The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [August 22]

Michael Ray

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

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -13

The pulse dropped two spots this week.

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Hunter Hayes’ “21” fell out of the top 30 to #32.
  • Jana Kramer’s “I Got The Boy” fell out of the top 30 to #33.

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Blake Shelton’s “Gonna”
  • Tim McGraw’s “Top of the World”

New #1 Song This Week:

  • Michael Ray – “Kiss You In The Morning”

Song I Predict Will Reach #1 Next Week:

  • Zac Brown Band – “Loving You Easy”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Blake Shelton – “Gonna” – Up 7 from #36 to #29
  • Sam Hunt – “House Party” – Up 4 from #8 to #4
  • Five different songs moved up two spots on the chart

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Luke Bryan – “Kick The Dust Up” – Down 5 from #1 to #6
  • Brantley Gilbert – “One Hell of An Amen” – Down 3 from #5 to #8
  • Jason Aldean – “Tonight Looks Good on You” – Down 3 from #6 to #9

Songs I See Leaving The Top 30 Soon:

  • Jason Aldean – “Tonight Looks Good On You”
  • Brantley Gilbert – “One Hell of An Amen”
  • Luke Bryan – “Kick The Dust Up”
  • Eric Church – “Like A Wrecking Ball”
  • Big & Rich – “Run Away With You”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Kelsea Ballerini – “Dibs”
  • Jana Kramer – “I Got The Boy”
  • Hunter Hayes – “21”
  • Luke Bryan – “Strip It Down”

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 [August 22]

  1. Raymond August 12, 2015 / 1:29 pm

    First off I am surprised you say Big & Rich will leave soon. While the song hasn’t posted any huge gains and the sales have been bad and the weeks have piled on this still should stick around for a Top 20. If anybody is looking shaky it’s Parmalee and Kip Moore also Jake Owen isn’t doing too well either. I’d say even though you and I and basically no one’s heard it yet expect The Band Perry’s pop crossover Live Forever ( Scott Borchetta wants them to crossover to pop) that’s getting a huge debut also Tim McGraw should be set back temporarily. Can someone tell me what song Top Of The World is similar to I can’t place it for the life of me. Um Chase Rice should’ve left a while ago but well that song won’t give in.
    Also fun news new songs that have been announced Little Big Town Pain Killer 0. Brantley Gilbert Stone Cold Sober N/A (haven’t heard yet) also Sam Hunt said Breakup In A Small Town is his next song. I think that’ll blow up in his face.

    Also Jason Aldean Gonna Know We Were Here should enter soon for the Top 30 aka the inferior Tattoos In This Town.

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    • Josh Schott August 12, 2015 / 2:42 pm

      I just don’t think Big & Rich have the staying lower to survive the onslaught of rising singles behind it. I agree though Parmalee, Owen and Kip are in a little trouble. Parmalee and Kip almost made my list of songs leaving soon.

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      • Raymond August 12, 2015 / 3:44 pm

        Eh Luke Bryan is looking to be the only immediate one to pass. As Tim just got his 8th day medicine and Chris Young Parmalee and Brothers Osborne are too far back to pass them this week. I do think once Run Away With You is in the Top 20 it’ll leave. But the rest I agree Parmalee really could lose some momentum as Already Calling You Mine might sneak in a Top 20. The callout scores for Jake Owen song are awful second only to Girl Crush which left a while ago. Really RCA has to start getting their stuff together. The Miranda Platinum Era has been enbarrassing Chris Young keeps getting the worst timing to get his songs to the top and Jake Owen is losing momentum quickly. I think when Kip’s album comes out I think they’ll stick with it for a little bit but I think Kip will have to settle for a Top 20.

        I’m actually really impressed with how far Big & Rich has made it so far with this since there on their own exclusive label which is why I’m impressed Look At You from last year became a solid Top 10 and only their second song too hit the Top 10.

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  2. Lisandro Berry-Gaviria August 12, 2015 / 2:04 pm

    Gosh, we could have quite a few songs falling out of the Top 40 next week. “One Hell of an Amen” and “Tonight Looks Good On You” are done for sure; “Top of the World” will probably briefly fall out of the Top 30 in its sophomore week; and “Like a Wrecking Ball,” “I’m To Blame,” and “Run Away With You” are all on the brink of going. “Already Callin’ You Mine” also seems to be struggling. Unfortunately, if I’m reading the Billboard chart policies right, “Kick the Dust Up” won’t be gone next week. From the Wikipedia article on the chart:
    “…any song that is ranked below #10 in spins or audience and has not shown an increase in audience or spins FOR MORE THAN TWO WEEKS is also declared recurrent, even if it has not charted for 20 weeks…”
    “Kick the Dust Up” will lose audience and spins next week, so that’ll be two straight weeks that it’s lost numbers in both of those; but it needs three straight weeks of losing numbers in both audience and spins to go recurrent (and be below #10 in either of those, but it’ll basically be impossible for it not to be by then). Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that means another week on the chart for “Kick the Dust Up.”

    …And with his new single being released to radio, that means he could quite easily have two songs on the chart at once. -__- Unless “Strip It Down” has a second-week slump, too, like I predicted “Top of the World” will…but come on, it’s Luke Bryan. Radio isn’t going to let the biggest entertainer in the genre get “passed by” like that! *eye roll*

    As for the next songs to enter the Top 30, I too am surprised you didn’t have “Gonna Know We Were Here” on the list. “I Got the Boy” might barely make it in next week, depending on how many songs fall out, but I have a feeling Kramer will get screwed over. Bryan, Hayes, and Ballerini will be in for sure, because I’m confident that at least three songs will fall out, but then, if there’s any other spots open, they’ll probably be contested between Kramer, LoCash, and Aldean (I’m thinking Aldean would probably get in). “Smokin’ and Drinkin'” and “Southern Style” will have to wait at least another week.

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    • Josh Schott August 12, 2015 / 2:40 pm

      Great catch on that rule! I completely forgot about it. So you’re right we’re stuck with it for another week. I didn’t include Aldean’s new single on the list because I don’t think he’ll get in for two more weeks. Too much of a log jam to make it next week, but he’ll make my next four in list next week.

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  3. Lorenzo August 12, 2015 / 6:31 pm

    Blake Shelton’s song is not that bad. It’s a Bro country track but at least the instrumentation is very good. It would get a 0 to me. save it for a rainy day is a great song and it deserves a +1. Michel ray is total garbage.

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    • Megan Conley August 12, 2015 / 11:54 pm

      I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I agree that “Gonna” isn’t that bad. At least his end goal is to marry the girl instead of just have sex with her. As bro country goes, it’s much less offensive/obnoxious than its piers. I do hate the intro, but other than that, the instrumentation is decent.

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  4. petemarshall724 August 12, 2015 / 7:21 pm

    How is Tim McGraw’s new song “Top of the world?

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