The Hodgepodge: Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” & Country Radio’s Hypocritical Line Drawing

Little Big Town Girl Crush

Country music radio in 2015 could be best described as regressing, in disarray and disillusioned. It looked like in the latter half of 2014 and very early 2015 that country radio may actually be improving and regaining substance. We even got a positive score for the first time ever for The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music in January. Ever since then things have regressed so much that I’ve lost a lot of hope I had for mainstream country music improving in 2015. Zac Brown Band, Jana Kramer’s “I Got The Boy,” and Carrie Underwood’s “Little Toy Guns” are the only bright spots amongst new material released in 2015. Everything else has been generic, mediocre R&B or down right terrible.

This leads me to Little Big Town’s latest single “Girl Crush.” While many critics praised Little Big Town’s 2014 Pain Killer, I considered it generic, 80s pop rock material. I had no idea what people heard with this album and why it got so much praise. Sure it looks great next to the likes of Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean. But in the whole scope of things it’s a fairly forgettable album to my ears. Anyway back to “Girl Crush.” This is the one song where I agree with many in that it’s actually a good song. I wouldn’t call it great, but it’s good and is a big improvement over many songs playing on country radio right now.

Karen Fairchild’s smokey voice and the airy instrumentation work well in this song. Of course the main allure of this song is its subject matter. On a casual first listen this appears to be about a woman falling in love with another woman, a rare country song about a homosexual relationship. You’ll realize though upon multiple listens that it is indeed not about a lesbian relationship. Instead it’s about a woman being jealous of another woman who is with the man she loves. It’s a jealous lust towards the other woman, not a lust for the woman herself. Anyone who takes the time to listen can figure this out easily.

When “Girl Crush” entered the top 30 of the Billboard Country Airplay chart on March 14, I was glad to see it. Then the following week it fell right out of the top 30 and has even dropped more since then. What gives? I speculated last week that it could be because country radio finds the song to be too risqué to play on country radio. This is ridiculous for the reasons I spelled out above of course. Then this post drops on For The Country Record. Vickeye Fisher, who runs FTCR, wisely reached out and had a current music director for a country music station in Texas “pull back the curtain” on country radio and what is happening with “Girl Crush.” The music director, identified as TexMex, wrote this in the piece:

When I first came in contact with the song, LBT’s record label sent me a hard copy to listen to. There it was in BIG letters on the front “GIRL CRUSH”… I am not going to lie, at first I thought, probably no chance this makes the air and chuckled to myself. I listened to the first couple lines and again thought to myself, “Wow!! How does LBT think this makes the air?” And then, when you are least expecting it… BAM!! They hit you with the hook. It is a jealousy song, lyrically crafted by an obvious wordsmith and something of a genius. I think LBT knew this would be the reaction of many. What they couldn’t have predicted, and neither did I, was that people would still complain about the song’s “obvious” lesbian meaning. What? Did you listen to the song all the way through? Do you not like songs about women being jealous of a mistress? This is the foundation of female country music subjects most of the time.

To my surprise, after explaining the song to more than a handful of people, every one of them responded with basically the same thing (paraphrased): “You are just promoting the gay agenda on your station and I am changing the channel and never listening to you ever again!!”

As a result, despite TexMex’s pleads to keep it in heavy rotation, the song was pretty much reduced to barely getting any plays. I’m sure this same thing happened at several other radio stations across America. Now we all know why “Girl Crush” has been dropping on the charts: hard hearing country fans and radio bosses who refuse to see that this song for what it is.

Now before I go on to make my greater point let me address a few things here with my argument. This is not about gay rights and where I or anyone else stands on the issue. Here at Country Perspective we do not engage in talks about political issues, as it’s unproductive and not related to the topic always at hand, which is music. Another thing I see many critics and fans pointing out is how “Girl Crush” was intended to be controversial and that this was all planned. Little Big Town has even retweeted on their Twitter account tweets about how the song is being pulled off radio for political reasons. They may very well have planned this whole thing, but none of us can know for sure. However I will point this out: Have you ever known Little Big Town to be controversial or to engage in this kind of territory? I certainly haven’t and that’s why I believe this wasn’t planned. I believe Little Big Town for once actually stumbled upon a song with clever lyrics. So basically I believe Little Big Town didn’t plan for this to happen, but now that is is they’re rolling with it because nobody turns down free publicity. (If you want to see a planned “outrage,” see Brad Paisley’s little leaking stunt on Twitter last year)

