The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [December 5]

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 
  2. Carrie Underwood – “Smoke Break” +1 (Up 1)
  3. Blake Shelton – “Gonna” -1 (Up 2)
  4. Dan + Shay – “Nothin’ Like You” -1 
  5. Jason Aldean – “Gonna Know We Were Here” -1 (Up 2)
  6. Cole Swindell – “Let Me See Ya Girl” -1 (Down 4) [Tied for Worst Song]
  7. Tim McGraw – “Top of the World” (Up 1)
  8. Cam – “Burning House” +1 (Up 1) 
  9. Brothers Osborne – “Stay A Little Longer” (Up 1)
  10. Thomas Rhett – “Die A Happy Man” -1 (Up 1)
  11. LoCash – “I Love This Life” -1 (Up 1)
  12. Parmalee – “Already Callin’ You Mine” -1 (Up 1)
  13. Jana Kramer – “I Got The Boy” +1 (Up 1)
  14. Big & Rich – “Run Away With You” 0 (Up 2)
  15. Sam Hunt – “Break Up In A Small Town” -1 (Up 2) [Tied for Worst Song]
  16. Kelsea Ballerini – “Dibs” -1 (Down 1) [Tied for Worst Song]
  17. Granger Smith – “Backroad Song” -1 (Up 1)
  18. Brad Paisley – “Country Nation” -1 (Up 2)
  19. Randy Houser – “We Went” -1 
  20. Zac Brown Band – “Beautiful Drug” -1 (Up 2) [Tied for Worst Song]
  21. Luke Bryan & Karen Fairchild – “Home Alone Tonight” -1 (Up 8) [Tied for Worst Song]
  22. Keith Urban – “Break On Me” -1 (Up 3)
  23. Chase Bryant – “Little Bit of You” -1
  24. A Thousand Horses – “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial” -1
  25. Eric Church – “Mr. Misunderstood” +1 (Up 5)
  26. Rascal Flatts – “I Like The Sound of That” -1
  27. Dierks Bentley – “Riser” +1 [Tied for Best Song]
  28. Lee Brice – “That Don’t Sound Like You” -1
  29. Chris Stapleton – “Nobody To Blame” +1 (New to Top 30) [Tied for Best Song]
  30. Brantley Gilbert – “Stone Cold Sober” -1 (New to Top 30)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -13

The pulse improved two spots again this week!

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Old Dominion’s “Break Up With Him” went recurrent and fell from #6 to out of the top 30
  • Hunter Hayes’ “21” went recurrent and fell from #21 (just like the song title) to out of the top 30

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Chris Stapleton – “Nobody To Blame” (!!!)
  • Brantley Gilbert – “Stone Cold Sober”

Song I Predict Will Reach #1 Next Week:

  • Carrie Underwood – “Smoke Break”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Luke Bryan & Karen Fairchild – “Home Alone Tonight” – Up 8 from #29 to #21
  • Eric Church – “Mr. Misunderstood” – Up 5 from #30 to #25
  • Keith Urban – “Break On Me” – Up 3 from #25 to #22

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Old Dominion – “Break Up With Him” – Out of the Top 30
  • Hunter Hayes – “21” – Out of the Top 30
  • Cole Swindell – “Let Me See Ya Girl” – Down 4 from #2 to #6

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

  • Cole Swindell – “Let Me See Ya Girl”
  • Kelsea Ballerini – “Dibs”
  • Lee Brice – “That Don’t Sound Like You”

On The Hot Seat:

  • A Thousand Horses – “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial”
  • Randy Houser – “We Went”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Florida Georgia Line – “Confession”
  • George Strait – “Cold Beer Conversation”
  • Dustin Lynch – “Mind Reader”
  • Michael Ray – “Real Men Love Jesus”

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

Also Happy Thanksgiving from Country Perspective!

12 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [December 5]

  1. Ron November 25, 2015 / 11:03 am

    Sadly Carrie’s shot at a #1 has passed. They made a final push but it wasn’t enough to overtake CY and now its losing spins. Yet another runner up position for her meaning Kelsea will have the only #1 by a solo female for 2015


    • Scotty J November 25, 2015 / 11:11 am

      Yep pretty amazing that one of the only major female acts on country radio can’t get a #1 with the lead single from a new album.


      • Ron November 25, 2015 / 11:13 am

        What I don’t understand is one more week and I’m Coming over would’ve started losing points and SB could’ve gotten to #1, why did the label do the final push last week? I don’t really know how those decisions are made but I’ve seen it happen many times

        Liked by 1 person

      • 5301janinedac November 25, 2015 / 11:17 am

        I think that the final push for Smoke Break was specifically meant to be this week so that she could perform the new single (Heartbeat) on the AMAs


      • Lisandro Berry-G November 25, 2015 / 11:43 am

        I was wondering the same thing, Ron. This just screams of the industry’s sexism…again. It’s sad.

