The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [Sept. 19]

A picture from the era that inspired this week’s #1 song. (Side note: Jackie Gleason is a great actor)

Each week we 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 one of the following scores: +5, +4, +3, +2, +1, 0, -1, -2, -3, -4, -5. 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 +150 and the lowest possible score being a -150. How do I determine the score for the song? The review grade it received on the site or myself will determine this. If it hasn’t been reviewed yet, then I will make the call. The grade it has received or I would give it determines its Pulse score. The grading key: 10 [+5], 9 [+4], 8 [+3], 7 [+2], 6 [+1], 5 [0], 4 [-1], 3 [-2], 2 [-3], 1 [-4], 0 [-5].

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. Dierks Bentley & Elle King – “Different For Girls” -3 (Up 1)
  2. Kelsea Ballerini – “Peter Pan” -1 (Down 1)
  3. Billy Currington – “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” +2 (Up 5)
  4. Justin Moore – “You Look Like I Need A Drink” +2 
  5. Kenny Chesney & Pink – “Setting The World On Fire” -2 (Up 1)
  6. Tucker Beathard – “Rock On” -3 (Up 3)
  7. William Michael Morgan – “I Met A Girl” +3 
  8. LoCash – “I Know Somebody” -5 (Up 2) [Worst Song]
  9. Luke Bryan – “Move” -4 (Up 2)
  10. Cole Swindell – “Middle of a Memory” -2 (Up 3)
  11. Blake Shelton – “She’s Got A Way With Words” -3 (Up 1)
  12. Jason Aldean – “A Little More Summertime” (Up 3)
  13. Brett Young – “Sleep Without You” -2 (Up 1)
  14. Miranda Lambert – “Vice” +3 (Up 3) 
  15. Tim McGraw – “How I’ll Always Be” +3 (Up 4)
  16. Big & Rich (feat. Tim McGraw) – “Lovin’ Lately” +2 (Up 2)
  17. Drake White – “Livin’ The Dream” +1 (Up 3)
  18. Old Dominion – “Song For Another Time” -3 (Up 3)
  19. Florida Georgia Line (feat. Tim McGraw) – “May We All” (Up 4)
  20. Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes” -1 (Up 2)
  21. Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color” -4 (Up 4)
  22. Granger Dibbles Jr. – “If The Boots Fits” -4 (Up 2)
  23. Brett Eldredge – “Wanna Be That Song” (Up 3)
  24. Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled” -3 (Up 3)
  25. Carrie Underwood – “Dirty Laundry” 0 (New to Top 30)
  26. Chris Stapleton – “Parachute” +3 (Up 3)
  27. High Valley – “Make You Mine” -2 (New to Top 30)
  28. Jerrod Niemann & Lee Brice – “A Little More Love” -3 (Up 2)
  29. Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” +4 (New to Top 30) [Best Song]
  30. Chris Young (feat. Vince Gill) – “Sober Saturday Night” +1 (New to Top 30)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -25

The pulse improves six spots this week. 

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Jake Owen – “American Generic Country Love Song” -2
  • Sam Hunt – “Make You Miss Me” -4
  • Zac Brown Band – “Castaway” +1
  • Brothers Osborne – “21 Summer” +2

