The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [August 8]

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

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -13

The pulse remains the same at -13 this week. 

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” went recurrent and fell from #3 to out of the top 30.
  • Blake Shelton’s “Sangria” went recurrent and fell from #7 to out of the top 30.

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Parmalee’s “Already Callin’ You Mine”
  • Chris Young’s “I’m Comin’ Over”

New #1 Song This Week:

  • Brantley Gilbert – “One Hell of An Amen”

Song I Predict Will Reach #1 Next Week:

  • Michael Ray – “Kiss You In The Morning”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Kenny Chesney – “Save It For A Rainy Day” – Up 6 from #23 to #17 (Most Added Song of the Week again)
  • Dustin Lynch – “Hell of a Night” – Up 5 from #12 to #7
  • Florida Georgia Line – “Anything Goes” – Up 5 from #27 to #22

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Little Big Town – “Girl Crush” – Out of the Top 30
  • Blake Shelton – “Sangria” – Out of the Top 30
  • Canaan Smith – “Love You Like That” – Down 5 from #5 to #10

Songs I See Leaving The Top 30 Soon:

  • Canaan Smith – “Love You Like That”
  • Jason Aldean – “Tonight Looks Good On You”
  • Brantley Gilbert – “One Hell of An Amen”
  • Brad Paisley – “Crushin’ It”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Jana Kramer – “I Got The Boy”
  • Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town – “Smokin’ And Drinkin’”
  • Hunter Hayes – “21”
  • Kelsea Ballerini – “Dibs”

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

34 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [August 8]

  1. Raymond July 29, 2015 / 1:36 pm

    Like I said Maddie & Tae would be fine the digital sales are also starting to pick up. Whenn all is said and done I do think Fly could get into the top 10 for their album release date. I heard Maddie & Tae are gonna do their own headlining tour.

    Anyway Canaan Smith song should’ve been sent recurrent. Both he and Brad are done. Canaan’s releasing Hole In A Bottle and I’d imagine Brad would release Country Nation.

    Anywho well let’s see Jana can get into the Top 30 next week along with Hunter Hayes Jana though is the one I want to get in she’ll need to hold Hunter, Kelsea and I’d imagine Blake Shelton’s new one in order to get into the Top 30 she should be in especially given the great sales for it. Go Jana Kramer!

    Like

    • Nadia Lockheart July 30, 2015 / 12:42 am

      I remain convinced they should have pulled the plug on “Fly” by the second week of June and primed a more up-tempo follow-up for the summer/autumn months, and here’s why.

      *

      Firstly, we have seen a recent trend of numerous labels stubbornly insisting on continuing to push a single for chart runs topping 30 weeks and more…………..with the hope that it will translate to heightened buzz surrounding the respective album.

      Yet what has actually happened? Here’s a summary of some recent results:

      *

      1) Canaan Smith’s “Love You Like That” (dishonestly) topped both the Billboard and Mediabase charts after 50 weeks……………yet his respective album “Bronco” debuted at #4 on the Hot Country Albums chart with 12,000 units shifted.

      2) Easton Corbin’s “Baby Be My Love Song” peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Hot Country Airplay chart after 40 weeks, yet his newest album “About To Get Real” (despite being enough for #1 that week) shifted 20,000 units: a 1/3 decline from its predecessor.

      3) Gloriana’s “Trouble” (which sold terribly to begin with) was nonetheless pushed for 31 weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Airplay chart before peaking at #24, yet their respective album “Three” shifted 4,500 copies in its opening week.

      4) Chase Bryant’s “Take It On Back” spent 30 weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Airplay chart (including “On The Verge” treatment at the beginning of its chart run, mind you), peaked at #9…………………and his debut album has yet to be released.

      *

      With the former three, their respective labels tirelessly pushed their singles for lengthy chart runs…………….and the end result was embarrassingly weak album sales. The latter act (Chase Bryant) has yet to even release an album, as does RaeLynn.

      Now Dot Records are making the same mistake with Maddie & Tae. “Fly” is now in the midst of its 26th week (“Girl In A Country Song” only needed 23 weeks to top the chart) on the Billboard Hot Airplay chart, with terrible sales leading up to the past two months or so that have since graduated to middling sales, and their debut single feeling like a distant memory among many listeners.

