The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [November 28]

Chris Young I'm Comin' Over

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

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -15

The pulse improved two spots this week!

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Florida Georgia Line’s “Anything Goes” went recurrent and fell from #7 to out of the top 30
  • Billy Currington’s “Drinking Town with a Football Problem” went recurrent and fell from #30 to out of the top 30

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Luke Bryan & Karen Fairchild – “Home Alone Tonight”
  • Eric Church – “Mr. Misunderstood”

Song I Predict Will Reach #1 Next Week:

  • Cole Swindell – “Let Me See Ya Girl”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Luke Bryan & Karen Fairchild – “Home Alone Tonight” – Up 9 from #38 to #29
  • Eric Church – “Mr. Misunderstood” – Up 6 from #36 to #30
  • Multiple Songs Moved Up Two Spots

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Florida Georgia Line – “Anything Goes” – Out of the Top 30
  • Billy Currington – “Drinkin’ Town with a Football Problem” – Out of the Top 30
  • Old Dominion – “Break Up With Him” – Down 5 from #1 to #6

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

  • Old Dominion – “Break Up With Him”
  • Hunter Hayes – “21”
  • Lee Brice – “That Don’t Sound Like You”
  • Big & Rich – “Run Away With You”

On The Hot Seat:

  • Parmalee – “Already Callin’ You Mine”
  • Randy Houser – “We Went”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Chris Stapleton – “Nobody To Blame” (It’s happening!)
  • Brantley Gilbert – “Stone Cold Sober”
  • Florida Georgia Line – “Confession”
  • George Strait – “Cold Beer Conversation”

Notable Debuts: Maddie & Tae’s “Shut Up and Fish” makes a hot shot debut at #51 and Hank Williams Jr. & Eric Church’s “Are You Ready For The Country?” debuts at #58.

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

24 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [November 28]

  1. Zack November 18, 2015 / 12:37 pm

    My Pulse chart (now that I’ve done some thinking over the weeks)

    1. I’m Comin’ Over – 0
    2. Let Me See Ya Girl – -1
    3. Smoke Break – +1 (it’s very light at this point, but it’s still not bad)
    4. Nothin’ Like You – -1
    5. Gonna – -1
    6. Break Up With Him – -1
    7. Gonna Know We Were Here – -1
    8. Top Of The World – 0
    9. Burning House – +1(Best Song)
    10. Stay A Little Longer- +1
    11. Die A Happy Man – -1 (when the hell did this get here?!? I thought it was still in the 20s…)
    12. I Love This Life – -1
    13. Already Callin’ You Mine – -1
    14. I Got The Boy – +1
    15. Dibs – -1
    16. Run Away With You – 0
    17. Breakup In A Small Town – -1 (Worst Song)
    18. Backroad Song – -1
    19. We Went – -1
    20. Country Nation – 0 (I find this more average than anything)
    21. 21- -1
    22. Beautiful Drug – -1
    23. Little Bit Of You – -1
    24. This Ain’t No Drunk Dial – 0
    25. Break On Me – 0
    26. I Like The Sound Of That – -1
    27. Riser – -1
    28. That Don’t Sound Like You- -1
    29. Home Alone Tonight – -1
    30. Mr. Misunderstood – +1

    Will come back later with the next 30 for a final pulse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raymond November 18, 2015 / 12:38 pm

      Riser a -1. Are you sure that’s right.


      • Zack November 18, 2015 / 12:49 pm

        Oops, that’s what I get for typing on the go. Yes, Riser should definitely be a +1. My bad.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Zack November 18, 2015 / 1:52 pm

    Back with the rest of it!

