God Fearing Texans Stop Steven Hotze
Auto-Tune and politics don’t mix
By Abby Johnston,
1:24PM, Thu. May. 16, 2013
Music rarely excuses itself from politics. Partisan beliefs make their way into every style from country to hip-hop, and all the weird, gray places in between. And yet, rarely do politicians actually cross over into creating palatable music for John & Jane Q. Public.
Thank God for that, actually. I’m not sure how we would handle an adult contemporary album from Rick Perry.
Nevertheless, Houston doctor Steven Hotze built a narrow bridge between the two disciplines (and I use that term lightly in regards to politics) when he released two songs this week scripted in opposition of Obamacare, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act designed to get all our nation’s citizens proper health insurance.
Hotze counts himself a physician, radio talk show host, and big-time donor to the Republican Party. Now he’s adding musician to his repertoire, so we had to take a look at the songs, not to scope out Hotze’s understanding of the PPAC, but because we wanted to know whether or not the two tracks in fact suck.
“God Fearing Texans Stop Obamacare”
One safe bet: Any song with “God” in the title will likely be a country music song. I wish that were the case here. I would even go as far as to say that I wish this track was commissioned out to Toby Keith.
Instead, Hotze goes Auto-Tune over a wavering piano line before welcoming in some sort of tin-can space synth lines, which aren’t even the worst part. Just when we thought everyone got Jay-Z’s memo about the death of Auto-Tune, Hotze springs for a revival. It isn’t singing; more a spoken-word, unrhymed diatribe that questions what great Texas heroes would do in the face of Obamacare. It’s as if Hotze is pleading to the ghost of Sam Houston to knock some sense into them cowboys, who are, apparently, all of the state’s taxpayers.
Hotze drops the secular pathos to wax poetic on dreams of Texas as an independent nation, straining his voice into the already horrendous Auto-Tune, which sounds like a feeble man squawking out his last wishes on a deathbed.
“Texans Stand Against Obamacare”
Not a lot of variance in Hotze’s song titles, but this track gets funky. That synthesizer’s back, settling into some type of bassline while electronic claps keep time in the background. Unfortunately, Hotze’s off-kilter Auto-Tune is back too, immediately sullying the song at first spin.
“Texans stand against Obamacare, because we know Obama doesn’t care,” sounds more trite than even the most banal of pop lyrics, snapping listeners out of the briefest haze of minor-key mystery. Lyrically, there’s obvious recurring themes between the two songs. Like a talking point memo, there are bureaucrats, high taxes, and dammit, the Texas heroes are back!
Seriously, what would Davy Crockett, William Travis, and Sam Houston do? Like a WWJD bracelet, Hotze remedies his statements by leaning on our revered regional ancestors to support his cause.
Personally, I don’t know anyone who would be swayed to support a cause because of this particular song. As more elements layer on top, it starts to enter creepy-porn-soundtrack territory, except with Hotze pseudo-yelling the entire time about his attempts to sue Obama for something inconsequential.
I don’t believe Hotze will take his music career too seriously. The primary focus obviously lies on the message, not the actual music. But if he’s in fact searching for an artistic vessel for his message, I must insist he look elsewhere.
Or maybe just stop vesseling altogether.