      By the time “Start Here” drops at the end of August, “Fly” will be in its 31st week on the chart and listener burnout at that point is quite likely to be intense similar to that of “Girl Crush” (which was compensated in part by terrific sales and having passionate positive callout numbers to rival the passionate negative ones). It was reported in late April/early May that the callout numbers for “Fly”, in contrast, were neither passionately positive nor negative. Thus, despite not having high negatives, its ranking was still near the bottom because of the general indifference to the track: which usually points to a lack of longevity down the line.

      For an act in its debut phase, that can be pretty detrimental and stand in the way of their growth. By the time the follow-up single is announced, then what do they do? Especially if they likely have a soft opening in album sales? It can diminish the confidence of some radio programmers who they are still scrambling to form working relationships with.

      *

      So to see “Fly” continue to move up the airplay chart is a Pyrrhic victory in my eyes.

      Like

      • Raymond July 30, 2015 / 4:23 am

        I do think they made the right decision in keeping Fly. Lets go back to that time in Mid-May early June. That’s only like what 10 weeks ago. There is no way that a third song would be doing great I’d imagine it’d be around Southern Style. Girl In A Country Song was a big buzz song.

        I also believe the chart clog really is why Fly slowed down when you have On The Verge songs that had refused to die like at that time She Don’t Love You it only makes sense to stay with Fly.

        Now for Canaaan, Easton and Gloriana. I think Canaan song and Easton did overstay their welcome. Easton should’ve stopped right at the album release week same thing with Canaan. Gloriana really they just shot themselves in the heart career wise. They are done Trouble had no business being a top 30 song. I hope Warner Bros realize how much money they lost from Trouble and ‘Three’. Chase Bryant and Raelynn both songs at least bowed out decently. I do think it’s more likely neither artist is ready. Even if you didn’t mention her Kelsea Ballerini The First Time. The sales were very mediocre for the album. I do think Black River made the right call in sticking with Love Me Like You Mean It. As much as you guys hate the song. There is no denying it’s a semi-big hit. It also has decent recurrent airplay. Especially conpared to falling songs like Girl Crush Little Toy Guns and Diamond Rings & Old Barstools

        Like

      • Nadia Lockheart July 30, 2015 / 12:42 pm

        You’re missing the point, with all due respect.

        It’s not so much having a single as close to the top of the charts that’s most important. It’s having a single that listeners are actually PASSIONATE about that counts above all else.

        Like it or not, most listeners aren’t passionate about “Fly”. It only very briefly dented the Top 100 of the iTunes composite chart at any moment of its chart run to date while its predecessor was regularly steeped in it (though it did dip by the time it peaked at #1). And how is that a good sign for the parent album if it’s anchored off of that song?

        *

        Yep, I forgot to mention Kelsea Ballerini, but she’s another perfect example that reinforces my point and I thank you for bringing her up. Quite a few had been gushing leading up to its release that she was going to become the next Taylor Swift because Taylor Swift herself endorsed her. We’ll have to see how the rest of her era pans out, but its opening was quite abysmal. Ballerini is that type of entertainer you’d expect to have more impressive frontloaded sales due to the fanboy/fangirl effect, but 13,400 sales in your opening weeks is actually pretty terrible for someone of that stature. Jason Isbell just sold three times as much with no airplay, and Aaron Watson also bested her with no airplay of his own.

        *

        You clearly haven’t read my review of the song. If you did, you’d know I neither love nor hate “Fly”. I’m indifferent on it as a whole, much like most listeners are admitting in callout surveys.

        I think, vocally, the duo sound beautiful and some of the instrumental touches, especially the fiddle in the bridge, are great too. In contrast, I think the lyrics are rather weak and cliched, and the production is boring and drags on too much. It’s just a definitive 0 song in my mind. But apparently we now live in an age where indifference = “haters”. 😉

        Like

      • Raymond July 30, 2015 / 2:22 pm

        While yes the listner passion isn’t quite there it’s not polarizing I can see Maddie & Tae opening up to around 20-25K in opening sales which by no means impressive isn’t bad. Newcomers it looks like unless your Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett or Kacey Musgraves don’t sell albums. Fly isn’t doing great digitally callout or regardless. But I don’t think callback scores have as big of an impact especially given of how if you look Canaan Smith Love You Like That is still on the airplay chart. I feel like thesong sales are more important than the album sales. I think Maddie & Tae are fine Fly should be a top 10 is all is said and done. Where did I say hater just.where. I still don’t think it would’ve been smart to pull Fly cause a follow up may only be at audience numbers where like Hunter Hayes or Jana Kramer are at with their songs.