Now to my overall point, where I point out how hypocritical and stupid country radio is, along with some of its listeners. Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit that is Florida Georgia Line’s “Sun Daze.” This song enjoyed a nice run in the top ten of the Billboard Country Airplay chart and reached the very top. It’s still recurrent even at this moment. Yet this song contains the following lyric: “I sit you up on a kitchen sink/Stick the pink umbrella in your drink.” For those country fans out there who were too slow to understand “Girl Crush,” I’ll spell this lyric out for you. It’s a guy sticking his penis into a woman’s vagina and screwing her. Not to mention the entire song is about getting hammered and stoned. Where are your complaints country fans? Why didn’t you pull this song off radio for being too risqué, country programmers? All yeah you wouldn’t.

You could pick out almost any song off of Florida Georgia Line’s 2014 album Anything Goes and call it risqué. But country radio kisses their feet like they’re gods. Florida Georgia Line and host of others have been churning out these songs that encourage drinking and smoking for the past few years, yet no complaints. It would take me forever to point out all of these songs, so I’ll point out another song that was highly popular on the radio, but wasn’t considered too risqué to play: Tyler Farr’s 2013 smash hit “Redneck Crazy.” It peaked at #3 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and got overplayed as hell on my local country stations. Let’s take a look at some of the lyrics from this song. Here’s the chorus:

I’m gonna lean my headlights into your bedroom windows
Throw empty beer cans at both of your shadows
I didn’t come here to start a fight, but I’m up for anything tonight
You know you broke the wrong heart, baby,
And drove me redneck crazy

Or what about these lyrics?

Did you think I’d wish you both the best,
Endless love and happiness?
You know that’s just not the kind of man I am
Yeah, I’m the kind that shows up at your house at 3 A.M.

This is the modern-day version of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” or as I call it, “The Stalker Song.” That song I can at least laugh at it and mock it for its overall stupidity. But if I hear “Redneck Crazy” it sends me into a rage. It’s a song about a whiny douchebag who can’t get over being dumped and has to resort to breaking or threatening to break numerous laws to make himself feel better. He threatens violence, destroys property, trespasses and stalks a girl in the middle of the night. How is this song not considered too dangerous to play on country radio? For all of the fathers out there reading this, would you want your daughter mixed up with a boy like the one in this song?

The point is this: “Girl Crush” is nowhere near being a “risqué” song and it’s being labeled as such. Meanwhile country radio gleefully plays songs that encourage bad behavior, from excessive drinking to stalking to guys getting girls drunk enough so they can get in their pants. Country radio listeners and programmers are just fine with these type of songs. They’re drawing lines where they shouldn’t and not drawing lines where they should. It’s a damn joke. Rejecting “Girl Crush” shows they’re nothing but hypocrites with a double-standard. This really isn’t a surprise though and I’m sure this controversy will blow over soon. I think the main thing to take away from this is it’s yet another reminder of how country radio is a very crooked and political place. There’s so much more going on than meets the eye and it’s a problem that continues to grow out of control.

