Country Perspective’s 2015 Worst Song of the Year

You just had to go and ruin this for me, didn’t you? For months I had it all planned out what would win Country Perspective’s 2015 Worst Song of the Year. It was all set to be given to Zac Brown Band’s “Beautiful Drug.” There were a litany of reasons why it should win. For one it’s not country at all. It was a complete Benedict Arnold move by a band many had trusted to put out quality singles to country radio for years. Zac Brown promised to always give the fans the best years ago and then he formed a deal with Scott Borchetta. Instead of it being about quality it became all about commercial appeal and crossing over into pop music. And I was so ready to nail this song. Then you, Sam Hunt, announced your fourth single. And that single eclipses “Beautiful Drug” in awfulness and therefore spares Zac Brown Band from another verbal beat down. The winner of Country Perspective’s 2015 Worst Song of the Year is Sam Hunt’s “Break Up in a Small Town.”

Sam Hunt Break Up in a Small Town

That cover art is so appropriate because it represents the amount of creativity and artistry on display on this song. It’s nothing but a black hole of machines and clichés about small towns. You the readers overwhelmingly chose this as the worst song and I’m going to be honest you reminded me of how this song is just so horrendous. I had blocked it out of my mind and quite frankly I avoid listening to Sam Hunt songs at all costs. One time is enough. But I went back to listen to this and all of the vitriol and anger I had towards it when I reviewed Hunt’s EP X2C came rushing back to me. I still stand by the profanity laced comments I made about this song all the way back in August 2014. But one thing I will take back is saying it was bro country. It’s not bro country, but instead something much worse. I hoped he was a flash in the pan, but instead I should have recognized he was the next big threat to the sound of country music.

Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan are insufferable. But at least they try to sound country and be country music, despite failing hilariously most of the time. Sam Hunt knows he isn’t country music and doesn’t give two shits what you think. It’s all about the money and fame for him. It’s all about dressing like a busboy and slicking your hair back at awards shows while you rake in more dough. Sam Hunt is riding the gravy train and the label executives don’t care because the bottom line is all that matters to them. Taylor Swift did this for a few years, but she realized this was wrong because she has a backbone and realized it was wrong to lie to fans. Swift cares about the music process and that has earned my respect. Sam Hunt would rather continue to sell his shitty music passed off as country to the millions of gullible music fans who buy the “evolution of country music” argument.

Right away on “Break Up in a Small Town” Hunt lets us know this song is gonna suck. He does his lame spoken word voice to open it up, which you might as well just auto-tune it too because then it’s 150% lifeless and robotic. I’ve seen countless Sam Hunt fans remark how sexy his voice sounds and I would like to know what crack they’re smoking. I hate Luke Bryan, but I can see why middle-aged house wives find his voice to be sexy because he actually has a charismatic voice (and I guess some people have a thing for Gomer Pyle). But Hunt’s voice is just so dry and sterile that none of his songs have any emotional appeal whatsoever. Sam Hunt has no charisma and no vocal range. Any average Joe could sing a Sam Hunt song and be in tune because his songs have no tune. When Hunt isn’t doing spoken word, he’s half-rapping and this is just as bad. In the words of Melody Williamson, “Who told these country boys that they could rap?”

Then you have the lyrics of “Break Up in a Small Town.” The entire song is Hunt whining about how he broke up with this girl and now she’s with somebody he knows, one of his friends I’m assuming. He sings talks about how she’s everywhere and none of their friends will talk to him and how he’s the victim here. It’s just whiny bullshit that paints Hunt to be a douche who just can’t get over the fact the relationship is over. Instead he just bitches and moans about how wrong it is. The lyrics for this song were written by Hunt, Zach Crowell and Shane McAnally. They wrote most of the horrible Montevallowith seven of the ten songs involving two of these three songwriters. The most egregious lines of this entire song and maybe the entire album is the following:

Your mailbox is seven minutes from mine
And I drive into town sometimes and I see you sittin’ there with him
And I wanna jump out
I wanna fight
I wanna say, “F- that guy!” but I can’t

Instead he throws beer cans at her house at night. Oh wait, that’s Tyler Farr. Despite this not being bro country, the line of thinking after a breakup is just the same as bro country songs. Instead of sitting at home crying and drinking or eat excessively like a normal person after a breakup, he has to drive by his ex’s house and contemplate violent thoughts. I get this is in a small town, but why can’t you just not drive by her house? And how do you know her mailbox is only seven minutes away? This is creepy and stalker-like. I guarantee none of you know how far your neighbor’s mailbox is from your own because you’re not possessive psychopaths (at least I hope you’re not).

