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CMA Awards: The kids get the spotlight, and lose it

November 9, 2011 |  6:17 pm

CMA Awards: The kids get the spotlight, and lose it
The CMA Awards allowed its newcomers to have lil' mini sets, and Brad Paisley introduced Eric Church as "country's latest outlaw." If that's the case, our musical hoodlums shouldn't be on the lam long. Here's a country clich√© that needs to end, brought to the fore by Church: Enjoying a few pints doesn't need to equate stupidity.

Church's hero was a working stiff who's ready to tell his boss to shove that overtime up his behind. All fine and dandy, but his character is also a nobody until he has a drink in his hand and then transforms into a superhero and a fist-fightin' tough guy. It's hard to feel empathy for someone who proudly drinks his wages, so let's give Church a Titus Andronicus record, from a band whose rootsy drunkenness should come equipped with a reading list, and see if he finds a better use for booze than pandering. 

Next up was Thompson Square, whose "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" is a meet-cute diversion for when the wedding DJ runs out of everything else. It was only Chris Young, who was last up, whose waaaaaaaay old song "Voices" had anything to offer. It was a tale of coming-of-age-confusion, a singer-songwriter story of balancing contradictory advice.


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-- Todd Martens

Photo: Eric Church performs "Drink In My Hand" during the CMA Awards.  Credit: Mark Humphrey /Associated Press