Upcoming/Recent Country Music Releases

  • Josh Turner is set to release his first new album in three years next Tuesday. Turner or his team have yet to announce a name for the album, which is kind of odd. This album may be pushed back. We’ll have to wait and see.
  • Darius Rucker is releasing a new album next Tuesday and it’s titled Southern Style. Based on the track listing confirmed by Windmills, it doesn’t sound good at all. One song is called “Half Full Dixie Cup.” Perhaps a candidate for Country Perspective’s 2015 Worst Album of the Year award?
  • In an interview with Radio.com (highly recommended read), Jason Isbell said that they’re shooting for an early July release date on his new album. It would be the first one since his critically-acclaimed 2013 album Southeastern.
  • Brett Eldredge is getting ready to release a new album this year. The first single from it is called “Lose My Mind” and will debut on iHeartRadio on April 21, impacting country radio shorty after. No word on an album release date yet, but Windmills has tracked down a number of possible tracks on it.
  • Jason Michael Carroll will be releasing a new album on May 5 titled What Color Is Your Sky. It was funded through Kickstarter and will be his first album in four years. He also just released the first single from it, “God Only Knows.”
  • Now I want to address two albums that were set to come out this week, but have been delayed. The first is Montgomery Gentry’s new album. The name of it is Folks Like Us, with the album’s title track being the lead single from it (currently at #59 on the top 60 of the Billboard Country Airplay chart). I originally saw it was pushed back to April 21, however a recent interview by the group with Billboard indicates otherwise. From the interview: “Troy and Eddie have finished their upcoming album (which will be their first in four years) and are hoping to have the record in the hands of fans this summer. “As of right now, we’re getting such good response with the single that we’re going to wait and let it breathe at radio for a little while before we release the record — which tentatively is going to be in June sometime.””
  • The other album that was set to come out right around now was Easton Corbin’s new album. The name of the album is said to be It’s About To Get Real. I dug around and the only clue I could find for a release date was on his Wikipedia page, where it says the album is set to be released on May 19. However there was no source cited. The only other information I could find about it is an interview he gave with The Roanoker. This is what he said about it in the interview: “It’s natural as artists to grow over the years,” he said. “What you experience changes, and the music follows.”

Throwback Thursday Song

Alan Jackson – “Three Minute Positive Not Too Country Up Tempo Love Song.” This song just feels appropriate to post because it still rings true today. Can we get Jackson back on the radio?

Non-Country Album of the Week

Kendrick Lamar’s new album To Pimp A Butterfly may be my favorite album of 2015 so far. It’s definitely the best hip-hop album, with Lupe Fiasco’s Testuo & Youth just behind it. This is an album that gets better every time you listen to it. The funky beats, the gripping lyrics and even all of the guests on the album work flawlessly. Snoop Dogg actually sounds good! I haven’t said that in a while. If you’re a fan of hip-hop you definitely need to hear this album.

Tweet of the Week

I’m guessing this is Sunny responding to Gary Overton stepping down as the head of Sony Nashville?

An iTunes Review That Will Make You Face Palm

Michael Ray Fan

This week’s ridiculous iTunes review was sent in by reader Ben, who found this review under Michael Ray’s new single “Kiss You In The Morning.” Rebekah used real country in CAPS, so that must mean it’s true! Thanks for the great submission, Ben!

That’s it for the Hodgepodge this week! Be sure to sound off in the comments! 

 

29 thoughts on “The Hodgepodge: Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” & Country Radio’s Hypocritical Line Drawing

  1. Derek Hudgin March 26, 2015 / 11:13 am

    I hate to venture down this territory, but you drawing comparisons to FGL and “Redneck Crazy” raised this thought: what are the chances that because it’s “Girl Crush” sang by a woman that is causing the blow back? Like you said: guys can sing about getting stoned, having sex, and stalking ex girlfriends, but girls can’t sing a wisely crafted lustful song about what draws the man to the other woman? I’m probably stretching here, but is it possible the hypocrisy comes from a sexist attitude? Regardless, it sucks and “Girl Crush” is being unfairly punished by the close-minded bigots who don’t care to actually listen to songs anymore. All in all, people, in general, suck.

    Like

    • Josh Schott March 26, 2015 / 11:43 am

      You may be on to something here. If I recall Kacey Musgraves’ “Follow Your Arrow” received praise and success everywhere except radio. It only peaked at #43, worse than “Girl Crush.” That song of course actually referenced same sex relationships and promoted them, which is why it received so much praise for being different than the usual conservative mindset of country music. If we had a male country song with a similar theme we could compare, but I don’t see that type of song from a prominent male artist soon. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if sexism played at least a small role in this.

      And yes people in general suck.

      Like

      • Derek Hudgin March 26, 2015 / 11:46 am

        No, I don’t see Luke Bryan having “Man Crush” on Kick the Dust Up.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Josh Schott March 26, 2015 / 11:49 am

          LMAO!

          Like

    • Scotty J March 26, 2015 / 4:46 pm

      Well Miranda Lambert pushes the limits with some of her angry badass chick songs I would say and she gets plenty of airplay. Threatening to burn down houses and waiting with a gun are at least as bad as what Tyler Farr sang about. And even if you say well those were bad guys in Lambert’s songs they weren’t portrayed as offering imminent threats. Also ‘Before He Cheats’ ventures down this road as well.