Sam Hunt’s “Break Up in a Small Town” is a true representation of the rock bottom country music could hit in 2015. It’s a complete disregard for artistry, creativity and decency. Country music has a lot of problems and the biggest is Sam Hunt. His music has not only plagued the air waves this year, but influenced artists throughout the genre to follow his lead and has inspired Sam Hunt-copycats to pop up like crazy (hello Old Dominion and Kane Brown). What Hunt and this song represent is the absolute worst. So it’s only fitting that this is Country Perspective’s 2015 Worst Song of the Year.

7 thoughts on “Country Perspective’s 2015 Worst Song of the Year

  1. Zack December 17, 2015 / 11:20 am

    Bravo. Hit the nail on the fucking head! The next closest thing I would have named the worst song of the year is “Ridiculous”, and honestly, it doesn’t even come close to this pile of shit. That’s how much I hate this song and its impact on Country music. The chart success of this song is just one of many signs at how much our beloved genre has slipped over the past several years. From the bottom of my heart thank you for naming this the worst song of the year Josh! I’ll be honest, I was expecting you to give it to “Ridiculous” or “Break Up With Him”. Wouldn’t have been disappointed in those two either 😉 (nor would I have had any objections to Zac Brown Band).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Raymond December 17, 2015 / 11:31 am

    This song definitely earned the title as worst of the year. Sam Hunt being the new face of country music reminds me how sad country music.

    If there is one thing in my opinion that seperates Taylor Swift from Sam Hunt, she at least seemed to have charisma she had some well written songs like Begin Again, Back To December and a few other songs. Sam Hunt just isn’t a good writer or really anything.

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  3. Tom December 17, 2015 / 2:11 pm

    I actually think this song is written better than most of Sam Hunt’s or country radio songs. The bridge is pretty bad, but the first two verses tell a decent story with decent imagery. “House Party” and “Break Up With Him” are both 10x worse for songwriting.

    But this song is nowhere near country. And unlike “Beautiful Drug” or other non-country songs on the charts, it’s going to reach #1. It’s definitely the most damaging song for country music in 2015.

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  4. Lisandro Berry-Gaviria December 17, 2015 / 3:00 pm

    Thanks guys. This article just made my day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 17, 2015 / 3:07 pm

      Glad to hear!

      Like

  5. Kuzco December 17, 2015 / 5:18 pm

    I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I really don’t hate “Break Up in a Small Town”. Don’t get me wrong, Sam Hunt is the biggest problem in country music, this song is the furthest thing from country that I’ve ever heard labeled as such, and it is probably the most damaging to the genre this year. So I can see a great case for why it could be the year’s worst song, but when I forget about genres and the bigger perspective of country music, this song actually works for me.

    Maybe it’s because when I first heard it a year and a half ago, I was going through a break up in a small town. It resonated with me on a deep level, and no, I’m not a possessive psychopath. I think it’s actually a pretty well-written song with lines like “she was over me before the grass grew back where she used to park her car”. I also have to point out an important difference between this song and “Redneck Crazy”. In that piece of crap the guy is actually stalking her and chucking beer cans. In this one, the whole point of the song is about how he can’t move on because he can’t avoid seeing her or things which remind him of her, try as he might. That doesn’t sound psycho to me.

    All that to say, I’m in no way defending the production or the spoken word stuff going on, which wreck what would have been a good song lyrically. It’s still a bad song. It’s just not the worst he’s offered, or the worst of the year imo. I’d give that distinction to “Ridiculous” or “Friend Zone”, or if you want a higher profile song, I would have stuck with “Beautiful Drug”. Just my opinion though, loving these year-end pieces because they’re reminding me of all the music that I’ve forgotten about!

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  6. Nadia Lockheart December 17, 2015 / 8:11 pm

    Though I think Haley Georgia’s “Ridiculous” is worse as far as actual content, I do concur this deserves the dubious recognition in that it has become a runway hit that means terrible news for the mainstream genre as a whole.

    If Chris Stapleton’s success resembles two steps forward, “Break Up In A Small Town” becoming a forthcoming #1 Country Airplay #1 resembles two steps backward.

    And no, I refuse to subscribe to the “at least it’s well-written!” argument. Just because the verses are driven with their share of imagery and the chorus has some admitted stickiness doesn’t make it well-written as a whole. The framing is especially problematic and passive-aggressive, and there are countless calculated efforts to sound street-cred peppered throughout this track that make this seem inauthentic as a whole (“put on a show”, “give me the go-around”, “get down”, etc.). I’ve heard countless better narratives on actual Rhythmic and hip-hop albums this year than on this supposed country song.

    This song makes me sick. It’s the pinnacle of pathetic.

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