The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio [February 13]

gold-ceelo
Yeah I couldn’t think of anything interesting for this week’s top song. So here’s CeeLo Green’s new look at the Grammys. Mesmerizing, eh?

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. Dustin Lynch – “Seein’ Red” -5 (Up 2)
  2. Little Big Town – “Better Man” +2 (Up 2)
  3. Chris Young (feat. Vince Gill) – “Sober Saturday Night” +1 (Up 2)
  4. Thomas Rhett – “Star of the Show” -3 (Down 3)
  5. Blake Shelton – “A Guy With A Girl” -1 (Down 3) 
  6. Brad Paisley – “Today” +2 (Up 1)
  7. Michael Ray – “Douchey Pickup Song” -5 (Up 1)
  8. Jon Pardi – “Dirt on My Boots” +1 (Up 1)
  9. Eric Church (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) – “Kill A Word” +4 (Up 1) [Best Song]
  10. Luke Bryan – “Fast” -1 (Up 1)
  11. Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled” -2 (Up 2)
  12. Jason Aldean – “Any Ol’ Barstool” (Up 2)
  13. Brantley Gilbert – “The Weekend” -5 (Up 2)
  14. Kelsea Ballerini – “Yeah Boy” -5 (Up 2)
  15. Garth Brooks – “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance” (Up 2)
  16. Josh Turner – “Hometown Girl” (Up 2)
  17. Kenny Chesney – “Bar at the End of the World” -3 (Up 2)
  18. High Valley – “Make You Mine” -2 (Up 2)
  19. Dierks Bentley – “Black” -2 (Up 4)
  20. Trent Harmon – “There’s A Girl” +1 (Up 4)
  21. Sam Hunt – “Body Like a Back Road” -5 [Worst Song]
  22. Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” +4 
  23. Dan + Shay – “How Not To” +1 (Up 6)
  24. Luke Combs – “Hurricane” -1 (New to Top 30)
  25. Darius Rucker – “If I Told You” 
  26. Craig Campbell – “Outskirts of Heaven” +3 (Up 1)
  27. Rascal Flatts – “Yours If You Want It” -2 (Up 3)
  28. Miranda Lambert – “We Should Be Friends” +2
  29. Lady Antebellum – “You Look Good” -4 (Re-Enters Top 30)
  30. Runaway June – “Lipstick” +3 (Re-Enters Top 30)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio: -26

The pulse drops one spot this week.

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Granger Dibbles Jr. – “If The Boot Fits” -4 (Finally!)
  • Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes” -1
  • Zac Brown Band – “My Old Man” +4

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Luke Combs – “Hurricane”
    • In case you didn’t know this is the newest On The Verge song. Not a bad pick considering this was selling well and doing good YouTube numbers before even being picked. With On The Verge, I won’t be surprised if this goes all the way to #1.
  • Lady Antebellum – “You Look Good”
  • Runaway June – “Lipstick”
    • Their label appears to be sticking behind this song, which is good to see. However it’s at 37 weeks and I think the best the label can do at this point is try to get this into the top 25 because I don’t see it going beyond this. It’s not selling well and radio isn’t keen on it.

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Luke Combs – “Hurricane” – Up 8 from #32 to #26
  • Dan + Shay – “How Not To” – Up 6 from #29 to #23 (Huh. Thought this one was being dropped?)
  • Dierks Bentley – “Black” – Up 4 from #23 to #19
  • Trent Harmon – “There’s A Girl” – Up 4 from #24 to #20

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Granger Dibbles Jr. – “If The Boot Fits” – Out of the Top 30 & Done
  • Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes” – Out of the Top 30 & Done
  • Zac Brown Band – “My Old Man” – Out of the Top 30 (#35)

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

  • Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” (I think the label is going to try for top 20 and drop support. But this is Warner and well see below…)
  • High Valley – “Make You Mine” (51 weeks! Let it gooooo)
  • Craig Campbell – “Outskirts of Heaven” (44 weeks)

On The Hot Seat:

  • Darius Rucker – “If I Told You” (Sales aren’t bad, but this single is already 30 weeks old. With lots of new singles on the rise, this one needs to show more signs of life if it hopes to stick around)

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Brett Young – “In Case You Didn’t Know”
  • Cole Swindell – “Flatliner”
  • Keith Urban (feat. Carrie Underwood) – “The Fighter”
  • Zac Brown Band – “My Old Man”

 

As always be sure to weigh-in with your thoughts in the comments below. 

