Review – Easton Corbin’s “A Girl Like You”

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When Easton Corbin broke onto the scene nearly a decade ago, many including myself thought he would be the next great traditional country artist. Instead he devolved into pandering, checklist, formulaic fodder. Worse he dove headfirst into bro country with absolute glee, as it was heavily featured on his last album About To Get Real. So after numerous disappointments my expectations were set quite low for Corbin’s newly released single “A Girl Like You.” The title inspired less confidence in it being good. So does he finally fulfill his potential or is it another disappointment? Well it’s a lot more interesting and thought-provoking than I expected. The song opens with heavy drums that persist throughout the song. I don’t think they’re actually drum loops and could be an actual backing band, although I’m not entirely sure. This is meshed with twangy telecaster play throughout the song. It’s essentially a traditional meets modern sound, very much along the lines of Jon Pardi’s current hit song “Dirt on My Boots.” I have to admit it’s quite catchy and an infectious ear worm, although I imagine some will be turned off by the heavy drums. Then we get to the lyrics, which start off pretty rocky with lines about cold beer, bars and neon lights. It gets worse when we get to these lines: They play lots of songs on the radio / About them good ol’ country girls that we all know / Long tan legs and cut off jeans / Yeah just shaking that sugar every country boy’s dream. Aargh another bro song you think. But wait its immediately followed by these lines: I’ve heard ’em all at least a time or two / Ain’t none about a girl like you, you know that’s true. So he dismisses his girl being a cliché and just another girl in a country song. This is good, even if a tad hypocritical after cutting songs like this before. The rest of the song is about how special this girl is in any setting without devolving into sexist clichés and how thankful he is for her. Overall this is a solid concept for a song and something I should like, but at the same time it’s hard to shake the fact that he was cutting these very same songs he’s dismissing. At the end of the day I’m going to take “A Girl Like You” for what it is, a decent love song. I think it has a great chance of being a hit and if it is could be the start of a traditional-meets-modern trend in country music.

Grade: 6/10

 

Recommend? – You’ll have to decide for yourself on this one, as I can imagine some of you will be hesitant to embrace this.

 

Written by Ashley Gorley, Jesse Frasure and Rhett Akins

The Past Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [May 2013]

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This is the past pulse of mainstream country music. Each week, I take a look at the Billboard Country Airplay Chart (or, “Hot Country Songs” as it used to be called) from years ago and grade the top 30 songs. Each week will be a different year. 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 past top thirty country songs, with the highest possible score being a +150 and the lowest possible score being a -150. The grade 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 past state of mainstream country music and determine if it was better or worse compared to now. To see the full list of the top 30 country airplay songs for this week, click here. Admittedly my week was pretty hectic, therefore I’m taking a break from my review backlog this week. It will resume next week, but for now I picked 2013 since I already knew my thoughts on all thirty songs. This week’s chart will be from May 11th, 2013.

  1. Thompson Square – “If I Didn’t Have You” +1
  2. Florida Georgia Line – “Get Your Shine On” -3 (Admittedly this song REALLY annoys me, but it’s more of a personal thing. Therefore I decided to be fair.)
  3. Miranda Lambert – “Mama’s Broken Heart” 0
  4. Lady Antebellum – “Downtown” 0
  5. Kenny Chesney – “Pirate Flag” -3
  6. Darius Rucker – “Wagon Wheel” +1 (I don’t think the song is all that special but eh…it was the most country thing to hit the top in quite a while so whatever)
  7. Tim McGraw & Taylor Swift & Keith Urban – “Highway Don’t Care” -2
  8. George Strait – “Give It All We Got Tonight” 0
  9. Chris Young – “I Can Take It From There” +1
  10. Brad Paisley – “Beat This Summer” +3 [Best Song]
  11. Eric Church – “Like Jesus Does” +1
  12. Blake Shelton  & The Pistol Annies – “Boys ‘Round Here” -5 [Worst Song…..Ever]
  13. Brantley Gilbert – “More Than Miles” +1
  14. The Band Perry – “DONE” -1 (And now they really are!)
  15. Jason Aldean – “1994” -5 [Worst Song…..oh shit I already handed this out? Ugh….]
  16. Jake Owen – “Anywhere With You” 0
  17. Zac Brown Band – “Jump Right In” +1
  18. Luke Bryan – “Crash My Party” -1
  19. Gloriana – “Can’t Shake You” +2
  20. The Henningsens – “American Beautiful” 0
  21. Kip Moore – “Hey Pretty Girl” +2
  22. Easton Corbin – “All Over The Road” -1
  23. Hunter Hayes – “I Want Crazy” -2
  24. Carrie Underwood – “See You Again” +1
  25. Gary Allan – “Pieces” +1
  26. Brett Eldredge – “Don’t Ya” -1 (Almost a 0 but that opening line is just way too cringe worthy)
  27. Kelly Clarkson & Vince Gill – “Don’t Rush” +1
  28. Justin Moore – “Point At You” -1
  29. Billy Currington – “Hey Girl” -3
  30. Randy Houser – “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” -2

