If you had more cooks in the kitchen, you would think they would develop something more creative. But that's not the case when it comes to country music songwriting, and a new study corroborates what our ears have been telling us for years. As the amount of songwriters per track in country has increased, the songs have become significantly more repetitive and, thus, less creative and intriguing. Danny Katz from the music data aggregation company Chartmetric recently published the findings of a study in Hyperbot that took 20,000 country songs from 500 relevant country artists from the past and present and paired them with their lyrics to study the bigger trends in country music lyrics over time. What the study found is probably not especially surprising to you if you're one of the many who've awakened to the shallowness of mainstream country radio. But what is surprising is just how pronounced this trend has been. The songwriter-by-committee method of writing country songs has become more and more popular over time, as has been the practice of including the performer in the writing credits under the long-standing practice called “third for a word” or “word for a third,” where if someone changes only one word in a song, equal credit is shared with them among all of the song's contributors. Sometimes songwriters are amenable to this practice because relinquishing credit to a performer means getting your song cut. Danny Katz at Chartmetric analyzed country songs […]
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