There is some classic country music, that does 'scream' country and western. But I have heard other music that is categorized as country that sounds more like soft rock or at least more like pop. What is the difference?
I think they are adding in more instruments and some light rock sounds in that case. Country music songs tend to be more about life experiences or about heart ache, in my experience.
Some country music now crosses over. I have heard of songs for example, that do well in both the country and the pop charts. I think it can be more country if a lot of acoustic guitar music is included.