Country Perspective’s Worst Country Songs of 2016 So Far

We’ve already taken a look at the very best country albums and songs of 2016. Today we start to take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum. Yes, the very worst country songs of 2016 so far. As much great country music that’s been released, we’ve also had a lot of bad “country” music (or better termed, “Nashville Pop”). The beginning year saw a lot of metro bro music and ripoffs of Ed Sheeran and other pop artists. A lot of country artists are now just going straight pop with their music and yet still calling it country. This has made for some awful music. It feels less than last year though because a lot of the music I’ve found from mainstream this year to be somewhere around boring and mediocre more so than being terrible. But that’s not what this list is about. So now let’s take a look back at the absolute worst of the worst offered from country music in 2016 so far. (Click on the song titles for the full review)

Chris Lane – “Fix”

“Fix” is one of the most blatant attempts I’ve ever seen of making a hit song to appeal to the masses. The look behind the curtain to see “how the sausage is made” makes the song even more repulsive and disgusting. This is not artistry, but rather cold and calculated manufacturing of content to sell. There is nothing thoughtful, original or appealing about this song. Most importantly it’s not country in any way, shape or form. “Fix” is just plain bad and everyone responsible for it should feel bad.

Steven Tyler – “Red, White & You”

I’ve come to two possible conclusions about “Red, White, and You.” The first is, as I’ve said throughout the review, that this song is a cry for attention. It’s a little kid kicking and screaming in the toy aisle at the store. The second possible conclusion is that this song is a brilliant parody of every Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell, and Florida Georgia Line song ever. I know that the first one is far more plausible than the second one, but I don’t want to imagine that these lyrics actually exist as a real attempt to get on country radio. I know that some of Aerosmith’s singles weren’t exactly deep, but even “Love in an Elevator” seemed aware of its silliness. “Red, White, and You” though?  It’s a cringe-worthy attempt at a real pop country song. It’s a sad joke with no noticeable self-awareness of how low it stoops.

Old Dominion – “Snapback”

Old Dominion is an absolute abomination to country music. They are the pinnacle of Nashville pop and all of the baggage it brings. “Snapback” is a song with superficial, mind-numbingly dumb lyrics that only young teenage girls who spend their days taking selfies while at Starbucks will enjoy. The amount of synth layered throughout this droning song would make the worst of 80s bands blush. And they loved their synth! To top it all off this song has lots of “whoooooaaaa” echoed throughout to remind us just how creatively brain dead Matthew Ramsey and Old Dominion are when it comes to songwriting. “Snapback” doesn’t belong in country music. It belongs in the garbage.

Jason Aldean – “Lights Come On”

There’s nothing else to say about a song that has nothing to say. “Lights Come On” is just noise that fills space, nothing more and nothing less. There is absolutely nothing fulfilling or moving about this song. It’s sole purpose was to net radio play and endorsement deals from the likes of Bass Pro Shops and Pepsi. This is worse than terrible music because at least terrible music makes me feel rage and anger. I just want to passively loathe Aldean more after hearing this. But hey I’m sure Aldean fans will love this after drinking about ten overpriced beers at some overpriced music festival this summer. “Lights Come On” is the equivalent of a light, nagging headache. Just avoid it or have some aspirin on-hand after hearing this song.

Chase Rice – “Whisper”

I hope to hell Chase Rice is recording better music than “Whisper” for his new album because this is just flat-out awful in whatever genre you would put it in. The shortest way I could possibly describe this song to you is “Ride” part two, a song that was basically a prelude to this one and had just as ridiculous production. Rice is capable of more and promises to show more, but until he walks the walk he will continue to be judged by songs he releases like this one. You can’t be a deep artist unless you put out deep music. “Whisper” is the opposite of deep. It’s shallow, vapid and boring. It’s a complete waste of time and you’re better off for not hearing this song.

Dierks Bentley – “Somewhere On A Beach”

This song is easily on the level of some of the worst songs I’ve reviewed in recent years during the bro country and metro country eras. Just because this is Dierks Bentley, doesn’t mean he gets a pass. “Somewhere On A Beach” is absolutely terrible. If this song was food, it would be McDonalds. It appeals to the lowest common denominator of taste and it sells like crazy. But it has no nutritional value.

