Country Perspective’s Worst Country Album of 2014 Goes to…

Country music in 2014 saw some highs and lows. Here at Country Perspective we recognize the best of both. Today we focus on the later. What was the worst country album in 2014? Well there was a lot of bad country albums put out this year. Jerrod Niemann’s High Noon was the early favorite in 2014. After all it included auto-tune and electronic beats. It didn’t sound like country music at all. He then remixed “Drink to That All Night” with Pitbull. That wasn’t even the worst of the album. The worst was “Donkey,” one of the worst songs I have ever heard.

Surely nothing could top this pile of crap, right? Wrong! Along came Chase Rice’s Ignite The Night. Other than one giant outlier at the end of the album in “Jack Daniels and Jesus,” this album was straight garbage. I think my asshole could write and sing better music than the rest of Ignite the Night. The amount of auto-tune and EDM incorporated is so gut-wrenchingly bad I’m surprised Waylon Jennings didn’t come back from the dead to just slap Rice in the face.

Yet as terrible as this album was another album went even lower than Rice’s. No it isn’t Sam Hunt’s Montevallo either. It’s a straight pop album, yet Hunt did enough to not garner a 0 in Derek’s eyes or my eyes (shockingly I might add). There was one album that did earn a 0 overall and to this day it’s the only album to receive a 0 on Country Perspective. After listening to this album, I thought…. wait words can’t describe it. I’m going to need some help here. Jeff could you assist me here? Here were my thoughts after listening to this album:

pile_of_shit

Thanks Jeff! Keep up the fine work. What album am I referring to? The winner of Country Perspective’s Worst Country Album of 2014 Award is…

Derek and myself chose this album to win because quite frankly it’s offensive in every single way a country album can be offensive. Other than “Dirt,” every song on this album sucks. The songs don’t sound country at all and sound more suitable for a pop album. The lyrics are so horrendously offensive to intelligence that I felt like I lost a few IQ points after listening to Anything Goes. Their worst song, “Sun Daze,” was nominated for our worst song of the year award and is quite a strong contender. The thing is we could have chosen another song easily and it would still be a top contender to win. When the lyrics weren’t sexist and misogynistic, they were just outright cheesy and cliché. Take for example “Angel.” They use the cheesiest pickup line ever as the chorus. So hilariously dumb! And I don’t know how many alcohol brands are name-dropped.

You know what else is terrible about this album? How everyone at the mainstream country outlets and people in the mainstream industry just accept this as an “evolution” of country music. They’re missing a letter. Devolution is the proper word. How in any way, shape or form is this helping the genre? It’s just maintaining the status quo of country music being a laughing-stock to anyone outside of the genre. I don’t know how many people laugh off and dismiss country music because of asshats like Florida Georgia Line putting out terrible music. Casual observers judge country music based on what they hear on the radio and what they hear on radio is garbage.

Mainstream country music appears to be improving for the most part. That’s a good sign. There are still a lot of problems though and Florida Georgia Line represents one of the biggest. Bro country is slowly dying, but I guarantee Florida Georgia Line and other bro country artists will fight to the bitter end to keep it alive. In the end though it is a fruitless endeavor. Bro country will be gone in 2015 and so might Florida Georgia Line’s stardom.

So stand up with me and boo Florida Georgia Line’s album Anything Goes. This is a historically bad country album that may never be topped by another album in horribleness ever again.

10 thoughts on “Country Perspective’s Worst Country Album of 2014 Goes to…

  1. jb December 15, 2014 / 11:41 am

    Well said. I hadn’t heard “Sun Daze” until this past weekend, and it was more horrifying than the descriptions of it that I’ve read. What floors me is not just how remarkably stupid it is–but how nobody involved, not the singers, the producers, the radio programmers, or the radio listeners, seems to be offended by how moronic it is. (You’d think, when somebody’s trying to sell you something so obviously cheap and hacky that you’d resist buying it.) “Sun Daze” makes everybody exposed to it dumber by osmosis. As such, it might be the perfect song for America in 2014, which is another problem altogether.

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  2. NoahHibiscusEaton December 15, 2014 / 4:21 pm

    ………..eh, “Anything Goes” is a worse-than-mediocre album, but I respectfully disagree “Anything Goes” is the worst country/”country” album released in 2014.

    “Dirt” alone absolves the album of a 0/10 score in my view, but beyond that there are a few moments I kind of liked and, should they tap into those ideas more, I can see them making some more consistently listenable and at least somewhat enjoyable music. “Confession” is a decent track in that I appreciate the spacious, atmospheric sound that permeates it and feel the lyrics have some legitimate, contemplative weight to them. As much as “Smoke” unfortunately relies on the laundry list mode of songwriting, I also appreciate how on this track they attempt to describe the scenery, mood and imagery surrounding them and it’s passable, if considerably flawed. And I did honestly dig the dobro solo and other elements of the production on “Sun Daze” (sure, the lyrics are vocals are utterly annoying, but the sound saves it from making my “Worst Songs of 2014” list) and “Sippin’ On Fire” has a solid melody.

