The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [May 16]

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 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. Dierks Bentley – “Say You Do” +1 
  2. Keith Urban & Eric Church – “Raise ‘Em Up” (Up 1)
  3. Tyler Farr – “A Guy Walks Into A Bar” +1 (Up 1)
  4. Billy Currington – “Don’t It” -1 (Up 2)
  5. A Thousand Horses – “Smoke” (Up 2)
  6. Florida Georgia Line – “Sippin’ On Fire”  -1 (Up 2)
  7. Sam Hunt – “Take Your Time”  -1 (Down 2)
  8. Lee Brice – “Drinking Class” +1 (Down 6)
  9. Zac Brown Band – “Homegrown” +1 
  10. Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter – “Wild Child” +1 
  11. Easton Corbin – “Baby Be My Love Song” -1 (Up 1)
  12. Tim McGraw & Catherine Dunn – “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” +1 (Down 1)
  13. Carrie Underwood – “Little Toy Guns” +1 
  14. Kelsea Ballerini – “Love Me Like You Mean It” -1 
  15. Blake Shelton – “Sangria” -1 (Up 3)
  16. Canaan Smith – “Love You Like That” -1 (Up 1)
  17. Brad Paisley – “Crushin’ It” -1 (Down 2)
  18. Eric Paslay – “She Don’t Love You” +1 (Down 2)
  19. Little Big Town – “Girl Crush” +1 
  20. Frankie Ballard – “Young & Crazy” 
  21. Jason Aldean – “Tonight Looks Good On You” -1 (Up 1)
  22. Brantley Gilbert – “One Hell of an Amen” 0 (Down 1)
  23. Michael Ray – “Kiss You In The Morning” -1 
  24. Luke Bryan – “Games” -1 (Up 1)
  25. Gloriana – “Trouble” (Up 1)
  26. Rascal Flatts – “Riot” (Up 3)
  27. Eric Church – “Like A Wrecking Ball” -1 
  28. Dustin Lynch – “Hell of a Night” -1 
  29. Maddie & Tae – “Fly” +1 (Re-enters Top 30 this week)
  30. Thomas Rhett – “Crash and Burn” -1 (New to Top 30)

Miranda Lambert’s “Little Red Wagon” went recurrent and fell from #24 to out of the top 30.

Zac Brown Band’s “Loving You Easy” fell from #30 to out of the top 30 (#34).

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -4

The pulse improves from -5 last week to -4 this week. Only two songs fell out of the top 30 this week. The first song that fell out of the top 30 was Miranda Lambert’s “Little Red Wagon.” It’s been steadily losing airplay and really never took off at radio, as it didn’t even crack the top ten. I’ve been speculating for weeks it would fall out and finally it did. Lambert will probably release a new single very soon. The other song that fell out and kind of surprised me was Zac Brown Band’s “Loving You Easy.” It hot shotted into the top 30 last week and thought it would get a healthy boost again this week. Instead it lost airplay. If it doesn’t rebound next week it’ll be something to watch. The songs that replace it are Maddie & Tae’s “Fly” and Thomas Rhett’s “Crash and Burn.” “Fly” had just fell out of the top 30 last week and really I have no idea what to make of it. Your guess is as good as mine. We all knew “Crash and Burn” would make it here eventually. I just didn’t think it would take this long. Based on Rhett’s single history at radio, they usually rise pretty slow. So I’m sure this song will do the same and steadily climb to #1 sadly.

Dierks Bentley’s “Say You Do” is #1 for a second-straight week. Lee Brice’s “Drinking Class” gave it a good fight at the beginning of the week, but significantly fell out by the end of the week. It really stood no chance and Bentley easily maintained the top spot. The Keith Urban and Eric Church collaboration “Raise ‘Em Up” should be the next #1 song, but it may have to wait a couple of weeks. Bentley’s “Say You Do” has a nice lead in airplay over it and may hold down the top of the chart for a third straight time next week. Tyler Farr’s “A Guy Walks Into A Bar” may miss out on being #1 because the three songs directly behind it are gaining quickly and at least one of them should overtake it next week. We’ll have to wait and see.

The biggest gainers this week were Thomas Rhett’s “Crash and Burn,” which moved up 10 spots to #30, Blake Shelton’s “Sangria” moved up three spots from #18 to #15 and Rascal Flatts’ “Riot” moved up three spots from #29 to #26. The biggest losers this week were Miranda Lambert’s “Little Red Wagon,” which fell out of the top 30 completely and Lee Brice’s “Drinking Class” fell six spots from #2 to #8. As for the songs I see leaving the top 30 soon, “Drinking Class” is guaranteed to fall out of the top 30 next week because it lost a ton of airplay. Zac Brown Band’s “Homgrown” might hang around for one more week, but it should be gone soon. Sam Hunt is taking his time leaving the top 30 with his single (pun intended!). But it should be gone within a few weeks too. Eric Paslay’s “She Don’t Love You” has hung around a lot longer than I expected, but it’s on its way out also.

