The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [February 8]

Luke Bryan Kill The Lights

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 a 5 or 6 receive a 0. Songs rated 4 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. Luke Bryan & Karen Fairchild – “Home Alone Tonight” -1 
  2. Granger Smith – “Backroad Song” -1 (Up 3)
  3. Thomas Rhett – “Die A Happy Man” -1 
  4. Sam Hunt – “Break Up In A Small Town” -1 (Down 2) [Worst Song]
  5. Kelsea Ballerini – “Dibs” -1 (Up 1)
  6. Carrie Underwood – “Heartbeat” (Up 3)
  7. Keith Urban – “Break On Me” -1
  8. Randy Houser – “We Went” -1 (Up 2)
  9. Zac Brown Band – “Beautiful Drug” -1 (Up 2)
  10. Brothers Osborne – “Stay A Little Longer” (Down 6)
  11. Florida Georgia Line – “Confession” (Up 2)
  12. Brad Paisley – “Country Nation” -1 
  13. Cole Swindell – “You Should Be Here” -1 (Up 2)
  14. Brett Eldredge – “Drunk on Your Love” -1 
  15. Rascal Flatts – “I Like The Sound of That” -1 (Up 2)
  16. Chase Bryant – “Little Bit of You” -1 
  17. Chris Stapleton – “Nobody To Blame” +1 (Up 2)
  18. Old Dominion – “Snapback” -1 (Up 2)
  19. Maren Morris – “My Church” +1 (Up 2)
  20. Lee Brice – “That Don’t Sound Like You” -1 (Up 2)
  21. Dustin Lynch – “Mind Reader” -1 (Up 2)
  22. Michael Ray – “Real Men Love Jesus” -1 (Up 2)
  23. Brantley Gilbert – “Stone Cold Sober” -1 (Up 2)
  24. Chris Young & Cassadee Pope – “Think of You” (Up 5)
  25. Dierks Bentley – “Somewhere On A Beach” -1 (Up 5)
  26. Tyler Farr – “Better in Boots” -1 
  27. Maddie & Tae – “Shut Up and Fish” +1 [Best Song]
  28. Jon Pardi – “Head Over Boots” +1 (Re-Enters Top 30)
  29. Chris Lane – “Fix” -1 (Down 1)
  30. David Nail – “Night’s On Fire” -1 (New to Top 30)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -18

The pulse remained the same this week. 

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • LoCash – “I Love This Life”
  • Eric Church – “Mr. Misunderstood”

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Jon Pardi – “Head Over Boots”
  • David Nail – “Night’s On Fire”

Song I Predict Will Be #1 Next Week:

  • Granger Smith – “Backroad Song”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Chris Young & Cassadee Pope – “Think of You” – Up 5 from #29 to #24
  • Dierks Bentley – “Somewhere On A Beach” – Up 5 from #30 to #25
  • Three different songs moved up three spots (Granger, Pardi, Carrie)

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • LoCash – “I Love This Life” – Out of the Top 30
  • Eric Church – “Mr. Misunderstood” – Out of the Top 30
  • Brothers Osborne – “Stay A Little Longer” – Down 6 from #4 to #10

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

  • Brothers Osborne – “Stay A Little Longer”
  • Brad Paisley – “Country Nation”

On The Hot Seat:

  • Brantley Gilbert – “Stone Cold Sober”
  • Tyler Farr – “Head Over Boots”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Frankie Ballard – “It All Started With A Beer”
  • Tim McGraw – “Humble and Kind”
  • Thomas Rhett – “T-Shirt”
  • Eric Church – “Record Year”

 

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

17 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [February 8]

  1. Raymond February 10, 2016 / 11:42 am

    Curious question about the best song, why “Shut Up & Fish”? I’d have it in my Top 5 out of these songs but my personal favorite is “My Church”. I don’t know maybe it’s the power of Maren Morris voice I don’t know I just love it.

    Like

    • Josh Schott February 10, 2016 / 12:27 pm

      The traditional arrangement and clever lyrics put it above the other +1s.

      Like

  2. Amanda February 10, 2016 / 12:09 pm

    Thoughts on the new songs this week:

    Jon Pardi, “Head Over Boots” — +1 (grade: A) (tied for best song) This is a great song.

    David Nail, “Night’s on Fire” — 0 (grade: C) Meh. Boring song but at least David’s vocals are strong and sound great.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Raymond February 10, 2016 / 1:14 pm

    So I’ve decided to highlight the bottom 30. Let’s see how each one of them stack up.

