By: Eric Reyes
May 25, 2021
In an interesting departure from modern Pop–Country’s conventions of lovesick, ballad-heavy, heart-broken sad sacks spewing rivers of lyrics about trucks, blue jeans, dirt roads and tractors, Cooper Greer brings us back to the shit-kicker roots of old Country-Western.
His latest release ‘Back Around’ is a Country Rock track that wears a shit-eating grin its full run. Paired with a quick, down and dirty music video you can watch on YouTube, the song isn’t the genre’s standard fare. While the whole ‘no good sun of a gun’ shtick is nothing new in music, let alone Country, this attitude-filled track stands out in a market saturated with forgettable, lowest common denominator, mass-appeal sweet nothings. A man who may not be the best around, who maybe isn’t a price catch, but a man nonetheless, someone determined to live his life as he lives it, and with little room for excess baggage.
The video turns the lyrics around on the listener with a clever switcheroo, but the song works either way. Cooper Greer’s twangy, rumbling voice treads often into Alt-Rock intonation, leaning on his natural deep tone. There isn’t a harshness to the quality of it, and he is in full control of his range. His diction is excellent, his words easy to make out. Which is good, because the lyrics don’t really try to hide in clever metaphor or folksy witticism. Less Willy Nelson, more Johnny Cash.
The instrumental backing here is also very strong, much more Rock than Country, but still maintaining the genre’s sound. The guitarwork on display is solid, but it isn’t afraid to really stretch its legs and strut its stuff. Keeping in line with the attitude of the lyrics, the instrumentals back off here and there to let the vocals do their job, but bust out on their own here and there.
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