God, Your Mama, And Me

God, Your Mama, And Me – Spotify

God, Your Mama, And Me – YouTube (It’s blocked, but you can hear a snippet)

Everybody hates Florida Georgia Line but its fans. One of the biggest acts in country, FGL is excoriated by traditionalists and so many modern listeners, but they keep burning up the charts because they’ve managed to capture the zeitgeist of the younger generation, mashing up rap and other elements of today into a genre that prefers to be walled off from pop and the mainstream. But…

I’m addicted to Release Radar. All the publicity is about Discover Weekly, but it pales in comparison to Release Radar, Discover Weekly will tell you where you’ve been but not where you’re going, it’ll hook you up with your old girlfriend and take you on a tour of your high school, but Release Radar is like a trip to a destination you not only have never visited, but didn’t even dream of, but one that fits like a glove. I find myself skipping through Discover Weekly, but I LISTEN to Release Radar.

And that’s where I heard “God, Your Mama, And Me.”

The funny thing about music is you know immediately, not always, but usually. A sound resonates, you start nodding your head, you begin singing along. I’m riding the recumbent bike and I’m asking myself…WHAT IS THIS?

Oh, I knew it was FGL, the lead vocal is unmistakable. But, other than that, it’s not country, and then in the second verse a mellifluous voice that feels so right takes over and…


Do you own “Millennium”? Released in the spring of ’99, it only sold 40 million copies world wide, a mere trifle, ha! I had to go out and buy it because of “I Want It That Way,” the Max Martin/Andreas Carlsson nugget that superseded anything recorded by the legends of the era, it made the Backstreet Boys superstars, an incredible follow up to one of the great breakthrough cuts of all time, “Quit, Playing Games With My Heart.” If you don’t like “Quit, Playing Games With My Heart,” you don’t like Jon Secada’s “Just Another Day Without You,” possibly SBK’s greatest hit, it’s moody and infectious and… Never forget that the Beatles started as pop, then they expanded the medium, tested limits, classic rock was birthed and dominated and ever since we’ve gone down a rabbit hole of ever more derivative numbers that are so far from the garden that…people have tuned out.

And speaking of rock, as good as “I Want It That Way” was, it was the opening cut on “Millennium” that sealed the deal, that made me a Backstreet Boys fan, that had me blasting the CD in my car to the point my BMW shook, because “Larger Than Life” rocked harder and more endearingly than anything on rock radio, which is not hard to believe, since Max Martin started out in a metal band.

So, if you haven’t tuned out yet…

That’s the problem, self-identifiers stuck in the past. You know them, wearing their black clothing and silver jewelry, waiting for the eighties to come back, putting down all that which is not pure…the train has positively left them behind, times have changed, they’re the ones who are out of the loop.

And now the people being left behind are all those mired in the modern machine pop/urban landscape, playing it safe to appeal to a brain dead audience. Meanwhile, Florida Georgia Line goes back to the well and comes up with something that can be loved by EVERYBODY!

“That Sunday morning choir, church doors open wide”

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I winced. That’s a big problem with country, they appeal to right wing canards. Turns out the nation is becoming less religious. Country acts drug and booze, can they stretch the paradigm a bit, stop pandering? Sturgill Simpson had it right, the Nashville establishment is two-faced, it runs Merle Haggard out of town and then wants to embrace him. Didn’t catch that memo? It burned up the country newswires, Sturgill excoriated the establishment on Facebook, read it here: http://bit.ly/2bR2lKx?utm_source=phplist5547&utm_medium=email&utm_content=text&utm_campaign=God%2C+Your+Mama%2C+And+Me And while you’re at it, listen to Sturgill’s “Brace For Impact (Live A Little),” which I also discovered via Release Radar. I’ve been hyped on Sturgill for years, but this track finally closed me, listen to it if you like to go to dive bars in your cowboy boots and sip a longneck as you twist your toes in the sawdust and get your juices flowing. This is more rock than modern Metallica, more soulful than Sharon Jones, it’s the ghost of Waylon with some Willie and even if you think you hate country you’ll like this, it’ll sex you up to the point you’ll stop reading this to relieve yourself.


I’ve got to calm myself down, get back to where I once belonged.

So, my point is “God, Your Mama, And Me” is the best Backstreet Boys track in excess of a decade. It’s got melody, you sing along, it makes you feel good…ISN’T THAT WHAT MUSIC IS SUPPOSED TO DO?

But most people have not heard it. That’s the modern era. You can make it, but if it’s not marketed, if it’s not pushed, it’s like it doesn’t exist. But I’m sure Scott Borchetta is gonna push the button on this. It’s stuff like this that used to be the song of the summer before we moved so far from the mainstream there was no way we could hit the target.

That’s right, sometimes you’ve got to go back to basics.

There was a reason those Backstreet Boys records were so successful. They appealed to EVERYBODY! Maybe not you, but you’re the minority, and right now the minority is ruling in music, its tail is wagging the dog.

Not that I want to give Scott that much credit. FGL’s new album is not on Spotify, only cherry-picked hits. I just don’t get it, are the people not on the service really gonna give up their CDs and files? As for Jason Aldean keeping his new album off all streaming services… He’s like the last guy to use a wooden tennis racket. Yes, you can win that way, but really it’s all about metal and composites. The bleeding edge is much more satisfying than mopping up the past with the lemmings. As soon as I heard “God, Your Mama, And Me” I immediately wanted to hear the rest of the new album, but I couldn’t.

And “God, Your Mama, And Me” is not perfect. It almost seems unfinished, it could use another section, but it’s like…seeing a beautiful woman and being attracted without speaking to her, not yet knowing who she truly is. But you want to know more. (And feel free to flip the script, think about your hunk.) And isn’t that what we’re trying to do, isn’t that our mission, infecting the public and making people want more?

“God, Your Mama, And Me” is infectious because it builds upon the basic blocks. Employ good voices, have choruses people can sing along with, never underestimate the power of melody, create something so ear-pleasing it can’t be denied.

And one can argue, as Tom Petty has, that country is the rock and roll of the seventies. But I’ll argue that was a golden era, a peak much higher than today, and better to go back to the garden and grow from there as opposed to working untillable soil.

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