes them sincere (Gaga wishes :hottie:)

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    4 hours ago, GINGERGREEN said:

    "and there don't seem to be any males making waves in pop music with this kind of sound"

    Hasn't like Sam Hunt been doing country-pop for like two or three years now at least?

    Has Sam Hunt been making waves? :orly: I'm genuinely asking, I don't really pay attention to the radio and I'm outside of the US where he may be big so I have no idea what's going on with that. You could be right tho!

    1 hour ago, lightyears said:

    Back when gaga released joanne i was ready to listen to a shitty album, but i was surprised to like it, only the bonus tracks are forgettable and million reasons is annoying, if i didn't had any kind of dislike through her person i probably would really have listened to this album lots of times. As you said tho, something about this era was really out of place and insincere (maybe that's been my problem with her because i think that she always tries tooo hard with her concepts).

    Kesha did an amazing job with Rainbow and it really sounds as a honest record, i'm proud of her and also happy that she could finally release that album. I really enjoyed Malibu, but Inspired was forgotten by me two days after it was released, i'm still excited for the album though and hope that she explores different kind of sounds on it. I can't imagine any other mainstream female pop singer going to this sound though, or at least it would be really weird, at least Kesha and Miley have some roots that brought them until these albums, which makes them sincere (Gaga wishes :hottie:)

    I do still stand by Joanne being somewhat insincere, but I actually started listening to the album again while writing this article and I like it more than even now. :cackle: There's really not a bad song on the album but there's some amazing gems on there like 'Come To Mama' and 'Angel Down', I actually think I like it more than TFM now! :orly: An underrated masterpiece tbh. <3 

    I agree with you on Kesha, with Warrior it really felt like she was holding back a little but Rainbow sounds totally her. <3 We'll see if any other artist explores it I guess...I feel like those flops like Rita and Dua have no identity yet so they could easily make some kind of leap to a country fusion sound. ;) 

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    1 hour ago, Countess said:

    I do still stand by Joanne being somewhat insincere, but I actually started listening to the album again while writing this article and I like it more than even now. :cackle: There's really not a bad song on the album but there's some amazing gems on there like 'Come To Mama' and 'Angel Down', I actually think I like it more than TFM now! :orly: An underrated masterpiece tbh. <3 

    I agree with you on Kesha, with Warrior it really felt like she was holding back a little but Rainbow sounds totally her. <3 We'll see if any other artist explores it I guess...I feel like those flops like Rita and Dua have no identity yet so they could easily make some kind of leap to a country fusion sound. ;) 

    Either way 'Warrior' is still one of my favorite albums ever and i don't think that Kesha will ever top that in my heart even though we know now all the things she's been through while recording it. For lots of reasons this album is really special to me and Thinking of You, Wherever You Are and Last Goodbye will always remains as jams. Dying at the Dua and Rita Whora shade :cackle: I wouldn't be surprised if rita releases an album that style in 6 years when her 3rd record was delayed 46845 times and no one cares about that kind of song anymore, since her stuff always sounds so dated :cackle: 

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    6 hours ago, Countess said:

    Has Sam Hunt been making waves? :orly: I'm genuinely asking, I don't really pay attention to the radio and I'm outside of the US where he may be big so I have no idea what's going on with that. You could be right tho! 

    Sam Hunt has definitely made waves - in the past three or so years, he and Thomas Rhett have been the biggest growing male country stars. Though I would argue that Sam is more Country/R&B than Country/Pop, but Pop is pretty much part of all music anyways so...