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Carrie Underwood – “Dirty Laundry”
    • Really Carrie? Another song about murdering a guy? Your blood lust apparently can’t be quenched. You’d think after releasing “Church Bells” Underwood would want to switch up the theme for this new single (or you know release “Choctaw County Affair” as a single, the most interesting murder song on the album). But this is essentially the same song as “Church Bells.” The only difference is instead of the husband being an alcoholic asshole who beats women and asked to be murder, the guy in this song has laundry that smells like cheap perfume and red wine. So naturally the wife jumps to conclusions of infidelity and murders him in revenge. Sure, that’s a perfectly reasonable reaction instead of you know just confronting him. This isn’t a bad song, it’s just been done so many times by Underwood already that I’m just bored of this theme coming from her. She’s done this song better multiple times and releasing “Dirty Laundry” as a single is essentially beating a dead horse (which Underwood probably murdered in her song after smelling booze on it). 5/10
  • High Valley – “Make You Mine”
    • The music video for this song was released in January 2015. What the hell? Just thought I would share this tidbit with you. As for High Valley, if you don’t know who they are I don’t blame you. They’re a relatively new duo from Canada signed to Warner Bros. Records and this is essentially their introduction to American audiences. For those who follow Canadian country radio, you’re probably familiar with them. The shortest way I would describe them is Dan + Shay + some token banjos. At least that’s the impression I get from “Make You Mine.” The second comparison is Mumford & Sons, as this sounds like a cheap knockoff of their hit “I Will Wait.” Seriously go play these two songs side-by-side and everything sounds the same. The Walmart-brand folk production, the cliché love lyrics and sanctimonious harmonies all match. Two things this song does get right though are the uplifting, soaring nature that will undoubtedly hook some listeners and the palpable enthusiasm and energy conveyed. In other words, High Valley doesn’t take the song too seriously, which both hurts and benefits it. 3/10
  • Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her”
    • How great is it to see this song in the top 30? I already gave this a full review, so if you missed it here’s the main gist: This song hooks me from the very beginning with its earthy, acoustic guitar play before giving away to some steel guitar. “Holdin’ Her” tells the story of how Janson grew up from his early days, fell in love and became the man he is now. Janson recalls in his younger days how he used to party and wake up in places with strangers he didn’t know and wondered how he even got there. He goes onto meet the woman he would one day call his wife in an underground pool hall and from that day on his life changed.The lyrics, which were written by Janson and James Otto, are personal, touching and honest. This is the type of country music the world needs. Not to mention the pedal steel guitar is present throughout. It has everything you want in a country song and it’s one of the best singles you’ll hear in 2016. 9/10
  • Chris Young (feat. Vince Gill) – “Sober Saturday Night”
    • The best word to describe Chris Young’s latest album would be interchangeable. That’s because every song on the album plays it really safe and doesn’t take any risks. It’s perhaps one of the safest albums I’ve ever heard, as Young comes off as absolutely petrified to go outside the box and try anything. The good side to this is you can’t really piss anyone off with this type of music. But I have to say I’m glad he chose the interchangeable song with Vince Gill on it as a single because I’ll take Gill in any capacity on country radio. Unfortunately we don’t get to hear Gill’s great pipes (at least outside of harmonies), but we do get to hear his equally great guitar play. The song itself is your standard love ballad about a guy staying sober on Saturday night instead of drinking his pain away. Young delivers his standard performance. There is some nice steel guitar though. Along with Gill, these two aspects raise this song just above average. 6/10

Song I Predict Will Be #1 Next Week:

  • Dierks Bentley & Elle King – “Different For Girls”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Carrie Underwood – “Dirty Laundry” – Up 9 from #34 to #25
  • Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” – Up 7 from #36 to #29
  • Billy Currington – “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” – Up 5 from #8 to #3

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Sam Hunt – “Make You Miss Me” – Out of the Top 30 (& Done)
  • Jake Owen – “American Generic Country Love Song” – Out of the Top 30 (& Done)
  • Zac Brown Band – “Castaway” – Out of the Top 30 (& Done)
  • Brothers Osborne – “21 Summer” – Out of the Top 30 (& Done)

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

  • Blake Shelton – “She’s Got a Way With Words”
  • Justin Moore – “You Look Like I Need A Drink”

On The Hot Seat:

  • Miranda Lambert – “Vice” (I think her label will fight until it reaches top ten and then let it fall. Consider it lucky to reach top ten, as radio programmers predictably don’t care for this song.)

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Eric Church (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) – “Kill A Word”
  • LANco – “Long Live Tonight”
  • Josh Turner – “Hometown Girl”
  • Michael Ray – “Think A Little Less”


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

32 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [Sept. 19]

  1. seak05 September 21, 2016 / 11:26 am

    Can’t believe Diff for Girls is going to be a multi-week #1, I hate everyone. It might not actually be on Mediabase though. Capitol is definitely pushing hard for Vice, it had actually briefly gone into (-) spins, middle portion of the chart is soft now, so I think it gets top 10.

    Warner and Blake have officially let SGAWW go this week, thus ending the #1 streak. Now if radio can kill Move it would be a decent fall.