    31. Nobody To Blame: +1
    32. Stone Cold Sober: 0
    33. Real Men Love Jesus: -1
    34. Cold Beer Conversation: 0
    35. Mind Reader: -1
    36. Better In Boots: -1
    37. Yup: -1
    38. Head Over Boots: +1
    39. Hole In A Bottle: -1
    40. Confession: -1
    41. Blue Bandana: +1
    42. Drunk On Your Love: -1
    43. Night’s On Fire: 0
    44. Painkiller: -1
    45. High Class: -1
    46. Southern Belle: -1
    47. Running For You: +1
    48. I Met A Girl: +1
    49. Power Of Positive Drinkin’: -1
    50. Boy and A Girl Thing: 0
    51. Shut Up and FIsh: +1
    52. Next Boyfriend: -1
    53. Freaks Like Me: 0
    54. I Am Invincible: 0
    55. Crazy Over Me: +1
    56. Crazy Too: +1
    57. You Look Like I Need A Drink: +1
    58. Are You Ready For The Country: +1 (how do you really grade this one?)
    59. Somewhere Tonight: -1
    60. When I’m Gone: +1

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kevin Davis November 18, 2015 / 3:21 pm

    Yep, I’ve heard “Nobody to Blame” a few times this week. The first time was after they played Jason Aldean! The contrast was hilarious. And our local DJ’s have gone out of their way to praise the song and mention the artist (Stapleton), which is not common nowadays.

    You may be interested — though it has nothing to do with this chart — I’ve been to a few country concerts recently. The best one, by far, was Whitey Morgan. I went with my brother, and we both agreed that it was one of the best concerts that we have ever seen. If you want to convert someone to real country, just take him or her to a Whitey Morgan show. Also, the talent in his band is unbelievable — a very tight group. Whitey took a few minutes in the middle of the show to express his disappointed at country music today, having grown-up on Waylon and Johnny Paycheck. Needless to say, the crowd applauded loudly!

    I also saw Lucy Angel, a mother-daughter-daughter group, and they did a very nice job. One of our stations has been playing “Crazy Too,” and it even made the local top ten countdown. I am convinced that these female artists could receive the same success as their male counterparts if only they had the same exposure and money behind them. Alas, they are relegated to second-class citizens on their labels.

    I saw A Thousand Horses, and I have to say that I was impressed. They are not country, of course, but if you appreciate the style of Southern rock that they are pursuing then you can enjoy it. Their best songs at the show were “Travelin Man,” “Sunday Morning,” “Tennessee Whiskey,” and “Smoke.” They remind me of The Black Crowes, and not surprisingly they did a fantastic rendition of “Hard to Handle.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott November 18, 2015 / 4:11 pm

      Whitey is at the top of my to-see list. I believe you when you say he’s excellent in concert, as many others have told me the same. I’ve been watching his schedule like a hawk and hopefully he swings by my neck of the woods soon.

      Haven’t really listened to much of Lucy Angel and I’ll have to give them a listen soon. I have a feeling A Thousand Horses is going to be another mainstream act that shows they have potential, but wastes them on terribly stupid songs, as their singles indicate. I really wanted to like their album more, but it just went off the rails too much. Hopefully they reign it in and release better singles.


      • Kevin Davis November 18, 2015 / 6:02 pm

        I agree that A Thousands Horses is a mixed bag. My impression of the album was all over the map, and I enjoyed the concert more than the album. However, if I were to select my favorite songs from their LP and reduce it to an EP, I would be happy with their output. They are at their best when Michael Hobby gets out his harmonica and they do a solid blues-based Southern rock number. Unfortunately, they do not do this often enough.

        Lucy Angel is pop-country, but there is good and bad pop-country. They are good pop-country. “Crazy Too” reminds me of “Suds in the Bucket.” I haven’t evaluated their album yet, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it is too pop and overproduced for my liking.


  4. Lisandro Berry-Gaviria November 18, 2015 / 3:28 pm

    “Let Me See Ya Girl” has peaked at #2; it’s already losing spins on Mediabase and should be down to around #6 on Billboard next week. I expect “I’m Comin’ Over” to hold at #1 on Billboard next week (since it only just reached #1 on Mediabase and Young’s label will want to keep it there for a full week), then “Smoke Break” will be #1 the week after that on both Billboard and Mediabase.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. NoahHibiscusEaton November 18, 2015 / 3:57 pm

    Here’s my chart:


    1: Chris Young: “I’m Comin’ Over”: 0 (I’ve just never seen nor heard what’s particularly good about this track. It sounds hurried and anonymous just like “Who I Am With You” was to me. It’s serviceable but boring, and I view Chris Young as basically the Daughtry of country music lately)

