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.”
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 Montevallo, with 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.