We used to be able to count on Keith Urban to put out decent pop-country flair. It wasn’t something traditionalists would flock to, but it wasn’t the bane of our existence either. We could at least rely on it to be relatively listenable, decent beats and melodies, and sometimes, he’d even surprise us with a really, really strong track (“You’ll Think of Me” or “Till Summer Comes Around”).
Hell, even the title is blatant pandering to every possible fanbase. John Cougar (we got a rockstar name checked, and hell, throw in a nostalgia factor for 70s, 80s and 90s music fans as well….and since Eric Church already took Springsteen…). John Deere (hey, we got our redneck tractor driving fans to pander to!). John 3:16 (religious fanbase, this one’s for you!).
Forget the song having something for everyone! Damnit, the title’s got it all!
Most of the things Urban is saying in this song don’t even make sense! They’re just random references to things in American culture. Now, this worked in Brad Paisley’s “American Saturday Night,” because that song actually formed a commentary on the melting pot of society around us, a way of pointing out that everything sooner or later becomes Americanized. In this song, there’s no logical cohesion between Urban’s references. Nothing about them links up or makes them anything other than a collection of references thrown together.
To be honest, I’m more disappointed in this song than I am angry. That’s not to say that the song’s not worthy of scorn. It certainly is. But I was angry at Eli Young Band for their recent “Turn It On” atrocity, because they sold out once fame started to turn their way. I was angry at them for betraying their loyal fanbase who had stuck with them throughout their career, despite a lack of chart success. Urban I’m disappointed in because he’s already a mainstream staple. This isn’t something he needs to do to continue his success or garner new attention. This is just something that’s completely unnecessary.
It’s hard to predict what this song will do chart-wise. To be honest, I won’t be surprised if it hits it big, or if it flops. Not that chart success is an indication of quality. Because no matter what, quality-wise, this is just terrible.