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 Brett Eldredge’s “Lose My Mind,” Reba’s “Going Out Like That,” Chase Rice’s “Gonna Wanna Tonight” and Zac Brown Band’s “Loving You Easy.” Eldredge’s last three singles have went #1 on the airplay chart and “Lose My Mind” should easily be the fourth straight #1. Reba’s “Going Out Like That” should crack the top 30 out of the process of elimination, much like Maddie & Tae’s “Fly.” I can see why she released it as the lead single, but radio isn’t impressed and neither am I. A lot of you haven’t heard Chase Rice’s newest single and are probably wondering if it’s any good. Well this is how you determine if a Chase Rice single is good or not. Look at the song title. Is it “Jack Daniels and Jesus”? If the answer is no that means it sucks. Zac Brown Band’s “Loving You Easy” should rebound and have a nice run on the radio. It may not be as popular as “Homegrown,” but it should contend for #1. It’s same shit, different week once again at country radio.

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

8 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [May 16]

  1. Raymond May 6, 2015 / 12:02 pm

    Well since last week turned into a bust for other people doing a Top 60 I’ll do it again I wish others would contribute.

    1. Say You Do +1. Josh this songs on it’s way out it’s already down to #2 look for it to be at like #6 next week
    2. Raise Em Up +1. A tad boring but it should get 1 to 2 weeks it depends on Tyler and Billy
    3. A Guy Walks Into A Bar +1. I think Tyler will hold off and wait for Keith to clear out but Billy is closing in.
    4. Don’t It +1. Another grower man I just find this song infectious forgettable but man I don’t know what it is it should get a typical week at #1.
    5. Smoke 0. Almost to a +1 it’s really growing on me but I can’t watch that video without puking.
    6. Sipping On Fire -1. I’ve tried and tried to have this grown on me but between awful lyrics autotune and terrible production and Tyler’s terrible voices I can’t
    7. Drinking Class 0. Boring but this could be Billboard end year #1 song.
    8. Take Your Time -1. Quit taking my time Sam and give it to Gloriana why don’t you.
    9. Homegrown +1. Still like it but get out of here
    10. Wild Child +1. Eh still good enough should be a #1.
    11. Baby Be My Love Song 0. It’s frown on me but it’s shown of how safe Easton’s got but hey I find it good enough.
    12. Diamond Rings & Old Barstools +1. Look for a Top 10 this song is just struggling it’s called Ballad syndrome Jake Owen and Eric Paslay already have it.
    13. Little Toy Guns +1. I got a bad feeling Sangria is gonna block this from reaching number #1 on Billboard.
    14. Love Me Like You Men It +1. Go Kelsea Go Kelsea Go I’m sorry I can’t wait if she gets a #1 at least it won’t be Raelynn and hey she has more country than Sam Hunt. I’m joining Noah in that campaign
    15. Sangria 0. Meh not a grower not a hater just there but that video still creeps me out man what is it with the creepy thing Halloween is still a long ways away.
    16. Love You Like That 0. It’s more bland than worth hating really.
    17. Crushing It -1. Another one I’ve tried but it just comes off way too much if a novelty.
    18. She Don’t Love You +1. I love this song but please EMI let this go and start promoting Stay A Little Longer even with the 7-9 songs all going recurrent Eric is gonna stay at #18 cause LBT Jason and Brantley all look ready to pass him.
    19. Girl Crush +1. This will be the song that represents country music and for that I’m happy and man though it’s amazing. Josh would you agree if you tone down the production on LBT and let the vocals shine these guys would be better.
    20. Young & Crazy 0. It’s growing on me but it has to wait a while before I get it into +1 territory
    21. Tonight Looks Good On You -1. Where as Brantley delivers well Jason just keeps going too the same old schtick add his to me creepy attitude song
    22.One Hell Of An Amen +1. Definitely deserves a +1 despite a little screechy Brantley actually gives an honestly good vocal performance and those lyrics are just amazing. Love it a lot.
    23. Kiss You In The Morning -1. Just No I can’t with this one Michaels voice is subpar it’s the same old theme and well it’s just not that good like at all.
    24. Games -1. Get ready Josh I heard live version of Kick The Dust Up it’s That’s My Kind Of Night Part 2 get ready for a long summer
    25. Trouble +1. Man I can’t wait for this album the reason why this song works is Rachel has a killer voice with plenty of snarl the harmonies don’t overplay like they did before the sass and high energy adds the fun factor into the mix. The pure country rock pop production is excellent and I think I heard a fiddle in there this is an overall winner.
    26. Riot +1. I looked thru some singles released from RF and they actually had some good songs like This EveryDay Love What Hurts The Most Why Wait I actually am sad these guys career are ending with radio
    27. Like A Wrecking Ball -1. This one I’m just hating now Eric acts too cocky in this song and the vocals just hurt my head,
    28. Hell Of A Night -1. Faceless boring I just can’t
    29. Fly +1. How much longer can this go before radio abandons another female act lovely song.
    30. Crash & Burn -1. Do you hear that (crickets) that’s what it should be at a Thomas Rhett concert

    My score stands at a +6. So well not bad but well I’m just gonna say this summer in radio will take forever.

    Part 2 coming later.