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio [February 6]

lol

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. Thomas Rhett – “Star of the Show” -3 (Up 1)
  2. Blake Shelton – “A Guy With A Girl” -1 (Down 1)
  3. Dustin Lynch – “Seein’ Red” -5 
  4. Little Big Town – “Better Man” +2
  5. Chris Young (feat. Vince Gill) – “Sober Saturday Night” +1  
  6. Granger Dibbles Jr. – “If The Boots Fits” -4 
  7. Brad Paisley – “Today” +2 
  8. Michael Ray – “Douchey Pickup Song” -5 
  9. Jon Pardi – “Dirt on My Boots” +1 
  10. Eric Church (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) – “Kill A Word” +4
  11. Luke Bryan – “Fast” -1
  12. Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes” -1 
  13. Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled” -2 
  14. Jason Aldean – “Any Ol’ Barstool” (Up 1)
  15. Brantley Gilbert – “The Weekend” -5 (Down 1)
  16. Kelsea Ballerini – “Yeah Boy” -5 
  17. Garth Brooks – “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance” (Up 3)
  18. Josh Turner – “Hometown Girl”
  19. Kenny Chesney – “Bar at the End of the World” -3
  20. High Valley – “Make You Mine” -2 
  21. Sam Hunt – “Body Like a Back Road” -5 (New to Top 30) [Worst Song]
  22. Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” +4 (Down 1)
  23. Dierks Bentley – “Black” -2 (Down 1)
  24. Trent Harmon – “There’s A Girl” +1 (Down 1)
  25. Darius Rucker – “If I Told You” 
  26. Zac Brown Band – “My Old Man” +4 (New to Top 30) [Best Song]
  27. Craig Campbell – “Outskirts of Heaven” +3 (Down 3)
  28. Miranda Lambert – “We Should Be Friends” +2 (Down 2)
  29. Dan + Shay – “How Not To” +1 (Down 2)
  30. Rascal Flatts – “Yours If You Want It” -2

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio: -25

The pulse drops six spots this week.

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Runaway June – “Lipstick” +3
  • RaeLynn – “Love Triangle” +2

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Sam Hunt – “Body Like a Back Road”
  • Zac Brown Band – “My Old Man”
    • As you can see above I’ve decided to change my grade to a 9/10 for the song because I realized it’s just not quite a 10 and I let my first impressions get the best of me in grading. Still a damn fine song, an early favorite for one of the best mainstream country songs of 2017 and in my mind the best in the top 30 right now.

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Dan + Shay – “How Not To” – Up 5 from #32 to #27
  • Josh Turner – “Hometown Girl” – Up 4 from #22 to #18
  • Kenny Chesney – “Bar at the End of the World” – Up 4 from #23 to #19

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Runaway June – “Lipstick” – Out of the Top 30 (#33)
  • RaeLynn – “Love Triangle” – Out of the Top 30 (#34)

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

  • Granger Smith – “If The Boot Fits” (Mercifully this one is done finally. A thank you ad was in Country Aircheck this week from Wheelhouse Records. Should be a big thank you considering radio is the only place Granger is relevant…)
  • Eric Church (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) – “Kill a Word” (Radio just doesn’t want to go forward anymore with this and the long jam at the top hurt this song’s progression too)
  • Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes” (This one looks to finally be done I think, as it lost its bullet)
  • Brantley Gilbert – “The Weekend” (Now that his terrible album is out, this song should be on its last legs at minimum. Unfortunately I see “Bro Code” being the next single, as it’s selling well)
  • High Valley – “Make You Mine” (This just won’t go away. I refuse to remove it from this space!)
  • Craig Campbell – “Outskirts of Heaven” (Somehow still here after 43 weeks)
  • Dan + Shay – “How Not To” (For some reason Warner has decided to pull this single and instead opting to push the duo’s new single in some new movie. It’s a shame, especially after that fantastic music video that was put out for this song)