      But overtly sexual songs you’re probably right but I would say the major change is not that women aren’t allowed to get away with what FGL does it’s that FGL gets away with it period. Even some of Conway Twitty’s most horndog songs had at least a little subtlety to them.

      I guess what I’m saying is do we want some female FGLs or do we instead want the type of songs that FGL live off of gone?

      Like

      • Josh Schott March 26, 2015 / 5:34 pm

        I definitely want the type of songs FGL live off of gone. The biggest example we’ve gotten of female FGL music is Underwood and Lambert’s “Somethin’ Bad.” I certainly don’t want another terrible song like that one. So dumb and so below both artist’s abilities.

        Like

  2. Raymond March 26, 2015 / 11:26 am

    I had a feeling this would be the hodgepodge and I understand why. Little Big Town to me has always been one of my favorite groups between their luscious harmonies pure golden pop-country production and stellar singing they’ve always been solid even I’m willing to admit Pontoon as a guilty pleasure they’ve also released my favorite song of 2013 Tornado.Back to the subject yeah it’s bull and I think radio knows it I think it’s not radios fault I heard this one woman apparently threaten to boycott unless radio got rid of Girl Crush I have one finger and 2 words to give to that b***h. I love the song cause to be honest the production while pop isn’t a bad thing it fits the song better than if there was a country elements the harmonies in this song are plentiful and really this is a candidate for my 2015 top country single I’m only counting songs that peak in that year so like Trouble I Got The Boy She Don’t Love You Wild Child and like Little Toy Guns Lay Low What We Ain’t Got Trailer Hitch Something In The Water are already in the running.While worst song of the year candidates include Little Red Wagon Baby Be My Love Song Sun Daze For A Boy Tonight Looks Good On You Freestyle God Made Girls Austin Webbs song All Country On You.
    Hey Josh anymore suggestions for my mainstream singles so far for best or worse. Those are the only one off the top of my head.
    I’m excited for Josh Turners album I’m so excited for Reba when she releases it cause Going Out Like That has really been catching on with me lately. Montgomery and Easton well I can hope but my expectations aren’t high. Now to Darius well he ruined Wagon Wheel so yeah I can’t wait for your first official thrashing this guys earned it his music and everything has just soured and I don’t care for him.
    I’ve loved Alan Jackson ok Josh can you say your Top 5 Alan Jackson single from 2001 to present day.
    Sunny Sweeney has also to me been awesome I always loved her songs like From A Table Away Drink Myself Single and her new song My Bed.
    I’d like Rebekah and her music reviewing to “pack up her s**t and get gone” seriously people will buy into the simplest dumbest music and it possess me off.

    Nice Hodgepodge please respond.

    Like

    • Josh Schott March 26, 2015 / 11:49 am

      Yeah I’m not a big fan of Little Big Town, but I’ve never hated them and I’ve had no big problem with them in country music. They’re just there for me most of the time and occasionally like one of their songs. That’s the thing here: I’m not even a big supporter of the group and I’m still defending them because this treatment they’re getting for this song is wrong.

      In June we will cover the best and worst of the year so far. I like to wait until the halfway point to sort that out. I’ll say this though: the worst list is definitely longer than the best list. Michael Ray and RaeLynn are currently battling for the worst spot.

      Picking my favorite AJ songs since 2001 would be quite tough for me and I would need time to think about that. Remember that for the next Hodgepodge Q&A and I’ll answer it then. He may have a new album out soon and that could effect my top five.

      Like

      • Raymond March 26, 2015 / 11:59 am

        Ok besides Boondocks and Little White Church is there any other Little Big Town song you like.
        I’ll remember to ask that. Well Michael Ray and Raelynn are both talentless and don’t even come off that nice in their performance. At least Kelsea Ballerini brings to me a summery nice atmosphere. I don’t think Darius album will be the worse keep in mind of the R word Raelynn. Also Thomas Rhett. Have you yet to listen to Katie Armiger yet.

        Like

  3. ron12274 March 26, 2015 / 2:53 pm

    I read this story earlier and it sounds like radio stations are reacting to angry ignorant listeners calling in to complain about that song which isn’t about what they think it is. But I can’t imagine the calls have been that numerous to result in so many stations not playing it.