        So now “I’m Comin’ Over” will get a third week at #1 on Billboard since it’s still being pushed for the Mediabase #1, and then “Gonna” will be #1 on Billboard after that. The only positives I’m seeing near the top of the chart are a) “Nothin’ Like You” slowing down. I’m guessing “Gonna Know We Were Here” will pass it two or three weeks from now, and that will be the final blow that screws it over. It may get to #1 on Mediabase, but I don’t think its chances are good on Billboard. And b) “Burning House” still rising solidly and looking to have a shot at #1 sometime in January.


    • 5301janinedac November 25, 2015 / 11:13 am

      Smoke Break reached top 10 in 5 weeks. I just don’t see how a song that achieved that doesn’t reach No.1 You’d think that country radio, given the “Tomato gate” controversy, would like more than just 1 song by a female to reach Number 1 (on the Billboard charts. At least on Mediabase there’s been more female No.1s)


  2. JD November 25, 2015 / 11:05 am

    I’m not too sure “Smoke Break” will reach Number 1. I’m hoping it will, but she seems to have moved on to “Heartbeat” (which IMO is the weakest track on Storyteller…ugh, Sam Hunt).


    • Becca November 25, 2015 / 6:56 pm

      I don’t have a huge problem with “Heartbeat,” but I’m baffled by why that would be a single over other songs like “Choctaw County Affair,” “Church Bells,” and “Renegade Runaway.”


  3. pete marshall November 25, 2015 / 12:41 pm

    I changed my opinion on Brad Paisley on “Country Nation” I really like the song and sounds more country and I will give it a +1.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amanda November 25, 2015 / 12:52 pm

    My pulse of the week’s top 30:

    1. Chris Young, “I’m Comin’ Over” — +1
    2. Carrie Underwood, “Smoke Break” — +1
    3. Blake Shelton, “Gonna” — -1
    4. Dan + Shay, “Nothin’ Like You” — +1
    5. Jason Aldean, “Gonna Know We Were Here” — -1
    6. Cole Swindell, “Let Me See Ya Girl” — -1 (tied for worst song)
    7. Tim McGraw, “Top of the World” — 0
    8. Cam, “Burning House” — +1 (tied for best song)
    9. Brothers Osborne, “Stay a Little Longer” — +1
    10. Thomas Rhett, “Die a Happy Man” — 0
    11. LoCash, “I Love This Life” — -1
    12. Parmalee, “Already Callin’ You Mine” — 0
    13. Jana Kramer, “I Got The Boy” — +1 (tied for best song)
    14. Big & Rich, “Run Away With You” — 0
    15. Sam Hunt, “Break Up In A Small Town” — 0
    16. Kelsea Ballerini, “Dibs” — -1
    17. Granger Smith, “Backroad Song” — -1
    18. Brad Paisley, “Country Nation” — +1
    19. Randy Houser, “We Went” — -1
    20. Zac Brown Band, “Beautiful Drug” — -1
    21. Luke Bryan and Karen Fairchild, “Home Alone Tonight” — -1 (tied for worst song)
    22. Keith Urban, “Break On Me” — 0
    23. Chase Bryant, “Little Bit of You” — 0
    24. A Thousand Horses, “This Ain’t No Drunk Dial” — 0
    25. Eric Church, “Mr. Misunderstood” — +1
    26. Rascal Flatts, “I Like the Sound of That” — 0
    27. Dierks Bentley, “Riser” — +1
    28. Lee Brice, “That Don’t Sound Like You” — -1
    29. Chris Stapleton, “Nobody to Blame” — +1 (so proud of Chris Stapleton for his CMA wins and his budding impact on the mainstream country charts! 🙂 Hopefully he can keep it up, and I’m really hoping this song will be a big hit for him.)
    30. Brantley Gilbert, “Stone Cold Sober” — +1 (I know this is kind of an unpopular opinion, but I really like Brantley Gilbert. And I like this song. I think he is an incredible songwriter and deserves all of the success he’s gotten and maybe even more. I know he’s more rock than country, but it think he’s amazing and he is one artist that I am happy to defend. 🙂 I hope this song is another #1 for him.)


  5. NoahHibiscusEaton November 25, 2015 / 1:27 pm

    But Carrie Underwood DID reach #1. It just happened to be the Mediabase chart she achieved it on, which to regular chartwatchers is probably deemed as inferior to the Billboard chart due to 1) Billboard having more name recognition and 2) the fact it’s easier to manipulate the Mediabase chart because it is determined by net weekly spins whereas Billboard is by audience (labels inflate overnight and morning spins, regardless of market, in their drive for #1 Mediabase hits frequently, while it doesn’t work with Billboard).

    Not diminishing the disappointment felt among her fans, but in the minds of the industry she does have another #1 to her name.


    • Scotty J November 25, 2015 / 2:42 pm

      Yes but from a country music chart historical standpoint Billboard is by far the more prestigious chart and has far more significance for the reasons you mentioned so it’s kind of like winning entertainer of the year at the CMAs or the American Country Countdown awards.

      If you when at the Countdown awards but not the CMAs they could say they won entertainer of the year (or whatever they call it) but everybody knows it’s a second rate inferior honor. Same with Mediabase vs. Billboard.

      When you have been doing this for 60+ years like Billboard you become the gold standard for charts.


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