Brow Beat

Yes, a Lot of “Bro Country” Sounds Alike. But There’s More to Country Than These Songs.

Country music doesn’t all sound like this guy.

Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Country music had a pretty good year in 2014, with Eric Church among the year’s best-selling albums and big releases from Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, and more. But a fun mashup of recent country songs seems to have confused those too quick to dismiss the whole genre. Last November, Gregory Todd mixed together six popular songs—from Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell, Parmalee, Florida Georgia Line, and Chase Rice—to demonstrate their overwhelming sonic similarities. (Much like Grady Smith did in 2013.)

The video has since gone viral under misleading headlines like “All Country Music Sounds the Same.” That suggestion is, of course, only true based on the mashup’s sample pool of “bro country” anthems. (These sometimes misogynistic attempts at countrified club bangers inspired last year’s “Girl in a Country Song.”) But that is a small slice of the state of country and ignores Lambert, Kacy Musgraves, Brandy Clark, and exciting new artists like Sam Hunt.

That said, it can’t really be overstated just how unoriginal this particular country subgenre so often is. Here’s to more creative times.