        Now regarding Kelsea you have me at the album sale. But she’s getting plenty of recurrent play for Love Me Like You Mean It. Dibs right now is also doing well digitally not quite Girl Crush levels but still pretty good. I think for like Canaan, Kelsea, Maddie & Tae and a lot of the new artists like Frankie Ballard Michael Ray Jon Pardi Eric Paslay and like Cole Swindell and Thomas Rhett what I am more curious about is seeing how the sophomore Era goes. It could be a less big version of Taylor Swift kinda like Carrie Underwood. Or it can go like Hunter Hayes and Gloriana’s went. Turn into a giant bust. That’s why I’m curious about Tyler Farr while I loathe Better In Boots I’m curious to see how that does. Tyler’s sophomore Era is on a rocky start but I’m very curious.

        Like

      • Nadia Lockheart July 30, 2015 / 7:33 pm

        This has been, admittedly, a notably quiet year for mainstream country/”country” music thus far.

        I am definitely curious to see which entertainers who have debuted around the peak of the bro-country bubble manage to avoid the sophomore slump and which will plunge right into it.

        Even though Cole Swindell, for instance, is on a winning streak with his singles……………I can’t help but feel his career might have parallels to that of Rodney Atkins leading into his next album. As you might recall, Rodney Atkins produced four consecutive #1 hits off of “If You’re Going Through Hell”, after previously only producing a sole Top Five entry. Then, after a fifth single (“Invisibly Shaken”) flopped, he released the title track to his follow-up, “It’s America”, which became a hit that nonetheless became quickly forgotten……………….and, from there, his album sales have been pitiful even despite collecting the occasional hit single. I can see Cole Swindell succumbing to a similar fate where he may maintain a radio presence, but fails to retain staple status. But you never know when he has close ties to Luke Bryan: the hottest name in country/”country” music presently.

        Then you have chart rivals who have their own individual trump cards in their favor, as well as glaring weaknesses. Thomas Rhett, for instance, benefits from nepotism (being the son of “Peach Picker” Rhett Akins) and he also is aggressively tapping into one of Mainstream Top 40’s most beloved entertainers, Bruno Mars, for crossover inspiration. However, unlike Bruno Mars, he just doesn’t have the stage presence and charisma to back the kind of songs he cuts. Then you have a guy like Brett Eldredge who does have a solid, distinctive and soulful vocal and has undoubtedly benefited from “New Artist of the Year” accolades…………….but has been going way too middle of the road since breaking through to the mainstream and risks listeners shifting their eyes to the next new fad if he doesn’t mix things up.

        Chase Rice is in an especially tough spot seeing that, in recent interviews, he has actually expressed a lot of regret for the kind of material he cut on his debut and stating it doesn’t reflect the kind of person he really is and more of a character; promising his follow-up will be a lot more mature. But at the same time, there’s no denying that “Ignite The Night” has sold shockingly well considering the very limited airplay he has received. I may LOATHE that album, but there’s no denying that his strategy worked, and it’ll be interesting to see how much he’s willing to run the risk of alienating the kind of audience he has drawn with “Ignite The Night” (I’ll have a lot of respect for him if he follows through on his promise for a much more mature effort).

        Obviously, there are others I didn’t tackle here. Needless to say, it’ll be interesting to see how crashes and burns as Sam Cook…………errrrrrrr, I mean……………Thomas Rhett would sing! 😉

        Like

  2. petemarshall724 July 29, 2015 / 1:39 pm

    Tyler Farr “withdrawls” has been withdrawled.

    Like

    • Megan Conley July 29, 2015 / 4:59 pm

      “Withdrawals” is better than his next single choice. He could have picked anything on his album and it would have been a better choice than “Better in Boots.”

      Like

      • Josh Schott July 29, 2015 / 5:02 pm

        Very true, but this was chosen because “Withdrawals” bombed so badly in such short time. I’m surprised they didn’t choose “C.O.U.N.T.R.Y”

        Like

      • petemarshall724 July 30, 2015 / 12:36 am

        I didn’t care for “Better in boots” and “C.O.U.N.T.R.Y.” I do agree with You I like “Withdrawls” better than the 2 songs I mentioned.

