The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [May 30]

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

Dierks Bentley’s “Say You Do” went recurrent and fell from #6 to out of the top 30.

Zac Brown Band’s “Homegrown” went recurrent and fell from #8 to out of the top 30.

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -8

The pulse falls from -5 last week to -8 this week. It’s a race to the bottom! Two songs fell out of the top 30 this week and both were good songs, hence the three-point drop. The first was Dierks Bentley’s “Say You Do,” which had a two-week run at #1 and was expected to fall out this week. The second song was Zac Brown Band’s “Homegrown,” which had three-week run at the top spot and hung on two weeks longer than I expected. The two songs that replace are definitely a drop in quality. The first song is Kip Moore’s “I’m To Blame,” which is an okay song, but it doesn’t really stand out. It had been static around the #31-#35 area on the chart for weeks and I don’t expect it to move up much further. The second new song to enter the top 30 is Brett Eldredge’s “Lose My Mind,” a song I have a lot of disdain towards. The music video for it is even worse. This is by far the worst single Eldredge has released so far. Told you it was only going to get even worse.

Tyler Farr’s “A Guy Walks Into A Bar” is this week’s new #1 song, as it knocked off Keith Urban and Eric Church’s “Raise ‘Em Up.” A few weeks ago I thought there was a chance this song wouldn’t reach the top spot, but I was proven wrong. This is the third straight #1 single for Farr. He should only get one week at #1, as “Don’t It” is not far behind it. Farr’s team is already pushing his next single, “Withdrawals,” which I was hoping wouldn’t be a single. So you can go back to loathing Farr again. Billy Currington’s “Don’t It” should be next week’s top song, but A Thousand Horses’ “Smoke” is very close behind it. One of them will be next week’s top song.

The biggest gainers this week were Zac Brown Band’s “Loving You Easy,” which moved up seven spots from #28 to #21, Brett Eldredge’s “Lose My Mind” moved up four spots to #30 and multiple songs moved up three spots on the chart this week (Corbin, Shelton, Little Big Town, Ballard, Gilbert, Lynch, Rhett). The biggest losers this week were the two songs that fell out of the top 30 and “Raise ‘Em Up,” which fell from #1 to #5. As for songs I see leaving the top 30 soon, “Raise ‘Em Up” should be gone within two weeks. It might hang on for one more week though. Gloriana’s “Trouble” continues to remain static in airplay and should drop out soon. Brad Paisley’s “Crushin’ It” should hang around for a while, but it’s certainly interesting how much worse Paisley is at radio today compared to just a few years ago. When you’re getting passed by Easton Corbin and Little Big Town, two artists that Paisley used to regularly cruise by, you know something is up.

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 Steven Tyler’s “Love Is Your Name,” Reba’s “Going Out Like That,” Chase Rice’s “Gonna Wanna Tonight” and Luke Bryan’s “Kick The Dust Up.” I knew Steven Tyler’s debut country single would get a hot start at radio, but I didn’t expect it to be this hot. It debuted at #33, along with being the most added song at radio this week and having the most increased audience. This song reaching #1 on the chart isn’t inconceivable and probably pretty likely. Reba’s “Going Out Like That” continues to just hang outside the top 30 and should break through soon. Ditto for Chase Rice’s “Gonna Wanna Tonight.” These three songs are not very far behind the #30 spot in airplay. The last song I see making it in the top 30 soon is Luke Bryan’s “Kick The Dust Up,” despite the fact that it just came out and isn’t even in the top 60 this week. It doesn’t matter because Bryan is one of radio’s chosen ones and I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t debut around #25 next week. Another prediction I have for next week is the pulse will reach double digits in the negative, which would be the first time ever. At this point I want to see if they can reach -30. If it’s going to be a train wreck, let’s go for the worst one. It doesn’t matter to me, as I got a library full of awesome music that I’ll listen to as I drive my car down the highways this summer.

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

12 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [May 30]

  1. Raymond May 20, 2015 / 1:08 pm

    Man even my pulse is turning ugly I’m at a loss really I mean I’m happy that Kelsea is gonna break out I hope Gloriana’s Trouble and Eric Paslay She Don’t Love You leave because well I don’t wanna see them look at the travesty that is country music.

    Josh well um they have on Youtube has a couple of new Gloriana songs and they’re not half bad can you please check them out. I’m a little torn on one angle it’s good but I just don’t know.

    Also I can’t wait for your Kelsea Ballerini album review first off who’s reviewing it and second of all when I’m so excited for it I think they’re some good songs.