Randy Houser – “Song Number 7”

Randy Houser doesn’t sing with any kind of charisma, and the chorus features some awkward, jarring vocal harmonies that strangely pop way after a natural echo would. The production of this song is crap with random intensified drums. I almost didn’t want to review “Song Number 7”, but it’s such a near copycat of Luke Bryan’s hit that it deserves to be put on this platform. Absolutely no effort went in to making this song even a little original. Instead of playing to Randy Houser’s strength as a vocalist and letting his traditional country-style expand, his label has decided to prop him firmly in the shadows of the A-List bros by having him record songs that continue mainstream country down a path of cutting the same, boring song. “Song Number 7” is terrible due to the fact that it has no originality whatsoever.

Jana Kramer – “Said No One Ever”

This is worst song of the year quality right here, folks. The lyrics have an intelligent level hovering around room temperature. It’s no surprise one of the co-writers of this song is the infamous busbee (the other writers are Natalie Hemby and Nicolle Galyon), who is responsible for a laundry list of generic and terrible songs. This song consists of Kramer singing some ridiculous lyric, followed by “said no one ever.” This song is pretty good…said no one ever.

Kane Brown – “Used To Love You Sober”

Overall “Used To Love You Sober” is at best a very ho-hum, boring song that belongs more in pop than country. At worst it’s a terrible attempt at appearing to be sensitive and emotional, when really it’s just another douche anthem that Sam Hunt has championed at country radio over the last year or so. I’m sure fans of Affliction and Ed Hardy t-shirts will disagree with me though. The one surprising conclusion I’ve come to about Kane Brown is that he isn’t definitively the worst artist at country radio, which is pretty sad considering Brown is a boy band reject from The X-Factor.

And of course we wouldn’t forget the odds on favorite to take home Country Perspective’s 2016 Worst Song of the Year Award. Every other terrible song from here on out will have the task to try to topple this shitastic song in awfulness. God speed to them because I don’t think it can be done….

Thomas Rhett – “Vacation”

Tangled Up is an album chock full of ideas and sounds borrowed from others. No other song is as indicative of his lack of originality than “Vacation.” There are 14 credited songwriters for this train wreck. 14! But half of those songwriters come from the band War. Rhett wisely credits the band for the song because the beat of the verses is essentially the beat from “Low Rider.” The song is about a party at home, but the partygoers are acting like they’re on a tropical vacation. It’s stupid lyrics that Thomas Rhett poorly raps set to a borrowed beat. Even the second verse where Rhett raps about a Walgreens beach chair and Busch Light sends the same simple life sentiment of Jake Owen’s “Real Life.”

 

Dishonorable Mentions

  • Blake Shelton – “Came Here To Forget” (All I remember is the annoying whistle in the background)
  • Tucker Beathard – “Rock On” (Beathard is the worst vocalist in country music today)
  • Keith Urban – “Wasted Time” (Just go to pop already)
  • Clare Dunn – “Tuxedo” (Superficial pop noise)
  • Jordan Rager (feat. Jason Aldean) – “Southern Boy” (Aldean wannabe sings with Aldean)
  • Jake Owen – “American Country Love Song” (Remember when Jake tried?)
  • Cole Swindell – “Middle of a Memory” (Any week now it’s going to enter the top 30 in the Pulse and I’ll give it what it deserves)
  • Thomas Rhett – “T-Shirt” (Blatant pop music)
  • Dierks Bentley (feat. Elle King) – “Different For Girls” (Outdated and plays to stereotypes)
  • Cassadee Pope – “Summer” (“Hey let’s make a summer song and put summer in the title! Then they’ll know it’s summer.”)
  • LoCash – “I Know Somebody” (I wish they were still irrelevant hick hop artists)
  • Sam Hunt – “Make You Miss Me” (Probably his best single. But the rest have all been at rock bottom where this is about an inch above it)
  • Florida Georgia Line – “H.O.L.Y.” (Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! That’s half of the song)
  • Drew Baldridge – “Dance With Ya” (Thankfully he’s remained irrelevant)
  • Joe Nichols – “Undone” (Joe is a lost cause at this point)

15 thoughts on “Country Perspective’s Worst Country Songs of 2016 So Far

  1. Raymond June 16, 2016 / 11:34 am

    I’m surprised you hate “Summer” by Cassadee Pope as it’s one of my favorites right now on radio, as I’m a real fan of the melody and Cassadee Pope sounds better vocally then she ever has before, the only problem I have is the repeat of the title phrase is a little annoying, I don’t know the country pop production (there’s a decent amount of steel guitar in the song). Really like the song. Also while I’m at it, I don’t mind the Jordan Rager, Cole Swindell songs either.

    The rest I do agree with, even if for Dierks & Elle King, I find the vocals and production really good so I might register that as a guilty pleasure.

