The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [December 26]

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

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -16

The pulse fell three spots this week.

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Carrie Underwood’s “Smoke Break” went recurrent and fell from #10 to out of the top 30
  • Dierks Bentley’s “Riser” went recurrent and fell from #24 to out of the top 30

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Carrie Underwood – “Heartbeat”
  • Brantley Gilbert – “Stone Cold Sober”

Song I Predict Will Reach #1 Next Week:

  • Thomas Rhett – “Die A Happy Man”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Carrie Underwood – “Heartbeat” – Up 7 from #32 to #25
  • Luke Bryan & Karen Fairchild – “Home Alone Tonight” – Up 3 from #16 to #13
  • Rascal Flatts – “I Like The Sound of That” – Up 3 from #25 to #22

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Carrie Underwood – “Smoke Break” – Out of the Top 30
  • Dierks Bentley – “Riser” – Out of the Top 30
  • Dan + Shay – “Nothin’ Like You” – Down 8 from #1 to #9
  • Chris Young – “I’m Comin’ Over” – Down 4 from #4 to #8

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

  • Dan + Shay – “Nothin’ Like You”
  • Chris Young – “I’m Comin’ Over”
  • Lee Brice – “That Don’t Sound Like You”

On The Hot Seat:

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

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Dustin Lynch – “Mind Reader”
  • Maddie & Tae – “Shut Up and Fish”
  • Tyler Farr – “Better In Boots”
  • Old Dominion – “Snapback”

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

4 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [December 26]

  1. Scotty J December 16, 2015 / 11:09 am

    Aldean not getting another number one, Cam and Rhett really close right now for number one next week. With the Christmas playlist freeze coming up Rhett could get three maybe four weeks at number one if he can get next week. And Parmalee will be gone next week with a song that no one will remember in about a week.

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  2. Raymond December 16, 2015 / 11:09 am

    Cam is pushing for the top spot this week as Jason Aldean has leveled off. The bad news Thomas Rhett is also in push mode so two of the hottest songs of 2015 “Burning House” and “Die A Happy Man” will be gunning for the top spot. I hope Cam can somehow get the BB #1 but I’m nervous.

    Like I said Riser was done and Dierks Bentley has new music ready as his album ready. With news of him cohosting the ACMs with Luke Bryan, I’m nervous about how that’ll shape out. I hope for the best fear the worst.

    I’m glad Heartbeat is a 0. That song honestly bores me if this is the song that gets Carrie Underwood her first BB #1 then well whatever.

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  3. Cobra December 16, 2015 / 7:56 pm

    I’m gonna be honest: despite some of the sonic elements and aesthetics of the song, I actually kind of like “Stone Cold Sober.” It’s the first song from Gilbert in a while that doesn’t make him sound like a douche. I actually enjoy the presentation. It’s nothing spectacular, but it’s a step in the right direction (a small one) for Gilbert.

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    • Michelle January 20, 2016 / 2:45 pm

      Glad you like it, but personally, no song from Brantley makes him sound like a douche. And if “One Hell of an Amen” sounds douche-like, then I’ve been using that word all wrong. I have been a huge fan of his for a long time and he has some amazing songs. His first CD, A Modern Day Prodigal Son, does not get enough credit at all. I feel he actually writes heart-felt and meaningful songs from his personal experiences. His best songs have never been released. And he is a phenomenal person to top it off!

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