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  2. ron12274 May 6, 2015 / 12:14 pm

    Pretty sure loving you easy got a major push last week coinciding with the album release so it dropped in week 2. Same happened with Rhett 2 weeks ago and Brett this week so I’d expect a rebound next week

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Raymond May 6, 2015 / 12:37 pm

    Ok part 2 let’s see

    31. I’m To Blame +1. Rough and tough and yet sincere I think this will just miss out a shame really because I like Kip and he really needs an album out but I think he might get dropped from his label
    32. Going Out Like That +1. Josh it’s not that radios not impressed iHeart Radio stations refuse to play due to the Nash Icon so don’t expect any of her other songs to even make it that far
    33. Gonna Wanna Tonight -1. Not garbage but Chase comes off as a douche
    34. Loving You Easy 0. Yeah no longer liking it just doesn’t do enough
    35. Better Than You Left Me +1. As beautifully heartbreaking as it is empowering I can only hope radio can also give her a try
    36. Run Away With You 0. Boring but not bad.
    37. Lose My Mind -1. Worse song ever except Ridiculous and Donkey no melody no hook just nothing.
    38. Long Stretch Of Love +1. It’s better than it has any right to be Lady A a shows more spunk and sass after coming dull for a long while
    39. Nothing Like You 0. Guilty Pleasure
    40. Already Calling You Mine -1. Hate Em so much
    41. Turn It On -1. Terrible song cute music video though it might grow on me and get a 0 at the end.
    42. Let Me See Ya Girl -1. Quit polluting Cole you’re not safe for the environment
    43. Stay A Little Longer +1. So excited for these guys next album I have a feeling it’s gonna be good.
    44. I Got The Boy +1. Man this songs as beautiful heartbreaking as it is well crafted she has a huge fan out of me now,
    45. Biscuits +1. Did you guys look at her track listing I heard about it couldn’t find it
    46. All Country On You -1. I’d like to go all Gloriana Trouble on this song
    47. Hangover Tonight -1. Just no
    48. Country +1. This song is fighting looks like Curb can’t do anything right.
    49. Trans Am -1. Still can’t hear it all the way the new Little Red Wagon
    50. Break Up With Him -1. No comment
    51. Let It Go +1. I think this song isn’t going anywhere with George not sucking up to radio execs this won’t do anything.
    52. House Party -1 No just take your crappy music to your party
    53. It Feels Good +1. It feels good it’s just so infectious man.
    54. Folks Like Us -1. Just I’m no.
    55. Little Bit Of You +1. This guy just hits my sweet spot and I like his voice and the productions not half bad.
    56. Fall Apart 0. It doesn’t stand out enough but I think it’ll grow on me
    57. My Mistake +1. Fight Cam come on you can do it.
    58. Love This Life. 0. I like the verses not the chorus but it does enough.
    59. 35 Mph Town 0. Just doesn’t stand out as well.
    60. Buy Me A Boat -1. Buy me a reason why he should be OTV and not Cam or Mickey Guyton. Exactly

    This is gonna be a long summer

    FYI Miranda is gonna release Smoking & Drinking for the summer time thoughts?

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  4. petemarshall724 May 6, 2015 / 4:26 pm

    Blake Shelton Sangria +1
    Baby be my love song +1
    Goin out like that = +1

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  5. Pete Marshall May 6, 2015 / 11:17 pm

    Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, and Josh Turner are struggling for the past 2 years. George Strait haven’t had a top 10 hit last 2 years on his past 3 singles. Reba struggled on her past 4 singles. Garth Brooks first 2 singles has flopped on his new cd. Gloriana is struggling on TROUBLE, Maddie & Tae has flopped on FLY, and so has Gary Allan and Eli young band on their new singles.

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    • Raymond May 7, 2015 / 6:27 am

      Lady Antebellum has had to have the worst single choices ever like Freestyle or Wanted You More Goodbye Town don’t feel bad for them at all. Rascal Flatts have already peaked in radio play but I think considering how long they’ve been around they should be proud. Josh Turner I wish he could break out more again but Lay Low just wasn’t that song. George Strait won’t get a radio hit because he’s done touring or going in radio tours. Reba If I Were A Boy was a dumb choice great song not single so the other ones had to face the repercussions Going Out Like That is simply stations refusing to play artists off the Nash ICON label. Garth two terrible choices. Gloriana has a new album out on June 2nd so they should get Trouble close to the Top 20 kinda like Trailer Hitch earlier this year where TH was a Mediabase only Top 20 expect that out of Gloriana. Maddie & Tae look to also be I’m it for the long haul same thing with EYB as well. Gary Allan song though isn’t gonna do anything however.

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  6. bob May 8, 2015 / 1:37 pm

    Whatever happened to Mo Pitney’s “Clean Up on Aisle Five”. On i-tunes they call it a single. Does it have any chance of ever reaching the top 30?

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    • Josh Schott May 8, 2015 / 2:31 pm

      Well right now Curb is still pushing Pitney’s first single “Country,” which has languished in the lower half of the top 60. You have to think they would wake up and push “Clean Up on Aisle Five” to radio soon. But then again we’re talking about Curb here.

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