The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [June 13]


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

Tyler Farr’s “A Guy Walks Into A Bar” went recurrent and fell from #9 to out of the top 30.

Keith Urban and Eric Church’s “Raise ‘Em Up” went recurrent and fell from #11 to out of the top 30.

Gloriana’s “Trouble” fell from #26 to out of the top 30.

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -14

The pulse continues to plunge! The pulse drops to -14 this week, down from -10 last week. I’m pretty sure this four point drop is the largest ever in the history of the Pulse. The cause of this was three songs dropping out of the top 30 this week. First was Tyler Farr’s “A Guy Walks Into A Bar,” which was easily the best single Farr has ever put out. It had a good run at the top and was expected to fall out, especially since Farr is pushing his new single “Withdrawals” (spoiler alert: I don’t like it). Keith Urban and Eric Church’s “Raise ‘Em Up” was the second song to fall out and like Farr’s aforementioned single, it had a run at #1 and is now gracefully bowing out. The final song to fall out of the top 30 was Gloriana’s “Trouble,” which never escaped the twenties and really never had a shot of moving up. It was a decent song that was better than most songs on the chart (not saying much now).

The three new songs to join the top 30 are all atrocious in their own special way. First is the return of Sam Hunt and his new single “House Party.” I think you pretty much know by now how his music sounds. It will inevitably reach #1 and Hank turns over in his grave one more time. Jake Owen’s new Sugar Ray ripoff  single “Real Life” gets a hot-shot debut at #29. It was the most added song at radio this week and also had the most increased audience. What was that about making better music, Jake? Oh yeah, you completely forgot. The last new song is Chase Rice’s “Gonna Wanna Tonight.” Just what we needed: Chase Rice returning to the top 30. It was so nice that he avoided the top 30 for the last several months. I’m starting to think country radio is playing a cruel, sick joke on everyone.

The new #1 on this week’s chart is A Thousand Horses’ “Smoke.” Not a big surprise, as I called this last week. It replaces Billy Currington’s “Don’t It,” a completely forgettable and bad song. “Smoke” may get a two-week run at the top, but no more as Florida Georgia Line’s “Sippin’ On Fire” is guaranteed to get a #1 spot because country radio is always making sure they’re kissing Florida Georgia Line’s feet. Once these two songs get their #1 achievement, “Wild Child” should be #1. After that is an endless parade of bad songs taking their turn at #1. What? You think “Little Toy Guns,” “Love Me Like You Mean It,” “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” and “Girl Crush” are going to reach #1? Don’t be silly. They’re either too female or too country to reach that spot. Remember to reach #1 you must have a penis, sing terrible music, can’t sound country and have to have many stupid clichés in your songs. This is based on Keith Hill logic.

The biggest gainers this week were Sam Hunt’s “House Party,” which moved up six spots from #4 to #28, Dustin Lynch’s “Hell of a Night” moved up five spots to #19 and Thomas Rhett’s “Crash and Burn” moved up five spots to #20. Just like clockwork, more shit rises to the top. The biggest losers this week were all three songs that fell out of the top 30. As for songs I see leaving the top 30 soon, Billy Currington’s “Don’t It” will probably get another week on the chart before going recurrent. Luke Bryan’s “Games” will fall off the chart next week, as his new single will now be getting all of the attention. Other than that, I don’t see a huge shakeup like this for a while.

Two 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 Reba’s “Going Out Like That,” Cole Swindell’s “Let Me See Ya Girl,” Old Dominion’s “Break Up With Him” and Hunter Hayes’ “21.” I think Reba caught what Rascal Flatts had when they were frozen at #31 with “Riot.” One of these weeks she’ll break through. “Let Me See Ya Girl” kind of got off to a slow start, but it’s picking up steam now and will join the rest of the trash in the top 30 before you know it. Old Dominion’s “Break Up With Him” has slowly been rising and I haven’t heard this song yet. I just know they have the dumbest album cover of the year. Hunter Hayes’ “21” had a big drop this week, but that was expected after a hot debut. It hasn’t even went for adds yet, so it’ll rebound quickly I’m sure. His brand of pop music is exactly what country radio wants. I’m really not sure what to say anymore about country radio. I’ve run out of things to describe its awfulness. So I’ll use this gif to sum up my thoughts:


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

15 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [June 13]

  1. Raymond June 3, 2015 / 1:12 pm

    Well at least Gloriana got out before the real garbage came in. Carrie and Kelsea have their work cut out for a top spot. It’s sad though I mean hopefully Jana Kramer and Mickey Guyton can get in too help soften the blows.

    I have great news Maddie & Tae new album is having a little previews on iTunes. I’m also wondering why hasn’t Miranda announced any new song they can still release a new song or are they going back to the studio.

    I’m looking forward to your guys Billy Currington review early predicted grade 5/10.


    • Raymond June 3, 2015 / 1:21 pm

      Ok worst songs on the charts well instead I’m gonna rate the songs from highest to the lowest
      1. Love Me Like You Mean It
      2. Little Toy Guns
      3. Girl Crush
      4. Diamond Rings & Old Barstools
      5. Fly
      6. One Hell Of An Amen
      7. Young & Crazy
      8. Wild Child
      9. Smoke
      10. I’m To Blame

      Bottom 10
      1. Kick The Dust Up
      2. Crash & Burn (it’s growing in me though
      3. Games
      4. Gonna Wanna Tonight
      5. Sangria (only cause I don’t want this to prevent Carrie from getting #1
      6. Real Life (DQ) since it hasn’t start an official chart run)
      7. Lose My Mind (I do like the bridge though
      8. Like A Wrecking Ball.