    I just don’t see the point in releasing “Vacation” as I imagine it’ll be too polarizing, and Pulse had the discussion yesterday of who’ll be the successor to Luke Bryan and we came down to FGL, Sam Hunt, and Thomas. With Thomas probably being the one who would, despite being a song stealing hack.

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  2. OlaR June 16, 2016 / 12:51 pm

    The “worst” list is the best list (so far)!
    My extended version:
    Kirsty Lee Akers – “Burn Baby Burn” (the song is ok, but she sounds like a chipmunk)
    The Abrams – “Fine” (get a real job guys)
    Dallas Smith – “Kids With Cars” & “One Little Kiss” (God must hate canadian country music)
    River Town Saints – “Cherry Bomb” (a heeehaaa chorus is so 2015)
    Cam – “Mayday” (station changer, like the rest of her songs)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Danik June 16, 2016 / 1:03 pm

      I live in Canada and Canadian country is going down hill quickly. River Town Saints are horrible. Dallas Smith used to be good, I feel like he doesn’t try anymore cause every song is guaranteed to be a hit on Canadian country radio. Do you know “Down by the River” by Bobby Wills, it’s a nice soul cleanser.

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      • OlaR June 16, 2016 / 2:02 pm

        “Down By The River” is the current single & doing pretty well on the charts. I like his current Ep “Tougher Than Love”.
        It’s not only Dallas Smith. Chad Brownlee, George Canyon & Dean Brody are down in quality, too.

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        • Danik June 16, 2016 / 3:24 pm

          Yes “Bring Down the House” was a step down for Dean Brody, but I really enjoy “Monterey”.

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  3. lorenzofloris96 June 16, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    “Vacation” is easily the worst song ever. Thomas Rhett has finally released something worse than 1994 by fucking jason aldean. Which is no surprise since he’s one of the assholes who wrote 1994.
    The second worst song on this list is Lights Come On and Fix comes next. Whisper is an abomination but it’s totally irrilevant since radio screwed it as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Nadia Lockheart June 16, 2016 / 9:07 pm

    Eh, I disagree with several of the inclusions, and I have several of my own to suggest.

    *

    First off, “Lights Come On” is lame and banal, but it’s hardly among the worst songs I’ve heard this year. All it is is a big, loud and dumb arena anthem about having a good time at a concert. Nothing good certainly, but hardly terrible either.

    Same with “Song Number 7”. The main sin that song has committed is how blatantly lazy it is and doesn’t even try to distinguish itself from other songs of its ilk. But nothing about that song makes me cringe, either. It’s merely a mediocre, instantly-forgettable but harmless slab of radio filler.

    And “Used To Love You Sober” certainly isn’t country, but nothing about that song fires me up either, really. It’s just sort of………………..there.

    *

    Here’s three I’d recommend to replace those three:

    *

    1: LANco: “Long Live Tonight” (An obvious Xeroxing of Old Dominion. Granted the lyrics aren’t as ugly as “Break Up With Him”, but the production and mixing is just gawd-awful. If they succeed in their footsteps, we’re really screwed.)

    2: Trailer Choir: “Ice Cold Summer” (Basically this year’s “B.Y.H.B”. Need I say more?)

    3: Cowboy Troy: “Countdown To Vacation” (………………..and this one takes the cake! You already gather that by his track record alone, but…………………..wow! He has really outdone himself! -__- )

    *

    *****Dishonorable Mentions*****

    Eli Young Band: “Salt Water Gospel”

    Joe Nichols: “Undone”

    *

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    • Josh Schott June 16, 2016 / 9:51 pm

      I agree those three songs probably don’t belong and any other year they would get a dishonorable mention at best. But as you’ve heard this year, 2016 is the year of boring mediocrity. There hasn’t been much good music in mainstream, but not a lot of bad either. Just a ton of mediocre, boring, vanilla 4/10 type songs. You can’t even get that angry. They’re just songs that are there/

      Your three recommendations I’m sure are awful. I haven’t listened to any of them and the only one I’ve even heard of is the second one. Hell I didn’t even know Cowboy Troy still made music. I thought he took his “Chicken with the Train” and Big & Rich money and called it a day. This is why I wouldn’t put them on the list. They’re irrelevant and only hardcore fans and people who follow all of the country industry are aware of these toxic songs. Just like Haley Georgia last year with “Ridiculous.” Perhaps the worst song of the year, but nine out of ten people you ask on the street have never heard of her or the song. That’s the big thing I look at with this list and determining the worst song of the year. Impact. If a song is bad and irrelevant, it doesn’t really matter. It’s like that old saying: If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Except in this case it’s if an artist makes bad music and nobody is around to hear it, does is matter? That’s why I don’t mention bad music unless it makes some sort of impact at radio, sales and/or overall buzz.

