Back to the art of music and outta mainsteam-land, to a place where quality is, and what it’s always been essentially about: the alternative country world. You know, the CMAs, for the most part, left a bitter taste in my mouth (Taylor Swift and Kellie Pickler‘s bubblegum pop didn’t sweeten the night at all. Just provided some more artificial “sugar” to the mess.) Like I said in my CMA entry, I did enjoy parts of the show, but it really got me even more upset with how terrible mainstream country music really has become. I’m not saying it should be 100% traditional country music, because that would be boring (though, there definitely needs more of that represented to remind artists and fans of what the music is). I just wish it wasn’t all about the money and crossing-over and appealing to teenagers who don’t know what country is. The format might be a business but quality and diversity of styles should be the #1 things on their mind, and radio stations aren’t innocent either. They just contribute immensely to the destruction of the music. (Btw, speaking of destruction, I saw the midnight screening of the new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, and man, I loved it! Go see while it’s still in theaters! You should see 2006′s Casino Royale first, because both movies go hand-in-hand and Quantum is its sequel. Here’s the trailer.)
My thirty-ninth recommendation is: Robert Plant & Alison Krauss’s “Through the Morning, Through the Night” from their 2007 Raising Sand album. I have been wanting to highlight this album and this particular song for months and months since I’ve had this album, but I never could find the right time. I felt that, because I had recommended Alison before, I should wait until much later to use her again, because I’m all obsessed with rules and stuff, but I’m beginning not to care anymore lol. It was time, and that time was today. You need to see and hear country music for what it is and can be, and those award shows don’t really appreciate nor represent what the good part of the music is (the CMAs did give the win to Plant/Krauss for “Collaboration”, so I’ll give them that). The first single, “Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)”, with its Beatles-like sound, I wouldn’t consider to be country, but it’s very good. It wasn’t until last year, during Christmas-time that I was able to finally purchase and listen to all of Raising Sand, and man I was blown away. Led Zeppelin rock legend Robert Plant and bluegrass extraordinaire Alison Krauss are the perfect partners for a project like this. Anybody who has heard all of the material and has trouble categorizing this as a “country album”, while at the same time, labels artists like Rascal Flatts “country”, just because they call themselves that, is seriously crazy (I won’t name names, but I’ve seen it online, and it makes no sense). The album as a whole may not be particularly country, but its influence and sound is very evident, throughout.