  2. John in Georgia May 20, 2015 / 1:31 pm

    Unfortunately, if MediaBase is any indicator “She Don’t Love You” is on its last leg. Still a nice run by that song in today’s radio climate, I didn’t see it reaching the top 25 let alone the top 15.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Zack May 20, 2015 / 1:45 pm

    I used to hope for a positive score on this thing, now i’m having fun watching these shit songs climb. I’m honestly hoping for a score in the double digits soon. Why? Because i can sit back with Sturgill, Whitey, Stapleton, William Clark Green, Steve Earle, Gary Allan etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    • RG May 21, 2015 / 8:51 am



  4. Scotty J May 20, 2015 / 2:10 pm

    Some interesting larger picture stuff in the bottom half also where Kacey Musgraves ‘Biscuits’ and Gary Allan’s ‘Hangover Tonight’ continue to really flounder and are beginning to look like complete flops. With Musgraves album coming out next month I imagine they will move on quickly to something new but with the poor judgment they’ve shown in the past who knows what it will be. As for Allan it’s looking like he sold some integrity for a hit and now he has neither.

    Also George Strait’s song isn’t doing much which isn’t surprising I guess but it is still sad to see the end of an historic run of chart success.


    • ron12274 May 20, 2015 / 2:31 pm

      Yeah Biscuits is done without even cracking the top 40. They better move on to another single quickly


    • Josh Schott May 20, 2015 / 4:19 pm

      They certainly are floundering, but then again both are getting set to release videos for each song. So it looks like they’ll be sticking with them a little longer. Kacey’s album is coming out at the end of June, so I’m assuming “Biscuits” will have that much time to catch on. Otherwise it’s on to the next one. Allan’s new album will be coming out sometime this summer, so they’ll probably continue to push “Hangover Tonight” a little longer. I’m guessing late July at the earliest is when we’ll see his new album.

      Strait not doing much doesn’t surprise me, as radio only played him these last few years because he was retiring from major touring. Now that he’s done, they’ll dump him just like they did with Alan Jackson a few years ago. Strait isn’t hip and cool enough, even though there’s a huge audience out there still wanting to hear his music on the radio. Country radio is so damn dumb.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. atolzman May 20, 2015 / 2:46 pm

    “Kip Moore’s “I’m To Blame,” which is an okay song, but it doesn’t really stand out. It had been static around the #31-#35 area on the chart for weeks and I don’t expect it to move up much further.”

    Really? Kip NEEDS this to be a big hit, what will happen if it doesn’t go any higher? Will they delay the album more? I am very worried –


    • Josh Schott May 20, 2015 / 4:15 pm

      I just don’t know if this can be a big hit. There’s not much buzz around it. Kip really isn’t at the forefront of listeners’ minds right now, so your worries for him are certainly warranted.


      • atolzman May 20, 2015 / 5:34 pm

        I am a huge Kip fan and I agree that this is not the strongest song – loved Dirt Road, but that went nowhere. It has been 3 years since his last album, that is basically forever in Country. Hopefully his Summer tour with Dierks will give him some buzz, he is a great live performer.


  6. Pete Marshall May 20, 2015 / 10:17 pm

    Country music needs to change but it’s going downhill fast. George Straits new song is failing, Garth Brooks failed. I think Kip Moore’s I’m to blame will fallout the charts. I am borderline with Musgraves biscuits. Gary and Eli Young Band is struggling with their worst songs. Josh I disagree with Blake Shelton Sangria I give it a +1.


  7. Zack May 21, 2015 / 10:55 am

    Here’s my pulse:

    1. A Guy Walks Into A Bar – +1
    2. Don’t It- 0
    3. Smoke- 0
    4. Sippin’ On Fire- -1
    5. Raise Em Up- 0 (I’ve changed my mind on this)
    6. Wild Child- +1
    7. Little Toy Guns- +1
    8. Baby Be My Love Song- -1
    9. Diamond Rings and Old Barstools- +1
    10. Sangria- -1
    11. Love Me Like You Mean It- -1
    12. Love You Like That- -1
    13. Girl Crush- +1
    14. Crushin’ It- -1 (Though the video makes me like it a tad more)
    15. Tonight Looks Good On You- -1
    16. Young & Crazy- 0
    17. One Hell Of An Amen- +1
    18. She Don’t Love You- +1
    19. Kiss You In The Morning- -1
    20. Games- -1
    21. Loving You Easy- 0
    22. Like A Wrecking Ball- -1
    23. Hell Of A Night- -1
    24. Crash & Burn- -1
    25. Trouble- 0
    26. Riot- -1(i’ve changed my mind on this as well)
    27. Buy Me A Boat- -1
    28. Fly- +1
    29. I’m To Blame- 0
    30. Lose My Mind- -1

    And with that i have a score of -7. So close Josh! Haha


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