    Also surprisingly (because Sirius Highway & others have been spinning “Beer”) Blake is going Guy with a Girl for his next single.


    • Josh Schott September 21, 2016 / 11:32 am

      On Mediabase it appears Moore’s “You Look Like I Need A Drink” could be #1 next week, all depending on whether or not “Different For Girls” loses enough spins.


      • seak05 September 21, 2016 / 11:54 am

        yes, of course “Drink” getting to #1 is also a little silly. Wish Billy or WMM had made a push this week.


  2. Will September 21, 2016 / 12:10 pm

    I agree that ‘Dirty Laundry’ does have the same woman done wrong theme, but she doesn’t murder him. It really uses the Dirty Laundry as a double entendre to describe his figurative dirty laundry and his literal dirty laundry.


  3. Nadia Lockheart September 21, 2016 / 12:13 pm

    I mostly agree with you on the new entries, although my grades would be slightly different.

    “Dirty Laundry” is a Decent to Strong 3 out of 10 to my ears. Where “Church Bells” succeeded with its descriptive lyrics and attempts at storytelling, “Dirty Laundry” is deficient of nuance even when sized up to similar rushing-to-conclusions man-bashing-song “Before He Cheats”. A whiff of lingering perfume on an article of clothing along with a slight wine stain is NOT sufficient evidence to prove one cheated on another. How does she not know someone else accidentally bumped into him at a soiree and spilled wine on him? How do we not know the perfume got there just by hugging an old friend he met for the fist time in a while by happenstance? These things happen too! I hate songs that rush to judgement like this, especially when backed by ridiculously loud, overcompressed production and mixing. Underwood’s vocals and some decent technical writing are the only things that keep this from being among the worst singles of 2016.

    “Make You Mine” would be a Light to Decent 3 out of 10 to my ears. Completely agree with the comparison to “I Will Wait” and I’ve never even liked Mumford & Songs anyway between their vanilla music and passive-aggressive lyrics. In a way, I almost prefer this over Mumford & Songs, oddly enough, because the lyrics are at least not ex-bashing or condescending. But it is ridiculously clean-sounding and obnoxiously loud to the point it isn’t enjoyable hearing on the radio whatsoever.

    I’ve already talked about “Holdin’ Her” before. It’s a Decent to Strong 8 out of 10 to my ears. Great song!

    “Sober Saturday Night” is that sort of song that you immediately recognize its potential in being a greater song, but the end result in how it’s executed is quite disappointing. The songwriting is decent, but it can’t help but scream “shadow of previous song that touched on the long-standing theme in country music”. And the production is just way too sterile and clean to bring this to life emotionally. It’s a good idea for a song that is reduced to “Ho hum!” quality due to bland production and lyrics that lack the teeth of its predecessors. Young sounds as strong as always, but you can’t even make out Vince Gill’s contributions in the sterility of the production. This is a Decent to Strong 5 out of 10 t my ears.


  4. OlaR September 21, 2016 / 12:24 pm

    Bentley & King: predictable #1. The track is #1 in Canada for six weeks now.
    Billy Currington with the second wind. A career-saving hit after the “Drinkin’ Town…” bomb.
    McGraw, McGraw, McGraw: up, up & up.
    The Rempel Brothers: ok…High Valley inside the Top 30. One of the brothers is the (co-)producer of new canadian act The Hunter Brothers. The same kind of songs & harmonies. Not bad but interchangeable.

    “Vacation” is over: down to #37 (no bullet, down in spins & audience).
    TBP is up to 42 (no bullet but up in plays)
    Runaway June up to 44 (no bullet but up in plays)
    Frankie Ballard up to 52 (no bullet but up in plays)
    Chase Rice up 9 places to # 50 (meh)

    Hot Shot Debut: #39 – Artists Of Then, Now & Forever – “Forever Country”
    New: #58 – Chris Lane – “For Her”
    New: #60 – Jana Kramer – “Circles”
    Re-Entry: #57 – Joe Nichols – “Undone”