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    On 16.08.2017 at 6:23 PM, Countess said:

    Has Sam Hunt been making waves? :orly: I'm genuinely asking, I don't really pay attention to the radio and I'm outside of the US where he may be big so I have no idea what's going on with that. You could be right tho!

    i dont really listen to him either and im pretty sure we dont hear his songs on the radio here in europe. :idkher: but he seems to be a pretty big thing in the US? Take Your Time and some other songs of his seem to be doing well (looking at youtube views and spotify plays at least) and the dude was nominated for a grammy for best country album

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    On 8/17/2017 at 4:17 AM, lightyears said:

    Either way 'Warrior' is still one of my favorite albums ever and i don't think that Kesha will ever top that in my heart even though we know now all the things she's been through while recording it. For lots of reasons this album is really special to me and Thinking of You, Wherever You Are and Last Goodbye will always remains as jams. Dying at the Dua and Rita Whora shade :cackle: I wouldn't be surprised if rita releases an album that style in 6 years when her 3rd record was delayed 46845 times and no one cares about that kind of song anymore, since her stuff always sounds so dated :cackle: 

    Idk, there's something kinda manufactured about Warrior for me...It's kinda like Femme Fatale: none of the songs are actually bad but both albums are just lacking the little touches and personality I love from both of those girls. ;) I'm ready for Rita's country revival tho, honestly that girl can sing anything and still flop so I wouldn't be surprised if she tried her hand with it! :cackle: 

    On 8/17/2017 at 8:41 AM, itskelan said:

    Sam Hunt has definitely made waves - in the past three or so years, he and Thomas Rhett have been the biggest growing male country stars. Though I would argue that Sam is more Country/R&B than Country/Pop, but Pop is pretty much part of all music anyways so...

     

    19 hours ago, GINGERGREEN said:

    i dont really listen to him either and im pretty sure we dont hear his songs on the radio here in europe. :idkher: but he seems to be a pretty big thing in the US? Take Your Time and some other songs of his seem to be doing well (looking at youtube views and spotify plays at least) and the dude was nominated for a grammy for best country album

    Interesting... :orly: I didn't know that much about Sam, but a quick look at his songs does seem to suggest they're more R&B like @itskelan said. It's probably part of the same trend tho, but I wouldn't say that these girls jumped on his coattails in any way because their music is much more straightforward and pretty different from his.

    On 8/17/2017 at 6:55 PM, VEENX said:

    "Daddy Lessons" was first :awkwardney: .mp3

    There is nothing pop about 'Daddy Lessons' or anything else on that album... :disgusted::hottie: 

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    I find these kinda pieces slightly biased towards Gaga. Joanne isn't THAT country to begin with, if anything it's more pop-rock. Kesha & Miley are known to have been making country music for the longest time now, and they actually hit the nail on the head with their songs :fishie:

    Like don't get me wrong, I know that this is just a fan opinion but there was an article recently that credited Joanne for Harry's debut album's inspiration/success, which makes no sense at all :fishie:

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    11 hours ago, Kuba said:

    I find these kinda pieces slightly biased towards Gaga. Joanne isn't THAT country to begin with, if anything it's more pop-rock. Kesha & Miley are known to have been making country music for the longest time now, and they actually hit the nail on the head with their songs :fishie:

    Like don't get me wrong, I know that this is just a fan opinion but there was an article recently that credited Joanne for Harry's debut album's inspiration/success, which makes no sense at all :fishie:

    Idk who wrote that album about Gaga and Harry, but I literally called Gaga out for being disingenuous with her sound so I don't find this biased towards Gaga at all... :spy: But tbh Imma need you to relisten to Joanne if you don't think it's country, songs like 'A-Yo', 'Joanne' and 'Million Reasons' are straight up country songs.

    • YAAASSS 1

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    8 hours ago, Countess said:

    Idk who wrote that album about Gaga and Harry, but I literally called Gaga out for being disingenuous with her sound so I don't find this biased towards Gaga at all... :spy: But tbh Imma need you to relisten to Joanne if you don't think it's country, songs like 'A-Yo', 'Joanne' and 'Million Reasons' are straight up country songs.

