The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [November 7]

Luke Bryan Kill The Lights

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. Luke Bryan – “Strip It Down” -1 [Tied for Worst Song]
  2. Old Dominion – “Break Up With Him” -1 (Up 2) [Tied for Worst Song]
  3. Florida Georgia Line – “Anything Goes” -1 [Tied for Worst Song]
  4. Cole Swindell – “Let Me See Ya Girl” -1 (Up 1) [Tied for Worst Song]
  5. Carrie Underwood – “Smoke Break” +1 (Up 3)
  6. Dan + Shay – “Nothin’ Like You” -1 (Up 3)
  7. Chris Young – “I’m Comin’ Over” +1 (Up 3)
  8. Blake Shelton – “Gonna” -1 (Up 3)
  9. Kenny Chesney – “Save It For A Rainy Day” (Down 2)
  10. Chase Rice – “Gonna Wanna Tonight” -1 (Down 8) [Tied for Worst Song]
  11. Jason Aldean – “Gonna Know We Were Here” -1 (Up 1)
  12. Cam – “Burning House” +1 (Up 1) [Tied for Best Song] 
  13. Tim McGraw – “Top of the World” -1 (Up 1)
  14. Brothers Osborne – “Stay A Little Longer” (Up 1)
  15. Parmalee – “Already Callin’ You Mine” -1 (Up 2)
  16. Big & Rich – “Run Away With You” 0 
  17. Jana Kramer – “I Got The Boy” +1 (Up 1)
  18. Kelsea Ballerini – “Dibs” -1 (Up 1) [Tied for Worst Song]
  19. LoCash – “I Love This Life” -1 (Up 1)
  20. Thomas Rhett – “Die A Happy Man” -1 (Up 1)
  21. Brad Paisley – “Country Nation” -1 (Up 2)
  22. Randy Houser – “We Went” -1 (Up 2)
  23. Sam Hunt – “Break Up In A Small Town” -1 (Down 1) [Tied for Worst Song]
  24. Granger Smith – “Backroad Song” -1 (Up 2)
  25. Hunter Hayes – “21” -1 [Tied for Worst Song]
  26. A Thousand Horses – “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial” -1 (Up 1)
  27. Chase Bryant – “Little Bit of You” -1 (Up 1)
  28. Dierks Bentley – “Riser” +1 (New to Top 30) [Tied for Best Song]
  29. Lee Brice – “That Don’t Sound Like You” -1 (Up 1)
  30. Zac Brown Band – “Beautiful Drug” -1 (New to Top 30) [Tied for Worst Song]

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -17

The pulse improved two spots this week!

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Brett Eldredge’s “Lose My Mind” went recurrent and fell from #6 to out of the top 30
  • The Band Perry’s “Live Forever” fell from #29 to out of the top 30 to #32

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Dierks Bentley – “Riser”
  • Zac Brown Band – “Beautiful Drug”

Song I Predict Will Reach #1 Next Week:

  • Old Dominion – “Break Up With Him”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Carrie Underwood – “Smoke Break” – Up 3 from #8 to #5
  • Dan + Shay – “Nothin’ Like You” – Up 3 from #9 to #6
  • Chris Young – “I’m Comin’ Over” – Up 3 from #10 to #7

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Brett Eldredge – “Lose My Mind” – Out of the Top 30
  • The Band Perry – “Live Forever” – Out of the Top 30
  • Chase Rice – “Gonna Wanna Tonight” – Down 8 from #2 to #10

Songs I See Going Recurrent & Leaving The Top 30 Soon:

  • Kenny Chesney – “Save It For A Rainy Day”
  • Chase Rice – “Gonna Wanna Tonight”

On The Hot Seat:

  • Big & Rich – “Run Away With You”
  • Hunter Hayes – “21”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Rascal Flatts – “I Like The Sound of That”
  • Michael Ray – “Real Men Love Jesus”
  • George Strait – “Cold Beer Conversation”
  • Dustin Lynch – “Mind Reader”