    31. It All Started With A Beer +1
    32. Mr. Misunderstood +1
    33. Humble and Kind +1
    34. Hole In A Bottle 0
    35. You Look Like I Need Drink +1.
    36. Running For You +1
    37. From The Ground Up +1 (barely I might have to re-think this one down the road)
    38. I Met A Girl +1
    39. T-Shirt -1. (More boring than outright bad just feels like a total snooze fest)
    40. Crazy Over Me 0
    41. High Class -1
    42. Loving Lately +1
    43. Living The Dream 0
    44. Power Of Positive Drinking 0 (I haven’t heard this enough to form an opinion)
    45. Unlove You +1
    46. Whiskey On My Breath +1.
    47. By The Way 0. (I like it as a +1 but from a more critical country perspective it’s a 0)
    48. Next Boyfriend 0 (A great pop song but a failure of a country song only saved by Lauren Alaina great pipes)
    49. The Driver +1.
    50. When I’m Gone +1.
    51. Raised On It -1 (“Make You Miss Me” is apparently Sam Hunt’s new song any better or more of the same)
    52. Red White & You -1
    53. Jesus and Jones 0.
    54. Record Year +1.
    55. Beautiful Stranger +1
    56. Southern Boy 0. (This guy has potential and I hope his label realizes that)
    57. Tonight 0.
    58. Tennessee Whiskey +1
    59. It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To +1 (guilty pleasure sorry)
    60. Freaks Like Me 0.

    A bottom score of +12 and the top score for me is turning out to be, -14, (I have Heartbeat, Nights On Fire, Stone Cold Sober, and Confession as either a +1 (Heartbeat, Confession) or a 0 (Nights On Fire, Stone Cold Sober) so a grand total score of -2. So not bad could be worst.

    Like

    • Amanda February 10, 2016 / 1:41 pm

      Great assessment, Raymond! You and I have similar opinions, so I always enjoy reading your posts.

      Like

    • lorenzofloris96 February 10, 2016 / 3:39 pm

      I think “It Don’t Hurt Like it Used to” fully deserves a +1: I like the story told by the song, Billy delievers the song with outstanding vocals and a great country-infused rock melody. There is a rawness in the song, which I really appreciate. It’s the only song I would consider good off of Billy’s crappy album Summer Forever.

      Like

      • lorenzofloris96 February 10, 2016 / 3:43 pm

        Sorry I used too many times the word ‘song’, I should read my comments before I publish them lol

        Like

  4. Jason February 10, 2016 / 6:37 pm

    Ready for new Thomas Rhett music? When you hear lyrics “Like a Guns & Roses video, oh oh, so hot” you’ll miss the “nuanced” writing of Die A Happy Man.

    Head Over Boots +1
    It’s cheesy, it’s fun, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it’s really refreshing.

    Nights On Fire 0
    David Nails voice is good, but nothing else stands out. Boring is the wrong word for a song with Fire in the title, but that’s just what this song is.

    Like

    • Scotty J February 11, 2016 / 6:34 pm

      That’s the thing about ‘Die A Happy Man’ it was an obvious Sheeran ripoff and not particularly country but by Thomas Rhett’s usual standards it was a freakin; masterpiece.

      Like

  5. brettp February 10, 2016 / 6:56 pm

    Generally could care less bout mainstream top whatevers, but noticed Record Year from Eric Church entering in top 60. Easily my favorite track from Mr. Misunderstood, im pulling for it! Givin a little love to the vinyl lovers out there!

    Like

  6. Ron February 11, 2016 / 12:56 pm

    I have a feeling Dan and shays very rascally flatts ballad is going to explode

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott February 11, 2016 / 2:30 pm

      I agree. It seems to be catching a lot of attention.

      Like

  7. southtexaspistolero February 11, 2016 / 2:02 pm

    I usually glaze over this, but I had to comment this time around.

    Granger Smith at No. 2? That’s just depressing as hell, especially considering the quality of everything else that comes out of Texas and Oklahoma that doesn’t get played on the radio. I remember back when Pat Green went to Nashville, and to say the least I was not a fan of his mainstream output and was quite vocal about it. And then a few years later, Kevin Fowler got signed to the same label as Rascal Flatts and came out with “Pound Sign.” My wife had this to say in response to the Fowler song:

    “You thought Pat Green sold out? This, this is going to set a new standard. He’s gonna be making Pat Green look like Ray Wylie Hubbard.”

    It sounds like the same can be said of Granger Smith.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Zack February 11, 2016 / 3:25 pm

    Those of you missing the Past Pulse will be very pleased soon. 🙂

    Like

    • Scotty J February 11, 2016 / 6:32 pm

      Cool!

