A Change for the Better?
by Alison Bonaguro
(as seen in Country Music Today, January 2005)


Everybody will probably start 2005 the same way. With good intentions and impossible goals. Impossible, because our annual New Year's resolutions are always self-imposed. We take a long, hard look in the mirror, criticize ourselves from head to toe, then single-handedly try to modify our worst behaviors. It's the one time of year when self-loathing becomes more of a goal than a character trait.

But this year I'd like to start a new movement. From now on, let's make resolutions not for ourselves, but for others. I can think of a million things that are wrong with my friends and family. And I'm pretty open-minded myself. I can take criticism. Not well, but I can take it. Let's say a friend told me I swore too much, for instance. That would really make me stop and think, "Is that b**ch   f***in' serious?" And I'd probably be more inclined to do something about it.

So in an effort to get this resolution reversal off the ground, I'm going to start with country music. After all, nobody's perfect. Even the best artists could stand to make a few changes. So here's what I suggest:

Toby Keith:
You've got a bunch of No. 1 hits, platinum albums, awards and millions of loyal fans who love you. Would it kill you to smile for once?

Shania Twain:
You've got a bunch of No. 1 hits, platinum albums, awards and millions of loyal fans who love you. Would it kill you not to lip-sync for once?

Tim McGraw:
Come on, that duet with Nelly was a joke, right? If you're gonna do more duets, stick with the Mrs.

Gretchen Wilson:
If you really were a bartender at 15, promise you'll write more songs about that.

Hank Williams Jr.:
If you insist on taking off your shirt during concerts, two words: Ab Roller.

Big & Rich:
Get Hank Jr. to share his Ab Roller with your half-naked drummer.

Martina McBride:
Keep singing about issues that are important to women, like getting back into your jeans after the baby's born.

Dierks Bentley:
Try releasing a song that doesn't end in a question mark.

Sara Evans:
Put your hottie, I mean hubby, in all your videos this year.

Montgomery Gentry:
Ease up on the rock-n-roll guitar solos.

Jimmy Buffet:
If you want to stay "country", eventually you'll have to sing a song by yourself.

George Strait:
Check out Kenny Chesney in concert this year. You'll see what live music is like when you give fans more than just a set list of hits.

Kenny Chesney:
We get it: you're from a small town and you have fond memories of high school. Next topic, please.

Keith Urban:
Put on some weight.You'd have even more female fans if your jeans weren't three sizes smaller than theirs.

Faith Hill:
Hello? New album? We're waiting.

 Alan Jackson:
Change nothing.

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