“So, wake me up from this American bad dream / Is it this messed up, or is it really reality?” Unfortunately, it isn’t a dream, but definitely reality. Country musician Kane Brown is perturbed about the state of the United States of America on “American Bad Dream,” among the crème de la crème from his 2018 sophomore album, Experiment.
While the majority of the album tackles topics that play true to being southern and the country music script, “American Bad Dream” bucks the trend. The record thinks bigger, focusing on the alarming ‘new normal’ – senseless violence, police brutality and unfair anti-police sentiment, and “fallin’ for the Devil’s disguise.” “American Bad Dream” initiates the conversation – the need to move beyond the ‘nightmares’ blackening and damning America.
Brown brilliantly reminisces back on simpler, more carefree times at the beginning of this minor-key country record. “Remember when ninth grade was about gettin’ laid,” he sings, continuing, “Skippin’ class tryin’ not to get caught?” He contrasts teens’ priorities of sex and ‘playing hooky’ with genuine fear – “Now, you gotta take a test in a bullet proof vest / Scared to death that you might get shot.” Chilling. Brown doesn’t stop there. On the second verse, he reflects back to the days of simply getting a ticket past the speed limit, before fearing for your life. He doesn’t merely denounce policemen, citing “Bad cops played the jury, made the good ones worry / About showin’ up and doin’ their job.” Sad, but ultimately, legitimate, real concerns.
Brown ‘nails it on the head’ on “American Bad Dream,” particularly on the chorus when he references our reactions to repeated tragedies: “I’m becomin’ numb to all this tragedy.” Because the horrible cycle continues, we’ve become accustomed to chaos, and that shouldn’t be the case whatsoever. Powerful.
You can learn more about Kane Brown here:
About The Curator - Brent Faulkner
Slightly eccentric with interests that seem to know no ends, restless ‘Renaissance Man’ is the best way to characterize Brent Faulkner, a native of Kentucky. A certified music educator, multi-instrumentalist, and composer known for his incredibly sharp ear, he lives and breathes music of a variety of styles. In addition to passion for educating, performing, and writing music, he’s equally passionate blogging and writing about it, managing his own site, The Musical Hype (https://themusicalhype.com). When he’s not intensely analyzing music, you can find him reading or watching a movie, reality television or some sporting event.