At The Federalist, some kid writes Country Music Has Become A Huge Clichéd Joke:
I love these songs, not just because they’re fun to sing along with, but because they involved people living, loving, falling down, and getting back up again. Songs that talk about how attractive you find your kid’s mom after years of marriage, or working hard and never giving up, contrast sharply with pop songs about the sexual excitement of whips and chains or “the beauty of one-night stands.” It’s fair to say I love country music for the same reasons I dislike pop music.
But by the mid-2000’s, country music started to change. It was a slow metamorphosis, but artists like Trace Adkins, Brooks and Dunn, Kenny Chesney, and Allan Jackson [sic] can’t deny their handiwork in this change, singing less about family or daily life and more about having a “Good Time,” or a woman’s breathtaking heinie. By the end of the decade, up-and-comers had completely embraced “party country” to the point where it seemed the entire genre needed to check itself into rehab.
Gimlet thinks it reflects what I wrote here.
A quick analysis of the article linked above shows that the young man writing the article hearkens back to classic country a couple of times (a couple of 90s songs, the earliest being Garth Brooks’ “Papa Loved Mama” from 1992), but most of the songs he uses as good examples stem from after 2000.
Well, he does say he started listening to country in the car, and there have been very few stations playing classic country in the 21st century.
That said, let me offer this sampling of classic country, which is to say country which was new when I started listening to it, that the damn kids, and by damn kids I mean “Garth Brooks”, ruined:
(See also this post about the general state of music that I wrote in 2003.)