Target Practice

Target Practice: Blake Shelton ft Pistol Annies “Boys Round Here”

Target Practice

Welcome to Target Practice where bad popular songs of the past and present get shot. Let’s talk about Blake Shelton, who’s known to many people now (myself included) as a coach on The Voice. His career started in the early 2000s and he has been consistently successful, releasing nine studio albums, three platinum and five gold, and spawning 13 Top 40 singles on the Hot 100. As someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience with country music (for someone more skilled in that field, go to Mark Grondin of Spectrum Pulse), I haven’t heard a lot of Blake Shelton’s music personally and the songs that I’ve heard from him weren’t impressive, including today’s Target Practice. Featuring the Pistol Annies (which is a trio consisting of Ashley Monroe, Angaleena Presley, and Blake’s wife Miranda Lambert), this is Boys Round Here.

Red red red red red red red red redneck

I hope you liked that intro because you get to hear it a couple of more times during the duration of this whole song. We’re off to a good start.

Well the boys ’round here don’t listen to The Beatles
Run ole Bocephus through a jukebox needle
At a honky-tonk, where their boots stomp
All night; what? (That’s right)

Well, I’ll tell you this. Listening to the Beatles and Hank Williams II is much better than this crap.

 Yeah, and what they call work, digging in the dirt
Gotta get it in the ground ‘fore the rain come down
To get paid, to get the girl
In your 4 wheel drive (A country boy can survive)

Playing in the dirt with your truck. Who knew country boys still have the mentality of a 4 year old? It makes too much sense.

Yeah the boys ’round here
Drinking that ice cold beer
Talkin’ ’bout girls, talkin’ ’bout trucks
Runnin’ them red dirt roads out, kicking up dust
The boys ’round here
Sending up a prayer to the man upstairs
Backwoods legit, don’t take no shit
Chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit

Alcohol, women, trucks, dirt roads, God, backwoods, chewing tobacco. Ladies and gentlemen, every stereotype of country music in a nutshell. How much more hokey can you get? This is like a rap chorus that goes:

I stack money to the ceiling, that’s some real nigga shit

bitches on my dick, that’s some real nigga shit

distributing blow, shoot a nigga for the fuck of it

gold on my chain, diamonds on my wrist

spend a night in the club, that’s some real nigga shit

sippin’ bottles of Cris’, that’ some real nigga shit

Versace, Gucci, Louie, and I drive a Lamborghini

Before I fucked your bitch, I bought her lots of Fendi

Moving on.

Aw heck

My initial reaction after hearing this song.

Well the boys ’round here, they’re keeping it country
Ain’t a damn one know how to do the dougie
(You don’t do the dougie?) No, not in Kentucky
But these girls ’round here yep, they still love me

The Dougie? What is this, 2010? This song was released in 2013 and it references the Dougie. How out of date can you be? It’s like they wanted to draw in hip-hop listeners by using buzzwords.

hillbilly: Say, whut do them hippity-hoppity kids lissenin’ t’nowadays?

*tunes in to hip-hop station and Teach Me How To Dougie plays*

hillbilly: Whut in tarnation is a Dougie? Is thet one of them silly dances th’ kids make up?

What’s next, you’re gonna reference the Stanky Leg or the Crank Dat?

Ohhhh…..

Yeah, the girls ’round here, they all deserve a whistle
Shakin’ that sugar, sweet as Dixie crystal
They like that y’all and southern drawl
And just can’t help it cause they just keep fallin’

You know? During my time as a music reviewer, I noticed a lot of parallels between country and hip-hop. They both started as music that spoke on the plights of the working class and they both eventually became commercialized shit. These lines are the exact same as a rapper saying “pop that pussy for a real nigga.”

Let me hear you say
(Ooh let’s ride)
Through the country side
(Ooh let’s ride)
Down to the river side

Guess what? This is Annie Pistols’ only contribution to this track aside from some background vocals, filler. Jesus, they barely did anything here. Seems like coughing on a track gets you a feature credit nowadays. Blake Shelton featuring Pistol Annies & Friends and some guy coughing in the background.

(Ooh let’s ride…)
Hey now girl, hop inside
Me and you gonna take a little ride to the river
Let’s ride (That’s right)
Lay a blanket on the ground
Kissing and the crickets is the only sound
We out of town (Let’s ride)
Have you ever got down with a…
Red red red red red red red red red red redneck?
And do you wanna get down with a…
Red red red red red red red red red red redneck?
Girl you gotta get down

(Ooh let’s ride…)
Well all I’m thinkin’ ’bout is you and me, how we’ll be
So come on girl, hop inside
Me and you, we’re gonna take a little ride
Lay a blanket on the ground
Kissing and the crickets is the only sound
We out of town
Girl you gotta get down with a…
Come on through the country side
Down to the river side

Congratualtions. You just wrote half of a bro-country love song. I got nothing else, so I’m ending this.

This song is a hokey-tokey minstrel show. Every stereotype that people think of when it comes to country music is present in these lyrics. It’s so ridiculous that it sounds like a self-parody, only without the satire or anything witty or clever. Production-wise, it’s every mainstream country song out there, plus, some drum machines added to the mix. It also commits the crime of trying to appeal to rap audiences by having Blake use a rap-like flow, mentioning the Dougie, of all things, and don’t even get me started with the video. I get what they were trying to do, unite the worlds of country and hip-hop, but the execution is so fucking corny. I was shaking my head when I watched it. This is crap and there is no excuse for it at all. Two things before I wrap up: next Target Practice, I review a song from Meghan Trainor. And next week, we begin our trip Back To The 90s with the Worst Songs of 1990 list.

Peace!!

SONGS OF THE WEEK

Stand By Me-Ben E. King

Beautiful-Snoop Dogg ft Pharrell

Don’t Wanna Fall In Love-Jane Child

Ain’t It Fun-Paramore

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