Randy Travis’ arrest Monday in Texas has garnered a great deal of media attention, but critics say that it fails to live up to the level of promise shown in his first arrest, released earlier this year.
Travis, a singer who rose to country music stardom in the 1980s before turning to gospel in the late 90’s, was taken into custody Monday morning when he was allegedly found naked, intoxicated, and combative after driving his car off the road. Upon being apprehended, the performer is reported to have threatened to kill the arresting officers. Though far more dramatic than his arrest in February for public intoxication, many music critics are feeling that this arrest still pales in comparison.
Tad Sullivan, a country music reviewer for Paste Magazine and Rolling Stone notes: “With [Travis’] first DUI, there was a real sense of pathos. He wasn’t even driving, but rather sitting in a car, drinking, in front of a Baptist church, following the Super Bowl. He was fresh off a divorce. I loved that, it was perfect! Football, church, drinking, sulking, and divorce; it was just so steeped in all of the classic elements of Country Music. This time, there was a real opportunity to step-up his game and he could have found a new motivation to work from; ennui, disillusionment, something more existential. But instead, he doesn’t seem to have much motivation at all; it’s just kind of left out there, hanging and waiting for you to make up a reason for him. It’s like he simply went back to the well on the divorce, and tried to decorate it with a bunch of pizzazz. A car crash, a fight scene, gratuitous nudity. Personally, it doesn’t seem to me like he’s really trying this time. Even the new mug shot just doesn’t have the spark from before.”
Wallace Cho, a blogger for the “County Time” music website, agrees. “This attitude of being bigger and flashier, instead of introspective and more soulful, really speaks to the very problems with modern country music in general. It’s like Travis is trying to keep up with the new generation of alt/pop-country personalities, and is forgetting the emotional core of what made him and his contemporaries so great. He’s jumped on the all-style and no-substance bandwagon with this arrest, and it’s just disappointing. I really hope it’s just a phase.”
Travis February mug-shot found at http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-57372021-10391698/randy-travis-arrested-for-public-intoxication/?tag=contentMain;contentBody. Travis August mug-shot found at http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-57488993-10391698/randy-travis-charged-with-dwi-in-north-texas/?tag=socsh