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

9 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [November 7]

  1. Raymond October 28, 2015 / 2:19 pm

    I’m thinking Big & Rich will last a little while longer (somehow) they had an add in the Country Aircheck saying that now that there about to hit Top 15. They want to have Big & Rich have back to back Top 10 songs and that has yet to happen and I imagine they’ll fight to the bitter end

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisandro Berry-Gaviria October 28, 2015 / 3:05 pm

    Looks like my prediction that neither “Save It For A Rainy Day” or “Strip It Down” would get multiple weeks at the top was completely wrong. LOL! I guess it’s nice to see the revolving door of one-week #1’s get interrupted like this, though, even if it means Luke Bryan gets a multiple-week #1.

    Josh, could you tell me where you find the updated charts for this? You’ve said you write them on Mondays, but I always have to wait until Tuesday—when the chart on Billboard updates—to see the new chart, and Wednesdays for the more in-depth Top 60 BDSRadio chart to update. So I have no idea where they’re published so early.

    “Live Forever” may re-enter the Top 30 next week, even if it loses audience again; as long as it doesn’t drop too much and isn’t overtaken by any other songs (namely “Drinkin’ Town With A Football Problem,” which is starting to pick up the pace), it’ll land at #30 next week because of “Save It For A Rainy Day” and “Gonna Wanna Tonight” going recurrent. Not like it’ll get much higher, though.

    It’s sad to see “Boy & A Girl Thing” struggling near the bottom of the chart. I really hope he (or William Michael Morgan) is the next On The Verge pick.


    • Josh Schott October 28, 2015 / 4:04 pm

      You have to subscribe to them on Billboard’s website. They send out a weekly country update with all of the charts and other information. I usually get mine in the inbox around 8-9 pm ET on Monday night.

      I doubt “Live Forever” re-enters. It’s pretty much a bust and radio shows no signs of giving it another chance. Plus the songs around it are getting solid gains.

      “Boy & A Girl Thing” may pick up, as Pitney said on social media he was filming a music video for it. They finally put out a lyric video for it at the end of last week. Curb has done a terrible job of promoting it and they should have had these videos out by now.


      • Lisandro Berry-Gaviria October 28, 2015 / 4:31 pm

        Okay, thanks for the info!


    • Scotty J October 28, 2015 / 4:31 pm

      Yep go to billboard biz and under subscribe there is a list of free newsletters that they send out and like Josh said the Country Update comes out Monday evenings.


  3. theknightswhosayni4 October 28, 2015 / 3:27 pm

    Oh god I hope Rascal Flatts’ new song doesn’t hit the top 30. I opted to listen to commercials over that terrible song the other day. That’s the worst of the worst. No Rascal Flatts, I absolutely DONT like the sound of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Scotty J October 28, 2015 / 4:28 pm

    I think ‘Riser’ is the clear cut best song in the top 30 right now. To me anyways ‘Burning House’ hasn’t stood the multiple listen test that defines a really great song. Still a +1 but no longer the best song.


    • Josh Schott October 28, 2015 / 4:32 pm

      I’m still thinking it over. I love both songs for sure.


  5. Zack October 28, 2015 / 5:06 pm

    Never thought I’d see the day when Zac Brown released a -1 song, especially one tied for the worst spot. Sigh….

    Good to see Brothers Osborne climbing, I’m hoping this can be an eventual #1. On a side note, I saw them at an acoustic show last night (with Gary Allan, Locash and Austin Webb), and they were phenomenal. I’m definitely a huge fan now! They definitely have some good (and unique) songs coming on their debut album.

    I’d probably be more inclined to go with “Burning House” over “Riser” by a slight margin. That’s probably just because I like songs with vague meanings (which is also why I liked “The Driver”)

    My Pulse this week: -16

    Liked by 1 person

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