The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [July 25]

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. Canaan Smith – “Love You Like That” -1 (Up 3)
  2. Jason Aldean – “Tonight Looks Good On You” -1 
  3. Blake Shelton – “Sangria” -1 (Down 2)
  4. Little Big Town – “Girl Crush” +1 (Up 1)
  5. Brantley Gilbert – “One Hell of an Amen” (Up 1)
  6. Michael Ray – “Kiss You In The Morning” -1 (Up 1)
  7. Easton Corbin – “Baby Be My Love Song” -1 (Down 4)
  8. Luke Bryan – “Kick The Dust Up” -1 (Up 1) [Tied for Worst Song]
  9. Frankie Ballard – “Young & Crazy” (Up 3)
  10. Zac Brown Band – “Loving You Easy” +1 
  11. Brad Paisley – “Crushin’ It” -1 
  12. Dustin Lynch – “Hell of a Night” -1 (Up 1)
  13. Sam Hunt – “House Party” -1 (Up 1) [Tied for Worst Song]
  14. Thomas Rhett – “Crash and Burn” -1 (Up 1) [Tied for Worst Song]
  15. Eric Church – “Like A Wrecking Ball” 0 (Up 1)
  16. Chris Janson – “Buy Me A Boat” -1 (Up 1)
  17. Brett Eldredge – “Lose My Mind” -1 (Up 1)
  18. Keith Urban – “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16″ -1 (Up 1)
  19. Maddie & Tae – “Fly” +1 (Up 1)
  20. Jake Owen – “Real Life” -1 (Up 1)
  21. Chase Rice – “Gonna Wanna Tonight” -1 (Up 1)
  22. Cole Swindell – “Let Me See Ya Girl” -1 (Up 2)
  23. Kip Moore – “I’m To Blame”
  24. Dan + Shay – “Nothin’ Like You” -1 (Up 2)
  25. Lady Antebellum – “Long Stretch of Love” 0
  26. Old Dominion – “Break Up With Him” -1 (Up 1) [Tied for Worst Song]
  27. Kenny Chesney – “Save It For A Rainy Day” 0 (New to Top 30)
  28. Florida Georgia Line – “Anything Goes” -1 (New to Top 30) [Tied for Worst Song]
  29. Cam – “Burning House” +1 (New to Top 30) [Best Song]
  30. Big & Rich – “Run Away With You” +1 (Down 1)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -14

The pulse fell one spot this week.

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Tim McGraw and Catherine Dunn’s “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” went recurrent and fell from #8 to out of the top 30.
  • Reba’s “Going Out Like That” fell from #28 to out of the top 30 to #31.
  • Brothers Osborne’s “Stay A Little Longer” fell from #30 to out of the top 30 to #32.

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Kenny Chesney’s “Save It For A Rainy Day”
  • Florida Georgia Line’s “Anything Goes”
  • Cam’s “Burning House”

New #1 Song This Week:

  • Canaan Smith – “Love You Like That”

Song I Predict Will Reach #1 Next Week:

  • Jason Aldean – “Tonight Looks Good On You”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Cam – “Burning House” – Up 11 from #40 to #29
  • Kenny Chesney – “Save It For A Rainy Day” – Up 6 from #33 to #27
  • Three Different Songs Moved Up Three Spots on the Chart

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Tim McGraw & Catherine Dunn – “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” – Out of the Top 30
  • Easton Corbin – “Baby Be My Love Song” – Down 4 from #3 to #7
  • Reba – “Going Out Like That” – Down 3 from #28 to #31

Songs I See Leaving The Top 30 Soon:

  • Easton Corbin – “Baby Be My Love Song”
  • Blake Shelton – “Sangria”
  • Lady Antebellum – “Long Stretch of Love”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Chris Young – “I’m Comin’ Over”
  • Reba – “Going Out Like That”
  • Brothers Osborne – “Stay A Little Longer”
  • Dierks Bentley – “Riser”

Notes:

