Fraud. What is fraud? Well according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, fraud is defined as the following:
intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right
an act of deceiving or misrepresenting
a person who is not what he or she pretends to be
In 2016 country music there was one artist and one album that embodied this word perfectly. The perfect representation of fraud. This fraud immediately presented itself as the clear-cut, easy choice to win one of Country Perspective’s most dishonorable year-end awards. So with great disdain, I present Country Perspective’s 2016 Worst Album of the Year award to Chris Lane’s Girl Problems.
Released back in August, it only took my one brutal listen to realize I had just listened to the worst “country” album of 2016. Sure there was Steven Tyler’s “country” album that had many horrible songs on it, but its lead single managed to be decent. Or you have a usual suspect like Cole Swindell, who at least reached mediocrity with his album. Jason Aldean’s new album was painstakingly boring, but still not as bad as Girl Problems. Kane Brown just released his debut album and it couldn’t manage to top Lane in awfulness because at least Brown has a good voice. No, you know why none of them released as bad of an album as Lane did? Because at least they strived in some way or fashion to be unique and at least attempted to bring their own flair to the table.
Chris Lane is nothing but an impostor, copy cat artist who rips off styles and sounds of other artists. There’s nothing distinctive nor special about his music. The entirety of Girl Problems is trend chasing, ripping off past due bro country, ripping off bad pop music and for some reason a Mario cover. You know the album you’re listening to is pretty damn bad when you would rather be listening to Florida Georgia Line. Speaking of that duo, half of the songs from Lane on this album sound like songs that were rejected for Florida Georgia Line’s 2014 album Anything Goes. By the way, for you new readers that album won our Worst Album of the Year award in 2014. When you’re releasing songs that sound like they don’t belong on an already bad album on your own album that’s not great, Bob! It’s fucking pathetic and transparently grabbing for an appeal that expired about two years ago. How sad is it that an artist releases not just bad music, but bad music from two years ago?
Of course this all wouldn’t have happened if the lead single for this album hadn’t become a #1 hit at country radio. Yes, you can blame country radio for this bullshit happening. You can assign them lots of blame. The lead single “Fix” is one of the biggest sham hits I’ve ever seen and the amount of gerrymandering and politicking by his label, along with country radio’s willingness to go along with the charade absolutely disgusts me. This song took 35 weeks to reach #1! It had no business even being a top ten hit and it took a lucky break just give it an opportunity for the label to push it to the top. I mean I don’t blame Big Loud Records from a business standpoint to push Lane hard because he’s their first artist to sniff success and is essentially their meal ticket. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that “Fix” is not country in any way, shape or form. It’s bad pop music with cheesy ass lines like “Walter White high” and relying on the beaten to death trope of love is my drug. But you know this song got the thrashing it deserved in its original review. Let’s look at the rest of this terrible album…
The sophomore single “For Her” sounds like the result of mashing up Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” with the dominant production of Chase Rice’s Ignite The Night. We also get to hear Lane’s falsetto voice, which is so damn dreadful that I liken it to screaming cats scratching a chalk board. “Let Me Love You” sounds like something Thomas Rhett would sing, making this a ripoff of a ripoff. The most laughable moment of the entire album and where the falsetto is thickest is “Who’s It Gonna Be.” Lane’s “falsetto” in the chorus sounds like Mickey Mouse overdosed on helium, complete with Alvin and The Chipmunks vocal layering. How in God’s green Earth can anyone find this enjoyable? He sounds so awful that I almost feel bad for him.
Lane attempts to appear considerate and understanding on “Back to Me,” where he white knights himself for being such a noble man to allow his woman to leave him. In one breath he says he wants to her find what she’s looking for and the next says he hopes she runs back to him. What? Oh so you’re basically saying she doesn’t know what she wants and that really once she sows her wild oats she needs to come back to you, who will be waiting with open arms. This isn’t being a nice guy. You’re being a douche. But that’s self-appointed nice guys for you. “Maybe” sounds like another Florida Georgia Line song. Oh did I mention that Joey Moi is producing this album? He’s the same one who has produced all of Florida Georgia Line’s albums. I haven’t even gotten to the worst song of the album, “Her Own Kind of Beautiful.” Just look at the lyrics for the first part of the song:
Ball cap to the flip flop
A toe ring to the tip top
From Haggard to the Hip-Hop
She can play either side of a bad cop, good cop
From a sun dress to her Sunday best
A cover girl type or just a hot mess
Oh my my yeah
She’s the girl that got my heart beatin’ out of my chest
She’s a blue jean roll sweet supermodel
Like a stained glass rain from a broken bottle
Make ya promise she won’t
But she knows she gonna
Yeah, she’s her own kind of beautiful
She’s a roman candle, she’s a tin revival
She’s a needle dancin’ on classic vinyl
She’s a sunset wish with a ten mill smile
Her own kind of beautiful
Stop invoking Merle Haggard in shitty pop music pretending to be country! You’re not fucking country for name-dropping Haggard! There’s a reason he dismissed the majority of modern country before he passed away and it’s shit like this he was disgusted with. The rest of this is just garbage straight from the Dallas Davidson handbook, who surprisingly makes no appearances on this album. No, the writers for this song are Rodney Clawson, Barry Dean and Matt Dragstrem. Their songwriting credentials should be revoked for passing off shit like this as serious music. If you don’t have a headache by this point of the album, I would be shocked.
I could keep reviewing the rest of this album, but it isn’t worth wasting anymore time on it. It’s just the same old crap in the first parts of the album I just went over. And hey Chris Lane does go back to this roots…when he auditioned on American Idol with his twin brother as hip hop artists. I’m not shitting you. If you want some quality car crash entertainment, click here. Once again another reason why Chris Lane, country artist is just a giant fraud. He does whatever makes him money. Except you can’t even say that about this album. Girl Problems sold a paltry 6,200 copies in its first week. (Insert prominent indie country artist here) sells more than this in their first week. And this guy got a #1 hit at country radio! It gets worse because as of September 2016 there’s only been 11,100 copies of Girl Problems sold. To put this terrible sales number into perspective: Cody Jinks, an artist who is completely ignored by the mainstream, released his new album I’m Not The Devil a week later than Lane. In the first week alone 11,300 copies were sold. Jinks sold more albums in the first week than Lane has sold in total.
I think it’s perfectly clear: Chris Lane’s Girl Problems is horrible no matter what way you want to slice it. And that made it the slam dunk choice to win Country Perspective’s 2016 Worst Album of the Year.