    2: Cole Swindell: “Let Me See Ya Girl”: -1 (I disagree this is tied for the worst on the chart presently. Honestly, the melody is agreeable and inoffensive. It’s more a laughably awful track than a cringe-inducing kind of awful to my ears. Still…)

    3: Carrie Underwood: “Smoke Break”: 0 (Still fail to see why this was so critically-acclaimed to begin with, especially the claims this is a new sound for her. It’s not. It’s very much in her rock-driven reach-for-the-rafters arena anthem lead single wheelhouse, albeit lyrically a departure from boy-bashing. The lyrics are definitely easy to relate to and has a populist appeal, but also short of storytelling quality and pass off more as surface data vignettes. It works well enough, but doesn’t impress me either.)

    4: Dan + Shay: “Nothin’ Like You”: -1 (Here’s the thing: as a Pop/Adult Top 40 song, this would be pretty solid. The lead vocalist has a great deal of energy and enthusiasm in his delivery that makes for a convincing feel-good anthem, and the mandolin adds to the positive youthful vibe as well. But this is being marketed as a COUNTRY song, and thus it needs to be called out as an infraction on the genre.)

    5: Blake Shelton: “Gonna”: -1 (Melodically, this is fairly enjoyable and I’ll admit Shelton sounds genuinely engaged in his vocals in a way we haven’t heard since his otherwise awful “Boys Round Here”. Otherwise, this just screams auto-pilot between the vanilla production and fluffy lyrics.)

    6: Old Dominion: “Break Up With Him”: -1 (There’s no song I have as much a seething hatred for than this one. It’s lyrical asbestos and between the faceless glossy production and lead vocalists lazy attempts at rap cadences in the former half of each verse, I’m praying this has very little recurrent airplay from here on out.)

    7: Jason Aldean: “Gonna Know We We Here”: -1 (No matter how much Aldean visually presents the song as a college football pride anthem, I think this is clearly about horny young lust much like every other single from this otherwise decent album. Hence why I avoid hearing the “leave a few stains” lyric at all costs.)

    8: Tim McGraw: “Top of the World” 0 (This has grown on me somewhat. Between McGraw’s pleasant delivery and positive lovey-dovey lyrics, it’s impossible to hate this even with the electronic influences in the production. Still, not anything that I’ll go out of my way to listen to or will hold up well years from now.)

    9: Cam: “Burning House”: +1 (I just love the warm intimacy and lyrical ambiguity of this. The instrumentation is admittedly hardly country, but this is the kind of record that demonstrates the power of a song on its own merit.)

    10: The Brothers Osbourne: “Stay A Little Longer”: 0 (Growing up on Triple A radio, the instrumentation and burly lead vocals obviously hit a soft spot with me here. It definitely SOUNDS good. But this isn’t distinctively country, and the lyrics are too “Been there, said that!” to make much of an impact.)

    11: Thomas Rhett: “Die A Happy Man”: -1 (Ed Sheehan called. He wants “Thinking Out Loud” back. Also, does he think he is Pat Monahan lyrically?)

    12: LoCash: “I Love This Life”: -1 (Good for them in lyrically infecting gratitude and collecting what will be their first Top Ten hit as a lead act. But between the horrid Auto-Tune, horrid cluttered production and a dumb second verse, I don’t love this song.)

    13: Parmalee: “Already Callin’ You Back”: -1 (The instrumentation is fine enough with hints of pedal steel not buried in the mix. It’s lyrically where they lose me. I do think they attempt to put a little nuance in the second verse, but don’t go far enough to avoid coming across as overreaching and off-putting.)

    14: Jana Kramer: “I Got The Boy”: +1 (Dobro! And I appreciate the nuanced lyricism toeing the line between gratitude and jealousy on the part of the narrator. A solid contemporary take on a classic country mode of composition.)

    15: Kelsea Ballerini: “Dibs”: -1 (Between the Ke$ha-esque faux-rap flirtations at the end of the choruses, gang vocal “Heys!” and pandering to bro-country tropes………….nah, I’ll pass!)

    16: Big & Rich: “Run Away With You”: 0 (It’s competent all-around, which is a plus. Still, we KNOW this duo is capable of so much more and this half-assed, low-energy result is still very disappointing.)