        Like

  3. Scotty J July 29, 2015 / 2:16 pm

    ‘Girl Crush’ lost an insane amount of audience in approx. a week’s time. Radio really didn’t want to play that song but got guilted into it. B level act, female lead, down tempo adds up to no go at radio no matter how many people buy the single. Once the label let up on pushing it the plays just collapsed.

    The post mortem on that song’s life is very interesting and instructive.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lisandro Berry-Gaviria July 29, 2015 / 2:26 pm

    Well, well, well! I certainly didn’t expect “One Hell of an Amen” to go #1, especially considering Gilbert’s former single “Small Town Throwdown” peaked at #8—and that song was the definition of a made-for-radio-bro-party-song, and on top of that it featured Thomas Rhett and Justin Moore. I guess a lot of people (including me) connected to this song a lot more and that popularity could’ve pushed it to #1…or else there’s just some kind of payola or other record label business going on here that I’m unaware of.
    And it’s a shame “Girl Crush” peaked at #3. The most popular country song of the year (and a really good one, to boot) and yet it doesn’t hit #1? Of course that’s to be expected—we can’t forget it’s “that lesbian song,” can we?—but at least its commercial success really overshadows not going #1, so I think LBT should be more than happy. It’ll most likely be up for quite a few awards as well.

    Here’s my pulse:
    One Hell of an Amen +1.
    Tonight Looks Good On You -1. Tied for my worst song
    Kiss You In the Morning -1. Tied for my worst song. I can’t believe this piece of shit is actually going to hit #1. Then again, that’s the norm for country radio…
    Kick the Dust Up -1. Tied for my worst song
    Loving You Easy 0. I see you changed this to a +1 Josh, but it’s still a high 0 for me; the lyrics are just a huge flaw in it.
    Young & Crazy +1.
    Hell of a Night -1. Have any of you guys seen Farce the Music’s meme on this song? “Dustin Lynch is a boring date…” Hehe
    House Party -1. Tied for my worst song
    Crushin’ It -1. I’m surprised this has lasted as long as it has.
    Love You Like That -1.
    Crash and Burn -1.
    Buy Me a Boat -1.
    John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 -1. Tied for my worst song
    Lose My Mind -1.
    Like a Wrecking Ball -1. I have to disagree with the upgrade on this song too…it still comes across as “crude and tasteless” for me, as you said in your review.
    Fly +1.
    Save It For a Rainy Day 0. Christ, this song is rocketing up the chart
    Real Life -1.
    Gonna Wanna Tonight -1.
    I’m To Blame +1. This one should be leaving soon due to bad sales. Probably won’t peak above #15
    Let Me See Ya Girl -1. Tied for my worst song.
    Anything Goes -1. Tied for my worst song. I wonder if they’ll release another single from the album after this one peaks, or if they’ll be ready to release the lead single from their third album. I will totally die of laughter if they release “Angel.”
    Break Up With Him -1. Tied for my worst song.
    Long Stretch of Love 0.
    Nothin’ Like You -1. I actually don’t see this going much further. It’s really been slowing down.
    Burning House +1. My best song. One word: masterpiece.
    Run Away With You +1 (but borderline). I doubt this will perform well either; Big & Rich just aren’t relevant anymore.
    Stay a Little Longer 0. I actually really like this song, I don’t exactly know why, but when I’m honestly grading it I can’t find much reason to put it above a 6/10. And there’s no way in hell this will break #20.
    Already Callin’ You Mine -1. Tied for my worst song. The narrator just comes off as a douchey stalker:
    “I want to know everything. Girl, where’s your hometown?
    Are those your momma’s eyes?
    What are you doing for the rest of your life?”
    Ugh.
    I’m Comin’ Over 0. Also borderline; for now I’m holding back from putting it at a +1, but it’s definitely growing on me.
    Total pulse: -13. Hey you and I are on the same page for once, Josh! Well…kind of. I guess there’s a lot of songs we still don’t agree on, but I’m surprised that I don’t have a better pulse than you. I think I’m getting better at being critical. 🙂
    And a nine-way tie for worst song…shudder

    Like

  5. ron12274 July 29, 2015 / 2:55 pm

    I noticed Luke Bryan has a new single getting adds already…Strip it down. Sounds like another trainwreck of a single

    Like

    • Lisandro Berry-Gaviria July 29, 2015 / 3:04 pm

      It is a trainwreck (how did you guess? 😉 ). It’s a stupid R&B-influenced sex song.

