When it came to mainstream country music, I thought it couldn’t get any worse than bro country. Allow me to say that I was dead wrong. This past year we saw mainstream country take in influences from Funk, R&B, rap, and just about anything else. To sum it up: everything was country music in 2015 except ACTUAL country music. Needless to say, there was plenty of music glued to the bottom of the barrel to choose for this award. When I reviewed Thomas Rhett’s Tangled Up, I thought I had heard the worst album of the year. But there was one album worse. There was one album that completely exemplifies everything wrong with mainstream country music from the past three years. That album, my friends, is none other than Old Dominion’s Meat and Candy.
Old Dominion takes the spoken word/R&B influences of Sam Hunt and combines them with the bro country douchebaggery of Florida Georgia Line to make some truly awful songs. The band’s debut single, “Break Up With Him,” has already been heavily criticized on this site and was nominated for Worst Song of the Year. That song merely scratches the surface of the cocky, dude bro attitude found on Meat and Candy. “Wrong Turns” is a song that sounds like a rejected Florida Georgia Line song. “Half Empty” plays on the glass half full/half empty motif for a “will you hook up with me tonight” song. “Beer Can in a Truck Bed” is a song that compares the narrator’s sexual intentions to a literal beer can rolling in a truck bed. “Let the night do what it does best. Shake me up and baby turn me loose. I just wanna roll around with you.” And “Said Nobody” uses the pop culture phrase “said nobody ever” as the hook for a song about wanting to get with a girl. “Don’t come any closer; Don’t give me a kiss cause I don’t wanna taste your lips. Said nobody, said nobody, ever.” Somehow I believe people have said that before, and I wouldn’t be surprised if lead singer Matthew Ramsey has heard a few girls say that to him.
Meat and Candy is the 1997 Batman & Robin movie of country music: a terrible, campy media piece that’s loud, shallow, and full of awkward, cringe-worthy lines. The album is nothing more than 11 songs about wanting to have sex with a girl. Any girl. Old Dominion screams desperation in their hook up attempts with some of the lamest pick up lines and moves:
- “Strictly outta curiosity, what would happen if you got with me? Kissin’ you would hit the spot with me. Come on skip a couple rocks with me.” – “Snapback”
- “Hey girl, what’s up?” – “Break Up With Him”
- “No pressure, whatever, just do what you gotta do, but if I was you I’d tell him that it’s over, then bring it on over.” – “Break Up With Him”
- Completely changing your interests and personality so she’ll like you – “Crazy Beautiful Sexy”
That is more creepy than it is charming. The icing on the cake of Old Dominion’s desperate, douchey approach to women is in “Til It’s Over.” The entire lyrics basically read as “girl, there’s no pressure but I want to have sex. Seriously though, no pressure, you can say no and leave. But I really want you stay. But for real, no pressure you can go. But I really just want you to stay and have sex.” The way these guys lay out the story is mind numbingly idiotic. Take a look a the song’s chorus.
We can keep it on the couch
And keep the lights on
Naked makin’ out, or keep our clothes on
Don’t worry ’bout where it’s going
If it dead ends, or if it’s headed
Up the stairs or down the block
If it last forever or until one o’clock
It is what it is ’til it was what it was
Let it do what it does ’til it’s over
If it’s right then it’s right
If it’s wrong then it’s wrong
Let’s keep playing the song ’til it’s over
There isn’t one redeemable song on Meat and Candy. All 11 songs do nothing but add to the pile of bro country songs. It’s the album born out of the Tinder hook-up culture of 2015 and acts as the poster child for all dude bros who do nothing but chug cheap beer and expect any woman within sight to be willing to have sex with him. Meat and Candy combines the worst parts of country music’s worst sins of the last three years and boils them together for an album of nonsensical noise. In a year with a ton of bad music, Old Dominion has given us the worst of the worst.