The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [Feb. 7]


Each week I take a look the Billboard Country Airplay chart and grade the top 30 songs. The grading format I use each week is every song will receive either a +1, -1 or a 0. These will then be tallied up for an overall score, or pulse of the current top thirty country songs, with the highest possible score being a +30 and the lowest possible score being a -30. The goal of this exercise is to evaluate the current state of mainstream country music and determine if it’s improving or getting worse. To see the full list of the top 30 country airplay songs for this week, click here. Let’s take a look at this week’s top thirty.  

  1. Eric Church – “Talladega” +1 (Up 1)
  2. Luke Bryan – “I See You” -1 (Up 1)
  3. Carrie Underwood – “Something in the Water” +1 (Up 1)
  4. Florida Georgia Line – “Sun Daze” -1 (Up 1)
  5. Kenny Chesney – “Til It’s Gone” (Down 4)
  6. Thomas Rhett – “Make Me Wanna” -1 (Up 2)
  7. Randy Houser – “Like A Cowboy” +1  
  8. Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe – “Lonely Tonight” +1 (Up 2)
  9. Jason Aldean – “Just Gettin’ Started” -1 
  10. Brett Eldredge – “Mean To Me” (Up 2)
  11. Chase Bryant – “Take It On Back” -1 (Up 2)
  12. Darius Rucker – “Homegrown Honey” -1 (Up 2)
  13. Lee Brice – “Drinking Class” +1 (Up 2)
  14. Chris Young – “Lonely Eyes” (Up 2)
  15. Cole Swindell – “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey” -1 (Up 2)
  16. RaeLynn – “God Made Girls” -1 (Re-enters Top 30 this week)
  17. Lady Antebellum – “Freestyle” -1 (Up 2)
  18. Jake Owen – “What We Ain’t Got” +1 (Up 2)
  19. Dierks Bentley – “Say You Do” +1 (Up 2)
  20. Sam Hunt – “Take Your Time” -1 (Up 5)
  21. Tyler Farr – “A Guy Walks Into A Bar” +1 (Up 3)
  22. Kristian Bush – “Trailer Hitch” +1 
  23. Zac Brown Band – “Homegrown” +1  
  24. A Thousand Horses – “Smoke” (Up 2)
  25. Easton Corbin – “Baby Be My Love Song” -1 (Up 2)
  26. Eric Paslay – “She Don’t Love You” +1 (Up 2)
  27. Miranda Lambert – “Little Red Wagon” -1 (New to Top 30)
  28. Billy Currington – “Don’t It” -1 (Up 2)
  29. Toby Keith – “Drunk Americans” -1 
  30. Kelsea Ballerini – “Love Me Like You Mean It” -1 (New to Top 30)

Brad Paisley’s “Perfect Storm” fell from #6 to out of the top 30.

Tim McGraw’s “Shotgun Rider” fell from #11 to out of the top 30.

David Nail’s “Kiss You Goodnight” fell from #18 to out of the top 30.

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -4

And we’re back in the negative! Last week, after being in the positive for the first time ever in the history of The Pulse it has dropped this week from +1 to -4. Why the big drop off? Well two positive songs (Paisley’s “Perfect Storm” and McGraw’s “Shotgun Rider”) and a neutral song (Nail’s “Kiss You Goodnight”) fell out of the top 30 all together. Both Paisley and McGraw are pushing new singles so this isn’t surprising. Nail dropping out was surprising to me. These three songs were replaced by all negative songs. For the first time in her career Kelsea Ballerini enters the top 30 of the country airplay chart. It’s great to see another female country artist, but this song is absolutely terrible. Miranda Lambert is back in the top 30 with her most recent single “Little Red Wagon,” which is a terrible single choice. And just when I thought we were rid of her, RaeLynn has risen back to where she was a couple of weeks ago in the top 30. I would love to know what’s going on with this song.