      Like

      • Josh Schott July 29, 2015 / 3:38 pm

        I second this.

        Like

      • ron12274 July 29, 2015 / 3:49 pm

        I Listened to it. It could be worse than kick the dust up which at least has some elements of country even though the song is awful.

        Like

      • Nadia Lockheart July 29, 2015 / 6:37 pm

        The title smacks as trying to be clever with the multi-entendre.

        There’s the obvious sexual connotation, but then there’s also that of carpentry as well as the idea of stripping back your sound musically to where you focus on the intimacy of a bared-boned presentation.

        “Strip It Down” fails at all three, miserably.

        *

        Firstly, much like “Burnin’ It Down”, the song sounds overcast and dreary. What is it with what are intended to be sex jams constantly adopting dark, brooding production selections? I’m certainly not implying they should sound the direct opposite that are major-key exaggerated happiness seeing that sex is a most complex, emotionally and aesthetically rich language and expression. But at the very least make it sound like you’re in the mood.

        Vocally, Bryan sounds uncommitted in his performance. Any urgency of reconciliation is limited to the bridge. Elsewhere, Bryan sounds absolutely muted on chorus lines like the beat/feet couplet and the entire first verse. And it is pretty telling, on a side note, that he sounds more primed to destroy her cell phone in the second verse than acknowledge the deeper underlying issues affecting their relationship in the song.

        *

        Which gets to where the carpentry metaphor interpretation also swings and misses.

        All we hear is that, like a needle finds a groove, they’ll again find what they lost………..and that he wants to love her so bad.

        Hardly sounds like a resolve to assess everything that has deteriorated at their foundation, and formulate a plan of action to repair it, yes? Sounds more like “Skim It Now”.

        *

        Finally, this absolutely fails as an exercise of stripping down Bryan’s sound to the basics.

        Just because your song is driven by a piano line doesn’t make it stripped-down by default. The production remains utterly sterile and polished, a ridiculous amount of reverb is applied to Bryan’s vocals, and contrasting with the piano is some startlingly stiff production. And what’s with the wah-wah effects on the guitars just before the bridge? They sound more like UFO scanners or the kinds of electronic whirs you hear when you score bonuses or jackpots playing pinball at your local arcade than anything resembling a back-to-basics musical recording.

        *

        “Strip It Down” fails as baby-making music, it fails as a song assessing a damaged relationship, and it fails as a stripped-down musical effort.

        Thanks for playing, Luke, try again! =P

        Liked by 1 person

  6. G. Akers July 29, 2015 / 3:15 pm

    Crushin’ It is losing airplay fast according to Mediabase, which actually surprises me – I figured the label would let it ride at least through August. The way songs are cycling through the top of the charts these days, it seemed like an easy bet for the Top 5, and had an outside shot at #1. Then again, it’s been passed by a ton of songs, and with others coming on strong behind it (Crash and Burn, Buy Me A Boat, John x 3, etc.), perhaps the powers that be decided that the song’s day had passed.

    While I agree with Raymond that Country Nation will probably be Paisley’s next single, I think Shattered Glass is a dark-horse candidate. (I’m rooting for Moonshine In The Trunk, but that’s probably a pipe dream…)

    Like

    • Josh Schott July 29, 2015 / 3:48 pm

      I’m pretty sure “Country Nation” is going to be the next single, as it got an add this week according to Country Aircheck. Plus with college football season around the corner I can imagine ESPN will be playing this song constantly in-between breaks and on College Gameday, as this song name drops all of the popular teams. So it would make sense if he released it as a single right now. But I don’t see it doing any better than “Crushin’ It.” I too would like “Moonshine In the Trunk” to be released as a single, but it would probably bomb at radio for being too country. Paisley along with Josh Turner and Gary Allan have officially been put out to pasture by country radio, which is pretty pathetic. But what’s even more pathetic is Paisley and Allan are still trying to appeal to radio (“Crushin’ It” and “Hangover Tonight” are blatant plays at radio) instead of just gracefully bowing out like Alan Jackson, George Strait and Vince Gill. I really hope Paisley wakes up on the next album.

      Like

      • Scotty J July 29, 2015 / 3:56 pm

        For me Brad Paisley may have had the most disappointing hugely successful career of anybody I can think of. He seems really talented and he has always been reverential about country music and it’s history but yet he has released so many stupid novelty songs that I have almost zero respect for him anymore. Then he has started chasing trends as you mentioned and that has only made me lose more respect for him.

