Point/Counterpoint: Blake Shelton: American Idol?
Blake Shelton recently won the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award for 2012. Shelton is a judge on NBC’s “The Voice” and released a hit album in 2011 entitled “Red River Blue”. Shelton is praised for his take on traditional country music, but is his style original enough to merit an award?
Point by Kia C. Turner
Blake Shelton is the man. Shelton is everything you could ever want in a country singer, from the lovable cowboy on “The Voice” to the bad-boy in his classic rugged country song “Good Ol’ Boys.” Shelton’s rural background, which is prevalent in all of his songs, is what gives him such a great fan base and why he was named Entertainer of the Year 2012.
Shelton brings country to a new level in songs like “Hillbilly Bone,” in which he gets that classic country guitar riff going in a way that can inspire his listeners to put their cowboy boots on and take their trucks down to Alabama. The way he highlights being from a small town may help a lot of people feel proud of where they come from, even if it is considered “hillbilly.”
Shelton is probably most popular for his sweet and tender ballads like “God Gave Me You,” “Over,” and “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking.” These are the emotional songs that can really pull on the heartstrings of his fans. We fall into his trap when he uses his distinct Southern twang to serenade his country sweetheart. His lyrics are heart-melting and the perfect thing to sit down, kick back, and relax to.
Another reason that Shelton is a lovable artist is because his persona is not complete without his woman—Miranda. The perfect country duo boosts Shelton’s image, and fans go crazy when they perform together. With her, Shelton’s words come to life and make fans only want more of his distinctly country, distinctly American music.
Rebuttal by Camila Victoriano
Shelton hasn’t managed to bring country to a “new level,” especially with his ballads. Specifically, “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking” leaves a lot to be desired, with lyrics like “But I’ve not tasted all your cooking / Who are you when I’m not looking?” What does her cooking have to do with her mysterious and attractive being? Also, the fact that Miranda plays such a big factor in who he is as an artist and how valuable he is to country music isn’t a good thing. An artist should stand alone, and Shelton—because of his reliance on his wife and overdone country techniques—most definitely does not
Counterpoint by Camila Victoriano