      (Sorry House Party is total guilty pleasure.)

      That’s it I do like some of the songs really only the bottom 4 are awful to me the rest I find kinda catchy. Even if for Brett’s video still creeps me out. But well I just can’t win can I.


  2. Derek Hudgin June 3, 2015 / 1:13 pm

    Old Dominion’s “Break Up With Him” is about as dumb as their album cover. Guy is in love with girl, girl has a different boyfriend. Guy pushes girl to see that she loves him more than her boyfriend. Just your typical horny dude trying to control some girl into do things his way.

    As for the pulse, how the hell FGL’s “Sippin on Fire” is still growing is beyond my comprehension. Those two goons should literally sip on fire and burn their vocal cords so they can’t infect our ears with their trashy lyrics and auto tuned voices. UGH, it’s gonna be a long summer. Sam Hunt & FGL have my vote for worst songs on the chart this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott June 3, 2015 / 1:25 pm

      Hahaha! That’s going to be a fun song to destroy.

      I thought “Sippin’ On Fire” would be the first song to underwhelm on the chart for FGL. But it’s going to get #1 of course. Maybe the next one hopefully will be the beginning of the end for them. We can only hope.


      • Raymond June 3, 2015 / 1:33 pm

        Josh it’s slowly coming FGL while still getting number #1 isn’t quite the huge debut seller they were. Sippin On Fire is gonna be their second lowest peaking song on the Hot 100 (behind Sun Daze) It’s slowly coming. Their next song is apparently Anything Goes let’s see how that’ll do.


      • Brandon F June 3, 2015 / 1:50 pm

        Wow it is bad. I just looked it up on YT and they should have just pitched it to Sam Hunt. After I heard they wrote “Say You Do” I was looking forward to their release. Not so much now.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Kuzco June 3, 2015 / 1:51 pm

    This week is pretty depressing. I usually find something to stay optimistic about, but it’s tough this week. I guess all I can come up with is that the Top 10 is still decent, at only -1. It’s actually better than that in my opinion, since I’d rate “Don’t It” as a 0 and “Sangria” as a +1. Plus, it’s also nice that “A Guy Walks Into a Bar” and “Raise ‘Em Up” actually went to number one. It’s getting tiring seeing all the good songs under-perform.

    But that’s all I got. It’s gonna be a long, long summer.


  4. SRM June 3, 2015 / 3:45 pm

    Hmm….Looks like it’s almost time for my dissertation on Sam Hunt. I’m really looking forward to writing that :).

    But, man, this is chart is bad. My pick for best song would be Maddie & Tae’s “Fly”, and worst would be Michael Ray’s “Kiss You…”.

    And, yes, Old Dominion’s album cover is stupid. The band has always struck me as nothing more than a bad, local cover band that just happens to be made up of enough moderately-successful songwriters to get a record deal.


  5. Lorenzo June 3, 2015 / 4:42 pm

    I don’t care for house party and it’s not even as terrible as kick the dust up and crash and burn. I’m very glad ‘Fly’ is at #24 and I really hope it’ll be a top 10 hit by August. as for Hunter Hayes’ 21, it has an enjoyable pop feel (which is not country) but I’d take that song all the way over pop rock like chase rice’s or thomas rhett’s, dumb bad rock like aldean’s or gilbert’s and garbage like fgl’s. also, he looks like a good guy (unlike that bunch of douchebags) so, even though his pop music is not really my cup of tea, I respect him


  6. Pete Marshall June 3, 2015 / 9:57 pm

    my worst songs
    Jake Owen “Real Life”
    Sam Hunt “house party”
    Luke Bryan “kickin’ the dust up” and “Games”
    Randy Houser “We went”
    Florida Georgia Line “sippin of fire” and “sun daze”
    Chase Rice “gonna wanna tonight” and “ride”
    Miranda Lambert “Little red wagon”
    Thomas Rhett “crash and burn”
    best songs
    Blake Shelton “Sangria”
    Carrie Underwood Little toy guns
    ZBB “Homegrown”
    Tim “barstools”
    Kenny c “Wild child”
    little big town “girl crush


  7. Pete Marshall June 3, 2015 / 10:03 pm

    Have you guys know what’s Billy Currington’s next single will be is it any good?


    • Raymond June 3, 2015 / 10:18 pm

      It’s titled “Football Town With A Drinking Problem.” It’s interesting I’ll give it that.


  8. Zack June 3, 2015 / 10:18 pm

    Idk what to say any more……This chart is worse than a 2013 one when Bro-Country was dominating. -14 is a terrible score and honestly I’m not sure any more what I want the mainstream to do…….Idk if I want it to totally crumble or I want a savior to come in and change the mainstream. All I know is is that it’s sad that it’s gotten this bad, we can laugh at how embarrassing how these songs are and poke fun at them, but the fact is that this is serious and that country has totally lost control of what it is…..something that has never happened in the history of the genre.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pete Marshall June 4, 2015 / 12:21 am

    This is embarrassing I can’t believe country music is going downhill. Country music should know better. Hank Williams and Roy Acuff and late country legends are rolling over their grave last 3 years.


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