        Would be really refreshing to see him make an attempt at a substantive album in the near future.

        Like

        • Josh Schott July 29, 2015 / 4:35 pm

          Yep! The guy has all of the talent in the world, but he wastes it so much. To me he’s the 4.0 student who excelled early in his academic career, got bored and has been goofing off as the class clown to become popular ever since. Really he’s tried to become another Blake Shelton, becoming a judge on that mediocre music show on ABC that got cancelled and making trend chasing, hokey music. But it’s pretty much blown up in his face. He’s alienated his original fanbase and made critics turn their noses up at him. Yet he wonders why he’s at where he is. His early albums will really great. I agree with Ron that Part II is a fantastic record, one of my favorites of the 2000s. He needs to get back to this. Paisley needs a return to his roots badly.

          Like

      • ron12274 July 29, 2015 / 4:00 pm

        He had some good novelty songs, alcohol, I’m gonna miss her, online, but yeah the shtick has gotten old. His Part II CD was one of my favorites that I could listen to from start to finish

        Like

      • Scotty J July 29, 2015 / 4:06 pm

        ‘I’m Gonna Miss Her’ is a good one I agree. I actually saw him perform that song years ago (pre 9/11 and ‘Where Were You’ by AJ) when he was opening for Alan Jackson and Paisley was still on his first album cycle so nobody had ever heard ‘I’m Gonna Miss Her’ before and the crowd absolutely loved it.

        He just went on and on with the novelty songs and then he transitioned to the name dropping songs a few years ago and that is just not my thing as I’ve said before. Makes songs sound so dated.

        Like

      • petemarshall724 July 30, 2015 / 12:44 am

        I do miss the early Brad Paisley. He had a lot of good real country songs from “who needs Pictures” to “Remind Me” then he went downhill with his bro country music blend. He should do better than that. I don’t disrespect him but he needs to stop jumping on Luke Bryan’s and other new country bandwagon He needs to be himself.

        Like

      • Nadia Lockheart July 30, 2015 / 2:09 am

        I’m somewhat baffled by the volume of backlash Paisley is receiving.

        Obviously he has been playing by the book this era, and “Moonshine In The Trunk” is a lazier effort than we’re accustomed to seeing from him. But even for a lazier effort, I don’t consider the album nearly as pathetic as some here are making it out to be. To my ears, it’s an often half-assed effort that is nonetheless buoyed by above-average moments and across-the-board instrumentation and populism.

        I disliked “River Bank” and feared it would be indicative of the production of the album as a whole. But I honestly didn’t think so when I listened to the album in whole and still don’t. And the main reason why is because he hasn’t sacrificed the more aggressive tones in his guitars and percussion and still adheres to allowing the melodies to drive the songs. They are what give even his half-assed songs personality and what, when you listen to them on a dial, you recognize it as contemporary country without straining and wincing.

        Yeah, I dislike “Crushin’ It”, “River Bank” and “4WP”, and can also do without “High Life”. But beyond that, the songs range from pleasantly forgettable to most enjoyable at times. I still very much enjoy “Perfect Storm”. I love the title track and its rollicking energy. “Me And Jesus” is excellent. “American Flag On The Moon” has a potent production and edgy melody that is very evocative to my ears. And “Limes” and “Gone Green” are fun listening to.

        Does that mean I want him to settle for this degree of effort with follow-up releases? Of course not. But knowing Paisley, he has had this recent tendency to take turns pandering to, and then challenging, his audience with each album.

        If “5th Gear” was more or less a pandering album, “American Saturday Night” was a challenging one. Then he followed it up with another pandering effort in “This Is Country Music”. Then we got another left-of-field effort with “Wheelhouse”. Now he’s pandering again with his current album. Notice a pattern?

        And as he continues to age, I’m actually confident even his pandering efforts will increasingly have an air of maturity again.

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      • ellie July 30, 2015 / 2:26 pm

        I used to be such a big fan of Brad Paisley, I have not likes much of his recent stuff. Wish he would record more songs like Whiskey Lullaby and he didnt have to be

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  7. Lisandro Berry-Gaviria July 29, 2015 / 4:37 pm

    I’m scared to ask this question, but why the hell is Andy Grammer’s “Honey, I’m Good” at #51 on the chart? Did he do a “country” version of it or something?

