Ricky Van Shelton said in an interview in the July 1989 Music City News magazine that "Now the publishing companies have all those staff writers who just write from nine to five and you get songs that have no emotion in them. Those old songs came from the heart."
I'd like to think that songwriters today can still find enough emotion in their hearts and then be able to express it through a song. I believe it still happens. However, I also believe that Ricky is right about the lack of emotion in many of country's new songs, along with songs in other fields of music as well.
The electronic explosion in music production might take some of the blame for the mechanical feel in newer songs versus the original instrument playing the background music. Some of it is good, but like anything else that's new, we usually get too much of it.
Are we too commercially oriented? Many songwriters feel that we are. Or is it that we have just become so sinister in our modern day idealism that our hearts are hardened to the trust and open feelings experienced and expressed by past generations. Let's hope that this is not the case. But it doesn't hurt us in the music business, whether we be songwriters, publishers or producers, that there is a feeling in the air and it may be growing. Let's write, pitch, publish and produce more of those songs with emotion that comes from the heart.