The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [March 14]

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. Carrie Underwood – “Heartbeat” (Up 1) 
  2. Zac Brown Band – “Beautiful Drug” -1 (Up 1)
  3. Cole Swindell – “You Should Be Here” -1 (Up 1)
  4. Brett Eldredge – “Drunk on Your Love” -1 (Up 1)
  5. Florida Georgia Line – “Confession” (Up 2)
  6. Randy Houser – “We Went” -1 (Down 5)
  7. Rascal Flatts – “I Like The Sound of That” -1 (Up 2)
  8. Chase Bryant – “Irrelevant Song A Label is Pushing That Nobody Cares About”-1 
  9. Old Dominion – “Snapback” -1 (Up 2)
  10. Maren Morris – “My Church” +1 (Up 3)
  11. Chris Stapleton – “Nobody To Blame” +1 (Up 1)
  12. Chris Young & Cassadee Pope – “Think of You” (Up 4)
  13. Dustin Lynch – “Mind Reader” -1 (Up 1)
  14. Lee Brice – “That Don’t Sound Like You” -1 (Up 1)
  15. Dierks Bentley – “Somewhere On A Beach” -1 (Up 2)
  16. Tim McGraw – “Humble and Kind” +1 (Up 2)
  17. Michael Ray – “Real Men Love Jesus” -1 (Up 2)
  18. Blake Shelton – “Came Here To Forget” -1 (New to Top 30)
  19. Thomas Rhett – “T-Shirt” -1 (Up 3)
  20. Brantley Gilbert – “Stone Cold Sober” -1 (Up 1)
  21. Jon Pardi – “Head Over Boots” +1 (Down 1)
  22. Chris Lane – “Fix” -1 (Up 1) [Worst Song]
  23. Maddie & Tae – “Shut Up and Fish” +1 (Up 1)
  24. Frankie Ballard – “It All Started With a Beer” +1 (Up 3)
  25. David Nail – “Night’s On Fire” -1 
  26. Tyler Farr – “Better in Boots” -1 
  27. Eric Church – “Record Year” +1 (Up 1) [Best Song]
  28. Canaan Smith – “Irrelevant Song A Label is Pushing That Nobody Cares About”-1 (Up 1)
  29. Justin Moore – “You Look Like I Need A Drink” +1 (Up 1)
  30. Dan + Shay – “From The Ground Up” 0 (New to Top 30)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -10

The pulse improved one spot this week. 

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Keith Urban – “Break On Me”
  • Thomas Rhett – “Die A Happy Man”

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Blake Shelton – “Came Here To Forget”
  • Dan + Shay – “From The Ground Up”

Song I Predict Will Be #1 Next Week:

  • Zac Brown Band – “Beautiful Drug”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Chris Young & Cassadee Pope – “Think of You” – Up 4 from #16 to #12
  • Maren Morris – “My Church” – Up 3 from #13 to #10
  • Thomas Rhett – “T-Shirt” – Up 3 from #22 to #19″

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Keith Urban – “Break On Me” – Out of the Top 30
  • Thomas Rhett – “Die A Happy Man” – Out of the Top 30
  • Randy Houser – “We Went” – Down 5 from #1 to #6

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

  • Randy Houser – “We Went”
  • Chase Bryant – “Irrelevant Song A Label is Pushing”
  • David Nail – “Night’s On Fire”
  • Tyler Farr – “Better in Boots”

On The Hot Seat:

  • Michael Ray – “Real Men Love Jesus”
  • Brantley Gilbert – “Stone Cold Sober”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Luke Bryan – “Huntin’, Fishin’ & Lovin’ Every Day”
  • William Michael Morgan – “I Met A Girl”
  • Kip Moore – “Running For You”
  • Jake Owen – “American Country Love Song”


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

15 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [March 14]

  1. jb March 16, 2016 / 11:05 am

    Apologies if somebody’s made this joke here before but I haven’t seen it: are we sure Chase Bryant and Canaan Smith aren’t the same person?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Josh Schott March 16, 2016 / 11:28 am

      Haha! They very well could be!


  2. Ron March 16, 2016 / 11:09 am

    Based on the recent drop in spins I think Shut Up and Fish is done


    • Bill Rich March 16, 2016 / 5:37 pm

      Great Country duo imo. But that song sounds a lot like Billy Joel’s Only The Good Die Young. Or maybe it’s Still The One by Orleans. Must just be that shuffle beat. But interestingly Bill Anderson did a cover of Still The One.


  3. Amanda March 16, 2016 / 11:22 am

    Personal Thoughts:

    New songs in the 30: Dan + Shay, “From the Ground Up” — +1 I really like this song. Simple love ballad, and Shay sings it well. He’s got a hell of a voice. Hope this song does well.

    Blake Shelton, “Came Here to Forget” — -1 I miss early 2000s Blake Shelton.

    Glad to see Carrie get a #1, even if it is with a slightly bland song. She deserves it, so congrats to Carrie! 🙂

    Holy shit, when is Chase Bryant gonna be done with his chart climb? Hasn’t it been like a year already? Come on, country radio!


    • Raymond March 16, 2016 / 11:26 am

      Country radio really wants to let this go. But the label just won’t give up. Trust me, when this song begins falling from radio, it’ll fall very hard.


      • Amanda March 16, 2016 / 11:32 am

        Chase Bryant’s record label seems quite resilient. They should have given up on this song months ago.


