Brooks & Dunn: Hillbilly Deluxe

By Collin Quick

Spin Magazine writer Chuck Klosterman said, “The most wretched people in the world are those who tell you they like every kind of music ‘except country.'”

“People who say that are boorish and pretentious at the same time. All it means is that they’ve managed to figure out the most rudimentary rule of pop sociology,” he continued. “They know that the hipsters gauge the coolness of others by their espoused taste in sound, and they know that hipsters hate modern country music.”

Hipsters be damned.

Brooks and Dunn know country music. They are country music and they pay respect to those who have come before them.

By the end of the opening track, “Play Something Country,” the duo have name-checked Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and P. Diddy. One could argue Brooks and Dunn have been around longer than four of the aforementioned names, but it’s a moot point (in the “Jessie’s Girl” sort of way).

In the title track, Lynyrd Skynyrd is dropped into the mix and the rural hangout known as the Tastee Freeze makes a comeback as well. While no one is “sucking down chili dogs outside” said establishment, like in “Jack and Diane,” the duo follow those who have come before them and noted the mythical Southern eatery such as Trisha Yearwood, Rascal Flatts and Sawyer Brown.

“[Hipsters] hate [country music] because it speaks to normal people in a tangible, rational manner,” Klosterman said. “Hipsters hate it because they hate Midwesterners, and they hate Southerners, and they hate people with real jobs.”

There’s nothing wrong with country music. So accept those cowboy hats and that boot scootin’ boogie.