Chase Rice Issues Weird Letter To His Fans, Seemingly Apologizes For New Single

Chase Rice Letter

Chase Rice today released the brand new and lead single from his new album set to come out later this year. It’s titled “Whisper” and isn’t exactly much of a departure from his previous singles. But that will be properly reviewed on another day. No, something else much more interesting was released from Rice today and that was a letter on his site. The name of the piece is “My Honest Letter To You, The Fan.” It’s in both hand-written and text form and it comes off not only weird, but quite interesting (shout out to reader jb for bringing this to our attention):

What’s up y’all, Chase here. I wanna start by saying I hope y’all enjoy my new song “Whisper.” My guys and I have put a ton of work and thought into this new music, and I know a bunch of you out there will love it. Having said that, I’m not ignorant, there are a lot of people out there waiting for country music to find a little more depth and meaning. Well, I agree with you. Country music deserves that. This first song may not be what you’re looking for yet, but that’s ok, because music was not meant to be heard in singles, but in albums. My album will be out later this summer, and I can promise you one thing….if you absolutely love this progressive version, I appreciate you, and I think you will love this upcoming ALBUM. If you have listened to my music for years and want to hear more depth and meaning, I very much appreciate you, too, and your desires will also be fulfilled on this album (and truthfully, that was my goal on previous albums with songs like “Carolina Can” and “Every Song I Sing.”) I grew up on guys like Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney. Songs like “The Dance” and “There Goes My Life” spoke to me at that time and still do today. They helped shape me as an artist and as a man. I cannot speak to the state of country music, after all I’m just one small part of it, but I can speak about my music, and I have a strong desire to put my life stories–good or bad, fun or serious, cliche or not often said–into my albums. Having said this, I also know I can’t please everybody, so if you’re a fan of mine, thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you’re not a fan of mine, you most likely haven’t gotten this far in this letter, but I appreciate you, too, because you, too, give me the drive to maybe one day convert you with three chords and the truth, one song, or one show, but since it’s coming from me, it’s going to come to you one album at a time. 

God Bless,
Chase

The very first thing that catches my attention is the huge emphasis on the word album, not only mentioned a lot throughout the letter, but specifically underlined. Not only this, but he seemingly apologizes for this new single. He basically admits that this isn’t deep and that many out there want more depth in his music and all of country music. And I have to say it’s refreshing for him to acknowledge it. He then goes on to promise that his album will be deep and have more meaning. He cites previous efforts of trying to dig deeper and how meaningful country music was to him growing up. It’s pretty obvious that he is trying to appeal to his critics and convince them that his music can be more than what it has been. The final words hammer this home more, as he specifically acknowledges people who aren’t fans of him and how he hopes to win them over “one album at a time.”

As easy as it is to just dismiss this as cheap marketing, I want to believe Chase Rice’s intentions here are sincere and honest. It’s not a secret that this whole “letter to the fans” schtick has been a played out marketing trope in recent years by mainstream country artists. Many love to send one to country radio after hitting #1. Chase Rice’s music has done very little to inspire me up to this point, as I’ve been one of his most vocal critics. It repulsed me how his label pushed his last single for over a year at radio. But then I see this letter and remember at the end of Ignite The Night the potential he showed on a song like “Jack Daniels and Jesus.” Rice cashed in hard on bro country and now it’s dead. He has to adapt and he knows it. One of the impacts I foresaw with Chris Stapleton’s big win at the 2015 CMA Awards was forcing everyone in the mainstream country world to dig deeper. I’m slowly seeing this out of a lot of mainstream country artists (well the ones who are not choosing to sell out even harder).

All of this makes me believe that Rice is telling the truth right here. More than anything I hope he is because I would hope any artist wouldn’t want to be remembered for songs like “Gonna Wanna Tonight.” I would hope that an artist would realize the impact they have on people’s lives that hear their music. It still doesn’t excuse his new single “Whisper” of course. Any independent country artist or impartial fan who reads this will be insulted by Rice’s admittance to not digging deep with all of his music and basically chasing mainstream attention with a lot of his previous music. But as they say the first step in resolving a problem is admitting you have one. This will also continue the speculation and discussion around mainstream country artists and the say they let their labels have in making their music.

The only way we will know how sincere this letter is will be when Rice’s new album is released.

Country Perspective’s Worst Country Album of 2014 Goes to…

Country music in 2014 saw some highs and lows. Here at Country Perspective we recognize the best of both. Today we focus on the later. What was the worst country album in 2014? Well there was a lot of bad country albums put out this year. Jerrod Niemann’s High Noon was the early favorite in 2014. After all it included auto-tune and electronic beats. It didn’t sound like country music at all. He then remixed “Drink to That All Night” with Pitbull. That wasn’t even the worst of the album. The worst was “Donkey,” one of the worst songs I have ever heard.