Eric Church is the new #1 on the chart, but I don’t see it lasting too long with some fast-rising songs behind it. The biggest gainers were “Little Red Wagon” which moved up 11 spots, “Love Me Like You Mean It” moved up six spots and Sam Hunt’s “Take Your Time” moved up five spots. The biggest losers were Paisley, McGraw and Nail. My overall thought on this week’s chart? This sucks.

Be sure to weigh in on this week’s chart in the comments below!

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16 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [Feb. 7]

  1. ericbiesbrock January 30, 2015 / 1:23 pm

    Any other criterion you are using to rate songs rather than liking/disliking/having no preference for it?


    • Josh Schott January 30, 2015 / 1:29 pm

      Well it’s not simply if I like, don’t like or have a preference. It’s based on what I have rated them or would rate them if I haven’t reviewed them. If a song is rated or I would rate it 7 or higher, then it gets a +1. If the song is or would be rated between 5-6.5, it receives a 0. A song that has received or would receive a 4.5 or lower gets a -1. So yes there is a method behind this. It simply isn’t if I like the song or not. Sometimes I’ll give the song a positive rating, but I don’t necessarily like it. For example, I don’t really like Eric Church’s “Talladega,” but I consider it a song worthy of being rated 7 or higher.


      • Eric January 30, 2015 / 2:05 pm

        It still seems quite subjective (which reviews inherently are), but I do not think your rating system reflects the pulse of anything but whether you find country music radio more good than bad or vice versa. Perhaps having a group of bloggers (other than ones on your site) rate the songs would provide a better consensus of whether country music radio is getting “better”.


      • Raymond January 30, 2015 / 2:42 pm

        Aw man if Glorianas trouble goes top 30 it won’t get a +1 but a 0 Aw man


      • Josh Schott January 30, 2015 / 3:31 pm

        That’s exactly what this weekly article is, Eric. It’s my opinion and my thoughts on the direction of country radio. I’m not saying my opinion is the absolute truth for all. Music is subjective and everyone has a different opinion. Go to other country bloggers and each one would probably have a different grading for this chart. So I don’t plan on changing the format. I suggest visiting multiple country sites where I’m sure you’ll get each of their thoughts on the current state of mainstream country music. In fact I encourage it because my opinion is only one of many out there. And there’s no way in hell this would be logistically possible. Other bloggers and writers have their own sites and articles to take care of, as do I.


  2. Raymond January 30, 2015 / 1:27 pm

    Well the wait was worth it.
    I’m gonna have my pulse be the top 60 the songs that have at least charted.
    60 Steven Lee Olsen Raised By A Good Time -1
    59 Haley & Michaels Just Another Love Song +1
    58 Sam Hunt House Party -1
    57 Austin Webb All Country On You 0
    56 Kenny Chesney Wild Child +1
    55 Big & Rich Run Away With You 0
    54 Brad Paisley Crushing It -1
    53 Maddie & Tae Fly +1
    52 Josh Dorr Save Your Breath -1
    51 Tim McGraw Diamond Rings & Old Barstools +1
    50 Kip Moore I’m To Blame 0
    49 Jackie Lee She Does +1
    48 Rodney Atkins Eat Sleep Love You Repeat 0
    47 Chase Rice Gonna Wanna Tonight -1
    46 Swon Brothers Pray For You +1
    45 Mickey Guyton Better Than You Left Me + 1
    44 Justin Moore This Kind Of Town -1
    43 Brantley Gilbert One Hell Of An Amen +1
    42 Reba Going Out Like That 0
    41 Dustin Lynch Hell Of A Night -1
    40 Keith Urban Raise Em Up 0
    39 Frankie Ballard Young & Crazy 0
    38 Jon Pardi When I’ve Been Drinking +1
    37 Rascal Flatts Riot +1
    36 Garth Brooks Mom +1
    35 Gloriana Trouble + 1
    34 Josh Turner Lay Low +1
    33 Canaan Smith Love You Like That -1
    32 Joe Nichols Hard To Be Cool -1
    31 Little Big Town Girl Crush +1
    30 Kelsea Ballerini 0
    29 Drunk Americans 0
    28 Don’t It -1
    27 Little Red Wagon 0
    26 She Don’t Love You +1
    25 Easton Corbin -1
    24 Smoke 0
    23 Homegrown +1
    22 Trailer Hitch +1
    21 Tyler Farr +1
    20 Take Your Time -1
    19 Say You Do+1
    18 What We Aint Got +1
    17 Freestyle -1
    16 God Made Girls -1
    15 Ain’t Worth the whiskey -1
    14 Lonely Eyes 0
    13 Drinking Class +1
    12 Homegrown Honey -1
    11 Chase Bryant Take It On Back 0
    10 Brett Eldeedge Mean To Me +1
    9 Jason Aldean Just Getting Started -1
    8 Ashley Monroe Lonely Tonight +1
    7 Rancdy Houser Like A Cowboy +1
    6 Thomas Rhett Make Me Wanna -1
    5 Kenny Chesney Til It’s Gone 0
    4 Florida Georgia Line Sun Daze -1
    3 Carrie Underwood Something In The water +1
    2 Luke Bryan I See You -1
    1 Eric Church Talladega +1
    Don’t know the total but those are my thoughts please respond.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Zack January 30, 2015 / 2:18 pm

