The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [November 14]

Old Dominion
I don’t know what’s douchier: this album cover or the song.

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

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -17

The pulse stayed the same this week.

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Chase Rice’s “Gonna Wanna Tonight” after a year on the chart finally went recurrent and fell from #10 to out of the top 30
  • Also of note: The Band Perry’s “Live Forever” fell out off the chart altogether. Maybe they shouldn’t have went straight pop and start dressing like hipsters going to a rave at the beach. Just a thought.

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Rascal Flatts – “I Like The Sound of That”

Song I Predict Will Reach #1 Next Week:

  • Cole Swindell – “Let Me See Ya Girl”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • LoCash – “I Love This Life” – Up 4 from #19 to #15
  • Chris Young – “I’m Comin’ Over” – Up 2 from #7 to #5
  • Cole Swindell – “Let Me See Ya Girl” – Up 2 from #4 to #2

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Chase Rice – “Gonna Wanna Tonight” – Out of the Top 30
  • Luke Bryan – “Strip It Down” – Down 7 from #1 to #8

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

  • Kenny Chesney – “Save It For A Rainy Day”
  • Luke Bryan – “Strip It Down”

On The Hot Seat:

  • Hunter Hayes – “21”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Luke Bryan & Karen Fairchild – “Home Alone Tonight”
  • Keith Urban – “Break On Me”
  • Michael Ray – “Real Men Love Jesus”
  • Brantley Gilbert – “Stone Cold Sober”

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

17 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [November 14]

  1. darkhornet79 November 4, 2015 / 11:03 am

    How sad is it that this douche-fest of a song gets to #1, yet songs like “Better Than You Left Me” by Mickey Guyton can’t get a sniff of success. What’s that say about our society as a whole?


  2. darkhornet79 November 4, 2015 / 11:04 am

    #1-3 are all horrible. I can’t tell you how much I hate that Old Dominion song.


  3. Raymond November 4, 2015 / 11:13 am

    Can I just say I am stunned by how long Save It For A Rainy Day has stayed on the charts. Maybe songs that sound country are starting to prevail.

    As for The Band Perry I just can’t with them. The immaturity in Live Forever and it appears they are going to stay on that sinking ship. I do like their music before as If I Die Young remains a classic and I still love their debut album.

    Ok with tonights CMA Awards who else is hoping Maddie & Tae perform Shut Up & Fish. They already won for music video I hope they win all their categories. I have a decent feeling about tonights CMA Awards minus Entertainer but I think tonight is going to be good for country music.


    • Josh Schott November 4, 2015 / 11:33 am

      Well Chesney has been doing really well with his singles lately and “Save It For A Rainy Day” has seemed to resonate with a lot of people. Zac Brown Band’s “Homegrown” had a similar run like this earlier in the year if you recall.

      I think they’re definitely performing it. They’re pushing it at radio as we speak. No surprise they won for Music Video, as I saw that coming. Wish I had officially gotten my predictions post out before it had happened though. Haha! That’ll be out here shortly.


      • Raymond November 4, 2015 / 11:40 am

        I assume thats why this is out early. Anyway it was that and Keith Urban & Eric Church Raise Em Up for musical event so it’s already off to a decent start.

        I think the one category every one is looking forward to is Duo of The Year as you either reward the best duo or the worst. Also both have legitimate shots. I’m assuming you are gonna mention Hank Jr and Eric Church collaborating.

        Speaking of Eric Church sounds like he is going to drop a bombshell it sounds like he is releasing an album this week.


  4. lorenzofloris96 November 4, 2015 / 1:25 pm

    The Band Perry has probably torpedoed their career with the release of that Live Forever garbage. I’ve read a recent interview, in it they said that they have been heavily influenced by a lot of music (Loretta, Michael Jackson and Led Zeppelin) and that their album is going to flavor their pop said. you know what? I’m tired of this bullshit. You want to release a pop album? that’s great, go fucking pop and don’t pollute country radio.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ron12274 November 4, 2015 / 2:56 pm

      Makes no sense because the song had no chance at pop airplay anyway without first being a country hit. Now the song bombed and they better find a strong 2nd single or the album will be in trouble to even get released.