Surely nothing could top this pile of crap, right? Wrong! Along came Chase Rice’s Ignite The Night. Other than one giant outlier at the end of the album in “Jack Daniels and Jesus,” this album was straight garbage. I think my asshole could write and sing better music than the rest of Ignite the Night. The amount of auto-tune and EDM incorporated is so gut-wrenchingly bad I’m surprised Waylon Jennings didn’t come back from the dead to just slap Rice in the face.

Yet as terrible as this album was another album went even lower than Rice’s. No it isn’t Sam Hunt’s Montevallo either. It’s a straight pop album, yet Hunt did enough to not garner a 0 in Derek’s eyes or my eyes (shockingly I might add). There was one album that did earn a 0 overall and to this day it’s the only album to receive a 0 on Country Perspective. After listening to this album, I thought…. wait words can’t describe it. I’m going to need some help here. Jeff could you assist me here? Here were my thoughts after listening to this album:

pile_of_shit

Thanks Jeff! Keep up the fine work. What album am I referring to? The winner of Country Perspective’s Worst Country Album of 2014 Award is…

Derek and myself chose this album to win because quite frankly it’s offensive in every single way a country album can be offensive. Other than “Dirt,” every song on this album sucks. The songs don’t sound country at all and sound more suitable for a pop album. The lyrics are so horrendously offensive to intelligence that I felt like I lost a few IQ points after listening to Anything Goes. Their worst song, “Sun Daze,” was nominated for our worst song of the year award and is quite a strong contender. The thing is we could have chosen another song easily and it would still be a top contender to win. When the lyrics weren’t sexist and misogynistic, they were just outright cheesy and cliché. Take for example “Angel.” They use the cheesiest pickup line ever as the chorus. So hilariously dumb! And I don’t know how many alcohol brands are name-dropped.

You know what else is terrible about this album? How everyone at the mainstream country outlets and people in the mainstream industry just accept this as an “evolution” of country music. They’re missing a letter. Devolution is the proper word. How in any way, shape or form is this helping the genre? It’s just maintaining the status quo of country music being a laughing-stock to anyone outside of the genre. I don’t know how many people laugh off and dismiss country music because of asshats like Florida Georgia Line putting out terrible music. Casual observers judge country music based on what they hear on the radio and what they hear on radio is garbage.

Mainstream country music appears to be improving for the most part. That’s a good sign. There are still a lot of problems though and Florida Georgia Line represents one of the biggest. Bro country is slowly dying, but I guarantee Florida Georgia Line and other bro country artists will fight to the bitter end to keep it alive. In the end though it is a fruitless endeavor. Bro country will be gone in 2015 and so might Florida Georgia Line’s stardom.

So stand up with me and boo Florida Georgia Line’s album Anything Goes. This is a historically bad country album that may never be topped by another album in horribleness ever again.

Album Review/Rant – Chase Rice’s Ignite the Night

(Warning: This review contains strong language and is intended for mature audiences. Bro country song do in fact get harmed in the making of this review. Viewer discretion is advised.)

This is the review I’ve been dreading and looking forward to for a while. I dreaded it of course because Chase Rice has never produced a single song that has impressed me. He’s did nothing but piggy back off the bro country trend and cash in while it’s hot. He’s also one of the biggest asshats I’ve ever witnessed in country music. Just go look at his Twitter feed and you will find some tweet that is moronic and/or sexist. Case in point:

What a tool! He manages to say the dumbest stuff at the drop of a hat. So why did I look forward to this review? Well this is the first time I have ever reviewed Rice’s work on the site (angry comments on iTunes up until this point) and I’ve been holding back my anger at Rice for this specific review. I came into this review expecting a shitty album. Does he outperform my expectations? Can he deliver any kind of substance whatsoever? We’re going to mix this review up from normal and talk about the worst songs first. Prepare yourselves.

The Worst Songs on the Album

Let’s take it from the top of the album, shall we. By the way I’m going to put at the end of each song how far I made it into it before having to shut if off.

“Ready Set Roll” – Right away the shit starts hitting the fan. You hear the sounds of synths and a robotic voice. It’s an electronic song that is no way country. It has sexist and bro country lyrics littering it throughout. “Ready Set Roll” is a complete and utter cluster fuck of a song. I only made it 1:40 into the song before shutting it off.

“Do It Like This” – Again with the excessive auto tune. Lots of bro country and sexist lyrics again. Mentions a fiddle, yet I don’t hear one. Only two songs in and I’m really pissed off. I made it 1:32.

“Beach Town” – The first thing introduced lyrically in this song? Sex in a lifeguard shack. Kill me. This is Bro at the Beach Part 5,459. I made it 1:29.