    17: Sam Hunt: “Breakup In A Small Town”: -1 (You say you have to move or move on, yet you spend the entire duration whining about the breakup! And no, you’re not Drake!)

    18: Granger Smith: “Backroad Song”: -1 (AKA Joe Nichols’ “Yeah” with a pinch of Blake Shelton’s “Sure Be Cool If You Did”. Both those songs were -1, by the way. Enough said.)

    19: Randy Houser: “We Went’: -1 (Whoa, look out! Houser is super-outlaw badass! His writers sure have a way with grammar in the first two verses too! 😉 )

    20: Brad Paisley: “Country Nation”: 0 (See “Run Away With You”.)

    21: Hunter Hayes: “21” (Wouldn’t it be ironically amusing if this is where this puerile, intelligence – insulting track ends up peaking? 😉 )

    22: Zac Brown Band: “Beautiful Drug”: -1 (Hopefully this song has a death wish too…)

    23: Chase Bryant: “Little Bit Of You”: -1 (We know Bryant is skilled at guitar, and at least his dull debut single had an impressive solo. This doesn’t even do his musicianship justice. Otherwise boring beyond compare.)

    24: A Thousand Horses: “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial”: -1 (Everything about this is painfully lethargic. The phrasing in the former half of each verse is exactly the same as “Smoke” went, and the latter half like a peak-era Kenny Chesney mid-tempo. And again, the overdone “Yeah, I’m callin’ you late but I swear I ain’t drunk!” theme. When you have to explain it, it’s usually a sure sign I don’t believe you.)

    25: Keith Urban: “Break On Me”: -1 (I could give this a 0 because it’s main crime is being dreadfully boring more than anything. But Urban is BETTER THAN THIS with his ballads and tough love is warranted in reminding him of this.)

    26: Rascal Flatts: “I Like The Sound Of That”: -1 (Nothing worthy of tearing apart, but just smacks as desperate in trying to remain culturally relevant between the Timberlake and ringtone references. Despite this, the track feels way too tentative: uncommitted in either going full-on modern or nod back to their original sound.)

    27: Dierks Bentley: “Riser”: +1 (Just an all-around cathartic and emotionally committed effort with a more restrained production that fits the personal vibe. Please keep climbing!)

    28: Lee Brice: “That Don’t Sound Like You”: -1 (What he may have did or not do is none of your business, as long as she’s still interested in him, Lee! Oh, and what a coincidence that everything he insists she is just happen to be the most obvious laundry list country descriptors! Who would have guessed? 😉 )

    29: Luke Bryan: “Home Alone Tonight (Featuring Karen Fairchild)”: -1 (Haha! I just sent a vengeful text with an accompanying picture depicting me hooking up with a stranger! TAKE THAT! Oh, and a bunch of shots and tic-toccing clocks and, stuff…)

    30: Eric Church: “Mr. Misunderstood”: +1 (See, Eric? THIS is how you play the outsider card! Here, you go for heartstring-plucking populism, and you hit this out of the park! Love the Don McLean-esque flavor of this.)


    Final Score: -16

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott November 18, 2015 / 4:22 pm

      I have to ask if you have seen the music video for “Break Up with Him”? It’s arguably worse than the song.

      Perfect comment on “Beautiful Drug.” Let’s hope this death wish leads to an exit from the radio soon.

      Glad someone else gets why I hate that Lee Brice song. When I reviewed his album I was hoping and praying this wouldn’t be a single. Lo and behold it is. But the good news is that it looks to be leaving soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Derek Hudgin November 18, 2015 / 4:48 pm

        Gah, that music video is terrible! Is it just me or do all these douchey bros sound similar when they sing? Listening to that Old Dominion album (and Michael Ray’s too) I felt that I had heard this same voice sing a different song. Brett Eldredge, Dustin Lynch, Sam Hunt all came to mind when I heard those albums.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Raymond November 18, 2015 / 5:06 pm

        While I wasn’t a fan of Dustin Lynchs new album. He definitely doesn’t come off as a douchey bro. Now Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, and FGL. Yes they all do. Dustin Lynch just doesn’t come to mind as one of them. No offense Derek.