On The Hot Seat:

  • Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” (The only reason I hesitate to say it’s going recurrent is Warner seems hell-bent on keeping this alive)

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Lady Antebellum – “You Look Good”
  • Luke Combs – “Hurricane”
  • Florida Georgia Line (feat. Backstreet Boys) – “God, Your Mama and Me”
  • Cole Swindell – “Flatliner”

 

Thoughts: There’s good news and bad new for fans of “Lipstick” and “Love Triangle.” Good news is there are lots of songs due to go recurrent. Bad news is these are the type of songs radio will gladly leave in the dust. If I had to guess, I would say “Love Triangle” has the best shot of sticking around despite losing it’s bullet as it has 10 less weeks on the chart than “Lipstick.” Not to mention RaeLynn’s album release is relatively soon and the label could conceivably keep it alive. But they could just as easily put out another single and push it in enough time for the album. Some additional bad news also is two radio favorites Justin Moore and Brett Young are just as little as a couple of weeks away from passing them. Hope for the best, but expect the worst.

 

As always be sure to weigh-in with your thoughts in the comments below. 

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio [January 30]

Creepy Blake
Three weeks in a row of creepy eyes! Aren’t you going to miss this staring back at you next week?

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. Blake Shelton – “A Guy With A Girl” -1 
  2. Thomas Rhett – “Star of the Show” -3 
  3. Dustin Lynch – “Seein’ Red” -5 (Up 1) 
  4. Little Big Town – “Better Man” +2 (Up 2)
  5. Chris Young (feat. Vince Gill) – “Sober Saturday Night” +1 (Up 2) 
  6. Granger Dibbles Jr. – “If The Boots Fits” -4 (Up 2)
  7. Brad Paisley – “Today” +2 (Up 2)
  8. Michael Ray – “Douchey Pickup Song” -5 (Up 2) [Worst Song]
  9. Jon Pardi – “Dirt on My Boots” +1 (Up 3)
  10. Eric Church (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) – “Kill A Word” +4 (Up 1) [Best Song] 
  11. Luke Bryan – “Fast” -1 (Up 2)
  12. Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes” -1 (Up 2)
  13. Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled” -2 (Up 2)
  14. Brantley Gilbert – “The Weekend” -5 (Up 2)
  15. Jason Aldean – “Any Ol’ Barstool” (Up 3)
  16. Kelsea Ballerini – “Yeah Boy” -5 (Up 3)
  17. Garth Brooks – “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance” (Up 3)
  18. Josh Turner – “Hometown Girl” (Up 4)
  19. Kenny Chesney – “Bar at the End of the World” -3 (Up 4)
  20. High Valley – “Make You Mine” -2 (Up 1)
  21. Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” +4 (Up 3)
  22. Dierks Bentley – “Black” -2 (Up 4)
  23. Trent Harmon – “There’s A Girl” +1 (Up 2)
  24. Craig Campbell – “Outskirts of Heaven” +3 (Up 4)
  25. Darius Rucker – “If I Told You” (Up 4)
  26. Miranda Lambert – “We Should Be Friends” +2 (Up 4)
  27. Dan + Shay – “How Not To” +1 (New to Top 30)
  28. Runaway June – “Lipstick” +3 (New to Top 30)
  29. RaeLynn – “Love Triangle” +2 (New to Top 30)
  30. Rascal Flatts – “Yours If You Want It” -2 (New to Top 30)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio: -19

The pulse improves nine spots this week!

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Carrie Underwood – “Dirty Laundry” 0
  • Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color” -4 (Glad to see this one gone, but the next one isn’t much better)
  • Chris Stapleton – “Parachute” +3
  • Lady Antebellum – “You Look Good” -4

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Dan + Shay – “How Not To”
  • Runaway June – “Lipstick”
    • Yes! So glad this one finally made the top 30. I don’t think it does any better than top 20, but still I’m pretty happy to see this just crack top 30.
  • RaeLynn – “Love Triangle”
    • Another one I’m glad to see make it. RaeLynn should be rewarded for her most mature single to date.
  • Rascal Flatts – “Yours If You Want It”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Dan + Shay – “How Not To” – Up 5 from #32 to #27
  • Josh Turner – “Hometown Girl” – Up 4 from #22 to #18
  • Kenny Chesney – “Bar at the End of the World” – Up 4 from #23 to #19