    I just feel this album suffers from so much misplaced potential. You’d figure they’d draw inspiration from the success of “Dirt” and stretch themselves further in that vein as far as songwriting and spundscapes are concerned. Before “Anything Goes” was released, they were even quoted as saying that their sophomore album would be more diverse. I beg to differ. This album is actually less diverse in that, on their debut album, there was more of a balance of instrumental and synthetic production elements while, on this album, the synthetic elements take the driver’s seat……………and so you’re left with too many overproduced messes. The closing track, “Every Night”, is the worst offender in that respect.

    And I agree, more often than not, the lyricism falls flat on its face. The title track is quite bad, as is “Smile” and especially “Good Good”………..where they can’t even string together a complete coherent sentence. And “Angel” is utterly embarrassing (and overproduced in an unattractive way).

    However, because I prize honesty, I simply have to contend there have been worse albums released this year than “Anything Goes”. I would rate it 4/10 probably as an album itself, though as a country album it would fare worse. But they do show moments of promise on the album with “Dirt” and “Confession” in particular, put a lot of energy and presence into their performances, have a knack for solid melody lines and, finally, I honestly have to say that even on the songs where they are clearly desiring to hook up with women, I never get the sense all the same that they sound like leering douchebags because they spend more of the time describing the scene around them than the women themselves. They sound more blissfully stupid and oblivious than anything, so it’s hard to get too vicious on them in that respect.

    *

    No, my pick for Worst Country/”Country” Album of 2014 would be Chase Rice’s “Ignite the Night” (though Cole Swindell’s eponymous debut album would be a close second).

    Swindell is arguably more insufferable than Rice as a frontman because, while Rice doesn’t even try to hide his douche attitude and has regularly conveyed it on Twitter msot notably, Swindell has adopted that “Aw shucks!” good ol’ country boy with a bit of a wild side persona………….y’know, the kind of facade snake oil salesmen like to sport! 😉 And it honestly did work on “Chillin’It” because both he and the melody sounded laid-back. But when he starts tackling more overblown (and hilariously overproduced) sounds and obnoxious subject matter, that’s when those who play the “Aw shucks!” card sound insufferable. “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” ranked aong my Worst Singles of 2014 list because of how emotionally manipulative Swindell comes across in that song and I loathe the message that sends to young women. And on his current single “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey”, he just sounds like a complete asshole to his ex and pathetically tries to play it cool when it is obvious he still isn’t over her. I have no sympathy for the narrator there or in related songs.

    Then you have songs that consist of some of the worst lyrics I’ve heard all year: from “Got a spot for your tan legs round my red neck” and “be my country song sing-along beer holder” on “Get Up”, to “looking for the girls that’ll let their hair down. lead us on, get us thinking they might share a little sugar on a Friday night.” (eye roll)

    But what makes Rice ultimately eclipse Swindell is that…………..well………….as terrible as the album as a whole is, Jody Stevens keeps the production from getting obnoxious on most tracks and so, ultimately, it is a safe, formulaic, forgettable album that is easy to omit from your meory bank. With Rice, on the other hand, the production (courtesy of four producers) constantly bombards and tortures your eardrums outside of “Jack Daniels and Jesus” and sparse softer moments in-between like on “Carolina Can”. And when backed with lyricism that is even more obnoxious than Cole Swindell’s including mind-bogglingly painful puns on “Fifty Shades of Gray”, Usher’s “Confessions”, Victoria’s Secret (seriously, what is it with “country” singers and name-dropping Victoria’s Secret all of a sudden?) and so on…………….complemented with a vocal that completely lacks likeability and charisma…………….”Ignite the Night” sets the rotten standard as far as the worst of country/”country” albums in 2014 go.

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  3. Lorenzo December 15, 2014 / 4:38 pm

    I think Anything Goes is an horrible album, and Ignite the Night is very bad too. maybe you’re going to call me crazy but I think Lee Brice’s I Don’t Dance is one the worst albums ever published in country music. leave the songs I don’t Dance and Somebody’s been Drinking the rest is pure crap: overproduced bad rock, stupid bro country lyrics and boring-as-hell music. I can’t explain how much that album sucks. it’s Brice thinking he’s so sexy and cool because he sings softly and because he’s ‘kind of quiet’. In the horrid ‘wanna-sound-like-“Royals”‘ Drinking Class he speaks like he’s on stage singing the song. In sirens he sings so horribly soft trying to sound sexy that it makes me wanna throw up. girls in bikinis is a vapid bro country song that I hate even more than It’s just what we do by fgl (and believe me I hate that song) because it’s so fucking badly produced. I don’t even like the annoying way he sings, sometimes he even seems off key. This ‘I don’t dance’ album disgusts me in every possible way, I can’t help but wonder how this crap can sell over amazing mainstream records such as I’m A Fire by David Nail and Riser by Dierks Bentley.