    Also with regards to the state of country radio, being a frequent listener to Nash fm in NY I have noticed the increase in non country airplay, with 1 -2 songs an hours coming from the AC/HOT AC variety.

    CUMULUS Country WNSH/NEW YORK PD BRIAN THOMAS and his KSCS/DALLAS counterpart JR SCHUMANN are both mum so far, but everyone else is talking about some stark musical adjustments on their respective stations this week. In both cases, these appear to be a tactical move to add mass appeal texture on both Country outlets, with the inclusion of highly familiar, non-Country titles from #1 ranked pop stations in their markets.
    For KSCS, it’s the addition of a handful of Top 40 titles already found on iHEARTMEDIA’s crosstown KHKS. A look at MEDIABASE shows KSCS featuring titles such as MAGIC’s “Rude,” CAPITAL CITIES’ “Safe And Sound,” AVICCI “Wake Me Up,” ED SHEERAN’s “Don’t” and “Thinking Out Loud,” along with a number of titles from TAYLOR SWIFT’s self-declared pure pop, “TS 1989” album. Right now, KSCS is committing one slot per hour to these songs. A look back at the station’s list from 30 days ago shows these slots formerly occupied by a Country Gold title.
    In NEW YORK, WNSH seems to be borrowing music from iHEARTMEDIA AC WLTW, as a look through the NASH playlist YESTERDAY (3/25) turned up titles such as KELLY CLARKSON’s “Mr. Know It All,” GREEN DAY “Time Of Your Life,” JOHN MAYER “Daughters,” SISTER HAZEL “All For You,” BLUES TRAVELER “Run Around,” EAGLE EYE CHERRY “Save Tonight” appearing once per hour between 10a-5p (ET).
    – See more at: http://www.allaccess.com/net-news/archive/story/139775/wnsh-and-kscs-make-bold-music-adjustments#sthash.5iuzga52.dpuf

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott March 26, 2015 / 4:52 pm

      Yes I’ve read about NASH FM in New York on Saving Country Music and it’s a scary development to say the least. This is an example of a radio station throwing their hands up and giving up on country all together. A simple acoustic guitar qualifies a song to be country in their minds and this is just ridiculous. Green Day being associated with country music makes me wanna laugh. These radio stations have lost the precious 18-35 demographic due to the fading out of bro country and now they have no answer to bring them back, so they take from pop music in a desperate attempt to make up for it. It’s sad, pathetic and potentially worrisome.

      Like

      • ron12274 March 26, 2015 / 7:50 pm

        The station was doing well last summer, hovering around a 2 share but has dropped down to the low 1’s. Don’t see how throwing in John mayer between Carrie underwood and Luke Bryan is going to help much.

        Like

  4. Fat Freddy's Cat March 26, 2015 / 3:27 pm

    “Yet this song contains the following lyric: “I sit you up on a kitchen sink/Stick the pink umbrella in your drink.””

    Wow, so romantic! So clever!

    I’m just getting start in songwriting (even though I’m in my 50s–better late than never!) and dreck like this makes me think that my lyrics aren’t quite as bad as I thought. I can confidently say that I’m not the worst songwriter ever!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott March 26, 2015 / 4:53 pm

      Haha you’re not the first songwriter I’ve seen make this remark. And good luck with your songwriting!

      Like

  5. Pete Marshall March 26, 2015 / 6:40 pm

    Florida Georgia Line makes me sick. I can’t stand Miranda Lambert “Little Red Wagon”.
    Should I by Darius Rucker’s new cd?

    Like

    • Raymond March 26, 2015 / 6:54 pm

      Probably not Darius song list doesn’t look all that promising with Mainstream just wait till Josh Turners Reba or Zac Brown Band. Florida Georgia Line makes everyone sick. Miranda Lamberts Little Red Wagon will probably leave the charts soon so you don’t have to worry about hearing it.
      Only responding in case Josh isn’t around. Thought you should know sooner than later.

      Like

      • ron12274 March 26, 2015 / 7:48 pm

        BTW homegrown honey is surging ahead of Chris young and zac brown. #2 on mediabase now. This seems to happen right before a song is hitting its peak. Hopefully it misses #1 and starts plummeting soon

        Like

      • Lorenzo April 1, 2015 / 10:11 am

        how can you judge an album by its track list??? I don’t consider myself a Darius Rucker fan but I’ve heard the album and I think it’s great country music (yeah, I said country music beacuse it actually features true country music). I’m going to buy it, I’ve been missing the sound of a fiddle!