    Billboard Top Country Albums:
    New: #1 – Jason Aldean – They Don’t Know
    #2 – FGL – Dig Your Roots
    #3 – Chris Stapleton – Traveller
    New: #4 – Whiskey Myers – Mud
    New: #7 – Parton, Harris, Ronstadt – Trio: The Complete Trio Collection
    New: #13 – Chel Wright – I Am The Rain
    New: #25 – The Time Jumpers – Kid Sister

    Billboard Canada Country National Airplay:
    #1 – Bentley & King – The same track as last week
    #2 – Justin Moore – Just another song about drinking
    #3 – Blake Shelton – who cares
    #5 – Washboard Union – “Shot Of Glory” (highest canadian track)

    Country Tracks Top 40 Australia:
    #1 – Doug Bruce – “Bad Weather” (3rd week)
    #2 – Troy Cassar-Daley – “Things I Carry Around”
    #3 – Sunny Cowgirls – “Cowboy” (New Album: Here We Go – Release Date: 09/30)
    #28 – Dolly Parton – “Pure & Simple” (highest american track)

    New single: Blake Shelton – “A Guy With A Girl” – 09/26 – Source: Warner Nashville
    New single: James Robert Webb – “Put It In Drive” – 10/03 – Source: Billboard Country Update
    New single: Radio Romance – “Secrets” – 10/10 – Source: Billboard Country Update
    New single: Tyler Hammond – “Tough Girl” – 10/10 – Source: Billboard Country Update
    New single: Drew Baldridge feat. Emily Weisband – “Rebound” – 10/10 – Source: Billboard Country Update
    New album: Aubrie Sellers – New City Blues (Re-Release) – 09/30 – Source: Music Row
    New album: Loretta Lynn – White Christmas Blue – 10/07 – Source: Music Row
    New album: Sylvia – It’s All In The Family – 10/07 – Source: Music Row
    New album: Tucker Beathard – Fight Like Hell (Ep) – 10/07 – Source: Music Row


  5. Ron September 21, 2016 / 12:47 pm

    Wow. I know it won’t last long but 20% of the top 25 is by solo females. Peter Pan should be gone and Vice is hanging on for now


    • seak05 September 21, 2016 / 1:10 pm

      Kelsea has already announced her next single though, and given her success at radio I’d be surprised if it doesn’t make the top 25. Also Lauren’s will keep rising because she has the on the verge deal. I’d love to see Rae Lynn’s “love triangle” make a push, it’s actually a good song, but it’s not the stuff that radio likes to play. Warner’s done a pretty good job lately though getting some decent songs onto radio: Holding Her & I Met a Girl specifically.


  6. That Guy September 21, 2016 / 1:32 pm

    “Make You Mine” is by far my favorite mainstream country single to chart this year. To be honest, this is what I WISH Mumford and Sons had sounded like. The propulsive energy of track (especially that three second crescendo right before the instrumental outro) along with the Rempel brothers just pumping sincerity into the hook make it a knockout punch for me.

    As for “Holdin’ Her”…eh. I wish I liked it more than I do. It drags quite a bit and, even though I’ve heard it a couple of times I have no real desire to hear it again.

    Just my two cents.


  7. Amanda September 21, 2016 / 1:46 pm

    Holdin’ Her and Sober Saturday Night are both great songs, in my opinion. Chris Janson has made a huge improvement over the course of his short career. From the horrendous Buy Me A Boat, to the so-so Power of Positive Drinking, to the great Holdin’ Her. If Chris can continue in the direction of Holdin’ Her, he will definitely be one to change country music for the better. I probably like Sober Saturday Night more than I should. While leaning a bit on the generic side, Chris has a fantastic voice, and if Vince is involved, you know it’s gonna be at the very least decent. I also like the touches of steel guitar in this song. I would give both of these songs a +3. Carrie Underwood’s Dirty Laundry is just decent. It feels all to similar to many of her other songs, and in comparison, to many of Miranda Lambert’s songs. Carrie has a great voice and the song is well-written, so I’ll be generous and give it a +1. Not a big fan of Make You Mine. It feels like a carbon copy of Mumford and Sons and the Lumineers. I’m thinking a -2 for it.