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Carrie Underwood – “Dirty Laundry” – Out of the Top 30 & Done
  • Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color” – Out of the Top 30 & Done
  • Chris Stapleton – “Parachute” – Out of the Top 30 & Done

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

  • High Valley – “Make You Mine” (The song that just won’t go away. It’s been here forever and it’s well past due to go recurrent)
  • Craig Campbell – “Outskirts of Heaven” (Loss of over 200k in audience and lost bullet. At 42 weeks it’s lucky to still be here)

On The Hot Seat:

  • Eric Church (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) – “Kill A Word” (Not in a great position and its close to hitting it’s wall. I still think it has enough left in it to maybe squeak out a top five, as Bryan will obviously pass him next week. But after that there’s three songs radio isn’t excited about and gives this song a cushion to stay afloat)

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Lady Antebellum – “You Look Good”
  • Luke Combs – “Hurricane”
  • Zac Brown Band – “My Old Man” (Available Friday and impacting immediately, so expect hourly spins on iHeart)
  • Florida Georgia Line (feat. Backstreet Boys) – “God, Your Mama and Me”

 

Thoughts: Well we finally got a nice purge on the chart and yet it still wasn’t big enough. There’s still multiple songs that should have went recurrent by now. Looking at you Garth, High Valley and Dibbles. There are some others that are real iffy too. But at least we’re finally starting to see some new songs injected into the charts. Also just as I predicted, country radio is starting to really get behind Turner. That’s nice news for him, even if I don’t like the song. He’s an old reliable and while I don’t think this reaches the top, it should at least reach top ten. Finally Jon Pardi continues to demonstrate he has a real hit on his hands, as he moves into the top ten just under 20 weeks on the chart.

 

As always be sure to weigh-in with your thoughts in the comments below. 

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio [January 23]

Creepy Blake
You get another week of creepy eyes staring back at you. Hey don’t blame me, blame country radio.

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. Blake Shelton – “A Guy With A Girl” -1 
  2. Thomas Rhett – “Star of the Show” -3 (Up 2)
  3. Carrie Underwood – “Dirty Laundry” (Down 1)
  4. Dustin Lynch – “Seein’ Red” -5 (Up 1) 
  5. Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color” -4 (Down 2)
  6. Little Big Town – “Better Man” +2 (Up 2)
  7. Chris Young (feat. Vince Gill) – “Sober Saturday Night” +1 (Up 3) 
  8. Granger Dibbles Jr. – “If The Boots Fits” -4 (Up 1)
  9. Brad Paisley – “Today” +2 (Up 2)
  10. Michael Ray – “Douchey Pickup Song” -5 (Up 4) [Worst Song]
  11. Eric Church (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) – “Kill A Word” +4 (Up 1) [Best Song] 
  12. Jon Pardi – “Dirt on My Boots” +1 (Up 3)
  13. Luke Bryan – “Fast” -1 (Up 3)
  14. Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes” -1 (Down 1)
  15. Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled” -2 (Up 2)
  16. Brantley Gilbert – “The Weekend” -5 (Up 3)
  17. Chris Stapleton – “Parachute” +3 (Up 1)
  18. Jason Aldean – “Any Ol’ Barstool” (Up 4)
  19. Kelsea Ballerini – “Yeah Boy” -5 (Up 2)
  20. Garth Brooks – “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance”
  21. High Valley – “Make You Mine” -2 (Up 2)
  22. Josh Turner – “Hometown Girl” (Up 2)
  23. Kenny Chesney – “Bar at the End of the World” -3 (Up 4)
  24. Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” +4 (Up 2)
  25. Trent Harmon – “There’s A Girl” +1 
  26. Dierks Bentley – “Black” -2 (Up 2)
  27. Lady Antebellum – “You Look Good” -4 (New to Top 30)
  28. Craig Campbell – “Outskirts of Heaven” +3 (Up 1)
  29. Darius Rucker – “If I Told You” (Up 1)
  30. Miranda Lambert – “We Should Be Friends” +2 (New to Top 30)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio: -28

The pulse drops three spots this week.

