The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [April 4]

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. How do I determine if a song is rated a +1, -1 or 0? The rating it received on the site by either Derek or myself will determine this. If it hasn’t been rated yet, then I will make the call. Songs rated between 7 and 10 receive a +1. Songs rated between 5 and 6.5 receive a 0. Songs rated 4.5 or lower receive a -1.

The goal of this exercise is to evaluate the current state of mainstream country music and determine if it’s improving or getting worse. Let’s take a look at this week’s top thirty…   

  1. Cole Swindell – “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey” -1 (Up 2)
  2. Chris Young – “Lonely Eyes” (Up 2)
  3. Zac Brown Band – “Homegrown” +1 (Up 2)
  4. Darius Rucker – “Homegrown Honey” -1 (Up 2)
  5. Sam Hunt – “Take Your Time” -1 (Up 2)
  6. Lee Brice – “Drinking Class” +1 (Up 2)
  7. Brett Eldredge – “Mean To Me” (Down 6)
  8. Jason Aldean – “Just Gettin’ Started”  -1 (Down 6)
  9. Dierks Bentley – “Say You Do” +1 (Up 1)
  10. Keith Urban & Eric Church – “Raise ‘Em Up” (Up 1)
  11. Tyler Farr – “A Guy Walks Into A Bar” +1 (Up 1)
  12. A Thousand Horses – “Smoke” (Up 1)
  13. Billy Currington – “Don’t It” -1 (Up 2)
  14. Jake Owen – “What We Ain’t Got” +1 
  15. Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter – “Wild Child” +1 (Up 1)
  16. Tim McGraw & Catherine Dunn – “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” +1 (Up 1)
  17. Easton Corbin – “Baby Be My Love Song” -1 (Up 2)
  18. Miranda Lambert – “Little Red Wagon” -1 
  19. Florida Georgia Line – “Sippin’ On Fire”  -1 (Up 4)
  20. Eric Paslay – “She Don’t Love You” +1 
  21. Carrie Underwood – “Little Toy Guns” +1 (Up 1)
  22. Brad Paisley – “Crushin’ It” -1 (Down 1)
  23. Kelsea Ballerini – “Love Me Like You Mean It” -1 (Up 2)
  24. Canaan Smith – “Love You Like That” -1 (Up 2)
  25. Joe Nichols – “Hard To Be Cool” -1 (Down 1)
  26. Michael Ray – “Kiss You In The Morning” -1 (Up 1)
  27. Josh Turner – “Lay Low” +1 (Up 1)
  28. Frankie Ballard – “Young & Crazy” (Up 2)
  29. Gloriana – “Trouble”
  30. Brantley Gilbert – “One Hell of an Amen” 0 (New to Top 30)

Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe’s “Lonely Tonight” fell from #9 to out of the top 30 (recurrent).

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -3

The pulse falls down to -3 from -2 last week. There was only one song that dropped out of the top 30 this week, which was Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe’s “Lonely Tonight.” It went recurrent after enjoying a lengthy run at the top of the chart. The song that replaces it is Brantley Gilbert’s “One Hell of an Amen,” one of the better songs off of Gilbert’s 2014 album Just As I Am. It’s certainly an improvement over his previous big hit singles “Bottoms Up” and “Small Town Throwdown.” This one took a little longer to reach the top 30, as it finally reaches it after spending 19 weeks on the chart.

Another new #1 this week, as Cole Swindell’s “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey” takes the top spot (also most increased audience). This was expected and I expect it to get it a one week run like it’s predecessor too. Chris Young’s “Lonely Eyes” will most likely be next week’s new #1. After that it should be a battle between Zac Brown Band’s “Homegrown” and Sam Hunt’s “Take Your Time.” The biggest gainers this week are Florida Georgie Line’s “Sippin’ On Fire,” which moved up four spots to #19, and the top six songs on the chart, which each moved up two spots. The biggest losers this week are Brett Eldredge’s “Mean to Me” and Jason Aldean’s “Just Gettin’ Started,” which each fell six spots on the chart. Both should go recurrent and fall off the chart next week.