    It was actually some reputable magazine that wrote it & it just seemed so out of place. Yeah I'm sorry, I didn't explain what I found biased about it, I meant that Gaga is always like heralded by her fans as some sort of genius trendsetter despite it being done hundreds of times before her :spy: I didn't say it's not country, I just said it's not THAT country. There's a country flair in the songs, no doubt about that, but most of them are simply pop-rock songs :awkwardney: 

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    Wanted to add to this - Gaga actually wrote with country songwriter Hillary Lindsey for songs like A-Yo and Million Reasons, so if there's a country influence that you might hear in those, it most definitely comes from her. From what I know of the collaboration, it wasn't Gaga forcing herself into country or being fake with her sound, but a genuine collab with a songwriter that happened to bring a new sound. I believe Gaga requested to write with her though, so she definitely sought after a new sound for herself. 

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      What's interesting is that this version of 'Topbillin' Love' was actually a throwaway track that had been written years before by Karen Poole as a demo for Britney which got rejected. Poole tried her hand at writing to the instrumental after Cathy Dennis's attempt, called at that point 'Phony Lullaby', was also rejected due to it's inclusion of lyrics Britney apparently found objectionable. Britney even tried her hand at writing to this instrumental alongside Michelle Bell, which resulted in the unreleased track 'Take Off', a song which discussed Brit's anti-war and anti-discrimination views. Cathy Dennis would later reclaim the song and morph it's instrumental into 'Sweet Dreams My LA EX', the Rachel Stevens hit mentioned above; but that didn't stop the K-Pop groups from reusing it's demo years later. 
      9. BoA - Look Who's Talkin'
      'Look Who's Talkin'' is a song originally written by Britney alongside Bloodshy & Avant, Henrik Jonback and Michelle Bell in 2003 during the same sessions that produced songs like 'Chaotic' and 'I've Just Begun (Having My Fun)'. Later, it resurfaced on Korean superstar BoA's debut English album, also titled BoA, as the second single from the R&B-pop project. The Britney demo leaked just a little later on as 'Look Who's Talking Now', and features almost exactly the same lyrics and production; although the words are a little more meaningful coming from a popstar who spent a lot of her early life silenced by her record label or management. Britney's version of the song was probably never strong enough to be a single, but it could have worked well as an an additional track for the Chaotic EP.
      8. Pitbull & J Balvin - Hey Ma (Feat. Camila Cabello)
      'Hey Ma' was released last year for the The Fate of The Furious soundtrack album as a collaboration between Pitbull, J Balvin and Camila Cabello; but if things had gone differently, the song could have had a twist from the Holy Spearit. When it was originally recorded, 'Hey Ma' featured Romeo Santos and Britney in the Balvin and Cabello parts, with Britney cooing "If you touch me right, I might stay the night" over a Latin-inspired beat.
      But when the song was pitched for The Fate of The Furious, the producers requested that they be replaced, presumably to appeal to a younger audience and capitalise on the Latin American vibe of the film. While we'd generally cringe at the idea of Pitbull releasing a song with with Britney (or Pitbull releasing any song full stop), we have to admit that 'Hey Ma' featuring Britney is an absolute bop, thanks to the fact that her version was leaked as a Christmas present to the fans. We can only imagine how great this song would have sounded in a mash-up with 'Change Your Mind (No Seas Cortés)' on the Piece of Me shows.
      7. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - Pulse
      'Pulse' was published on the ASCAP registry back during the In The Zone era as a potential candidate for Britney's album, but it didn't end up making the cut there. Instead, it was released in 2010 on the Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark album History of Modern. While we're unsure if anything was changed over that seven year period, we can definitely imagine Britney's vocals on the current version of the track, which has the same breakbeat R&B kind of style she explored on ITZ tracks such as '(I Got That) Boom Boom' and 'Me Against the Music'.
      5. Kylie Minogue - Nu-Di-Ty/6. Kylie Minogue - Speakerphone