The Past Pulse Of Mainstream Country Music: -14

So yeah this week was definitely a bust. From the looks at the bottom half of the chart, it looks like we were just about to be inundated with bro-country. Elsewhere, Jason Aldean and Blake Shelton run away with the “honor” of having two of the absolute worst songs to ever descend upon the country genre. Even looking beyond that there’s just not a whole lot here. The best song for me is Brad Paisley’s experimental “Beat This Summer” but only that is great as opposed to outright excellent. Honestly there’s just a whole lot of mediocrity here.

As always, if you have any questions as to why I gave a song a certain grade feel free to ask me. Also, let me know what you guys think of the chart in the comments!

Worst Country Artist 2016 Tournament: Vote on the Good ‘Ol Bros Region!

Thomas Rhett Crash and Burn

Welcome to the first round of voting in Country Perspective’s 2016 Worst Country Artist Tournament. We continue our first round with voting in the Good ‘Ol Bros Region. Remember that you have until Friday 1 PM ET to vote, so get your votes in! If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments below.

Polls are closed! Thank you for voting and be sure to check out the updated bracket. 

 

 

 

 

The Past Pulse Of Mainstream Country Music [August 2010]

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Yes, you read that right! With Josh’s permission I have brought this feature back to life on Country Perspective. Considering I was just a reader when this feature was introduced, I am definitely excited to see it revived as well as be the one in charge of it.

What the Past Pulse will do is take a look at the Billboard Country Airplay Chart (or, “Hot Country Songs” as it used to be called) from years ago and grade the top 30 songs. Each week will be a different year. Each song on the chart will receive either a +1, 0, or -1. These will then be tallied up for an overall score, or pulse of the top 30 songs with the highest score being a +30 and the lowest possible score being a -30. Songs rated between a 7 and 10 will receive a +1. Songs rated either 5 or 6 will receive a 0. Songs rated 4 or lower will receive a -1.

The goal of this exercise is to evaluate the past state of mainstream country music and determine if it was better or worse compared to now. To see the full list of the top 30 country airplay songs for this week, click here. Since I got involved with country music in 2010 (due more to age than quality of the music at the time), I will take a look at the top 30 on the Country Airplay Chart from August 14, 2010.