    Disappointed to see Different for Girls in the top spot. As a 20-year old young woman with quite a few strong feminist views, this song offends me quite a bit. Glad to see “She’s Got a Way With Words” faltering at radio, geez, what a pathetic, petty, whiny, immature song. Blake is getting what he deserves with this one as I feel like he went too far releasing it as a single. And how awesome would it be to see William Michael Morgan hit number one with I Met a Girl? I’ve got my fingers crossed, hoping it happens as I do love his music and am super excited to buy a copy of his album when it is released September 30.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Danik September 21, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    I agree that Justin Moore is on the hot seat, but I do think he might make it to #1 on Mediabase, he is gaining on Dierks very quickly. If he doesn’t make it next week though, Dierks will spend a second week at #1 and then “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” will be next. I think there is a VERY small chance that “I Met a Girl” will go to #1. Even smaller chance for Rock On.


  9. Scotty J September 21, 2016 / 4:49 pm

    There is often talk about the careers of Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean and a few others needing to be reinvigorated but I don’t think there is a successful performer in mainstream country right now that has skated by like Carrie Underwood. As you mentioned the repetitiveness of her singles and the overall lack of any grit or substance to her music has gone on for years now and yet she doesn’t really get the kind of criticism that others receive.

    She needs to make a real shift in style or something because she is quickly becoming the most boring, predictable performer in country music.


    • Nadia Lockheart September 21, 2016 / 6:40 pm

      The reason why is obvious.

      Up until her current album, Carrie Underwood was a consistent Platinum-selling artist. Almost every one of her singles dented the Top Forty of the Billboard Hot 100 as well. And she generated her fair share of water cooler conversation. There was no need for her to change gears from a commercial standpoint.

      But with her current album “Storyteller”, we’re finally beginning to see fissures in the foundation. It has sold less than half of what “Blown Away” has sold to date and is currently at #18 on the Country Albums chart (#104 all-genre). None of its singles have succeeded in receiving a Platinum certification or making the Top Forty of the Billboard Hot 100. And, contingent with that last point, few are really talking about her singles this era outside the die-hard Carrie Underwood fanbase.

      Relative to her overall mainstream country competition, she’s obviously still in better shape than most of her peers. But when you look at it from an era-to-era lens, I’d argue Carrie Underwood has had arguably THE worst album-to-album decline among all A-listers through this past year. Luke Bryan’s has been staggering too, but either way their current albums are at less than half of their predecessors’ sales and at least four singles deep.

      So I agree that, NOW, Carrie Underwood needs to recalibrate as does Luke Bryan if they are intent on retaining their commercial relevance. Gauging by “They Don’t Know” opening with less than half the 278,000 units “Old Boots, New Dirt” did, Aldean needs to as well.


      • Scotty J September 21, 2016 / 7:28 pm

        Some of the sales decline with all of these performers is just getting long in the tooth career wise. When an act is 4-5-6 albums into their career and have been around a dozen years or so it becomes harder to inspire people to buy your new album and then throw in the fact that just about everybody is seeing far lower album sales (and singles too) it makes it a little hard to judge where some of these people are at.

        There was a time when an act’s career would start out as albums and singles sales winners and then as the years went on they became more ‘singles acts’. This happened to just about all the greats that had long careers in country music so I don’t really hold declining album sales against them.

        But to be a successful ‘singles act’ the performer needs to put out varied and interesting songs and that is where Underwood is lacking in my opinion. Her singles have basically become either ‘let’s kill the man we hate’ or ‘sad abused, forgotten child’ songs with her screaming at full blast in all cases. She needs to look for songs in different places and try different producers and open herself up to wider subject matters and sounds if she wants to remain an interesting presence on the country music landscape.


        • seak05 September 21, 2016 / 7:46 pm

          Think it’s a combination of a couple things..artists sales often decline from album to album, and Carrie has been around for a while so a sales decline was inevitable. Also album sales generally are down, especially in 2016, but also in 2015. And I would put some of the Aldean, Luke, FGL, Carrie decline down to the changing music culture.


        • Nadia Lockheart September 21, 2016 / 8:08 pm

          You’re right about the career longevity angle, and that is why I think Jason Aldean’s track record, for instance, looks a hell of a lot more impressive than that of Luke Bryan’s.

