The Problem With... Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now."

When folks get asked what music they like, the most annoying and trite answer is "anything but rap and country." I get the feeling that they say this because the pop music outlets provide bad examples of both.

This week, I'm taking a look at the latest bad example of country music on the airwaves: Lady Antebellum.

The band name, clearly, is supposed to evoke nostalgia among Anglo-Americans for the honor and glory of the Antebellum South--y'know, before the Union aggressors tore everything down and undermined "states rights" or something like that. I'll spare you any bleeding heart history lesson of Antebellum South and just say that people back then lacked a couple of important things we take for granted in today's America--flushing toilets and anesthetized dentistry among them. I'll take drooling and asking "Is this real life?" for a few hours over a toothache any day.

But a toothache may actually be more pleasant than the group's latest hit, "Need You Now," an ode to longing after a break-up. The pre-chorous goes, "And I wonder if I ever cross your mind
/ For me it happens all the time." I really wouldn't mind it if the song was of longing for someone willing to oblige their needs but are physically distant or passed on. Those are the things classic love songs are made of.

Instead, we get a drunken come-on for pity sex: "It's a quarter after one / I'm a little drunk / and I need you now." Ugh. I thought this Antebellum state of mind was all about courage and honor? Say what you want about lecherous jerks who catcall women walking down the street. At least they have some confidence.

However sappy and shabby this song is, it has the most gusto of any other track on the band's album.

If this is the song that defines country this year, then its the reason why people don't admit to listening to country music.

Hank III, country music needs you now.

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Shahryar Rizvi
Contact: Shahryar Rizvi