      On the topic of bad, obscure music I had a song pitched to me earlier this year that would fit nicely alongside those three. Thank goodness it remains obscure. Take a listen if you dare: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coT5ephX–M

      Anyone who sees this take a listen. This is the kind of crap I get pitched sometimes. They expect me to say yes and take the song seriously. Derek and me had a good laugh about it though. Haha!

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      • Nadia Lockheart June 17, 2016 / 3:17 am

        I understand what you’re getting at! I guess we just measured our lists somewhat differently: where yours is focused more on net impact whereas I was focusing mostly on given tracks on their own merit (or lack thereof). Certainly when it comes to net impact, “Somewhere on a Beach” stands out as the worst but “Vacation” will easily give it a run for its money if it succeeds based off of Rhett’s name recognition alone.

        Wow, you weren’t kidding about Dannie’s song! That was the first time I heard of her, and I found it especially hilarious how in the video description section, they passionately herald her as a patron of “bro country with a dose of estrogen” like it’s a badge of honor. The saddest part of this is, I’d still ONLY rank her fourth or fifth among the worst songs of this year so far. Dannie’s vocals are second only to RaeLynn’s in terms of excruciating factor among female vocalists on the format, and the lyrics are laughably awful. At the very least, the song has a discernable melody and, in the hands of a more experienced producer, probably could have graduated to the rank of instantly forgettable but harmless radio filler. Cowboy Troy and Trailer Choirs’ songs don’t even have that, and “Vacation” and possibly “Said No One Ever” still piss me off more. But that’s not saying much whatsoever. “Countin’ Down Summertime” would still rate a 0.5 out of 10 to me (saved from a fat ZERO only because it actually has a sense of melody).

        Liked by 1 person

      • jmarsh123 June 17, 2016 / 8:18 am

        That song is really horrible. I wonder how many songwriters it took to write the na na na na part in the chorus?

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  5. Nadia Lockheart June 16, 2016 / 9:11 pm

    Oh, and my pick for Worst of 2016 (So Far) depends on whether we’re considering singles or album tracks.

    If it’s radio singles, then “Vacation” wins the dubious distinction being Rhett’s newly-released fourth single from his current album. But it would disqualify itself if we’re talking album tracks since his album was released in 2015. In that case, Cowboy Troy edges out Trailer Choir for the year’s worst.

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    • Josh Schott June 16, 2016 / 9:53 pm

      Mostly singles. Album cuts can be considered if they generate buzz or make an impact in some way (example: Brad Paisley’s abomination “Accidental Racist” was never released as a single, but everyone became aware of it and was deservedly mocked on SNL.)

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  6. Nadia Lockheart June 17, 2016 / 3:33 am

    ………………………and just like that, we have a new contender ladies, gentlemen and everyone in-between! =P

    Kane Brown is blatantly taking advantage of Florida Georgia Line’s recent forays into less overtly bro-country radio releases, and is going whole hog on the formula that made them radio staples in the first place with his new single “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now”. It is obnoxiously loud, sterile, devoid of country instrumentation (at least most tracks on Florida Georgia Line’s debut album had token banjo and/or faint pedal steel under the generic corporate rock production) and Brown completely lacks charisma as a vocalist.

    Brown may boast about how he’s the self-professed “Justin Bieber of country music”, but he seems desperate to instead ride the coattails of Florida Georgia Line’s formula. And it comes across even worse than Florida Georgia Line on their less obnoxious tracks.

    *

    Aaron Lewis has also apparently released the lead single from this forthcoming album. It’s titled “That Ain’t Country”.

    I can see either being a pleasant surprise, an absolute flaming disaster like “Country Boy”, or completely hot-and-cold with exquisite production but cringe-worthy lyrics. My prediction is it will be the third scenario.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. petemarshall724 June 17, 2016 / 5:39 pm

    I agree with you on all of the songs mentioned here except Keith Urban “Wasted Time” which is a very good song.

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  8. Amanda June 18, 2016 / 12:10 pm

    Vacation is god-awful. Worst song ever right there. Even worse than Real Men Love Jesus, Burnin’ It Down, and Donkey. Country music is supposed to be about honest storytelling. Vacation is not honest storytelling, it’s a pile of garbage that sounds like it was written by the Teletubbies. Thomas Rhett might as well have shouted “Screw Country Music!” randomly in the song because this song has absolutely fucking nothing to do with country music. I could rant forever about this abomination, but I’m gonna keep it short and sweet–Thomas Rhett and Vacation both suck.

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