Not another one! This has been the year of the sellout in country music, as artists who once captivated us with their quality music have turned to the dark side if you will and released music pandering to the current trends of the genre. Among them are Gary Allan, Zac Brown Band, Jake Owen, Brett Eldredge and Reba McEntire. The list continues to grow and one name I didn’t expect to end up on it was Eric Paslay. He impressed me with his 2014 self-titled debut album and even more when I saw him in-person. His last single, “She Don’t Love You,” was a candidate for Country Perspective’s 2014 Song of the Year award. I’ve constantly praised him on the site as one of the up and coming artists to watch in mainstream country music and someone who could bring substance back to a genre sorely lacking it. Now out of nowhere Paslay has turned his back on what made me like him with the release of his new single “High Class.”
This song starts out well enough with the sounds of acoustic instruments. Then the drum machine kicks in and Paslay utters a line about having “a night to go out in style.” That’s when you realize this is about to get real bad. It gets terrible in fact. Here are the chorus lyrics:
Rent us a car, show up late. Valet this ride.
Credit on my cards, money in the bank at least for tonight.
Keepin’ my shades on inside, all dressed in black.
“Escalade, these Luccheses yeah baby cadi up this lac
We ain’t on the list, but we on the list when you look like this and you walk like that
Skip the line baby and don’t look back. Tonight we high class.
Holy shit these are terrible lyrics (written by Paslay, Corey Crowder and Jesse Frasure, who is also responsible for “Sun Daze” and “Hangover Tonight”). As you can see this song is about going to the club and partying because that’s the newest theme in country music that has to be beaten to death. Paslay goes on to sing about how great the DJ is and how all the girls are like, “I heard he taught Timberlake.” So we get a Justin Timberlake reference as the cherry on top of this steaming pile of crap of a song. Keep in mind this song follows up “She Don’t Love You.” These lyrics are all set to a dance club beat and some loud horn sounds are pumped in throughout the song. But don’t worry the token banjo is buried in their too. Paslay also borderline raps in the bridge of this song.
I don’t know what to say, folks. I’m speechless. This is just flat-out embarrassing and quite frankly sad. Paslay is a talented artist and he’s reduced himself to making noise pollution like this. We’ve reached a new low and I just don’t know if I can keep covering these type of songs. It hurts my music loving soul. The name country music has been so tarnished I don’t know if it will ever return to its rightful meaning. How can you come back from so many terrible songs like this and be considered a meaningful genre again? I don’t think you can and it’s why I think so many actual country artists are now identifying themselves as Americana. I’ve seen people say it before and I will say it again: actual country music is now Americana. What I saw at the 2015 Americana Music Awards was amazing and made me feel alive. Country music just depresses me. It’s a lost cause. Pack up your bags and head over to Americana if you want to hear the real stuff. Eric Paslay’s “High Class” is just another example of the shit show country music has become and will continue to be for the forseeable future.
I don’t feel like linking the song. I don’t like to pollute the earth. And go listen to the new album from the Turnpike Troubadours.