  1. Jerrod Niemann – “Lover, Lover” +1
  2. Zac Brown Band – “Free” +1
  3. Keith Urban – “I’m In” 0
  4. Carrie Underwood – “Undo It” -1
  5. Blake Shelton – “All About Tonight” -1
  6. Lee Brice – “Love Like Crazy” +1
  7. Billy Currington – “Pretty Good At Drinkin’ Beer” -1
  8. Lady Antebellum – “Our Kind Of Love” 0
  9. Luke Bryan – “Rain Is A Good Thing” -1
  10. Uncle Kracker – “Smile” -1
  11. Kenny Chesney – “The Boys Of Fall” -1
  12. Josh Turner – “All Over Me” 0
  13. Easton Corbin – “Roll With It” +1
  14. Little Big Town – “Little White Church” 0
  15. Craig Morgan – “This Ain’t Nothin’” +1
  16. Darius Rucker – “Come Back Song” 0
  17. Alan Jackson – “Hard Hat and A Hammer” +1
  18. Gary Allan – “Get Off On The Pain” +1
  19. Rodney Atkins – “Farmer’s Daughter” +1
  20. David Nail – “Turning Home” +1 [Best Song]
  21. Josh Thompson – “Way Out Here” -1
  22. Sugarland – “Stuck Like Glue” -1 [Worst Song]
  23. The Band Perry – “If I Die Young” +1
  24. George Strait – “The Breath You Take” +1
  25. Toby Keith – “Trailerhood” -1
  26. Justin Moore – “How I Got To Be This Way” -1
  27. James Otto – “Groovy Little Summer Song” -1
  28. Reba McEntire – “Turn On The Radio” 0
  29. Trace Adkins – “This Ain’t No Love Song” 0
  30. Steve Azar – “Sunshine (Everybody Needs A Little)” 0

The Past Pulse Of Mainstream Country Music: 0

Wow, we’re without a Pulse folks! The sad part is that not having a Pulse is better than the negative Pulses we’ve been exposed to these days.

So what’s changed in these past six years? The Band Perry was ascending the charts with what would turn out to be their biggest hit, and by golly it’s actually a freaking country song! So now that they seemed to have died young can I bury them in yellow instead of satin? George Strait and Alan Jackson were not only still on the country charts at this time, but they were in the top 25! Now it takes a Beyonce move just to get Strait into the top 40. What’s that they used to say? “There’s been an awful murder down on music row.” My how things change. Craig Morgan released arguably his best song ever during this time too. Heck, even Easton Corbin and Jerrod Niemann were still viewed as the good guys of mainstream country music! Gary Allan was still releasing the badass moody rockers that have shaped his entire career (and not having to appeal to trends). My personal favorite song on here though is David Nail’s “Turning Home,” a song that I always felt was under-appreciated. Sure, it may not have been the most countriest thing out there, but the song told a damn good story and Nail’s emotion and vocal presence on this track was absolutely amazing.

Then there’s the bad stuff, even if it doesn’t compare with the lows we’ve seen today. Though he wasn’t shaking his ass for females everywhere yet, Luke Bryan still had a very annoying song out at the time with “Rain Is A Good Thing.” It’s also interesting to see that Blake Shelton has been releasing formulaic material for a LONG time at this point. “All About Tonight” is a total snooze-fest. Then of course we have Sugarland and their God-awful rap/reggae song which coincidentally was their last “big” hit ever. Surprisingly enough these two have both crafted some pretty solid music in their own solo careers. We also had Uncle Kracker’s cheesy, non-country “Smile” song, which bugged the ever-loving crap out of me as a teenager. Carrie Underwood’s “Undo It” was also released here, and it’s by far my least favorite song of hers. I think she can handle country-pop very well, but man this was bad…..

What’s interesting to see is that Carrie Underwood is the only solo female on this chart. Oh well, at least there wasn’t any bro-country or metropolitan. Little victories guys, little victories.

So what do you think of this chart? What’s your favorite and least favorite of the above songs? Do you want this feature to stay or remain gone?

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [August 1]