      • Zack November 18, 2015 / 5:26 pm

        “What You Wanna Hear” alone solidifies Dustin’s place as a douche bro.

        Hey there’s an idea! A new name for these guys! Brouche! (Bro + Douche)


      • NoahHibiscusEaton November 18, 2015 / 5:28 pm

        I haven’t seen Old Dominion’s video, and I don’t care to with my take on the track crystallized! 😉

        Knowing Lee Brice’s chart track record, I wouldn’t bet against its chart run being already over just yet! =P


      • Raymond November 18, 2015 / 5:40 pm

        I meant more in the sense of how Dustin comes off in interviews. Comes off more likable than like Luke Bryan, Brett Eldredge and FGL.


  6. Danik Gillespie November 18, 2015 / 4:35 pm

    I’m surprised you put Randy Houser’s “We Went” on the hot seat. It seems to be gaining fairly well on the mediabase charts…


    • Scotty J November 18, 2015 / 6:11 pm

      It’s almost flat today which may just be a pause or could be signs of stagnation.


  7. Zack November 18, 2015 / 4:50 pm

    One thing I will say from the Pulse and the various comments from people that I’ve learned is how to be critical. I look at songs differently now and really examine them. From the lyrics to the production I’ve regained a valuable skill that was beaten out of me before by mainstream country radio.

    Just a random thought is all really.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jason November 18, 2015 / 8:12 pm