  • Who could’ve predicted Canaan Smith’s label making such an artificial push for #1 like this? It came out of nowhere. It worked too, as Smith is this week’s new #1. It could prevent Aldean from getting #1, but I highly doubt country radio would let Aldean get passed over like this. Not to say I wouldn’t mind it happening.
  • “Sangria” had a pretty strong chart run, so strong that I could see it hanging around another week despite having it in my songs I see leaving the top 30 soon spot.
  • Brad Paisley’s “Crushin’ It” might just stick around now, while I think Lady Antebellum could be in trouble with “Long Stretch of Love.” There’s a lot of fast rising songs behind it and radio isn’t as keen to play them. We’ll see.
  • There are two songs I’m going to be watching in relation to each other and they both just entered the top 30: Cam’s “Burning House” and Florida Georgia Line’s “Anything Goes.” On The Verge push vs The Never Ending Florida Georgia Line push.
  • Alan Jackson’s “Jim and Jack and Hank” had a hot-shot debut at #56 on the chart this week. I’ll be keeping an eye on this too.

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 [July 25]

  1. Raymond July 15, 2015 / 1:17 pm

    I like the notes section. Unfortunatley Broken Bow isn’t playing nice at all. They have Jason not hosting CCUSA after LBT and Brantley. This is them basically making one of their songs #1 longer than it should be. So LBT is pushing Girl Crush this week. Start requesting to prevent Jason #GirlCrush. Also Lady A are in it for the Long Stretch. I think Eric Church and Reba are looking to leave soon. I’m suprised you don’t have Jana or Chris on the upcoming songs entering. I do think Reba’s done and I’d love for Brad to leave. Alan’s only on 14 stations he’ll be lucky to crack the Top 50.

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    • Nadia Lockheart July 15, 2015 / 2:10 pm

      Huh?

      “Love You Like That” is #1 on both the Billboard and Mediabase charts this week. How is Broken Bow not “playing nice at all” if Aldean’s current single has yet to even reach the top spot on either chart?

      I think it stands to reason (barring a deranged Canaan Smith-styled push, of course! =P ) that “Tonight Looks Good On You” is going to have its week on top at both charts this coming week, and then “Girl Crush” will have its turn on at least one chart.

      The real question is the Brantley Gilbert factor. Will Valory try to gun up for the Mediabase #1 the same week “Girl Crush” reaches #1 at Billboard? Or will they take their time and choose to compete with Luke Bryan in the hopes he won’t lock him out of the top spot like he did with “This Is How We Roll” (he almost repeated this with regards to “Sun Daze” earlier this year too) last year? We shall see.

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      • Raymond July 15, 2015 / 2:33 pm

        Not exactly Canaan had to throw everything but the kitchen sink out to pass Jason. It was close a few more spins and Canaan would’ve lost. Here’s the problem Jason isn’t co hosting Country Countdown Usa til next week. LBT just hosted and Brantley is this weekend. When an artist hosts that indicates the push for #1 since they play an accoustic cover of their songs. That gets them bonus MB spins. That is why Girl Crush is in a tight spot LBT will lose those spins Sunday or,Monday Morning which won’t be good for Girl Crush. They could try and wait this out but then Brantley could get a Canaan type push.

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      • Nadia Lockheart July 15, 2015 / 3:52 pm

        But again, how is it Broken Bow isn’t playing nice here?

        “Girl Crush” is presently trailing “Tonight Looks Good On You” by approximately nine million in audience at this time. For comparison’s sake, as unforgivably insane as Mercury Nashville’s final push of “Love You Like That” was, Smith’s gains amounted to approximately 8.4 million over those seven days…………….which means “Girl Crush” would have to accumulate EVEN MORE than “Love You Like That” over the course of these seven days (barring further increases by Aldean, of course) if they have any hope of going #1 THIS week.

        *

        No, it is actually Valory that Little Big Town and Capitol Nashville should be more worried about.

        Luke Bryan won’t be a factor because he is also a Capitol Nashville artist. I’m sure they’ll try and get both acts on their roster to #1. But Valory did infamously lock “That’s My Kind of Night” from #1 before on Billboard’s Hot Country Airplay chart when “It Goes Like This” leapfrogged it to the summit.