        Like

  6. Zack March 26, 2015 / 8:19 pm

    This whole “Girl Crush” fiasco really makes me angry. Its really put a bad taste in my mouth for mainstream country music. Think I might call my local radio station and complain about Sam Hunt and FGL like Windmills said, can’t hurt right?

    Thanks for introducing me to a new Alan Jackson song. He seriously kicks ass!

    And Michael Ray real country? Has Sam Hunt really made mainstream fans think that guys like Ray are real country? Ha!

    All of the best songs on the chart are either done or close to it. Owen’s, Paslay’s, LBT’s, Josh’s,….etc 😦

    Btw Josh, Darius’ s new CD is called “Southern Style” not Gravity. “Southern Gravity” is the name of Kristian Bush’s new album set to release in like 2 weeks. Anyway April looks like a great month for new releases. Will Hoge, Zac Brown Band, Kristian Bush, Dwight Yoakam….should be good! March is just such a bad month… save for a few albums. Really sad that Josh Turner’s new album keeps getting pushed back. I was really hoping “Lay Low” would be a sleeper hit like “Time Is Love” was but now I don’t know.

    Thanks for commenting on Girl Crush, Josh. Great hodgepodge!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott March 26, 2015 / 9:46 pm

      Why not? I’m curious to hear what they would say if you would complain about Hunt and FGL.

      No problem. That’s one of my favorite Jackson hidden gems.

      Ah thanks for pointing that out. I’ll get that fixed. Yes, luckily April looks like a really great month for releases and I’m eager to hear all of those mentioned. March was definitely the low point so far, although a few great albums from the independent realm saved it from being a complete bust. I’m disappointed it’s gotten moved back too. I’d like to know what’s pushing back all of these releases.

      Thanks for reading Zack!

      Like

  7. bob March 26, 2015 / 9:24 pm

    I’m not a fan of LBT but I have no problem with the Girl Crush song. I would rather listen to GC than songs like Get Drunk and Be Somebody, Gotta Get My Drink On, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Scotty J March 27, 2015 / 12:46 am

    Phyllis Stark had a column today in the Thursday Billboard Country Update that quoted several program directors who have had few to no complaints about this song. I’m sure there have been some calls obviously but I think that maybe it’s a little exaggerated based on one anonymous programmer. The programmers also talk about how this song was researching pretty well and listeners seem to want it played more. Then play it! But this song might be struggling just because it’s by a B level act with a female lead (which sadly seems to matter) that has a very spotty track record on the radio.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. NoahHibiscusEaton March 27, 2015 / 2:49 am

    While it’s quite evident Little Big Town are dismayed with the low airplay returns for “Girl Crush”, and Karen Fairchild even went so far as to admit on the Bobby Bones Show that she is disappointed in radio for not supporting it (which I’ll admit was not wise for her to single out radio, since it is mostly the fault of a vocal minority of listeners she should be pointing her finger at, and may further damage their relationship with radio for subsequent releases)……………..they should overall be celebrating.

    Because “Girl Crush” has already surpassed their wildest hopes as a secondary single.

    *

    Remember no more than five months ago when we were talking about how washed-up Little Big Town looked after 1) underwhelming single sales despite reaching #1 on the Mediabase Airplay Chart for “Day Drinking”, 2) opening week sales for “Pain Killer” being less than half of the opening week sales of “Tornado”, and 3) a much-mocked “Little Big Tron” performance with Ariana Grande at a high-profile awards show? That they just seemed to collapse in momentum from era to era on both critical and commercial fronts?

    Well, now they are really picking up a second wind. Sure, roughly 250,000 in total sales to date seems meager when you compare single sales now to where they were as recently as a year ago. But let’s face it: Gold is the new Platinum in the Age of Streaming.

