The Tim McGraw song, they maintain it's because Tim is such a huge Def Leppard fan and not because of the label imposing itself on them. Umm, rrrrrrrrright. You keep telling yourselves that. On the plus side, it's not bad, but not a high point of their new album.
What I think is funny is the tendency of rock acts to "go country," only they're not doing anything different. Take Bon Jovi, for instance. They put out a supposedly country album about a year ago. There's nothing new about it. Dust off Keep the Faith
or These Days
, and you're not going to hear a whole lot of difference. It's the saying they're doing a country record that makes the difference.
Jewel is pretty goofy about this, too. On her major label releases, in order, she's done an alternative/folk album, an adult contemporary album, a Christmas album, a country album, a whore-pop album, another folk album, and now another country album. Only this new one is the first time she's admitted to doing a country album, so that's the kicker.
It's fucktarded. Johnny Cash never consciously said, "This one is a folk record." You just get out there and record what you're good at. (In Bon Jovi's case, the same lite metal and second-rate Mellencamp they've always done, and in Jewel's case, apparently nothing for more than a month at a time.)