          It doesn’t look like Aldean will hit that lucky number seven when it comes to consecutive Platinum-selling records since his debut. But it IS quite impressive that he has consistently been able to go Platinum up until now over the course of six releases. With Luke Bryan, on the other hand, his career chart graph indicates much less stability.

          Carrie Underwood, too, enjoyed strong, steady success for a long while. But now she’s clearly at a precipice in broader popularity. And I wholeheartedly agree she needs to intensely reflect on the kind of artists she wants to be from here on out and diversify her choice of topics and themes: especially those that she is intent on anchoring future releases as singles. She’s boxing herself into a corner with back-to-back retreads of “Two Black Cadillacs” (which isn’t even among her bigger hits anyway) and “Before He Cheats”.


          • Ryan September 22, 2016 / 2:51 am

            Even with the year-to-year decline in album sales, Carrie and Luke are still killing it in terms of sales. For all albums released 2015 in beyond (975 albums), Storyteller was 24th in opening week sales and 32nd in later sales; Kill The Lights was 8th in opening week sales and 20th in later sales. You could argue, as streaming becomes more important, that both fare worse (Carrie was only 81st in opening week album streams; Luke 42nd) but still, their strong album sales relative to their all-genre competitors is still very impressive.

            As for their singles, Carrie still sells well–Smoke Break, Heartbeat, and Church Bells, her last three singles, peaked at around 18th to 33rd in itunes. Out of 560 songs released to country radio since 2012, Smoke Break ranked 43rd, Heartbeat in the 70s in overall itunes rank.

            I agree that Luke’s “Move” is selling extremely awfully for a Luke Bryan single–other than “Games” which was never officially released to country radio, it has the worst itunes ranking of Bryan’s 14 released songs to country radio since 2012. But horrific songs like Kick the Dust Up was in the top 10 of itunes, Strip It Down top 20, Home Alone Tonight top 30, and Huntin’, Fishin’ top 40. Granted, there’s a gradual decline for each one, but that tends to happen as you get deeper into album releases. Still, there’s no denying strong digital sales off this album as well.


  10. Nadia Lockheart September 21, 2016 / 7:15 pm

    Hahahaha, has anyone heard this new track from Zac Brown’s surprise vanity project Sir Rosevelt, “Sunday Finest”, yet?

    This may be Zac’s answer to the intense scrutiny and backlash the Zac Brown Band received in blending different genres too much with “JEKYLL + HYDE”. Between that and the negative publicity he got for the drug bust controversy which he may not have been involved with but nonetheless probably impacted him and made him realize the importance of having the band’s image reflect the company they keep, I’m hopeful the emergence of this side project is a sure sign the Zac Brown Band will go back to being the Zac Brown Band while Zac Brown can rightfully indulge in his love for other music with Sir Rosevelt.


    • Josh Schott September 21, 2016 / 7:39 pm

      I have and it’s not bad, but it could certainly be better. Rumor is Pharrell Williams is involved too. Regardless of the quality of the music by Sir Rosevelt, it’s good to see Brown took many people’s advice and is now keeping his experimenting away from ZBB. If he didn’t have such a loyal fan base, ZBB would have taken a pretty bad hit sales wise and he knows it.


      • seak05 September 21, 2016 / 7:44 pm

        As a music fan I enjoy a number of different genres, so I don’t begrudge artists who want to experiment with different sounds. I get annoyed when they choose to release EDM songs on what is ostensibly a country album. Taylor Swift decided she wanted to make pop music, & she went pop & called herself pop. That’s ok. Glad ZB seems to be going in that direction going forward, separating the country and the experimentation.


      • Nadia Lockheart September 21, 2016 / 8:25 pm

        I didn’t mind “Sunday Finest”, but I sure hope it’s properly marketed outside of Country radio at all costs. I get it wouldn’t fly at Mainstream Top 40, but maybe Alternative might consider it.

        After all, they’ve been pushing quite a few considerably poppy songs as of late including that terrible Fitz & The Tantrums song “HandClap”, Halsey’s “New Americana” and Elle King’s “Ex’s & Ohs”. If those legitimately pass off as “Alternative” to their ears, then it isn’t a stretch to market “Sunday Finest” as “Alternative” either by those standards.


