Over the past few years in mainstream country music, the songwriting for the lack of a better word has mostly sucked. It’s been full of clichés, overused themes and lyrics so mind-numbingly dumb that it sounds like a first-grader wrote it. But that would be an insult to even first-graders. I bet they could come up with better songs. In addition there have been countless songs that pander to brands of beer, trucks, boats, boots and jeans. It’s the kind of stuff that makes corporate America executives cream their pants when trying to come up with an advertising scheme for the summer. Enter Chris Janson’s new single “Buy Me A Boat,” which is a wet dream come true for those same executives. Janson has been built up as this unknown, independent artist out of nowhere with a surprise hit single. But don’t fall for this line of bullshit. Janson is not unknown and has been involved with several high-profile artists in Nashville. He co-wrote the mega-bro hit, Tim McGraw’s “Truck Yeah.” Janson knows exactly what he’s doing, so I wanted to clear this up before I ripped thing song apart.
As I said above this song is a dream come true for corporations looking for a hokey country song to put in their boat commercials this summer. Brad Paisley is about the only one who can pull off hokey summer songs, but even he has lost his magic touch in this department. I digress. “Buy Me A Boat” is what it says it is. It’s a song about wanting to buy a boat. Janson sings throughout about all of the clichés about money not being the most important thing in the world, but immediately dismisses by saying he wish he had money to buy a boat. The lesson he’s sending out is that money is everything and that the only way to move up on the social ladder is buying expensive stuff like this. See what I meant about corporate America loving this song? Bass Pro Shops could film some tasteful B-roll footage, slap this song onto it and then plague television all summer long because this song screams buy our shit.
If you don’t want to hear this song and quite frankly I don’t blame you at all, read the chorus of this song:
But it could buy me a boat, it could buy me a truck to pull it
It could buy me a Yeti 110 iced down with some Silver Bullets
Yeah, I know what they say, money can’t buy everything
Well, maybe so, but it can buy me a boat
Later in the song he sings about buying a “brand new rod and reel.” Seriously if Bass Pro Shops doesn’t use this song in an ad I’ll be completely shocked. The lyrics are just plain horrible as you can see. The instrumentation is almost just as bad. It’s a generic, Adult Contemporary arrangement with one of the most annoying beeping sounds in the background. I guess this is Janson making sure he has a shred of metropolitan influence in this song. Once again machines don’t belong in country songs.
Chris Janson without a doubt has a hit on his hands and it should do really nice on country radio throughout the summer. It appeals to the lowest common denomination of intelligence when it comes to listeners. Throw in the whole underdog story being pushed about Janson, his hunky look and he’s the perfect image of what labels want. Warner Nashville swooping him up was one of the most unsurprising news stories in country music this year. For the rest of us, “Buy Me A Boat” is a huge insult to our intelligence. It’s nothing more than a corporate jingle with laundry list lyrics. I definitely recommend avoiding this song. Janson may be pulling the wool over the mainstream country fans’ faces, but he isn’t fooling me. “Buy Me A Boat” is a long-plotted monstrosity wrote specifically to pander to country radio.