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Brett Eldredge – “Wanna Be That Song” 0
  • Florida Georgia Line (feat. Tim McGraw) – “May We All” +1

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Lady Antebellum – “You Look Good”
  • Miranda Lambert – “We Should Be Friends”
    • This is the second single from Lambert’s great album The Weight of These Wings. It’s certainly not as good as previous single “Vice” and this is probably one of the lesser songs of the album. That being said it’s solid. It’s a clever song about Lambert identifying who she has a friend in, from the frankly honest to the heartbroken. She keeps the song simple and it works. I’m not sure if country radio will get behind it, but it should at least reach top 20/top 15 I think. It should also be pointed out Lambert wrote this one completely herself. While this is certainly not a highlight of her most recent album, one of Lambert’s lesser songs still beats most of the songs at country radio right now. 7/10

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Kenny Chesney – “Bar at the End of the World” – Up 4 from #27 to #23
  • Jason Aldean – “Any Ol’ Barstool” – Up 4 from #22 to #18
  • Chris Young (feat. Vince Gill) – “Sober Saturday Night” – Up 3 from #10 to #7

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Brett Eldredge – “Wanna Be That Song” – Out of the Top 30 & Done
  • Florida Georgia Line (feat. Tim McGraw) – Out of the Top 30 & Done
  • Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color” – Down 2 from #3 to #5

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

  • Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes” (Another bad week and yet again keeps the bullet)
  • Chris Stapleton – “Parachute” (Also had another bad week and is still here)
  • High Valley – “Make You Mine” (This one continues to stay alive too)
  • Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” (Insert what I said above)
  • Trent Harmon – “There’s A Girl” – (Bad sales and a really bad week at radio. Also lost bullet. Needs a lot of help to prevent going recurrent)

On The Hot Seat:

  • Garth Brooks – “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance” (Call me crazy, but I have the strangest feeling this will somehow luck it’s way into the top ten. It’s odds of making top 15 are pretty good. If it does, I’m gonna laugh so damn hard that Garth has a top ten at country radio in 2017.)
  • Craig Campbell – “Outskirts of Heaven”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Dan + Shay – “How Not To”
  • Runaway June – “Lipstick”
  • Rascal Flatts – “Yours if You Want It”
  • RaeLynn – “Love Triangle”

Note: Well on the bright side, there’s five solo women artists in the top 30 and I can’t remember the last time this has happened. On the obvious negative side of course, the pulse just continues to plunge. This week you can blame Lady Antebellum and their horrible new song. Also labels and their incessant gerrymandering to keep 40 week plus old songs around.

 

As always be sure to weigh-in with your thoughts in the comments below. 

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio [January 17]

Creepy Blake

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. Blake Shelton – “A Guy With A Girl” -1 (Up 2)
  2. Carrie Underwood – “Dirty Laundry” [Carrie missed #1 on Billboard by about 50k in audience]
  3. Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color” -4 (Down 2)
  4. Thomas Rhett – “Star of the Show” -3 (Up 3)
  5. Brett Eldredge – “Wanna Be That Song” (Down 1)
  6. Dustin Lynch – “Seein’ Red” -5 (Up 2)
  7. Florida Georgia Line (feat. Tim McGraw) – “May We All” +1 (Down 2) 
  8. Little Big Town – “Better Man” +2 (Up 2)
  9. Granger Dibbles Jr. – “If The Boots Fits” -4 (Up 2)
  10. Chris Young (feat. Vince Gill) – “Sober Saturday Night” +1 (Up 2) 
  11. Brad Paisley – “Today” +2 (Up 3)
  12. Eric Church (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) – “Kill A Word” +4 (Up 3) [Best Song] 
  13. Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes” -1
  14. Michael Ray – “Douchey Pickup Song” -5 (Up 2) [Worst Song]
  15. Jon Pardi – “Dirt on My Boots” +1 (Up 2)
  16. Luke Bryan – “Fast” -1 (Up 2)
  17. Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled” -2 (Up 3)
  18. Chris Stapleton – “Parachute” +3 (Up 1)
  19. Brantley Gilbert – “The Weekend” -5 (Up 2)
  20. Garth Brooks – “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance” (Up 2)
  21. Kelsea Ballerini – “Yeah Boy” -5 (Up 3)
  22. Jason Aldean – “Any Ol’ Barstool” (Up 4)
  23. High Valley – “Make You Mine” -2 
  24. Josh Turner – “Hometown Girl” (Up 1)
  25. Trent Harmon – “There’s A Girl” +1 (Up 2)
  26. Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” +4 (Up 2)
  27. Kenny Chesney – “Bar at the End of the World” -3 (New to Top 30)
  28. Dierks Bentley – “Black” -2 (Up 1)
  29. Craig Campbell – “Outskirts of Heaven” +3 (Up 1)
  30. Darius Rucker – “If I Told You” (New to Top 30)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio: -25