      Britney and Kylie have a long history of working with the same producers and thus swapping tracks, with Kylie even turning down the demo that would go on to be a hit for Britney with 'Toxic'. "I wasn't at all angry when it worked for her," she said of the track. "It's like the fish that got away. You just have to accept it." Let's hope the feeling is mutual, because Kylie took two tracks that Britney worked on for Blackout for her own album X, both of which were produced by longtime collaborators Bloodshy & Avant.
      'Nu-Di-Ty' is a quirky, fragmented pop song with a hint of R&B and tropicana which plays out like a more light-hearted version of Britney's own 'Freakshow'. While we don't have a Britney version of the track, she definitely did record one as some of her background vocals can be heard in the final version, and are even clearer when filtered out from the other vocals. Then there's 'Speakerphone', a precursor to 'Telephone' with a dreamy Euro-pop production which was definitely an album highlight. We've never heard anything of the Britney version of this one but it's safe to say she would slay it.
      4. Kylie Minogue - Get Outta My Way
      'Get Outta My Way' is not just one of Kylie Minogue's best songs: it's one of the best pop songs of this decade full-stop. The perfect slice of dance-pop for the summer season, 'Get Outta My Way' was originally shopped around to several artists including Britney, Alexandra Burke and Pixie Lott, and Wynter Gordon also wrote a song to the Cutfather-produced instrumental. But ultimately it was Kylie who nabbed the song, apparently due to the fact that the other potential candidates were too slow to respond. This is one of the few times where we're happy the song went to it's original artist: Britney's version of the track would probably have worked well on Femme Fatale, but Kylie needed the hit desperately and she put way more energy into the choreography than Brit could have at that point.
      3. Nelly - Tilt Ya Head Back (Feat. Christina Aguilera)
      The rivalry between Britney and Christina is basically a tale as old as time at this point, so it's no surprise that they'd both be put up for the same part on Nelly's 'Tilt Ya Head Back', which was a moderate hit when it was released back in 2004. Britney actually recorded vocals for this song, some of which were leaked in 2016; but according to producer Dorian Moore, her label nixed the idea of Britney collaborating with Nelly, finding the song "too urban". Janet Jackson was also considered before XTina took the final spot. It's not entirely surprising given that in 2004 Brit was still fighting for creative control with her record label, leading to the Original Doll saga that would begin her downwards spiral in 2007.
      2. Selena Gomez - Whiplash
      'Whiplash' is definitely not one of Selena's better known songs, and at the end of the day it is just album filler; but for a non-single track, it's surprisingly fun. Alternating between a silly metaphor-ridden chorus and a bouncy rap part spoken with an English accent, 'Whiplash' was highlighted as a standout track from When The Sun Goes Down and was performed on tour alongside a medley of Britney's own hits.
      But if things had gone differently, the song may actually have ended up on Brit's comeback vehicle Circus. Britney wrote and recorded the song alongside Coco Morier and Greg Kurstin at the same time as she worked on 'Mmm Papi' and 'Rock Me In', but it failed to make the cut for unknown reasons. So far we haven't heard the demo of the song, which is a shame because I'm dying to know if the English accent was a Selena addition or if it was present in the original version as well. Judging by Englishney's raps in 'Scream & Shout', I wouldn't be surprised if that was something Brit came up with all on her own.
      1.  Rihanna - Umbrella
      What more needs to be said about 'Umbrella', the monster hit which launched Rihanna's career properly and transitioned her from Bajan Princess to Bad Girl? Tricky Stewart, who had previously worked on 'Me Against The Music', wrote the track alongside The-Dream intending for it to be a comeback single for the troubled Spears; but when they sent the track to her label, it was rejected without Britney even hearing the track. After Mary J. Blige passed on it too, the song ended up in Rihanna's lap, at which time she utilised her accent to create that signature "ella ella eh eh eh" chorus which made the song such a hit. It's a credit to Rih that her stamp on the song is so huge that we can't even imagine Britney singing this one.
      Which of these songs would you most like to hear Britney's vocals on? Let us know in the comments down below!
      Editor's Note: This is an updated version of an article that was originally posted on 04/01/2018.

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