Hawkins, whose writings have appeared in such bastions of online countercultural criticism as Chalkboard and Trowel, explained: “What it comes down to is – this is, obviously, just my opinion! – women are making much better music this year. When you look at, like, the current singles from Luke Bryan or Jason Aldean and compare them to what Kacey Musgraves and Ashley Monroe are doing, the differences are striking. Personally, I think Kacey and Ashley might be better.”
“Ohmigosh,” he added, “I bet that’s the first time anyone has mentioned Jason and Luke or Kacey and Ashley together, much less compared the two groups. Where do I come up with this stuff? Boy, the ol’ synapses are really firing today. It takes a real critic’s critic to see those kind of connections.”
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed,” Hawkins continued, propelled by the force of his visionary intellect, “but a lot of these new songs by men are largely about trucks, beer, and shaking it in cornfields. It’s surprising that more people aren’t talking about the truck fad with the men, or the fact that those guys with their corny tailgate songs are outnumbering women 10:1 on the country charts. You’d think there would be big articles on it in all the major music magazines and entertainment news sources.”
Hawkins went on to postulate that the music of country women might be more organic, story-driven, subversive, and realistic in its depiction of rural and/or working-class life.
“Boy, am I ever gonna catch hell for saying all this stuff. But being willing to take bold, unpopular stances is all part of the job,” he mused. “If I were to just repeat what everyone else in my profession has been saying, what would be the point?”
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