      • Josh Schott November 4, 2015 / 3:03 pm

        The Band Perry are in huge trouble. They’re new album is supposedly full of these songs. The best move they could do is just cancel the upcoming album, scrap it completely and go back to the drawing board. Otherwise I think this album could really hurt them.


  5. NoahHibiscusEaton November 4, 2015 / 1:39 pm

    The release of “Are You Ready For The Country” as a single pretty much means “Roller Coaster Ride” will remain an album track that received unsolicited airplay, instead of a sixth single.

    It definitely makes much more sense for Eric Church to release another single from his wildly consistent-selling Top Ten album than Miranda Lambert to release another single from her languishing current album. All the same, EMI Nashville sounds like they’re open to share in the promotion and marketing of this collaboration.


    Also, why in the world is “21” still climbing?

    What are the stakes here? It isn’t like its two predecessors (“Invisible”, “Tattoo”) did any better. “21” is not only an unnecessarily immature lack of effort from Hunter Hayes: it lacks any memorable qualities as well. The production is so middle of the road, and even “Tattoo” had a stronger hook than this does.

    The sales are poor, callout is below average, streaming is weak compared to his previous singles…………..what’s the point here, exactly? Move on, recalibrate and try something fresh. Stop wasting our time.


    I have to say it’s encouraging to see both “Breakup In A Small Town” and “Beautiful Drug” slowing down almost to a snail crawl on the heels of the “Live Forever” implosion.

    Of course it probably isn’t wise to let our guards down entirely seeing that “Breakup In A Small Town” is enjoying outstanding sales that could very well persuade radio programmers to wave the white flag no matter how terrible its callout may be. Then again, “Cop Car” was a massive sales hit for Keith Urban and it quixotically limped into the Top Ten to an eventual #8 peak. I’d like to think a similar fate will greet Sam Hunt’s monstrosity no matter how well it sells, and the flop of both this and “Beautiful Drug” will signal the resuscitation
    of gatekeeping in pure mainstream country.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raymond November 4, 2015 / 1:44 pm

      I imagine with 21 like we saw with Kip Moore and I’m To Blame. They are going to have this limp to a Top 20 peak.


    • Lisandro Berry-Gaviria November 4, 2015 / 3:11 pm

      “Break Up In A Small Town” had solid first-week callout, with a high Potential score of 91. But its Familiarity rating has to go up before we can be sure of anything.


  6. Lisandro Berry-Gaviria November 4, 2015 / 3:20 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Old Dominion holding at #1 next week, because they only just got to #1 on Mediabase’s chart and that means that Sony will continue to push the song this week. Also, “Anything Goes” is pretty much screwed, since it was #1 on Mediabase for the last week and is starting to lose ground now, so it’ll peak at #3 on Billboard.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. fromthewordsofbr November 9, 2015 / 6:31 pm

    Will we be seeing a Meat and Candy review?


    • Josh Schott November 9, 2015 / 6:50 pm

      I doubt it. I don’t really have any desire to hear it based on Old Dominion’s track record.


      • Raymond November 9, 2015 / 7:06 pm

        Really it makes Thomas Rhett’s album look good and we are overdue for a thrashing on this site. What pisses me off is that the songs these guys have a good writing history with songs like Say You Do and Better Dig Two.

        Besides I love a good thrashing every once in a while.


      • Lisandro Berry-Gaviria November 9, 2015 / 7:42 pm

        According to Zack it’s awful. But honestly, I don’t see Old Dominion having a lot of mainstream success beyond “Break Up With Him,” as I mentioned on Zack’s review of the album, so I wouldn’t blame you if you decided not to waste your time on it. Personally, I haven’t heard it yet, and don’t plan to.

        Liked by 1 person

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