    Yeah this chart sucks…. I’ll guess I’ll throw in my ratings

    1. Talladega. 0
    2. I See You -1
    3. Something In The Water +1
    4. Sundaze -1
    5. Til It’s Gone 0
    6. Make Me Wanna -1
    7. Like A Cowboy 0
    8. Lonely Tonight 0
    9. Just Gettin’ Started -1
    10. Mean To Me 0
    11. Take It On Back 0
    12. Homegrown Honey -1
    13. Drinking Class +1
    14. Lonely Eyes +1
    15. Ain’t Worth The Whiskey 0
    16. God Made Girls -1
    17. Freestyle -1
    18. What We Ain’t Got +1
    19. Say You Do +1
    20. Take Your Time -1
    21. A Guy Walks Into A Bar +1
    22. Trailer Hitch +1
    23. Homegrown 0
    24. Smoke 0
    25. Baby Be My Love Song -1
    26. She Don’t Love You +1
    27. Little Red Wagon -1
    28. Don’t It -1
    29. Drunk Americans -1
    30. Love Me Like You Mean It -1
    Score: -5
    Overall: Pretty bad this week, I See You will replace Talladega at #1 and SITW looks to peak at #3 (of course since she’s a female, God forbid we let one of them go #1! Ugh…) and unfortuneatly Sundaze will almost definently be a #1 unfortuneatly. Sigh…. anyway, God Made Girls is sure to be out soon and Freestyle isn’t doing too hot either. I’m surprised Trailer Hitch has made it this far honestly. I’m waiting for Drunk Americans to finally go away but its still there unfortunately and how did Kelsea sneak into the top 30? I mean of all the females they ignore, country radio chooses to play her?!? I hate to judge her based on one song but I am not impressed so far.
    And now I guess I’ll grade the other 30 for fun:
    31. Girl Crush +1
    32. Hard To Be Cool 0
    33. Love You Like That -1
    34. Lay Low +1
    35. Trouble +1
    36. Mom 0
    37. Riot 0
    38. When I’ve Been Drinkin’ -1
    39. Young & Crazy -1
    40. Raise ‘Em Up 0
    41. Hell Of A Night -1
    42. Going Out Like That -1
    43. One Hell Of An Amen +1
    44. This Kind Of Town -1
    45. Better Than You Left Me +1
    46. Pray For You 0
    47. Gonna Wanna Tonight -1
    48. Eat Sleep Love You Repeat -1
    49. She Does 0
    50. I’m To Blame 0
    51. Diamond Rings & Old Barstools +1
    52. Save Your Breath -1
    53. Fly +1
    54. Crushin’ It -1
    55. Run Away With You -1
    56. Wild Child +1
    57. All Country On You -1
    58. House Party -1
    59. Just Another Love Song 0
    60. Raised By A Good Time -1

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lorenzo January 30, 2015 / 3:08 pm

    damn that smoke song really sucks! and Easton Corbin gets a -1 while smoke gets a 0? baby be my love song is not a great song but it’s far, very far from being considered on the same level of crap such as make me wanna, just getting started or sun daze! and smoke a 0?? it should get a -1, I’m tired of this ******* hard rock oriented music in country!