    Time to make my list I guess…

    1: I’m Comin’ Over- +1
    This was one of the best songs off of his new album, which isn’t saying much. I used to hate it, but it’s grown on me.
    2: Let Me See Ya Girl- -1
    It’s the least awful song Cole Swindell has released, which makes it the most bland. I don’t know how people stay awake through this.
    3: Smoke Break- 0
    It doesn’t do much for me. I’ve never been a fan of Carrie Underwood, and I’m not impressed by this. It’s alright.
    4: Nothin’ Like You- 0
    At least Dan and Shay sound like they’re enjoying themselves. It’s bland, inoffensive, and entirely forgettable pop country.
    5: Gonna- -1
    Generic, boring, and Blake doesn’t turn in his best performance.
    6: Break Up With Him- -1(000,000)
    Who the hell greenlit this? The best part of the song is the instrumentation which is actually decent, but the lyrics are insufferable, and the music video is worse, like Old Dominion are the good guys. Also, who wrote the line “rip it off just like a bandaid”? I bet they thought they were clever when they came up with that.
    Side note: this is the most memorable song off of “Meat & Candy”, which should be titled “Vegan Meat and Necco Wafers”: It’s completely bland, devoid of personality, and is a waste of time.
    7: Gonna Know We Were Here- -1
    It’s like Tattoos On This Town, except it’s trash and has needless innuendos that add nothing.
    8: Top Of The World- 0
    Its alright. Typical pop-country lead single fluff.
    9: Burning House- +1
    Perfect in every way, aside from one nitpick about the music video (seriously, Cam smiling the whole way through bugs me way more than it should).
    10: Stay A Little Longer- +1
    Is the EP version better? Yes. Is the radio version bad? Absolutely not: it’s a guilty pleasure of mine that I enjoy a lot more than I should.
    11: Die A Happy Man- -1
    Aside from being a shameless ripoff, Thomas Rhett has an unbearable voice. The lyrics are pretty alright, and I’m a sucker for the R&B trend in country (sue me), but I can’t forgive such a shameless ripoff.
    12: I Love This Life- -1
    The production is obnoxious and the lyrics are forgettable. Nothing sticks with me.
    13: Already Callin’ You Mine- -1
    The lyrics are garbage. It’s jumping from “I barely know you, you barely know me” to “I’m already thinking about you and me getting out of here and taking a drive”: it comes off as almost desperate.
    14: I Got The Boy- +1
    Jana Kramer may have gone off the deep end with “Thirty One”, but she knows how to choose her singles. Mature, somber, introspective, and basically the antithesis of the rest of that album.
    15: Dibs- -1
    Generic lyrics, generic beat, generic vocals, coming off a generic album. This is who’s supposed to replace Taylor Swift? Good luck with that…
    16: Run Away With You- 0
    It was the obvious single choice off of their album. It doesn’t do anything poorly, doesn’t do anything great… It’s alright.
    17: Break Up In A Small Town- -1
    I hate saying that I hate Sam Hunt. He’s an excellent technical writer. He’s got some talent. However, if his “acoustic mixtape” didn’t prove he’s trying to emulate a certain artist, then this should. I hate his weird talk-singing. What do you even say about this song? “Oh, I love Sam Hunt’s music, he’s an excellent talker”.
    18: Backroad Song- -1
    This is the worst kind of pandering.
    19: We Went- -1
    Aside from the overly slick production that is a complete mismatch when paired with Houser’s vocals, the lyrics have no effort put into them. Let’s pick them apart, shall we? The song begins with them driving in a Pontiac, kicking up dust, generic nonsense. Then there’s some girl who gets him going, they’re driving, sounds like a generic love song. Then we get to the chorus, where apparently Houser is on the run, so he jumps a ditch Dukes Of Hazzard style, tears through some poor farmer’s cornfield, runs through a fence (which can’t be good for his Pontiac, or truck, or whatever it is bro-stars drive now). By this point, he probably should’ve just turned himself in; he’s already getting charged with trespassing, property damage, and avoiding arrest, as well as what I assume to be theft as he has a pocket of cash. Houser, in his infinite wisdom, decides to stop this chase and dance while playing music, which obviously won’t give away where he is (these cops must be completely inept if Houser and his girlfriend can dance for multiple songs without being noticed). He’s found (what a shock), and speeds off again. Repeat Dukes Of Hazzard role play while he listens to his loud music and tries to find a spot nobody knows, which everybody will know shortly if he keeps playing his radio. Repeat property damage, and he’s still on the run when the song ends, now probably racking up years in prison. Great song, am I right?
    20: Country Nation- -1
    Remember when I said Backroad Song was the lowest form of pandering? Well, I was wrong…
    21: 21: -1
    Hunter Hayes is gonna party like he turned 21, by doing whatever 12 year olds think 21 year olds do.
    22: Beautiful Drug- -1
    Oh, how the mighty have fallen…
    23: Little Bit Of You- -1
    I heard it once and came away with absolutely nothing.
    24: This Ain’t No Drunk Dial- -1
    It’s the same old thing. How many times will this same song be rehashed before this idea gets scrapped? When Jon Pardi can’t do this song right, nobody can.
    25: Break On Me- 0
    It’s boring, boring, very very boring…
    26: I Like The Sound Of That- -1
    No I don’t.
    27: Riser- +1
    Fantastic. What else is there to say! It’s an all around solid song.
    28: That Don’t Sound Like You: -1
    See 25.
    29: Home Alone Tonight w/ That Girl From Little Big Town- -1
    It’s time for another look at lyrics. So, we begin with them buying drinks for each other. Not bad yet, the production is alright, although Little Big Town person sounds completely disinterested. Go to the chorus, they’re getting over breakups. This is a fairly common trope in country music, tackled in numerous songs across the decades. They’re going to hook up and have a night they won’t regret. They’re going to handle their breakup maturely, and by maturely I mean like 9 year olds. They proceed to take selfies and send them to their exes in a bitter, drunken rage. Bet they won’t regret that in the morning. They stumble across the dance floor like the drunken fools they are before they get a cab and repeat the word shot ad nauseum, before the chorus repeats twice and the song mercifully comes to a close. I assume that their partners broke up with them because of behavior like this, which leads me to believe they’ve learned nothing and are doomed to never find a stable relationship because they act like children.
    30: Mr Misunderstood- +1
    I love this album, and this is one of the weaker songs off of it. That being said, it’s still fantastic. The writing is superb, though I’m not a fan of tempo changes when they’re overused, and they’re overused here. That being said, it’s a great lead off single for a great album.


    BEST SONGS: Burning House, I Got The Boy, Mr. Misunderstood
    WORST SONGS: Home Alone Tonight, Break Up With Him, We Went

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scotty J November 18, 2015 / 8:40 pm

      Great breakdowns of #19 and #29.