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 between 5 and 6.5 receive a 0. Songs rated 4.5 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. Jason Aldean – “Tonight Looks Good On You” -1 (Up 1)
  2. Brantley Gilbert – “One Hell of an Amen” (Up 3)
  3. Little Big Town – “Girl Crush” +1 (Up 1)
  4. Michael Ray – “Kiss You In The Morning” -1 (Up 2)
  5. Canaan Smith – “Love You Like That” -1 (Down 4)
  6. Luke Bryan – “Kick The Dust Up” -1 (Up 2) [Tied for Worst Song]
  7. Blake Shelton – “Sangria” -1 (Down 4)
  8. Frankie Ballard – “Young & Crazy” (Up 1)
  9. Zac Brown Band – “Loving You Easy” +1 (Up 1)
  10. Brad Paisley – “Crushin’ It” -1 (Up 1)
  11. Sam Hunt – “House Party” -1 (Up 2) [Tied for Worst Song]
  12. Dustin Lynch – “Hell of a Night” -1
  13. Thomas Rhett – “Crash and Burn” -1 (Up 1) [Tied for Worst Song]
  14. Eric Church – “Like A Wrecking Ball” 0 (Up 1)
  15. Chris Janson – “Buy Me A Boat” -1 (Up 1)
  16. Brett Eldredge – “Lose My Mind” -1 (Up 1)
  17. Keith Urban – “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16″ -1 (Up 1)
  18. Chase Rice – “Gonna Wanna Tonight” -1 (Up 3)
  19. Maddie & Tae – “Fly” +1 
  20. Jake Owen – “Real Life” -1 
  21. Cole Swindell – “Let Me See Ya Girl” -1 (Up 1)
  22. Kip Moore – “I’m To Blame” (Up 1)
  23. Kenny Chesney – “Save It For A Rainy Day” 0 (Up 4)
  24. Old Dominion – “Break Up With Him” -1 (Up 2) [Tied for Worst Song]
  25. Dan + Shay – “Nothin’ Like You” -1 (Down 1)
  26. Lady Antebellum – “Long Stretch of Love” (Down 1)
  27. Florida Georgia Line – “Anything Goes” -1 (Up 1) [Tied for Worst Song]
  28. Cam – “Burning House” +1 (Up 1) [Best Song]
  29. Big & Rich – “Run Away With You” +1 (Up 1)
  30. Brothers Osborne – “Stay A Little Longer” 0 (Re-Enters Top 30 This Week)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -13

The pulse improved one spot this week.

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Easton Corbin’s “Baby Be My Love Song” went recurrent and fell from #7 to out of the top 30. Finally!

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Brothers Osborne’s “Stay A Little Longer”

New #1 Song This Week:

  • Jason Aldean – “Tonight Looks Good On You”

Song I Predict Will Reach #1 Next Week:

  • Brantley Gilbert – “One Hell of An Amen”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Kenny Chesney – “Save It For A Rainy Day” – Up 4 from #27 to #23 (Most Added Song of the Week)
  • Brantley Gilbert – “One Hell of An Amen” – Up 3 from #5 to #2
  • Chase Rice – “Gonna Wanna Tonight” – Up 3 from #21 to #18

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Easton Corbin – “Baby Be My Love Song” – Out of the Top 30
  • Canaan Smith – “Love You Like That” – Down 4 from #1 to #6
  • Blake Shelton – “Sangria” – Down 4 from #3 to #7

Songs I See Leaving The Top 30 Soon:

  • Blake Shelton – “Sangria”
  • Canaan Smith – “Love You Like That”
  • Maddie & Tae – “Fly”
  • Lady Antebellum – “Long Stretch of Love”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Chris Young – “I’m Comin’ Over”
  • Parmalee – “Already Callin’ You Mine”
  • Jana Kramer – “I Got The Boy”
  • Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town – “Smokin’ And Drinkin'”

Notes:

  • Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” has appeared to peak at #3 and I am confident in saying it won’t reach #1 on the chart. There are too many fast rising songs behind it. Brantley Gilbert’s big push solidified this too.
  • I see “Crushin’ It” hanging on longer and will probably move up the chart once some of these heavy hitters’ singles get their run at the top.
  • I think Maddie & Tae’s “Fly” is completely screwed. Look at the songs above it and below it. They have no chance in hell of getting beyond the low teens. It was still a better run than many expected.
  • Reba’s “Going Out Like That” quietly went recurrent this week after falling out of the top 30 last week. It feels like it was on the chart forever. I guess a majority of the country music audience felt the same way I did about it, which is pretty meh and uncaring about it. The good news is she has a bevy of great songs to choose from off of her album as the next single.

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