Friday, July 25th, 2014

Maggie Rose – Girl in Your Truck Song

There’s something called “bro-country,” see

Megan Harrington: You want to be inanimate? You want to be a collection of words some guy wrote, not even about you? You want to be two-dimensional, 36-24-26, underdressed and oversexed? You want to play for three minutes and then exist only as a memory? No thoughts, no feelings, no mind of your own? Maggie Rose, I don’t believe you.

Katherine St Asaph: People on the Internet are angry, or at least unimpressed, by this song. The commenter debate is about what you expect (“Sixteen and Pregnant!” “But it’s female empowerment!”); the bloggers are skeptical of two Nashville bro-country answer songs coming out on the same day. Sure, I can see that, monetizing every side to the bro-country story: Jason Aldean tweeted about “Truck Song,” but “Country Song” is on Florida Georgia Line’s label, and Unilever owns Axe and Dove and so forth. Then I get to “having guys that learned how to treat women from 90?s hip-hop songs dominating country music… [resulting] in actual behavioral changes in young women” and asplode goes my brain, right onto the wall. Guys do a horrid job of learning how to treat women by growing up as guys in the South, and girls have loved or capitulated to it just the same; if you really cared about Maggie as an artist you’d call her Margaret Durante, and acknowledge that she had a career before being the girl in your inbox. “Girl in Your Truck Song” isn’t even interesting as an answer song, anyway; it’s far more compelling if you assume the bros ignore her, making the lyric a resigned “fuck it”: “you like tailgates and beer? I can like tailgates and beer — now will someone like me?” Even then, only the lyrics would hold mild interest. The music would be nothing.

Alfred Soto: Stepping out of a Luke Bryan song like Emma Flaubert in “The Kugelmass Episode” is a shrewd conceit that perfunctory writing and singing don’t illuminate. That’s all she is: a girl in your truck song, strumming behind a mandolin.

Iain Mew: I can understand the urge to keep fanfic close to canon, but if you’re taking on an underdeveloped character it’s a waste to add as little development as Maggie Rose does here. The saving grace is that this is a song and not only fanfic, and the way the guitar shivers and she sings the title has a reverence that places bro-country as her “Springsteen.” The relationship with the music is the deepest and most appealing one in the song.

Josh Love: What  damns this song the most is its self-awareness. Shorten the title to “Girl in Your Truck” and it could’ve simply been a flirty little lark.  Unfortunately, Rose is doing more than that. She’s explicitly  identifying with a specific trope that exists in songs in the real world  and reinforcing its validity. I won’t indict this song for happening to  appear in conjunction with Maddie and Tae’s because I don’t know if  that was intentional, but I will indict it for propping up a boring,  dumb, played-out, regressive fad.

Thomas Inskeep: How in the world is it somehow seen as “progressive” for a woman to sing that she wants to be the objectified subject of hundreds of bro-country songs? Stringing together a bunch of titles of “girl/truck” songs: not impressive. Mandolin added for extra “country” cred: not impressive. Rose’s voice: not impressive. Lyrics: actually kind of offensive.

Brad Shoup: The best thing about this is when or if it’s talked about in casual conversation, it’ll be referred to as “the girl in your truck song”. Look, reply records, from “The Wallflower” to “Soul Girl” to “Fuck You Right Back,” are always with us, and that’s awesome: the zeitgeist wagging a finger at itself. Sometimes these tunes are (merely) straight cash-ins, sometimes they’re songs about wanting to fuck a Beatle and the lust steams off the platter. This is a cash-in, sung by a mortified-sounding Rose. The three-scratch guitar figure at the end of the chorus underlines her D4W cred, or maybe the producer’s realization that an actual truck song must have melancholy or bite, and he supplied neither.

Anthony Easton: Il n’y a pas de hors-texte – Derrida // You’re a little bit of J-Lo/A little bit of Kim Kardashian/It’s big, it ain’t tiny, I’m diggin’ that hiney/It’s a classy one/Might be a bullshitter/But I ain’t no ass kisser’/Least I’ve never been one before/But if there’s anybody’s ass I’d kiss, I’d want it to be yours, whoa, whoa, whoa – Justin Moore, “I’d Want It To Be Yours.” No one fragment carries the totality of the message, but each text (which is in itself a whole) has a particular urgency, an individual force, a necessity, and yet each text also has a force which comes to it from all the other texts. – Hélène Cixous, Writing Blind // And there’s somethin bout a girl in a red sun dress/With an ice cold beer pressed against her lips/In that farmers field, will make a boy a mess/There’s somethin bout a girl in a red sundress – Kip Moore, “Something About a Dress” // Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility. Freud, Civilization and its Discontents. // If you wanna call me, call me, call me./You don’t have to worry ’bout it baby./You can wake me up in the dead of the night;/Wreck my plans, baby that’s alright./This is a drop everything kind of thing/.Swing on by I’ll pour you a drink.The door’s unlocked./ I’ll leave on the lights/Baby you can crash my party anytime – Luke Bryan, Crash My Party.” // We have been compelled in our bodies and in our minds to correspond, feature by feature, with the idea of nature that has been established for us. -Monique Wittig, “One is Not Born a Woman.” // You’re shakin’ that money maker,/ like a heart breaker,/ like your college major was/Twistin’ and tearin’ up Friday nights/Love the way you’re wearin’ those jeans so tight/I bet your kiss is a soul saver, my favorite flavor, want it now and later – Thomas Rhett, Get Me Some of That.

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