    Look at the vast majority of recent Country Airplay #1s on both the Mediabase and Billboard charts. Most are REALLY fighting just to cross the Gold threshold. The current incumbent, Brett Eldredge’s “Mean To Me”, has just north of 400,000 sales to date. Jason Aldean’s “Just Gettin’ Started”? 362,000. Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe’s “Lonely Tonight”? 468,000. Luke Bryan’s “I See You”? Also 468,000, oddly enough. As for the likely champion for this forthcoming chart week: Darius Rucker’s “Homegrown Honey”? 285,000!!! That’s right: after 33 frickin’ weeks on the Country Airplay chart, it has only managed to sell an average of about 8,500 singles a week. And yet, it’ll somehow likely find its way to #1.

    All of the aforementioned singles benefited enormously from intensive airplay, yet despite most of them picking up Gold certifications, all of the above have yet to actually cross 500,000 in total sales. And all of the above most certainly also didn’t achieve a lofty peak on the ALL-GENRE iTunes chart like “Girl Crush” currently is, at #14 (two rungs above Sam Hunt’s “Take Your Time”) (!!!)

    And where the aforementioned songs have failed to inspire any meaningful water-cooler conversation, “Girl Crush” is achieving this in spades: which will all but certainly ensure some lasting cultural relevancy and longevity. Even though we know what this song is truly about, I can easily see it co-opted as an GLBTQI anthem all the same and find a whole other audience outside of its intended format, and thus show some legs on the singles chart.

    *

    “Girl Crush” will go Gold in no time. And while I’m not quite sure it has enough gas in the tank to go all the way to Platinum, it sure as hell will come closer than the vast majority of Country Airplay #1 hits since last autumn; with the only possible exceptions being Carrie Underwood’s “Something In The Water”, Zac Brown Band’s “Homegrown” and Sam Hunt’s “Take Your Time”.

    All with minuscule airplay.

    Little Big Town have hit an enviable home run here, and they shouldn’t let the airplay issues get them down. And while it remains to be seen how much this single and Fairchild’s remarks on the Bobby Bones show have damaged the group’s overall relationship with radio programmers, they can easily get back on the good graces of radio with releasing either the island-tinged summery title track or “Quit Breaking Up With Me” as the third single. I can see either of those choices scrape the Top Ten (though they’re likely in for a longer chart run) at least, and don’t see why not either can go Top Three as they are quite radio-friendly.

    Either way, Little Big Town should be enjoying the last laugh in the thick of this nonsense.

    Like

  10. NoahHibiscusEaton March 27, 2015 / 3:41 am

    As for the other headlines…

    *

    Firstly, I highly doubt we’re looking at a Josh Turner album release next week, unfortunately! =(

    I think this will prove to be another embarrassing instance of lack of oversight on part of journalists and label executives much like the hoopla surrounding a presumed release of Toby Keith’s “35 MPH Town” album several weeks ago. Many just ASSUMED the album would drop because they used an outdated Wikipedia entry as a SOURCE. Then, at basically the VERY last minute, Keith’s label denied it and confirmed its release has been delayed.

    I expect the same will happen with Josh Turner. “Lay Low” just hasn’t found its stride as a single, sadly. It isn’t clicking with digital music purchasers either. It’s inevitably going to start tanking in the next month or so because it has already spent 28 weeks on the airplay chart and has only made it to #27. And while I know one can immediately point to “Time Is Love” as a counterpoint in that it spent over 40 weeks on the chart and wound up a Most Played Single of 2012 champion……….the fact of the matter is the radio climate was so strikingly different then. With the playlists becoming increasingly homogenized, ageist and anti-traditional, Turner is confronted with starkly, jagged greater odds. And they sure as hell ain’t in his favor this time around.

    So I expect either 1) the album will be shelved and MCA Nashville will attempt to coax Josh Turner into at least partially selling out with a new bullshit bro-country single like Gary Allan has done and hope to peak high enough to warrant the release of the album, or 2) Turner will (hopefully) push back, fight to leave his label, sign independently and release the album immediately by purchasing the copyrights out of pocket, or 3) much like we’ve observed with Love & Theft lately, MCA Nashville won’t let Josh Turner release the material he recorded with them, and be forced to record a whole new album elsewhere that will all but certainly mean we won’t be seeing a new Josh Turner album until the late third quarter to fourth quarter of 2015 at the earliest. =(

    *

    As far as Darius Rucker is concerned……………..yeah, I’m hoping for the best……………but expecting a mediocre at best, embarrassing at worst result! =/

    I mean, Darius Rucker has said in a new interview that “Southern Style” is his “countriest” album yet (whatever the hell that means). But he has lied to us before, before releasing his debut “Learn To Live”, that it would sound like the way country albums used to be cut…………..and while it wasn’t a bad album and had some decent cuts like “I Hope They Get To Me In Time”, “All I Want” and “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It”, Rucker clearly outed himself as a liar at the time in that it largely pandered to modern formula.