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      • Raymond July 15, 2015 / 4:34 pm

        Here is the thing there’s an add according to someone on Pulse saying their max spin pushing it this week. I hope it’s just a power up add but it’s noted. Jason isn’t getting those CCUSA spins this week but next week. So maybe this week no one pushes torwards the top Jason gets his first week. Than Jason pushes for a second week than LBT gets the #1 the following week. You also later down the road can’t rule out Michael Ray he’s in this too as he is plenty ahead of Luke Bryan.

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      • Nadia Lockheart July 15, 2015 / 5:02 pm

        I don’t see that scénario happening, quite honestly.

        Broken Bow were certainly hoping to have garnered à first week at #1 this past week, but were dumbstricken by Canaan Smith’s ridiculous push. I’m sure their initial plan was two weeks at #1 on Billboard and one week at Mediabase with this coming week serving as it’s intended second Billboard week.

        I have no idea what that “Girl Crush” max as is all about. If true, it’s à big mistake. They have less than à week to accumulate even more audience than Canaan Smith needed in a week. They could easily secure at least the Billboard #1 the following week. Anything other will ensure them blanks on both charts.

        Yes, I do recognize Michael Ray as a contender for a future #1. However, I’m confident Luke Bryan will wind up getting there first in préparation for his latest album drinking the second week of August.

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  2. Truth No. 2 July 15, 2015 / 4:20 pm

    I’d love to see Jim, Jack, and Hank do well in order to show Cole Swindell how to write a song about breaking up without making an ass of himself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lorenzo July 15, 2015 / 4:40 pm

    I totally disagree on Save it For a Rainy Day getting a 0. it’s a song with an amazing message! it’s basically saying ‘don’t waste a single second of your life being sad when you can just go out and see how beautiful the world is’. It makes you appreciate the little things of life. somehow it makes me think about ‘it’s a great day to be alive’ by Travis Tritt. sure, this song is not quite as good as IGDTBA was but it’s still very good. and the production is not offensive nor bad. I’d rate it 7.5/10

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    • Scotty J July 15, 2015 / 4:59 pm

      Yeah this one definitely leans toward ‘good Kenny’ but I think I would call it a high 0. Maybe 6/10 or so. There is no other veteran act that has a wider range of quality for me than Kenny Chesney. He has some really good songs that are everything that mainstream country can be and then he has some of the most disposable fluff out there which are mostly all the beach and beer songs that he puts out.

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  4. Scotty J July 15, 2015 / 4:56 pm

    I guess I agree with the Cam song being designated the best song of the week and I do like it but it’s not really country to me. Yes, it’s more country than the dreck served up by Raelynn and Kelsea Ballerina but it almost feels like it escaped from a 1990s era coffee house populated by Joan Osborne and Suzanne Vega.

    I wish that the one song by a female that iHeart and Billy Bones and all these types get behind would actually be a more country sounding song but I guess that’s too much to ask in this day and age.

    But like I said it’s a good song just wish the instrumentation was more country.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin Davis July 15, 2015 / 5:20 pm

      Yes, it’s more country than the dreck served up by Raelynn and Kelsea Ballerina but it almost feels like it escaped from a 1990s era coffee house populated by Joan Osborne and Suzanne Vega.

      Ha, ha, yes! Exactly. But, I also agree that it is the best song on the current chart. I am hoping that this is just the typical summer slump, but maybe I am too much of an optimist. On my home this afternoon, I had the depressing choice of listening to Kelsea on one country station and Sam Hunt on the other country station. Obviously, I turned to NPR and listened to the news.

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    • Rosalie July 16, 2015 / 2:25 am

      Thats true, but let me ask you this: What song is better on the current chart?

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      • Scotty J July 16, 2015 / 10:48 am

        None as I said in my first sentence.

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  5. petemarshall724 July 15, 2015 / 7:14 pm

    Chris Janson “buy me a boat” and Michael Ray “kiss you in the morning” both are growing on me now and I would give both songs 10/10 a +1 sorry Josh

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  6. Clovis Mello July 16, 2015 / 10:29 am

    Sometimes I think this column would be better titled “The Current Repulse of Country Music” with the state of the radio.

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