Objective: To explore the music of country-crossover act Florida Georgia Line and discuss the group’s influences.
NAfME National Standards: 6, 7, 8
Begin: Have the students read “A Fine Line” in page 36 of the student edition. The article discusses several key points:
- How the band members began their musical careers
- Their influences
- How they met and began collaborating
- How they developed as songwriters and performers
- How they emerged as a commercially successful group
- The role each plays in the group
Expand: Listen to the song “Cruise,” the group’s first big hit:
This live video above gives students a chance to see how it’s performed live. Discuss some of the qualities of the arrangement and performance.
- Doubled vocals in certain sections
- Blend of acoustic and electric instruments
- The stagecraft shown by Tyler Hubbard walks out to sing to the audience.
Compare: Now listen to a version of the same song, performed with rap-artist Nelly
How are these arrangements similar and how are they different?
- The song has similar structure, basic instrumentation, and key
- Nelly comes in at about 1:50.
- The sound has a breakdown
- Hubbard does an impression of scratching
- About 2:40, the whole thing kicks into a new direction into Nelly’s song “Must Be the Money,” which has a dub/reggae/hip-hop feel.
Have the students compare and contrast both versions of “Cruise,” discussing differences in the arrangement, instrumentation and performance? Lead a discussion about how successfully country-rock and hip-hop came together in the second version. Talk about the transition to “Must Be the Money”: was it a successful segue? Why did it work (or not work)?
- Were the students able to identify the genres of each version?
- Were the students able to articulate the similarities between the two versions of the song?
- Were the students able to articulate the differences between the two versions of the song?
- When making a critical evaluation of the song, were the students able to support their comments by referencing elements in the arrangements and performances of the two versions?