    • Zack January 30, 2015 / 3:19 pm

      I can’t speak for Josh and Derek but I think it definently deserves a -1. “Be the buzz in my dixie cup”? Its a song that has a guy narrator wanting to get a girl by telling her she’s “so damn hot”. It might be the artist behind the song that irritates me more than the actual song, after all Easton was once hailed as a traditional country music savior. His songs may not have been the deepest but they were a treat nonetheless. This is just a blatant attempt from Easton to remain relevant, hell he doesn’t even sound interested in the song. I still want it to do well for him but I hope any success he gets will allow him to swing back to the more traditional country that he loves. And just because its not as bad as “I See You” or “Sundaze” doesn’t meant its good.

      As for “Smoke” idk how I really feel about it. I don’t think its totally terrible but its certainly not great

      Liked by 1 person

      • Josh Schott January 30, 2015 / 3:24 pm

        Zack pretty much hits the nail on the head and that’s exactly what I say in my review of the song, which is linked above on the chart. I don’t think it’s bad as “Sun Daze” or “Just Gettin’ Started.” But it’s still a bad song nonetheless from my point of view.

        My review of “Smoke” comes out tomorrow, so stay tuned for that one.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. NoahHibiscusEaton January 31, 2015 / 3:25 am

    I’ll offer my Top 60 for kicks, but first a few points.

    Yeah, that new Kelsea Ballerini song really irritates me. I can’t believe it is played a considerable amount on The Bull here. From her bratty vocal delivery to the sterile production to some dumb lyrics (“Oh hey, boy with your hat back, mmmm I kinda like that…”) which then veers into a litany of vague things she wants him to do to prove his love for her. Ummmmm, no. She isn’t going to get a free pass just because she’s a female artist and we are desperate to see more females on the airwaves.


    Also, there’s arguably (I say arguably because that Darius Rucker song also makes my blood boil a lot……….who I am kidding, Rucker’s is worse because he’s in his mid-fourties, grrrrr) no vocalist that pisses me off more on the current chart than Easton Corbin. I remember the excitement I felt when he emerged with his debut album and he was compared to George Strait vocally left and right and has since been heralded as a savior of traditional country music. Then I heard his debut album and, while the production was very enjoyable and his vocals obviously stellar, I thought the songwriting was shallow for the most part and was just hoping he would up the ante for his sophomore album.

    Then he released “All Over The Road”.

    The lead single “Lovin’ You Is Fun” was agreeable enough with is laid-back cheerfulness in spite of the lazy lyricism, but then I heard the album and was gravely disappointed by how sloppy, lazily written and forgettable it was. Then he released the worst track, the title track, to radio and that insufferable excuse to distracted driving landed on my Worst Country Singles of 2013 list.

    Now after releasing a lyrically respectable but boring “Clockwork”, he releases a bro-country song. Yeah, ladies and gentlemen………….a guy who used to be praised as the next George Strait, desperately flailing for visibility on country airwaves, has released a bro-country song to radio that’s even worse than “All Over The Road”. It’s equally as sad as it is pathetic, really.


    Finally, about RaeLynn.

    From what I’ve read, it was removed from the Mediabase airplay chart (while it remained on the Billboard chart) because it was unbulleted at the end of that respective chart week and, per Mediabase rules, it was purged to recurrent status. But as the song registered gains in both spins and audience shortly afterward, Mediabase opted to return it to the current chart.

    Anyway, “God Made Girls” is still limping along, so I think in the next couple of weeks we can expect to see this song finally die (I sound pretty grumpy this week towards the charts, don’t I? 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott January 31, 2015 / 11:33 am

      Yes if this is what Ballerini brings to the table then I’ll just wait for the next female artist. I could only listen for a minute before having to shut it off.

