Published Dec 06, 2017One could argue all day where Brent Kissel's We Were That Song falls on the country-pop spectrum, but the point is almost moot, anyway: this album is terrible. It's so bad, it made me reconsider everything I believe about pop.
Kissel's voice is curdled, sickly sweet and devoid of nutrition or pleasure, like cool whip. The stories he tells are ones that we have heard before: the back road anthem, the one where he gushes about Springsteen and the one about his baby daughter. The back road anthems sound made in a Detroit boardroom, trying to sell F150s. The one about Springsteen rips off Eric Church and Ronald Reagan's purposeful misreading of "Born in the U.S.A."; Kissel isn't smart enough to play rhetorical games with nostalgia like Church — or even Reagan.
The worst song is the one about a man who would never cry until his daughter was born. It's sentimental treacle, resting on a whole thicket of dangerously gendered stereotypes. It's an ugly song made uglier by its cynically tinselled cheapness.
This is the worst country album of the year, and a nadir for an artist who is talented and seems to have distinct potential. (Universal Nashville)