The pulse drops three spots this week.

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Tim McGraw – “How I’ll Always Be” +3 
  • Old Dominion – “Song For Another Time” -3 (On the bright side it’s always great to see Old Dominion leave the top 30. On the bad side, that means they’re probably releasing new music soon. Joy.)

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Kenny Chesney – “Bar at the End of the World”
    • Ooooh! A new Kenny Chesney single. How exciting! I’m sure he’s got something really creative and innovative for us. Okay enough with the sarcasm. When I reviewed this song on the album review, I didn’t really have anything to say except a bad joke about it. Well there’s nothing really changed. This song is one big snooze fest with Chesney singing of course about getting drunk at a bar and the beach and the sun and for the love of all things holy can Chesney even bother to sound like he’s trying? He’s worse at covering up his mailed-in singles than Aldean. I’m just so sick of Chesney at this point and his complete failure to innovate in any way, shape or form. This song is bland as hell and you’ll forget it as soon as it ends. 2/10
  • Darius Rucker – “If I Told You”
    • Originally when I reviewed this (all the way back in July) I gave this 7/10. I must have been in a great mood that day because this song just isn’t doing as much for me now. The lyrics are still good, but this production is just blah and can get sleepy after multiple listens. So this will fit right in with what’s popular right now. At least Rucker isn’t singing bro country anymore (I think the last time he was here was with “Homegrown Honey”). Revised grade: 5/10

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Kenny Chesney – “Bar at the End of the World” – Up 10 from #37 to #27
  • Jason Aldean – “Any Ol’ Barstool” – Up 4 from #26 to #22
  • Brad Paisley – “Today” – Up 3 from #14 to #11
  • Eric Church (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) – “Kill A Word” – Up 3 from #15 to #12

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Tim McGraw – “How I’ll Always Be” – Out of the Top 30 & Done
  • Old Dominion – “Song For Another Time” – Out of the Top 30 & Done
  • Florida Georgia Line (feat. Tim McGraw) – Down 2 from #5 to #7

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

  • Florida Georgia Line (feat. Tim McGraw) – “May We All”
  • Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes” (Really bad week, as it lost 400k in audience. This shouldn’t be too far from recurrent. Only good news is it kept its bullet.)
  • Chris Stapleton – “Parachute” (Well at least new Stapleton music is coming soon)
  • High Valley – “Make You Mine” (How is this still here?)
  • Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” (Still holding on, but by a thread. Pure luck it’s still here)
  • Craig Campbell – “Outskirts of Heaven” (Looks dead in the water and done to me)

On The Hot Seat:

  • Garth Brooks – “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance” (The fact this made top 20 in 2017 is surprising. It’s now going to be hitting a lot of resistance and I don’t like it’s odds of hanging around. But I said this a month ago too.)

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Miranda Lambert – “We Should Be Friends”
  • Dan + Shay – “How Not To”
  • Runaway June – “Lipstick”
  • Brett Young – “In Case You Didn’t Know”

Note: The new year’s cleaning appears to be underway. Next week at least four and maybe up to six songs could go recurrent. Not to mention Lady Antebellum is dropping a new single later this week, Sam Hunt is expected to have a new single in February and a host of other new songs are going to be impacting. I don’t have the best feeling about these new songs, but I’m hopeful for some surprises.

 

As always be sure to weigh-in with your thoughts in the comments below.