    “Good For A Good Time”, “Lighter Up” and “Southern Style” make me quite nervous already. And I can envision how “Half Full Dixie Cup” will wind up reading on paper already! =P

    *

    “Yeah, I’ve been underpaid,
    got a crink in my neck,
    can hardly carry my own weight,
    haven’t gotten enough sex,
    the bills are piling up,
    and I’m not getting any younger,
    there are even days I feel,
    I’m losing grip and going under…

    …yeah, but right now, it’s all alright,
    cuz we’re going wild and crazy tonight.

    Cuz I’ve got a half full Dixie cup,
    I’ve got a damn good whiskey buzz,
    got some hotties in their daisy dukes,
    make me wanna groove under this full moon,
    crankin’ up Strait and 2 Chainz on Spotify,
    my bros have never looked so fly,
    yeah, it can’t get any hotter,
    now we’re all takin’ it off in the water…

    …yeah, I’m a redneck optimist,
    sure don’t get any better than this,
    cuz I’ve got a half full Dixie cup,
    and a damn good whiskey buzz…”

    *

    (shudders) -__-

    *

    Finally, Kendrick Lamar rules! =D

    Liked by 2 people

    • Josh Schott March 27, 2015 / 11:43 am

      I think you’re dead on about Turner sadly. He is absolutely screwed in this current mainstream country environment and I think going independent would be his best move. He’s reached the same point Jamey Johnson did a few years ago where Johnson was no longer getting the attention of radio.

      That sounds like a hit! You should become a songwriter. Hahaha! Sadly people on Music Row would seriously agree. We haven’t even hit the bottom of the barrel yet with bad songwriting….

      Yeah! Lamar is the man!

      Like

      • NoahHibiscusEaton March 27, 2015 / 12:18 pm

        ……………………perhaps I should have kept my trap shut, as Music Row may very well interpret my sarcastic ad-lib of lyrics seriously and actually cut that as a verse and chorus! (bangs head on wall) -__- -__- -__-

        Liked by 1 person

      • NoahHibiscusEaton March 27, 2015 / 12:40 pm

        I’m in a silly mood though. Here’s how I envision “Lighter Up”: =P =P =P

        *

        “I’ve been breaking my back,
        workin’ for the bossman,
        my hands are all calloused,
        I sure can use a massage, man,
        thank God it’s Friday now,
        and five o’clock has come around,
        now if you’ll excuse me,
        it’s time to paint the town…

        …time to raise my lighter up,
        get a little buzz in my Dixie cup,
        crank some Chris Brown on Pandora,
        find me a country girl to gimme some love,
        lettin’ our hair down and Bacardi flow,
        out on this two-lane back road,
        shake some sugar for me tonight,
        yeah, girl, let those headlights shine,

        yeah, we’re not high,
        but we’re drunk on life,
        so come on and raise your cups,
        and I’ll raise my lighter up…”

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Thomas April 4, 2015 / 12:26 am

    I’ve been saying this for a year at this point, but I still really don’t get the hatred for Redneck Crazy, compared to songs like “Before He Cheats” and “Two Black Cadillacs,” which both advocate far worse crimes, and compared to a good, well-written song (in contrast with BHC and TBC) like Steve Earle’s “More Than I Can Do,” which should be the operative comparison for any stalker song released by a country artist.

    The speaker of Redneck Crazy is not sympathetic. He’s not meant to be sympathetic. He’s a prick stalking his ex, and Farr makes just how pathetic he is clear through the lyrics.

    If anything, the biggest weakness of the song is that someone afraid of the backlash castrated it and allowed there to be any sort of ambiguity in how the listener is supposed to interpret the pathetic piece of garbage that Farr describes.

    The speaker of a song is not necessarily intended to be sympathetic.

    Together, now: The speaker of a song is not necessarily intended to be sympathetic.

    Like

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