      Rucker has a new album coming soon, so I’m sure he will have another terrible single to replace it (hopefully less offensive). You hit the nail on the head with Easton Corbin. I don’t know if I have said it before, but I actually thought he was Strait when I heard Corbin’s first single. The dude is clearly talented, but as you said has wasted his talents on terrible songs. And what’s worse is he has regressed with each single. Not a good trend leading up to his second album.

      Thank you for the explanation on RaeLynn. That makes sense. Seems like a weird rule. When I saw her EP fell off the albums chart I was confused why she remained on this one. I don’t blame you for being grumpy. These are some terrible songs. Haha


  6. NoahHibiscusEaton January 31, 2015 / 5:00 am

    Here’s my Top Sixty:


    1. Eric Church – “Talladega” +1
    2: Luke Bryan – “I See You” -1
    3: Carrie Underwood – “Something in the Water” +1
    4: Florida Georgia Line – “Sun Daze” -1
    5: Kenny Chesney – “Til It’s Gone” 0
    6: Thomas Rhett – “Make Me Wanna” -1
    7: Randy Houser – “Like A Cowboy” +1
    8: Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe – “Lonely Tonight” 0 (……I still don’t feel this. Sorry! =/ )
    9: Jason Aldean – “Just Gettin’ Started” -1
    10: Brett Eldredge – “Mean To Me” 0
    11: Chase Bryant – “Take It On Back” -1
    12: Darius Rucker – “Homegrown Honey” -1 (The single worst song on the chart presently. Hopefully it dies before it hits the Top Ten.)
    13: Lee Brice – “Drinking Class” 0 (I still haven’t bought into this. Brice tries way too hard to sell blue-collar populist sentiment but it really just comes across as a more serious-toned party song. Also, what’s up with that chanting monk backup vocal effect?)
    14: Chris Young – “Lonely Eyes” 0 (Vocally Young is great and lyrically I like the descriptive quality. What keeps this from going +1 is the sterile production, but this would rate a 6.5 to me which puts it just a whisker from the +1 borderline.)
    15: Cole Swindell – “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey” -1
    16: RaeLynn – “God Made Girls” -1
    17: Lady Antebellum – “Freestyle” -1
    18: Jake Owen – “What We Ain’t Got” +1
    19: Dierks Bentley – “Say You Do” +1 (Up 2)
    20: Sam Hunt – “Take Your Time” -1 (I can’t believe how many generally sensible-minded country reviewers are buying into the propaganda that Hunt is a talented songwriter. ***snaps fingers in front of their faces***. Snap out of it. “Montevallo” is a terribly-written album. Got it yet?)
    21: Tyler Farr – “A Guy Walks Into A Bar” +1
    22: Kristian Bush – “Trailer Hitch” +1 (This one just delights me hearing. It’s looking like it’s going to drop any day now based on my chart-gazing, but to its credit it has gotten remarkably far. Good to hear a song preaching gratitude over materialism get its fair due.)
    23: Zac Brown Band – “Homegrown” +1
    24: A Thousand Horses – “Smoke” -1 (This sounds below-average to me upon first listen. Overly cluttered production and, we get it: your girl is so hot, she’s “smoke”. Hahaha! 😉 )
    25: Easton Corbin – “Baby Be My Love Song” -1 (Besides Darius Rucker, the artist that pisses me off the most in the meantime because of all his squandered potential to make the most of the George Strait comparisons he has received since the start of the decade.)
    26: Eric Paslay – “She Don’t Love You” +1
    27: Miranda Lambert – “Little Red Wagon” -1 (I can respect the fact this is polarizing among critics, and can even respect the cases some have made in giving it a positive review. Still, though I can tolerate this as an album track, as a radio single……………no, it’s too much. Mark my words: this is going to be a rapid burn rate and some of its initial proponents are going to sour on it as time goes on.)
    28: Billy Currington – “Don’t It” -1
    29: Toby Keith – “Drunk Americans” -1
    30: Kelsea Ballerini – “Love Me Like You Mean It” -1 (Uggghhhhh)
