The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [December 19]

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

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -13

The pulse remains the same this week.

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Big & Rich’s “Run Away With You” went recurrent and fell from #11 to out of the top 30

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Brett Eldredge – “Drunk on Your Love”

Song I Predict Will Reach #1 Next Week:

  • Blake Shelton – “Gonna”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Thomas Rhett – “Die A Happy Man” – Up 4 from #9 to #5
  • Brett Eldredge – “Drunk on Your Love” – Up 4 from #34 to #30
  • Sam Hunt – “Break Up in Small Town” – Up 3 from #14 to #11
  • Luke Bryan & Karen Fairchild – “Home Alone Tonight” – Up 3 from #19 to #16

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Big & Rich – “Run Away With You” – Out of the Top 30
  • Carrie Underwood – “Smoke Break” – Down 5 from #5 to #10
  • Chris Young – “I’m Comin’ Over” – Down 3 from #1 to #4

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

  • Carrie Underwood – “Smoke Break”

On The Hot Seat:

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

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Carrie Underwood – “Heartbeat”
  • Dustin Lynch – “Mind Reader”
  • Brantley Gilbert – “Stone Cold Sober”
  • Maddie & Tae – “Shut Up and Fish”

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

7 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [December 19]

  1. Raymond December 9, 2015 / 11:09 am

    Sad news: Riser is done, apparently Dierks Bentley already has new music ready to go so he will probably have a new song out in January.

    Honestly the only one of the songs that will enter that I like is Maddie & Tae Shut Up & Fish. The rest of those songs are boring. Also have you checked out the Shut Up & Fish video?

    Like

  2. NoahHibiscusEaton December 9, 2015 / 12:57 pm

    Lord, that new Brett Eldredge single is brutal listening to.

    It’s almost entirely built on a chorus that sounds like he’s struggling mightily to hack out something he ate that went down the wrong tube, and has also resulted in a throat rash that has prompted him to gargle an antiseptic mouthwash, and is doing double duty having someone apply the Heinlich Maneuver on him while gargling the mouthwash! -__-

    For a track that’s otherwise completely inoffensive in terms of production and instrumentation, this is among the most insufferable vocal performances on an inoffensive pop track passing itself off as country.

    *

    Ah, I see you’re now giving “Confession” a zero! ^__^

    Like

  3. Lisandro Berry-Gaviria December 9, 2015 / 5:06 pm

    I can’t believe “Nothin’ Like You” made it to the top. I was so confident just a week ago (after many unimpressive gains and then a small loss in audience last week) that it would run out of steam at #2…But of course payola ends up pushing a song that should’ve died outside the Top 10 to #1.

    Elsewhere, it appears that this is the final push week for “Already Callin’ You Mine,” and I think “I Love This Life” too.

    Like

    • NoahHibiscusEaton December 9, 2015 / 11:19 pm

      No, “Love This Life” will keep climbing toward the top (and it has a good reason to in that, unlike Parmalee, their song has enjoyed above-average sales-to-airplay returns for most of its run).

      This is definitely Parmalee’s final week.

      Like

      • Lisandro Berry-Gaviria December 9, 2015 / 11:56 pm

        Okay. I thought it might be the last week for LoCash since they had gotten very large gains over the last couple of days at Mediabase, and of course it’s been on the chart for quite a while. So I assumed that was the label’s final push, but I guess not.

        Like

  4. Jason December 9, 2015 / 7:53 pm

    Nothing much new here.

    30: Drunk On Your Love- 0
    It’s a guilty pleasure. Brett Eldredge pulls this song off nicely, and it’s pretty catchy. Even if the lyrics are shallow, Brett Eldredge is so much fun to listen to that I really don’t mind as much as I should.

    Like

  5. Amanda December 10, 2015 / 10:06 am

    My pulse for the week:

    1. Dan + Shay, “Nothin’ Like You” — +1
    2. Blake Shelton, “Gonna” — -1
    3. Jason Aldean, “Gonna Know We Were Here” — -1
    4. Chris Young, “I’m Comin’ Over”– +1
    5. Thomas Rhett, “Die a Happy Man” — 0
    6. Cam, “Burning House” — +1 (tied for best song)
    7. Brothers Osborne, “Stay a Little Longer”– +1
    8. Tim McGraw, “Top of the World” — 0
    9. LoCash, “I Love this Life” — -1
    10. Carrie Underwood, “Smoke Break” — +1
    11. Sam Hunt, “Break Up in a Small Town” — -1
    12. Parmalee, “Already Callin’ You Mine” — 0
    13. Jana Kramer, “I Got the Boy” — +1 (tied for best song)
    14. Kelsea Ballerini, “Dibs” — -1
    15. Granger Smith, “Backroad Song” — -1
    16. Luke Bryan & Karen Fairchild, “Home Alone Tonight” — -1 (tied for worst song)
    17. Randy Houser, “We Went” — -1
    18. Brad Paisley, “Country Nation” — +1
    19. Keith Urban, “Break On Me” — 0
    20. Zac Brown Band, “Beautiful Drug” — -1
    21. Eric Church, “Mr. Misunderstood” — +1
    22. Chase Bryant, “A Little Bit of You” — 0
    23. A Thousand Horses, “This Ain’t No Drunk Dial” — 0
    24. Dierks Bentley, “Riser” — +1
    25. Rascal Flatts, “I Like the Sound of That” — 0
    26. Chris Stapleton, “Nobody to Blame” — +1
    27. Lee Brice, “That Don’t Sound Like You” — -1
    28. Florida Georgia Line, “Confession” — 0
    29. Michael Ray, “Real Men Love Jesus” — -1 (tied for worst song)
    30. Brett Eldredge, “Drunk on Your Love” — -1

    Like

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