Jake Owen’s “What We Ain’t Got” and Eric Paslay’s “She Don’t Love You” both stagnated again this week. It’s inevitable that they will fall off the chart soon. Another song that is stalling on the charts is Miranda Lambert’s “Little Red Wagon” and I wouldn’t be surprised if the plug gets pulled on this song soon. It’s been on the chart for 13 weeks now and has yet to get out of the lower teens. Easton Corbin’s “Baby Be My Love Song” passed it for crying out loud. Lambert and her team better be ready to release a new single.

One of the four songs I predicted would make the top 30 soon last week made it this week. As for this week, the songs outside the top 30 I expect to see in the top 30 soon are Rascal Flatts’ “Riot” (still frozen at #31), Eric Church’s “Like A Wrecking Ball” (most added song of the week), Dustin Lynch’s “Hell of a Night” and Luke Bryan’s “Games.” I’m not sure why Rascal Flatts is stuck at #31. Maybe the song is cursed? Beats me. Eric Church’s “Like A Wrecking Ball” will easily be in the top 30 next week. Lynch should make it because radio seems to really like him. Luke Bryan’s “Games” made the Billboard Hot 100 last week and is gaining more radio support each week at a steady rate. It’s same shit, different week at country radio.

As always be sure to weigh in on this week’s chart in the comments below.

11 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [April 4]

  1. Scotty J March 25, 2015 / 2:34 pm

    Swindell might sneak a second week on top as he has pretty big lead and as you mentioned he was a big gainer this week but with the trend we have been seeing I’m not sure. Eldredge had a massive drop in audience this week after being on top. We are starting to see charts like they had in the 80s when in many years 50 or 51 songs would hit number one in a year. The difference then was that charts were tabulated by radio stations submitting there playlists and it was basically an honor system (often with little honor) as to what was actually getting played. Now it’s all computer assembled obviously and that makes the churn even more interesting. It’s becoming like an assembly line with next up, next up and so on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NoahHibiscusEaton March 25, 2015 / 5:04 pm

      No way. It’s going to be a showdown between Darius Rucker and the Zac Brown Band for the next #1.

      Capitol Nashville has been making an INSANE final push so far this week that is reminiscent of Eric Paslay’s “Friday Night” and Rascal Flatts’ “Easy” in their astronomical late-chart pushes. By all measures, Zac Brown Band’s “Homegrown” entered the week at a strategic advantage with about a 1.7 million audience lead over “Homegrown Honey”. But while the Zac Brown Band has also piled on big gains in spins and audience so far this week, “Homegrown Honey” has had greater gains and may be on pace to force the Zac Brown Band to wait another week.

      What will either happen is 1) Capitol Nashville tirelessly pushes for both the Mediabase and Billboard #1, or 2) Capitol Nashville push tirelessly through Sunday and pick up the Mediabase #1, but register a net decline on Monday and the Zac Brown Band pick up the Billboard #1 by default.

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  2. Raymond March 25, 2015 / 2:41 pm