    31. Little Big Town: “Girl Crush” +1 (Pleasantly surprised by how rapidly it has scaled the chart already.)
    32. Joe Nichols: “Hard To Be Cool” -1
    33. Canaan Smith: “Love You Like That” -1 (When you act like “I can never do it like a pretty city boy…” is your most proud lyric to the point you repeat it twice more in the song, you’ve got serious issues.)
    34. Josh Turner: “Lay Low” +1
    35. Gloriana: “Trouble” 0 (It sounded fresh on first listen, but has burned out quite quickly upon subsequent listen and is now just an average song. I do appreciate the sass and energy, but musically it has lost flavor.)
    36. Garth Brooks: “Mom” 0 (It just doesn’t do much for me. I appreciate the sentiment and lyrical descriptive quality, but it’s just way too cloying and maudlin.)
    37. Rascal Flatts: “Riot” 0 (Maybe I’m giving them too much credit here since I’ve rarely cared for their music, but I honestly think this is one of their better songs. LeVox mercifully refrains from oversinging and the song does touch on an understandable feeling of relationship insecurity. I can buy the sincerity here. Too bad the production is the same old milquetoast Adult Contemporary wallpaper.)
    38. Jon Pardi: “When I’ve Been Drinkin’” +1 (Wow, what a pleasant surprise this has gotten as far as it has. LOVE the intimate, back porch, authentically traditional country flourish of this.)
    39. Frankie Ballard: “Young & Crazy” -1
    40. Keith Urban: “Raise ‘Em Up (Featuring Eric Church)” 0 (Eh. Vocally they both sound solid, and the lyrics are very relatable too. Yet, I can’t help but feel it sounds way too similar to Urban’s earlier hit “Somebody Like You”. That sameness can’t help but keep this at a 0.)
    41. Dustin Lynch: “Hell Of A Night” -1 (What more do you expect from an album in which over half the songs feature sex on the tailgate?)
    42. Reba McEntire: “Going Out Like That” -1 (You know she’s desperate when she’ll sing “She’s got her hands up like the floor’s on fire, she’s the hottest thing in here…”)
    43. Brantley Gilbert: “One Hell Of An Amen” – 0 (On one hand, lyrically, this is solid and hits hard. On the other hand, vocally, Gilbert doesn’t help matters. And the production is pedestrian 80’s stadium rock. What does this all amount to? A solid 0.)
    44. Justin Moore: “This Kind Of Town” -1 (I appreciate the dialed-down, breezy production. Unfortunately, lyrically it’s as painfully cliched as almost every single Moore has released to radio is. Between the mass consumerism Moore encourages in the chorus to a non-American company (Wal-Mart) to yet another lame Hank name-drop, it’s the same ol’ schtick with a less rollicking production scheme. And what’s up with this supposed to be a feel-good song about small town life, yet has such a sad, wistful vibe to it? Moore sounds semi-depressive more than anything singing about heaven’s gotta be this kind of town. Cheer the hell up!)
    45. Mickey Guyton: “Better Than You Left Me” +1 (By far one of the best singles on the chart. Rooting for this waltz every step of the way! =D )
    46. The Swon Brothers: “Pray For You” 0 (They definitely sound impassioned in their delivery, and that means a lot to me. And lyrically I appreciate the ambiguity. It’s the production, again, I have a crucial issue with. Oddly, it reminds me of Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be”: an unavoidable 90’s mega-hit that I too thought sounded passionate and emotive, but was weakened by overproduction.)
    47. Chase Rice: “Gonna Wanna Tonight” -1 (On an album almost entirely chockablock with ultra-hyper bro-country, it puzzles me this is the second single. What’s up with the sad-sounding production just like with “This Kind of Town”? How can you expect to persuade her to try something new and that it’ll be fun if you sound like a mumbling sadsack? ***shrug*** At least, lyrically, it’s fairly inoffensive compared to the album as a whole. A partial win? =/ )
