Country Perspective’s 2015 Worst Album of the Year

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.

13 thoughts on “Country Perspective’s 2015 Worst Album of the Year

  1. Raymond December 18, 2015 / 11:13 am

    You know what I don’t get. I don’t get her some of these guys wrote some generally good songs like Say You Do and Better Dig Two (Dierks Bentley and The Band Perry respectively).

    You guys should be thankful that Live Forever bombed because Pulse has had showed some online clips of other new The Band Perry songs and they are truly leaving me speechless if they had released an album it would have been worse than Old Dominion.

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    • C. Dixon December 19, 2015 / 5:59 am

      Raymond,
      Re: Old Dominion and songwriting – a couple of years ago Old Dominion actually had an EP called It Was Always Yours available on Bandcamp. The EP included “Day One” which Pat Green recorded for his latest album and “Wake Up Loving You” which Craig Morgan recorded and released as a single. It’s a decent collection of country-pop. It’s definitely been puzzling to see them go this direction; they are certainly capable of better.

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  2. Amanda December 18, 2015 / 11:39 am

    Amen Derek! I’ve never had any interest to listen to this whole album, but if it’s anything as bad as it’s first two singles, then it definitely sucks for sure.

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  3. George December 18, 2015 / 11:42 am

    I agree this is an atrocious intent at a country album. However I am befuddled why some music sites, like Allmusic gave it favorable ratings. What were they listening to?

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    • Josh Schott December 18, 2015 / 12:05 pm

      Well there’s a lot of reasons why they could have given it a favorable rating. Some sites just don’t criticize anything like The Boot. I guarantee some sites get paid for favorable coverage, but I’m not sure who. And some people I guess just like bad music. Vice defended them and bro country in an article the other day. It gets harder every day to find honest coverage of anything.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nadia Lockheart December 18, 2015 / 12:51 pm

    I 110% agree with this selection.

    Even Thomas Rhett and Luke Bryan’s overall toxic wastelands of albums released this past year each had one decent outlier (“The Day You Stop Looking Back” with Rhett, “To The Moon And Back” with Bryan).

    Chris Lane’s EP is equally awful in terms of the utter absence of quality, but it’s half an album. We’re talking a full-length album in the case of Old Dominion.

    Even the track on this album that least infuriates me, “Nowhere Fast”, is only regarded as such because it isn’t obnoxious like most of the other chauvinistic sausage-fests surrounding it. Yet even “Nowhere Fast” is ruined by terrible production choices and instantly forgettable and, thus, disposable anyway because the lyrics are dime-a-dozen in the horny-youthful-nostalgia department.

    *

    “Meat & Candy” serves as a new bile standard (as opposed to gold standard) for “How loooooowwwww can you goooooooooo?”.

    We’ll have to see if Chris Lane gives them a run for their money in 2016 when he most likely drops his full-length debut. But, yeah, this record is by far the Worst of 2015.

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  5. Becca December 18, 2015 / 3:29 pm

    I can’t get past the title. Like….what? I don’t understand. And that cover…….they didn’t even try to make it look like a legit album.

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  6. Zack December 18, 2015 / 3:46 pm

    Wow, Old Dominion and Sam Hunt winning the worst awards? That’s fine by me! 🙂

    But yeah, this is just horrible. I don’t have anything else to add. Not a single good thing about this album at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 18, 2015 / 4:38 pm

      The only thing I don’t like is how Thomas Rhett has managed to avoid winning one of our worst of awards for the second year in a row. I thought for sure we could nail him this year and once again he manages to be topped in horribleness, which is both impressive and bad. Haha!

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      • Zack December 18, 2015 / 6:15 pm

        Ha! I thought for sure “Tangled Up” would take the cake for this award. I’m actually 0/4 so far with these….

        I thought it would be…

        Song- “Something More Than Free”
        Album- “Sonic Ranch”
        Worst Song- “Ridiculous”

        I have better luck guessing on award shows 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Nadia Lockheart December 18, 2015 / 9:00 pm

          I guessed 2/4 correctly.

          I knew this would outdo “Tangled Up” for Worst Album, and I also knew “Breakup In A Small Town” would wind up Worst Song.

          I swung and missed on both their Best Of Selections so far, though. I, too, thought they were going to pick “Sonic Ranch” for Best Album, while I was’t sure at all where they’d go with Best Song.

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      • Nadia Lockheart December 18, 2015 / 8:57 pm

        Just nail him in BOTH your Dishonorable Mention Awards, then! Problem Solved! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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