    Chart Time chart projections.
    1. Cole Swindell Ain’t Worth The Whiskey -1. What’s more to say than this song is ultimately bland.
    2. Chris Young Lonely Eyes +1. I think this will peak here actually Zac Brown is coming in way too fast Sam is also going too fast.
    3. Zac Brown Band Homegrown +1. Ah well this will probably be a multi-week number 1.
    4. Darius Rucker Homegrown Honey -1. This is also gonna get a big final push it’s between this and Homegrown
    5. Sam Hunt Take Your Time -1. F**k this song sorry but seriously F**k this song.
    6. Lee Brice Drinking Class 0. This one will get lost in the pack ultimately
    7. Brett Eldredge Mean To Me +1. Unremarkable but not bad at all but who’s gonna remember.
    8. Jason Aldean Just Getting Started -1. Perverted sex will leave this isn’t memorable.
    9. Dierks Bentley Say You Do +1. This one will be number 1 once the whole crap up there.
    10. Keith Urban Raise Em Up +1. Hopefully this gets a number 1.
    11. Tyler Farr A Guy Walks Into A Bar +1. Still a minor Top 5 for this
    12. A Thousand Horses Smoke 0. This songs slowly growing on me by the time it’s peaked I might give it a +1.
    13. Billy Currington Don’t It 0. Still meh but it’s growing on me.
    14. Jake Owen What We Ain’t Got +1. Hey Josh are you satisfied with how this song has does.
    15. Grace Potter Wild Child +1. Well it’s still simply beautiful.
    16. Tim McGraw Diamond Rings & Old Barstools +1. Beautiful thru and thru
    17. Easton Corbin Baby Be My Loves Song -1. I’m curious how the music video will turn out.
    18. Miranda Lambert Little Red Wagon -1. I still don’t know what this song means.
    19. Florida Georgia Line Sipping On fire -1. F**k this song and this time I’m not sorry.
    20. Eric Paslay She Don’t Love You +1. I’m still thinking it’s gonna do well let’s hope for the best.
    21. Carrie Underwood Little Toy Guns +1. You know the fake award they give it to Taylor Swift over her WTH
    22. Brad Paisley Crushin It -1. Still pointless as stupid.
    23. Kelsea Ballerini Love Me Like You Mean It 0. Total Guilty pleasure their is nothing I can say to defend it except it makes me happy so there.
    24. Canaan Smith Love You Like That -0.5. An odd rating but I really don’t hate the song but it’s just there.
    25. Joe Nichols Hard To Be Cool 0.. Also this starting to catch on as well it’s catchy stupid.
    26. Michael Ray Kiss You In The Morning -1. Stupid song.
    27. Josh Turner Lay Low +1. Still a nice song.
    28. Frankie Ballard Young & Crazy 0. Read my review here.
    29. Gloriana Trouble +1. I’m gonna fight tooth and nail for this song to get Top 10 you can count on that.
    30. Brantley Gilbert One Hell Of An Amen I actually think his voice in this is surprisingly solid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott March 25, 2015 / 2:49 pm

      Am I happy with how well Jake Owen’s “What We Ain’t Got” has done? Yes and no. Its great to see this phenomenal song got a shot at radio and has done fairly well. However it deserves to reach #1 in my mind and it won’t even get close, which is a shame. I want an entire Owen album with songs like this and I’m afraid this just decent chart performance might discourage it from happening.

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      • Raymond March 25, 2015 / 4:28 pm

        Oh don’t worry Jake has said he plans on leading more towards this way in his music.

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  3. NoahHibiscusEaton March 25, 2015 / 5:09 pm

    Yeah, I agree “One Hell Of An Amen” is a 0 single.

    Lyrically, it’s on point and poignant, and while the production is essentially boilerplate 80s power ballad rock, it’s definitely effective and serviceable.

    Gilbert’s vocals are actually what keep this from reaching +1, primarily. Call me biased if you wish, but his vocals just tend to get in the way on virtually every song he cuts and keeps the song from achieving its full emotional payoff. In the hands of a much better vocalist, this would be a +1.

    Still, I commend Gilbert for trying harder with his latest single and cutting better material.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Zack March 25, 2015 / 5:49 pm

    With some stuff that’s been going on with me lately, I just can’t even listen to any of these songs anymore, save for Owen’s, Tim’s, Lee Ann’s, yeah that’s about it…

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  5. Pete Marshall March 25, 2015 / 10:39 pm

    Yes I am already in a pissed off mood but anyway this chart in the top 5 not good except Chris young and Zac Brown Band’s new songs. Cole Swindell not to surprised that song is at #1, Darius lame song at #4, and yawn Sam Hunt at #5.

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  6. Derek Hudgin March 26, 2015 / 8:58 am

    So this is 3 straight number 1s for Cole Swindell….? How in the name Johnny Cash does that happen?!

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    • Raymond March 26, 2015 / 9:48 am

      Technically 2 Chilling It stalled out right behind Jason Aldean’s When She Says Baby or Luke Bryan’s Drink A Beer. Hey Derek what would your pulse look like.

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