    48. Rodney Atkins: “Eat Sleep Love You Repeat” 0 (This song is too goofy and laid-back to hate. It’s clearly a novelty song, and though Atkins’ vocals have deteriorated BADLY since the height of his fame, he sounds warm and at home here so, yeah, this is fine by me.)
    49. Jackie Lee: “She Does” -1 (Is Jackie Lee trying to impersonate Dan Huff-era Gary Levox here? It’s odd how, in the verses, he is basically mumbling in an indifferent, passionless tone about being forced to get dressed up on Sunday morning and window shopping……..but by the time the chorus comes around, he goes FULL-BLAST GARY LEVOX BEFORE HE LEARNED RESTRAINT!!! Seriously! When this comes up on the radio, I can’t resist making intense facial and arm motion gestures making fun of his vocal histrionics. Even the guitar solo mid-way screams Dan Huff being Dan Huff! 😉 )
    50. Kip Moore: “I’m To Blame” 0 (It’s just…………………there. I doubt this will be a hit for Moore either.)
    51. Tim McGraw: “Diamond Rings & Old Barstools (Featuring Catherine Dunn)” +1
    52. Josh Dorr: “Save Your Breath” -1 (Just too forgettable and unremarkable to justify even a neutral rating. Not a bad song necessarily, but when a song about sex bores you, you’ve got a problem.)
    53. Maddie & Tae: “Fly” +1 (I’m worried they’ve made a big mistake releasing this instead of “Sierra”. Still, a good song is a good song and I hope it becomes a hit regardless.)
    54. Brad Paisley: “Crushin’ It” -1 (…and we’re back to lame Paisley again. I do predict the chart-topping success of “Perfect Storm” will mean the stock of “Shattered Glass” has increased markedly, so am predicting that solid track will follow suit as the fourth single.)
    55. Big & Rich: “Run Away With You” -1 (Perhaps I’m biased, but when I grew up loving their debut album and its left-of-center off-color antics………………….I expect WAY MORE from this duo than this shamelessly middle-of-the-road, generic radio-ready fodder better tailored for late 90’s Hot Adult Contemporary radio. It’s not a bad song, and I do enjoy the harmonies………but Big & Rich are better than this. The Big & Rich I knew would never settle for middle-of-the-road.)
    56. Kenny Chesney: “Wild Child (Featuring Grace Potter)” 0 (Somewhat underwhelmed with this one. Grace Potter is always a welcome feature, and I do genuinely like the dialed-down production. But despite some nice slices of imagery (the calico pony one especially, as well as the kaleidoscope), this falls short of the “We need to respect women!” anthem this was hyped to death as upon the album’s release. Instead, we get another string of non-sequiturs that may not objectify women, but doesn’t really dig deep into the essence of a woman either. All in all, a slightly above-average offering that’s a slight improvement toward the treatment of women on corporate country radio but nonetheless a notable step down from “You & Tequila”.)
    57. Austin Webb: “All Country On You” -1 (I get what this song is trying to go for. I get this is intended as another “Girl In A Country Song” but spoken from another male calling out other males on their bro behavior. Ultimately, though…………… just falls flat on its face and is no less painful listening to with the Joey Moi-esque overproduction, rap-like cadences and lyrics I’d rather not keep hearing on repeated listen. This song still sucks, period.)
    58. Sam Hunt: “House Party” -1 (No thank you! 😉 )
    59. Haley & Michaels: “Just Another Love Song” -1 (It’s NEVER a good sign when you not only write a song that alludes to a previous hit, in this case Lonestar’s “Amazed”, in the lyrics………….but even spend an entire bridge covering the full chorus of that song. I can only hope the writers of “Amazed” will get royalties for this song as well, right? 😉 )
    60. Steven Lee Olsen: “Raised By A Good Time” -1 (Sorry kid, you’re well behind the bro-country curve. Better luck next time! 😉 )


