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So just how formulaic IS pop country, anyway?

Every time conversations about musical taste and listening preferences happen around me, it's a fun and lively conversation, with people sharing all sorts of interesting and eclectic affections (it's the internet age, after all). But one caveat is almost universal, and I bet many of you have heard some version of this more than once:

"Oh I listen to almost anything, I like all kinds of music....except COUNTRY. Ugh."

(Sometimes "rap" is added to that, but far less often since I've lived in California. Californians love us some hip hop.)

This is always amusing to me, because I detest pop country, too--but not because I don't enjoy the style or the tradition. Some great Johnny Cash or Hank Williams or Patsy Cline is wonderful, and I looove neo-bluegrass bands like the Punch Brothers, but the current, mainstream manifestation of the style has, for years now, seemed really shallow and repetitive.

And now I know it's not just me. In the hilarious mash-up below, Youtube user Sir Mashalot combines SIX big recent pop country songs (#1 songs from 2012, 2013, and 2014, along with three big 2014 hits) to demonstrate just how formulaic things have become in this style. Scathingly revealing, and beautifully done:


Now, if someone would do this with all these Max Martin pop hits we keep hearing.....