“MMM Girl” – It’s like a combination of Dylan Scott’s “Mmm, Mmm, Mmm” and Jerrod Niemann’s “Buzz Back Girl.” Two wrong songs put together don’t make a right song. There are lots of shallow lyrics, bro country tropes and this is starting to infuriate me. Made it 2:04, which is the furthest I’ve made it into a song so far on this album. The overall blandness helped me make it longer.

“Beer with the Boys” – Rice tries to rap/do spoken word in this song. Fuck this shit. A song about girls being submissive to guys. Gahhhh! Made it 1:38.

“Carolina Can” – This song is the first one on the entire album so far that sounds remotely country. “Carolina Can” tries to create emotions of nostalgia and be a song with feeling, but this doesn’t happen because the excessive check list lyrics make this sound like any other shallow bro country song you hear on the radio. The line, “tailgate down on a jacked up truck” is repeated several times. I actually made it through this entire song.

“We Goin’ Out” – And then the album goes back to the absolute bottom of the barrel shit. This song has lots of auto tune, lyrics about partying, immature lyrics and even more auto tune. I shut this song off as soon as Rice gives a shout out to Cole Swindell and his single “Chillin’ It.” I wouldn’t wish this song on my worst enemy. I made it 1:24 into the song.

“Gonna Wanna Tonight” – More excessive auto tune and another song about Rice getting a girl to touch his junk. This is a damn nightmare. 1:22

“Look at My Truck” – Wanna take a guess what this song is about? Synth and electronic sounds kick this monstrosity off. Rice is basically singing an electronic love song to his truck. No more damn trucks! 1:02

“U Turn” – Another electronic song. I heard a few really sexist lyrics and then I shut it off because I don’t want to rip my hair out. I only made it 22 seconds into the song. I guess this is the worst of the worst?

“50 Shades of Crazy” – Really? A fucking reference to the popular book 50 Shades of Grey in a “country” song? Do you think this makes you look smart, Mr. Rice? Well it doesn’t. It’s also another song about Rice wanting a girl to touch his penis. Fuck this song. 1:07

“What’s Your Name” – This is where the album takes a turn down creep street. It’s got a Backstreet Boys’ song vibe to it. This isn’t a good thing. Back to the lyrics of this song, they’re so damn creepy that is makes Tyler Farr’s “Redneck Crazy” sound like a safe and normal song. I hope this song isn’t based on one of Rice’s experiences. I listened to the whole thing to make sure it doesn’t end with a date rape. It’s that damn scary.

“How She Rolls” – Almost done! In this song Rice throws together a bunch of 3rd grade level words and sentences with plenty of bro country tropes sprinkled on top. If you’ve heard one Chase Rice song, you’ve also heard this song. I made it 1:41 into the song. That’s 13 of 14 songs down. What could Rice possibly cap off with on this turd of an album?

The Best Song on the Album

“Jack Daniels and Jesus” – An entire album of complete, utter garbage and then this damn song. A good song! Yes, Chase Rice actually produces one song on the entire album with substance. The synths and other electronic equipment are nowhere in this song and instead it’s just a piano playing. What the hell is going on? This song sticks out like a golden chalice in a mountain of shit. It actually features good songwriting and emotion. The song is about alcohol addiction and the consequences of terrible actions. A man is dealing with his demons and how to get out of them, whether it’s through more debauchery or turning to a higher power. The piano play is solid and Rice has great vocals on this song, proving he can actually sing. Why can’t he do these type of songs all the time? If he’s able to produce a good song like this one, he should be able to produce more. I’m angry and stunned by “Jack Daniels and Jesus.” This saved the album from being a complete waste of time.

Overall Thoughts

For 95% of this album, Rice lived up to the low expectations I had for him on this album. There were plenty of horrible songs that sounded in no way, shape or form country. There were plenty of bro country, shallow, sexist, misogynistic and moronic lyrics that showcased the absolute lowest form a country musician could possibly sink. I thought this album was going to put Sam Hunt’s latest EP to shame and proclaim itself to be the worst collection of shitty music I’ve ever reviewed on Country Perspective. And then against all odds Chase Rice delivered the first song I could ever deem to be good. My head is spinning as to how and why this song was on the album. Did Rice get almost done making Ignite the Night and finally realize that the bro country trend is dying, causing him to whip up a song with substance? This has to be the only possible explanation I can conclude. If it wasn’t for “Jack Daniels and Jesus” this album would have received a 0. Hell this song might be the one that saves Rice from becoming irrelevant once bro country finally dies off completely. Rice is capable of making a good country song, but absolutely horrendous songs too. I’m just glad I’m done listening to this album.

Grade: 2/10