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  8. Megan Conley July 29, 2015 / 4:48 pm

    He did it with Eli Young Band…it’s worse than the original, which was good pop. The version with Eli Young Band is just awful “country” crap.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott July 29, 2015 / 4:51 pm

      Yeah I was really hoping this song would go away. But it isn’t and now I’ll probably have to review it. Ugh.

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    • Lisandro Berry-Gaviria July 29, 2015 / 4:57 pm

      Okay I just lost the little respect I had left for EYB.

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    • Nadia Lockheart July 29, 2015 / 6:42 pm

      I kind of like the original, but the Eli Young Band have absolutely NO business being on this track.

      Firstly, I can hardly even tell Mike Eli is there. He sounds completely anonymous and interchangeable from Andy Grammar. I have no idea what’s up with Eli’s vocals being processed to death since “Turn It On”.

      And why is Eli’s band credited entirely here, for that matter? I doubt anyone could decipher James Young, Chris Thompson and Jon Jones in this mix (assuming they’re even there).

      This is nothing but a shamelessly cynical quick cash grab.

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  9. Nadia Lockheart July 30, 2015 / 1:02 am

    I talked about why it is often a mistake to stretch chart runs with airplay singles in response to Maddie & Tae’s “Fly” early in the comments, but I want to elaborate on that point here.

    *

    I think Columbia Nashville deserves some credit here for swallowing their pride and pulling the plug on “Withdrawals” early. I think that was a smart move, even if they still lost money coming out of this with the production of its respective video.

    I don’t agree with what will be taking its place. I think they should have primed “Poor Boy” instead (seeing that Broken Bow appears unlikely to consent to putting resources behind pushing “Damn Good Friends” since they remain focused on “Old Boots, New Dirt”). But I thought it was overkill to begin with following a melancholic ballad-ish song with another melancholic ballad-ish track.

    Labels should summon the will to swallow their pride and pull the plug on underperforming singles more often. The humiliations that were opening week sales for Canaan Smith and Gloriana underscore this. If I had my druthers, I can honestly say I would have pulled the plug on Dustin Lynch’s “Hell of a Night” as many as three months ago. Brad Paisley’s “Crushin’ It” would have been pulled on my behalf around Memorial Day. Chase Rice’s “Gonna Wanna Tonight” has absolutely NO business being on the chart and I probably would have cut it as far back as February. Big & Rich’s “Run Away With You” and Kip Moore’s “I’m To Blame” would have also already gotten the axe by now.

    If there were tracks that deserve to continue to be pushed despite burning through their share of weeks already, I’d consider them to be Eric Church’s “Like A Wrecking Ball” (due to outstanding sales) and Jana Kramer’s “I Got The Boy” (due to strong, though not outstanding, sales). I can see why the former would spark disagreement with, but its sales figures don’t lie. Both as a stand-alone single and its parent album, this current Eric Church release is an unmitigated success and I’d at least see to it it made the Top Ten.

    *

    I don’t know why labels lack the will to pull the plug on their respective singles when they’re clearly stalling on multiple fronts. The only other very recent example I can think of where a label wisely pulled the plug early on when the writing was on the wall was Mercury Nashville and Kacey Musgraves’ “Biscuits”.

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    • Raymond July 30, 2015 / 4:39 am

      I agree on a lot of these but not Kip Moore. I’d imagine after his last 2 songs flopped Kip was in some hot water with his label. I’m To Blame has sold rather poorly yes. But it made sense to hold on. If you recall back to around March-May we got buried in song releases from Raelynn, Brothers Osborne, Jana Kramer, Eli Young Band, Cole Swindell, Kacey Musgraves, Thomas Rhett, Brett Eldredge etc. The release schedule than led to a particularly bad chart clog. I’m To Blame slow down cause well we get a Blake Shelton song or Luke Bryan, FGL or OTV came in and passed Kip with Chris Janson or Michael Ray. I do think with Dustin they should’ve stopped once it hit the Top 20 much like Riot and the same for if Run Away With You. Withdrawls leaving didn’t make sense. They pulled a Bourbon In Kentucky. I think Biscuits should’ve been able to stick out at least a Top 30 peak. I think Kacey was the victim of the chart clog a song that should’ve peaked higher but didn’t the sales for Biscuits certainly weren’t great but they were respectable especially given where it was at the chart.

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