At the end of 2013, music writer Grady Smith asked—naw, that fit-to-be-tied cowboy done begged—country music aficionados to "stop settling for this derivative junk" and made a video mashup to prove his point that, when it comes to country, "much of what's on the radio these days sounds exactly the same." He came to his conclusion while compiling his "10 Best Country Albums of 2013" list for Entertainment Weekly; his mashup showed that there were only a few apparent criteria one needs to put together a country chart-topper: "Truck—check. Dirt road—check. Sugar shaker in painted-on jeans—check," as Gawker astutely put it. And not much has changed since then.
Regrettably, history has repeated itself in what Gawker calls "the Nickelback incident of ought-five all over again." Sir Mashalot recently posted a new mashup on YouTube featuring six other pop-country tunes (we see you, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, and Parmalee, among others), and by the sounds of this one, country is still country is still country. Sir Mashalot contends that the video is "all in good fun" and that he gets and "even [appreciates] why the 'formula' continues to dominate the airwaves—not only in country music, but in pop and other genres as well." He ain't frontin', y'all, he just wanted to point out the "striking similarities of these particular hits." As for you, country: Don't you go changin'. (Maybe the Obamas need to host another hoedown—stat.)