        • Bill Rich March 16, 2016 / 6:11 pm

          Little Bit Of You isnt all THAT bad LoL. It’s one I usually hit turn off, depending on my mood. At least it isn’t hyper pop like Beautiful Drug, or Rap. It has that annoying Oh Oh hook in it tho that drives me crazy. But that boy is a heck of a vocalist and guitarist. And his Country roots surprised me. His grandpa played with Roy Orbison and his uncles formed the band Ricochet. My point is that he’s not just some label created hoax. But it would be cool if he used those inherited skills to make good Country music. I’ve read that he has some “good stuff” he/ his label are going to release. We’ll see…


    • Amanda March 16, 2016 / 11:30 am

      And a few more thoughts I forgot on my last post:

      So glad to see Mr. Greasy-Headed Praying Mantis Look-Alike (also known as Michael Ray) on the hot seat, his song pisses me off.

      Irrelevant Song a Label is Pushing That Nobody Cares About by Canaan Smith, seems about right.

      I hope both Shut Up and Fish and Head Over Boots gain more traction soon, they are tied for my favorite song in the top 30.

      I hope and pray to God Beautiful Drug does not become #1 next week.

      On another topic, how cool is it that it appears that Chris Stapleton is on the heels of a top 10 hit?!? 🙂 I’m rooting for him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bill Rich March 16, 2016 / 6:38 pm

        Whats up with the personal attack on Michael Ray? I really like Real Men Love Jesus. Great message, sounds more Country than anything else on radio, to me anyway.

        Speaking of songs hanging around the charts forever…. Nobody To Blame is another one that Nashville has been pushing up the charts forever. Not that that’s a bad thing, it’s good Country Blues. But they kinda need a #1 to justify all these awards they’re giving him. Again not a bad thing getting the awards.


  4. Derek Hudgin March 16, 2016 / 11:25 am

    “Irrelevant Song…” Hahahaha!

    I feel like Randy Houser has that song on the chart as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raymond March 16, 2016 / 11:31 am

      Eh his song sold well enough. Did it deserve a #1. No!! But it certainly deserved the Top 10 peak it got.


  5. Amanda March 16, 2016 / 12:58 pm

    One more thing, I’m absolutely loving Eric Church’s Record Year. It’s very well-written, well-performed, and relatable. Just last week, a guy I was dating with ended our relationship to get back together with his ex. It was devastating, but I’ve found comfort in my music collection. Music really is medicine.


  6. OlaR March 16, 2016 / 2:28 pm

    “Heartbeat” is No.1 in Canada for a 3rd Week (Billboard Country National Airplay) & for a 2nd week on Billboard Country Indicator Chart.

    The other new entries: Luke Bryan (33), Randy Houser (43) & Tucker Beathard (55). All new entries are a big, fat -1.
    Jake Owen lost three places (33-36), but kept the bullet.
    On the way out: Charles Kelley, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins & Lindsey Ell.
    Down: Brothers Osborne lost five places (45-50) without a bullet.
    Up: Kane Brown up five places to 46 & LoCash up five places to the 47. Sam Hunt is up 13 places (54-41).
    Billy Currington is not setting the charts on fire: “It Don’t Hurt…” (49-49).
    Not the best week for GOOD Country Music.

    On Top Country Albums Joey+Rory are back on the top of the chart with “Hymns”. Granger Smith is new on the three & Loretta Lynn on the four.

    Checkout/New EP: David James – “Songs About A Girl” (MDM)
    The “Some Hearts” singer released a six-track EP with four new songs & the singles “What We Weren’t Looking For” & “Some Hearts”. The new songs are “more of the same”. Drum loops & banjo & radio friendly.


  7. Nadia Lockheart March 17, 2016 / 7:57 pm

    Looks like we’ll have a proper chart spring cleaning right in time for spring within the next couple of weeks.

    Quite a few singles have been limping along that are either already on their way out or are about to. Besides the aforementioned Chase Bryant, David Nail and Tyler Farr (and the descending #1 hit for Randy Houser), I think Lee Brice, Michael Ray, Brantley Gilbert, Chris Lane and Maddie & Tae are also likely in danger as well if they don’t pick up second winds immediately.


    And on that topic, I’m surprised two of the names have failed to generate hits based on their current singles.

    First, it surprises me to see “Better In Boots” already bowing out. It’s by no means a decent song, but at the same time it just sounded like something right in corporate country’s wheelhouse. I at least thought the chorus was absolutely catchy. I thought for sure it would be a comeback hit for Farr, but apparently I’m wrong and I’m certainly not sad to see it go.

    Secondly………………..on the flip side………………I thought Maddie & Tae would rebound strongly with their current single in terms of sales and enthusiasm (“Fly”, for as decent as it peaked at airplay, was really a poor single choice whose natural peak was probably around #15)…………………….but the sales have been startlingly unimpressive throughout its entire chart run and now I don’t see “Shut Up And Fish” getting much higher. In fact, despite the solid head-start over “Fly” in terms of chart run comparative analysis…………..”Shut up And Fish” has since ceded whatever early advantage it had over that single relative to weeks and chart placement to that of “Fly”, and is on track to fare even worse by next week. What a demoralizing disappointment! =(


    I have to say, even though I think it’ll ultimately prevail, “Record Year” is off to a notably quiet start as well: at least relative to Eric Church single standards.

    Much like Brantley Gilbert’s recent singles, it’s moving much like you’d expect a single from a B-artist to move instead of a superstar. I have to say the sales are a little worrisome too (though not terrible) considering all the hype this was getting upon the album’s release critically. Looks like, at least post-Chief, this will be an uncharacteristic slow-and-steady-wins-the-race chart story for Eric Church


Comments are closed.