    My Total Score This Week: -16

    (Uggghhh………got a LOT of work to do! -__- )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott January 31, 2015 / 12:19 pm

      You’ll see my review on “Smoke” really soon. And according to the music video means something else entirely when they say “Smoke” in it.

      I didn’t Jon Pardi was getting that high with “When I’ve Been Drinkin’.” Love that song and would really like to see it get in the top 30. I hope it doesn’t stall out like “What I Can’t Put Down.’

      I’ll have my thoughts on the Urban/Church song soon too. Let’s just say I thought it was a disappointment and was shocked it was nominated for a Grammy.

      Mickey got all of those adds on radio a few weeks ago, but is stalled on the charts. It isn’t a good sign, but I’m hopeful she moves up. The Swon Brothers need to release “This Side of Heaven” as their next single. Easily their best song on the entire album and it features Carrie Underwood. It would seem like a no-brainer to release this as a single and they could make a really great music video for it. I hope their team sees this.

      I agree about Maddie & Tae choosing “Fly” over “Sierra.” The latter has more attitude and sass, while the former is a little bland. Their debut album will determine if they’re here to stay or if they’re just a flash in the pan. I want to see them stick around because they would solve a lot of problems with country radio. More female presence and give FGL competition with all of the duo awards. And of course they’ve kept it country up until this point.

      Yikes! That’s a low score. Let’s hope we get some more quality music soon.


  7. Zack January 31, 2015 / 4:51 pm

    Really good comments made Noah, I always used to enjoy reading your posts at Pulse Music Board!

    As far as the Jon Pardi song, I appreciate that Jon incorporates traditional instrumentation in most of his stuff, but his over excessive twang ruins this one for me. Its not that I mind twang at all, I love it, but Jon obviously is forcing a lot of it. Plus the concept of a guy who has to apologize for acting like an asshole drunk doesn’t really seem appealing to me. That’s why I gave it a -1.

    I also agree the Urban/Church duet is nothing special. And Josh, lets hope the Swon Brothers don’t think what I think they’re thinking and release “95” hoping that it will “explode” for them and get them a platinum #1… “This Side Of Heaven” is the only song I like of their so I’m hoping with the seemingly changing tides at radio that that song will see the light of day

    Liked by 1 person

    • NoahHibiscusEaton January 31, 2015 / 7:46 pm

      Zach: That’s actually a very fair point regarding “When I’ve Been Drinkin'”. I can honestly see where you came to that conclusion that the narrator sounds arrogant and off-putting.

      You’ve given me a bit to ponder here, and honestly I’m not yet sure I can explain why that song is clicking quite well for me. I do genuinely love the production at any rate and the fact it doesn’t have a self-serious air to it, I’m thinking, helps the rest of it. This may just be me, but I also can’t help but think the narrator is aware he’s kind of a buffoon (even if he does make excuses) in that he admits he knows what he has done is against the rules and is pretty sure he upset her “with all of that missin’ you stuff…”

      But I get why it rubbed off on you the wrong way, and appreciate you’ve challenged me to think harder on why I seem to be leaning the opposite direction here! =)


      The Swon Brothers just strike me as settling for mediocrity just like I fear Craig Wayne Boyd is doing.

      This makes me wonder if all winning contestants of “The Voice” are subjected to the same restrictive contracts like “American Idol” contestants are to 19 Entertainment. I’ve been following up on Phillip Phillips’ potentially game-changing petition to render his contract with 19 Entertainment void and, regardless of your opinion on whether Phillips should have known better before he signed or not………………this can be HUGE and result in music reality television contestants having more leverage in picking and choosing who and what they wish to affiliate with.

      It’s especially infuriating seeing Craig Wayne Boyd skyrocket to a victory on “The Voice” by playing legitimate traditional country songs, and yet he drops the most shamelessly generic and flavorless “My Baby’s Got A Smile On Her Face” as his lead single. That really pisses me off, but my anger isn’t directed at Boyd himself necessarily because I’m assuming he’s caught up in the same repressive cycle as almost all other music reality television show winners. And The Swon Brothers obviously are, too.


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