  9. Amanda November 19, 2015 / 2:57 pm

    I’ve followed this blog for quite a while and love reading all of the insightful articles, but I’ve never posted a comment before. For my first comment, I’ll give my opinion/pulse of this week’s top 30:

    1.) Chris Young, “I’m Comin’ Over” — +1 I like this song a lot. I’m a fan of Chris Young and it’s nice to see him return to his roots, especially after “Aw Naw”, the one song I was not overly crazy about of his. Congratulations Chris on your #1 song. Very well deserved.

    2.) Cole Swindell, “Let Me See Ya Girl” — -1 (tied for worst song) I have no use for Cole Swindell or his music. It is sad to see someone as talentless as Mr. Swindell just skate by with crap like this song and score hits left and right, while more talented artists (Kacey Musgraves, Mickey Guyton, Jon Pardi, Mo Pitney, Ashley Monroe, and William Michael Morgan, for example) continue to be sidelined by country radio. This is a painfully dumb song with painfully dumb lyrics.

    3.) Carrie Underwood, “Smoke Break” — +1 Can we just agree that right now in mainstream country, Carrie Underwood is the best vocalist by far? Hopefully she can get a #1 with this song.

    4.) Dan + Shay, “Nothin’ Like You” — +1 I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I like Dan + Shay. This song is a bit Rascal Flatts-ish, but it is a cute, sweet, nice song. I like it.

    5.) Blake Shelton, “Gonna” — -1 I miss early 2000s Blake Shelton. This is a stupid song with stupid lyrics, such as “love you every night and Daytona”. WTH is that supposed to mean, Blake? Oh well, at least it sounds like Blake is having fun.

    6.) Old Dominion, “Break Up With Him” — -1 (tied for worst song) There are no words to explain the seething hate I have for this song. The only song I’ve ever hated more than this one is Jason Aldean’s “Burnin’ It Down”. The narrator of this song comes off as a soulless, misogynistic, egotistical, creepy douchebag. I especially hate the “hey girl, what’s up?” part. If any guy were to ever speak this way to me like that, he would get a smack right in the face. Unfortunately for us, it does get worse. Old Dominion’s next single, “Snapback”, is even worse than “Break Up With Him”. If I were you, I would do my ears a favor and avoid that song at all costs. Old Dominion is the musical equivalent of dog shit. Sorry for my mini-rant, but I had to get that off of my chest. 🙂

    7.) Jason Aldean, “Gonna Know We Were Here” — -1 I haven’t cared for Jason Aldean since “Burnin’ It Down”, aka “Quite Possibly the Worst Song in Country Music Thus Far”. I’m not a fan of this song. And don’t get me started on the very inappropriate line of this song, “leave a few stains”. Ewwwwww 😦

    8.) Tim McGraw, “Top of the World” — 0 This is more average than anything. Not fantastic, but far from bad.

    9.) Cam, “Burning House” — +1 (tied for best song) This is an incredible song. Beautiful story, beautiful lyrics, beautiful melody, and an incredible vocal performance by Cam. It would be amazing if she can get a #1 hit with this song. I can’t wait to get my copy of her debut album.

    10.) Brothers Osborne, “Stay A Little Longer” — +1 I really like this song. I have been very impressed by Brothers Osborne and their musical output thus far. They are extremely talented: John is one hell of a guitar player and TJ has one hell of a voice. Musically, they are very interesting. I would love to see this song go to #1.

    11.) Thomas Rhett, “Die A Happy Man” — 0 This song isn’t as bad as it looks on paper. Yes, it is basically a rip-off of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” (which is a much better song than this one), but it’s not that bad. It’s really more average than anything and yes, it’s kinda boring. But on the bright side, it’s much better than that horrid “Make Me Wanna”.

    12.) LoCash, “I Love This Life” — -1 Overproduced, WAY TOO MUCH AUTOTUNE, bland checklist cliche lyrics, and a video that makes the guys appear obnoxious. This is not a good song, but it could be worse.

    13.) Parmalee, “Already Calling You Mine” — 0 Meh. It’s alright. I like the steel guitar in the song.