      The past pulse was my idea that Josh kindly took on. It’s a fun way of reminding people of what things used to sound like while also maybe turning some younger fans onto some good but mostly forgotten music.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Amanda February 12, 2016 / 1:34 pm

      Yesssss!!!!!! I freaking love the past pulses!!! Sorry for all the “fan-girling”, but the past pulses are awesome. They take me back to the country music I remember when I was growing up, late 90s-early to mid 00s. (I’m 19, my parents started me very young on country music and I still love it to this day.)

      Like

  9. Ryan February 13, 2016 / 9:32 pm

    Hey all, I’ve used kworb (kworb.net) data to estimate maximum peak positions (the second to last number) and maximum itunes ranks (the last number) for the top 50 songs in the chart. I’ve taken out the songs that are completely done. The estimates are done using regressions in position, bullet, audience, days in the chart, and itunes ranks. Hopefully I can add this every week to the current pulse thread. Without further ado:

    Pos Pos+ Artist Title MaxPos MaxItunes
    1 1 GRANGER SMITH Backroad Song 1.038506588 35
    2 -1 LUKE BRYAN Home Alone Tonight 1 28
    3 = KELSEA BALLERINI Dibs 1.223623689 61
    4 = CARRIE UNDERWOOD Heartbeat 1.104930281 27
    5 = RANDY HOUSER We Went 1.446477682 80
    6 = KEITH URBAN Break On Me 1.111124569 44
    7 = ZAC BROWN BAND Beautiful Drug 1.543935666 51
    9 = FLORIDA-GEORGIA LINE Confession 2.465688109 45
    10 = BRETT ELDREDGE Drunk On Your Love 1.792779143 46
    11 = COLE SWINDELL You Should Be Here 1.229752416 30
    12 1 CHASE BRYANT Little Bit Of You 9.769279527 253
    13 -1 BROTHERS OSBORNE Stay A Little Longer 1.592634798 62
    14 = RASCAL FLATTS I Like The Sound Of That 2.646006547 67
    15 = CHRIS STAPLETON Nobody To Blame 3.010355656 40
    16 1 OLD DOMINION Snapback 3.685836569 43
    18 = MAREN MORRIS My Church 1.055048899 26
    19 = LEE BRICE That Don’t Sound Like You 14.44407603 112
    20 = DUSTIN LYNCH Mind Reader 10.04347826 98
    21 = MICHAEL RAY Real Men Love Jesus 16 458
    22 1 CHRIS YOUNG & CASSADEE POPE Think Of You 1.709619931 35
    23 -1 BRANTLEY GILBERT Stone Cold Sober 9.653368153 104
    24 = DIERKS BENTLEY Somewhere On A Beach 3.62361276 40
    25 = JON PARDI Head Over Boots 5.768818221 76
    26 = MADDIE & TAE Shut Up And Fish 22.66666667 198
    27 = TYLER FARR Better In Boots 10.48980348 79
    28 = CHRIS LANE Fix 9.20624269 107
    29 = DAVID NAIL Night’s On Fire 9 154
    30 = FRANKIE BALLARD It All Started With A Beer 8.785014227 84
    31 = TIM MCGRAW Humble And Kind 3.676989015 32
    32 = CANAAN SMITH Hole In A Bottle 18.97953889 515
    33 = JUSTIN MOORE You Look Like I Need A Drink 9.079480684 108
    34 = KIP MOORE Running For You 20.25922783 402
    35 = EASTON CORBIN Yup 31 492
    36 = DYLAN SCOTT Crazy Over Me 9.782465316 105
    37 1 THOMAS RHETT T-Shirt 6.382054824 61
    38 -1 ERIC PASLAY High Class 33.64906765 542
    39 = BIG & RICH Lovin’ Lately f/Tim McGraw 16.13302391 410
    40 1 JENNIFER NETTLES Unlove You 16.39167038 140
    41 1 CHRIS JANSON Power Of Positive Drinkin’ 27.42258567 542
    42 3 DRAKE WHITE Livin’ The Dream 23.53085225 711
    43 1 WILLIAM MICHAEL MORGAN I Met A Girl 34.12195122 452
    44 2 CHARLES KELLEY The Driver f/Bentley & Paslay 20.71259078 147
    45 2 GEORGE STRAIT Cold Beer Conversation 38.23130494 1222
    46 -3 ERIC CHURCH Mr. Misunderstood 21.34375 841
    47 1 LAUREN ALAINA Next Boyfriend 34.87525709 518
    48 1 LINDSAY ELL By The Way 33.40518723 1033
    49 — TRACE ADKINS Jesus And Jones 32.98701221 1009
    50 = CRAIG MORGAN When I’m Gone 35.54646961 1102

    Liked by 1 person

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