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    • NoahHibiscusEaton December 15, 2014 / 5:16 pm

      “Girls In Bikinis” came in at #2 on my Worst Country/”Country” Songs of 2014 list, and there are also some other disappointing moments for sure……………but I’d respectfully disagree with you in that I consider “I Don’t Dance” an average, though greatly disappointing album considering what he has shown he’s capable of. Probably a 5/10 album for me.

      Eh, “Riser” is holding its own commercially. And I for one wasn’t that impressed with “I’m a Fire”. It was definitely a step down from its predecessors, with the lead single being especially irritating. “I’m a Fire” was probably a strong 5/10 or weak 6/10 album for me, while “Riser” was a solid 8/10.

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      • Lorenzo December 15, 2014 / 5:42 pm

        I think I’m a fire was better than Nail’s previous record because it feels a little more balanced between slow songs and midtempos, and it has very strong cuts. Whatever She’s Got is called a bro country song but I don’t really see it as bro country. it’s more like pure pop with a dobro. I love the song but I understand it’s not well seen among true country lovers (don’t get me wrong, I’m a pure country lover myself: I love Alan Jackson, George Strait, Randy Travis and Roy Rogers but I also enjoy some pop country, commercial pop and R&B). but the rest of the album is just amazing. burnin bed, brand new day, the secret, I’m a fire and When they’re gone are really interesting songs, both lyrically and musically. sure it’s not real country but I see it way more real than brice’s bad rock record. I don’t know, maybe we can’t agree on I Don’t Dance but I stand what I said. I tried to listen to it and like it but it’s boring, dull and vapid. I don’t dance Is a good song and Somebody’s been Drinking is amazing, but the rest is just unlikable for me. If I had to grade these albums, I’d give 8.5/10 to David Nail, 8/10 to Dierks Bentley and a very low rating to Brice.

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      • NoahHibiscusEaton December 15, 2014 / 8:32 pm

        The problem with “I’m a Fire” is that it lacked standout the-world-stops-and-freezes moments like “A Sound of a Million Dreams” had. The title track, “Songs For Sale” and “That’s How I’ll Reember You” were all stronger than the best songs off of “I’m a Fire”……….and the former never struck me as having any blatant filler either.

        “I’m a Fire” is a consistent, yes, but nevertheless somewhat unremarkable collection of songs to my ears that just don’t stand out well enough and are pretty much just as forgettable as they are pleasant. I’d say his cover of “Galveston” is the album’s high point, but even that doesn’t live up to the best its predecessor had to offer. I also find that Frank Liddell commits the same sort of production mistakes that made the Eli Young Band and Miranda Lambert’s latest couple of albums sound more cluttered and overly compressed than they should have been.

        You can do so much worse than David Nail any day of the week with his powerful vocal alone………….but, yet again, you can also do a lot better than his latest album also.

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      • Lorenzo December 16, 2014 / 2:59 am

        sure I know The Sound of a Million Dreams was an excellent album, but I think I’m a Fire has great moments too. However I guess we can’t help but respectfully disagree, maybe we’ll agree on Nail’s next record 🙂

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      • Cobra December 16, 2014 / 7:37 am

        I’m with Lorenzo on this one. “I’m a Fire” was a great album. “Brand New Day” and “The Secret” were absolutely amazing songs.

        As for worst album of the year…I agree with Josh…”Anything Goes,” hands down.

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  4. Zack December 16, 2014 / 5:21 pm

    I agree with this 101%. Endless schlock all throughout the album, and to make things worse you now have people telling you everywhere, “Oh look they CAN make a great song, just look at “Dirt”” That makes me so mad, for starters they already had a better song with “Black Tears”, of course recorded pre-“Cruise”. The problem is that these guys pander to the lowest common denominator and record pretty much the same song over and over again. I felt “Dirt” was highly overrated to be quite honest. this just barely beat out chase rice for my worst album of the year. At least he had Jack Daniels and Jesus. Also, in relation to “I’m A Fire”. I, like Noah, felt that it was a huge step down from “The Sound Of A Million Dreams”. not a bad album by any means, just not what I had expected

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  5. andrew December 22, 2014 / 12:12 pm

    the worst country album of the year should go to ignite the night, leave carolina can, Jack Daniels and Jesus and look at my truck alone and you’ll have a great amount of crap. fgl album sucks as well but it’s not really different from their debut record, so I don’t really care about it. hunt is clearly pop and his music is not near as bad as the one written/recorded by fgl, rice and aldean (oh yeah, aldean doesn’t even write his music). I used to like lee brice but his new record sucks, still I like somebody’s been drinking, show you off, i don’t dance and more my style.
    as for david nail, i love every single song off of his new record, it’s my favourite album of the year. tim mcgraw also released a great album this year, leave looking for that girl off and that’s an excellent record!

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