    14.) Jana Kramer, “I Got the Boy” — +1(tied for best song) This is an incredible song. Nice melody, nice reflective lyrics, nice story. Jana does a great job with this song. I’ve been a huge fan of Jana Kramer since “Why Ya Wanna” and it’s nice to see her get the chart success she deserves. I would love to see her at least crack the top 5 with this song and it would be awesome if she could make it to #1.

    15.) Kelsea Ballerini, “Dibs” — -1 Kelsea comes off as really stupid and immature in this song. Kelsea seems to be a really sweet and likeable person, but I just don’t see what the big deal is about her. In my opinion, she just doesn’t really have very much talent. It’s sad to see someone with minimal talent, such as Kelsea Ballerini, succeed, while extremely talented female singers, such as Kacey Musgraves, Mickey Guyton, and Ashley Monroe continue to struggle.

    16.) Big & Rich, “Run Away With You” — 0 It’s alright. It has likeable production elements. Not great, but far from terrible.

    17.) Sam Hunt, “Break Up in a Small Town” — 0 Another unpopular opinion, I know. I like Sam Hunt. I think he is very talented and I appreciate his creativity. I enjoy Sam’s music, but this song is his weakest single and does not do anything for me. It’s kinda bland and boring, average at best.

    18.) Granger Smith, “Backroad Song” — -1 The lyrics of this song are the most pandering lyrics I’ve ever heard. I’m not a fan.

    19.) Randy Houser, “We Went” — -1 So very boring. This song lacks any sort of interest whatsoever.

    20.) Brad Paisley, “Country Nation” — +1 Yes, I know it’s a checklist song to rival all other checklist songs, but the production is likeable and the instrumentation is awesome, with plenty of fiddle and pedal steel throughout, which I love. Brad Paisley is extremely talented and this song is a guilty pleasure of mine.

    21.) Hunter Hayes, “21” — -1 I have been impressed with Hunter Hayes in the past, he is an extremely talented person. But this song is just boring and kind of immature. Better luck next time, Hunter.

    22.) Zac Brown Band, “Beautiful Drug” — -1 I sincerely hope and pray this song does not have much more chart success. It’s bad, very bad. I have been impressed with Zac Brown Band’s musical output in the past, but this song is just a MAJOR disappointment.

    23.) Chase Bryant, “Little Bit of You” — 0 Meh.

    24.) A Thousand Horses, “This Ain’t No Drunk Dial” — 0 Meh. It’s alright, I guess, but I’ll take Jon Pardi’s drunk-dial song “When I’ve Been Drinkin'” over this any day.

    25.) Keith Urban, “Break on Me” — 0 I haven’t heard this enough to have a solid opinion of it, but it’s okay, I guess.

    26.) Rascal Flatts, “I Like The Sound of That” — 0 Meh. It’s alright, I guess.

    27.) Dierks Bentley, “Riser” — +1 Another fantastic song from Dierks. He just keeps getting better and better.

    28.) Lee Brice, “That Don’t Sound Like You” — -1 This is probably the most boring song in the top 30. So very boring, so very bland, so very blah.

    29.) Luke Bryan & Karen Fairchild, “Home Alone Tonight” — -1 (tied for worst song) This song pisses me off. This song is so damn immature that it makes “Dibs” and “21” look like “Burning House”. The people portrayed by Luke and Karen in this song seem to have no conscience, and this is a very stupid, very immature bar hookup one night stand song. I feel more embarrassed for Karen more than anything because Little Big Town has some decent to good songs (Girl Crush, Boondocks, “Bring it on Home”, etc.). She sounds like she’d rather be anywhere but singing this song. As for Luke, he has had some decent songs in the past, but this is just awful. I mean, sending revenge selfies to the exes of the characters in the song? Selfies, Luke, really? You’re pushing forty freaking years old. GROW UP!!!!!!!!!!!!! Again, sorry for my mini-rant, but I had to get that off of my chest. 🙂

    30.) Eric Church, “Mr. Misunderstood” — +1 Another solid song from Eric Church. And a relatable one at that. Nice job, Mr. Church.

    My pulse: -3 (unless I did my math wrong).



    • Josh Schott November 19, 2015 / 3:38 pm

      Welcome Amanda! Glad to see you commenting and hope to see you more. Your mini rant on Old Dominion is great too!


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