Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

Kane Brown ft. Becky G – Lost in the Middle of Nowhere (Spanish Remix)

Today’s the day we find out how much reader crossover we have with Saving Country Music, then.


Jonathan Bradley: It’s less arrestingly peculiar than Lil Nas X, but in its own modest way, “Lost in the Middle of Nowhere” is the more revolutionary contribution to country music. It’s a Southern-accented middle-of-the-dial rock ballad in a mode very familiar to Nashville — think Midland or Lonestar, for instance — combined with a gentle dembow representing a reggaeton sound quite alien to the genre. That it’s performed by a black man and a Latina woman, both of whom sing some of the lyric in Spanish, and yet create a country song so unnatural that it’s nearly too innocuous is demonstration of how expansive this music can be when it’s not cramped and defensive. Latin sounds are not unheard of in country, but they usually come in “Margaritaville” guise — exotica summoned to evoke vacation and play. Here they are comfortable and familiar surrounds for a pairing that experience them as home.

Tobi Tella: I mean…sure? I can’t pretend I’m not confused by this existing, but for what it is, it’s not bad. Kane Brown is mildly more interesting than a lot of other male country stars, and I’ve really liked Becky G’s foray into reggaeton and she sounds great and slick here. Unfortunately, a generic country love song is still a generic country love song, even when half of it is in Spanish.

Alfred Soto: “Nowhere” is a cruise ship where this act plays wan reggaeton to passengers in floppy Tommy Bahama fatigues.

Thomas Inskeep: This remix turns a decent country record into a great reggaeton-lite record that, somehow, still sounds country to my ears. But in this age of Lil Nas X (and, hell, Sam Hunt), who’s to say what’s country, anyway? Your ears, that’s who. Kane and Becky sound great together, too.

Stephen Eisermann: I’m infatuated with this song — it’s really the only way to describe how I feel. The inevitable protest of ‘IT’S NOT COUNTRY’ will plague this release for sure, but what strikes me as most interesting is that this song seems more interested in being a cool guitar-driven reggaeton track with a guest vocal by a country artist than anything else and it succeeds at that! Becky G is reliably romantic and provocative with her vocal, but Kane Brown really delivers and the chemistry is electric when they sing together (AND MY GOD THAT VIDEO!). I’m all in, y’all.

Katherine St Asaph: Spectacularly bad luck: right as Kane Brown is being (unfairly, but unsurprisingly) held up as the legit country exemplar against Lil Nas X, his latest single is not remotely country, but the most blatant “Despacito” rip in a few years of “Despacito” rips. It’s not a bad one, and Becky G in particular is effervescent. But this is baffling and cynical, as if some exec thought Shania’s Up! remixes were great but wished there was one disc for every format, “I’m In Your City Trick”-style.

Ramzi Awn: Becky G sounds right at home, and Brown does a good job of turning country on its head. The two deliver a rollicking hook and make a bizarre pairing sound perfectly natural. It isn’t often that a song ends too soon. 

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The beat here is very Kidz Bop “Despacito” and both Kane Brown and Becky G don’t display anything in the way of personality, but the general vibe cultivated here is charming in spite of itself. It’s the rare pop collab that is unequivocally more than the sum of its parts, an anonymous earworm that I’ve listened to way too many times this week.

Reader average: [5] (1 vote)

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