  11. Ash September 21, 2016 / 8:18 pm

    Why do you think VICE is on the hot seat? Its gotten over the 2-3 week bump with barely no gains and is back on a positive note ….callout scores on mb aren’t that bad …but its selling very well. Should be in the gold certified range in about 2 weeks.


    • Nadia Lockheart September 21, 2016 / 8:31 pm

      It has been languishing over this past week and a half in terms of audience.

      “Vice” peaked at about 28.1 million in audience on Mediabase a week and a half ago, and had lost as much as 1.1 million in audience between then and this past Sunday. Since then it has regained some of that audience, but it STILL has yet to reach its existing audience peak to date.

      I imagine that the radio callout for this type of song is also abysmal (unfortunately). We already know how the format is wrought with institutionalized sexism, but beyond that adversely affecting most any female artist’s respective single, radio programmers are becoming increasingly weary of stacking their playlists with ballads and slower songs, and “Vice” definitely fits the latter. The eclectism of its production is just proving too much to handle to listeners who crave meat and potatoes, what can I say? =(


    • seak05 September 21, 2016 / 8:39 pm

      As Nadia said, it looks like it’s getting a good second win, and might reach top 10 (esp bc other stuff is dropping) but it’s been relatively stagnant in terms of audience. In the national call out numbers it has very high negatives and a high burn rate. Selling well is great for Miranda, but sales and radio are often about two different things. Songs that are polarizing tend to sell well, but don’t do as well at radio.


  12. seak05 September 21, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    BTW it should probably be noted that Kelsea’s Peter Pan led the hot country chart again this week – with no discount.


    • Nadia Lockheart September 21, 2016 / 10:02 pm

      And Pink’s new s……….errrrrr, I mean Kenny Chesney’s new single ( 😉 )……………”Setting The World On Fire” will all but certainly be topping next week’s chart as the airplay gap closes.

      It underscores how radio is still the dominant driver in the country format, while streaming is much less consequential. Nowhere is this more reflected than in Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line’s current singles this week. “May We All” plunged this week despite remaining high on the iTunes composite chart because of Florida Georgia Line’s album moving past its opening week sales hype, while Jason Aldean’s opening week sales hype factored into this week and, thus, buoyed “A Little More Summertime”………………..all despite both singles having ways to go before achieving peak airplay.


  13. seak05 September 21, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    Pink totally sold out to let Kenny sing a few lines with her, her own folk stuff is much better.


  14. Raymond September 22, 2016 / 10:14 am

    Where in the “Dirty Laundry” does Carrie Underwood murder the guy. I mean she technically has no proof but she didn’t murder the guy.

    I know I’m the only one here who likes “Road Less Traveled” but I am so happy it got OTV and is climbing pretty well. I am still hopeful she will have a highly successful career.


    • Amanda September 22, 2016 / 10:20 am

      Raymond, “Road Less Traveled” is a guilty pleasure of mine. And I really like Lauren’s first album, Wildflower, quite a lot.


      • Raymond September 22, 2016 / 10:27 am

        Yeah they are some really good standout tracks on that debut, preferably songs like “Dirt Road Prayer”, “Georgia Peaches” (more for the melody) “Eighteen Inches” and she did a really great job on “Like My Mother Does” (imo).


        • Amanda September 22, 2016 / 10:59 am

          I love Dirt Road Prayer and Eighteen Inches! The Locket is amazing as well. It made me cry. I can relate to The Locket, as I lost my great-aunt to dementia. And I always loved Growing Her Wings and Tupelo, as they are such cute songs.


  15. guy September 25, 2016 / 7:00 pm

    I love Billy Curringtons song but I Heart stations play it rarely even though it is 3. I only hear it in countdown shows. Yet they have played Cole Swindell, and LoCash and Kenny Chesney new tunes ad freaking nauseam
    How does a song get to be number 3 and no one hears it. Personally, I think I Heart radio may be back in the payola business. They also rarely played Kelsey Bellarini’s Peter Pan and when it became number 1 the announcer at my IHeart Baltimore station thanked her, when he should have apologized to her for rarely playing her song and this jerk is up for a CMA dj award! I tell you I Heart radio is ruining country radio


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