Beast of Burden
Hang on, he just said I was more stylized and self aware than Paglia (who I really like, as it goes). That's some of the highest praise he has ever given me!
maybe part of the reason it's hard to get over the goofiness of banjos etc. is that (I'm assuming, but maybe just protecting my own lack of knowledge) you're not very familiar with the idioms that it's used in? ime it's more common for people to criticize music for being corny or sounding like cartoon music, etc. when we don't understand its idiom very well--cause you recognize the idiom-signifying features but not the expressive twists and nuances. like how rap is often seen as a ridiculous, unintentionally funny genre by people who don't listen to it; they only pick up on the tropes they recognize from snl parodies of it.
jazz before the 60's all sounds hokey. it only escapes that once the modality, atonality, suppressed harmonic function, etc. were introduced.
'how could they possibly have rapped like this:
well i'm rappingass robby and i'm here to say
i'm here to rock you party people to the break of day!
in those days? whereas now they, in so modern a style, rap like this:
chase a check
never chase a bitch