If you don’t like or don’t listen to country music, here’s an opportunity to affirm your own beliefs: a video shows the startling similarities between tracks from Blake Shelton, Parmalee, Florida Georgia Line, Cole Swindell, Chase Rice and Luke Bryan. Check it out below.
But if you dig a little deeper into this video, you realize this select group of songs was mostly written by a small, interconnected group of people. Luke Bryan and Cole Swindell helped write FGL’s “This Is How We Roll.” Nashville songwriters Rodney Clawson and Chris Tompkins have co-writes on both Shelton’s “Sure Be Cool If You Did” and Bryan’s “Drunk On You.” And Chase Rice has written songs with Florida Georgia Line — notably their career-making hit, “Cruise.” The sonic similarities seem less surprising when you know these six songs come from interconnected pens. Country music has a much wider selection of writers producing songs; they don’t all share such a similar sound.
Additionally, the “sounds-the-same” issue is in no way limited to country music. It happens in every genre when a small group of producers or songwriters are churning out hits. If you work your way through the extensive Complete Motown Singles collection (currently at 12 volumes), you’ll find that a huge number of the songs sound the same.
For a contemporary example outside of country, listen to any five songs produced by DJ Mustard.
You can watch the 2013 edition of the “country sounds the same” video below. What do you think?