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)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [January 25]

Each week I take a look the Billboard Country Airplay chart and grade the top 30 songs. The grading format I use each week is every song will receive either a +1, -1 or a 0. These will then be tallied up for an overall score, or pulse of the current top thirty country songs, with the highest possible score being a +30 and the lowest possible score being a -30. How do I determine if a song is rated a +1, -1 or 0? The rating it received on the site or myself will determine this. If it hasn’t been rated yet, then I will make the call. Songs rated between 7 and 10 receive a +1. Songs rated a 5 or 6 receive a 0. Songs rated 4 or lower receive a -1.

The goal of this exercise is to evaluate the current state of mainstream country music and determine if it’s improving or getting worse. Let’s take a look at this week’s top thirty…

  1. Thomas Rhett – “Die A Happy Man” -1 {Six Weeks at #1}
  2. Brothers Osborne – “Stay A Little Longer” (Up 1)
  3. Luke Bryan & Karen Fairchild – “Home Alone Tonight” -1 (Up 1)
  4. Sam Hunt – “Break Up In A Small Town” -1 (Up 1) [Worst Song]
  5. LoCash – “I Love This Life” -1 (Down 3)
  6. Granger Smith – “Backroad Song” -1 (Up 2)
  7. Keith Urban – “Break On Me” -1 (Up 3)
  8. Jason Aldean – “Gonna Know We Were Here” -1 (Down 1)
  9. Kelsea Ballerini – “Dibs” -1 
  10. Randy Houser – “We Went” -1 (Up 1)
  11. Carrie Underwood – “Heartbeat” (Up 3)
  12. Zac Brown Band – “Beautiful Drug” -1 (Up 1)
  13. Brad Paisley – “Country Nation” -1 (Down 1)
  14. Florida Georgia Line – “Confession” (Up 2)
  15. Eric Church – “Mr. Misunderstood” +1 
  16. Chase Bryant – “Little Bit of You” -1 (Up 2)
  17. Rascal Flatts – “I Like The Sound of That” -1 
  18. Brett Eldredge – “Drunk on Your Love” -1 (Up 2)
  19. Cole Swindell – “You Should Be Here” -1 
  20. Chris Stapleton – “Nobody To Blame” +1 (Up 1)
  21. Old Dominion – “Snapback” -1 (Up 2)
  22. Lee Brice – “That Don’t Sound Like You” -1 
  23. Michael Ray – “Real Men Love Jesus” -1 (Up 1)
  24. Dustin Lynch – “Mind Reader” -1 (Up 1)
  25. Maren Morris – “My Church” +1 (New to Top 30)
  26. Brantley Gilbert – “Stone Cold Sober” -1 
  27. Tyler Farr – “Better in Boots” -1
  28. Maddie & Tae – “Shut Up and Fish” +1 [Best Song]
  29. Dierks Bentley – “Somewhere On A Beach” -1 (New to Top 30)
  30. Chris Lane – “Fix” -1

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -19

The pulse fell two spots this week. 

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Jana Kramer – “I Got The Boy”
  • Jon Pardi – “Head Over Boots”

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Maren Morris – “My Church”
  • Dierks Bentley – “Somewhere On A Beach”

Song I Predict Will Be #1 Next Week:

  • Brothers Osborne – “Stay A Little Longer”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Maren Morris – “My Church” – Up 7 from #32 to #25
  • Keith Urban – “Break On Me” – Up 3 from #10 to #7
  • Carrie Underwood – “Heartbeat” – Up 3 from #14 to #11

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Jana Kramer – “I Got The Boy” – Out of the Top 30
  • LoCash – “I Love This Life” – Down 3 from #2 to #5
  • Jon Pardi – “Head Over Boots” – Down 3 from #29 to #32

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

  • Jason Aldean – “Gonna Know We Were Here”
  • LoCash – “I Love This Life”

On The Hot Seat:

  • Brad Paisley – “Country Nation”
  • Rascal Flatts – “I Like The Sound of That”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Jon Pardi – “Head Over Boots”
  • Frankie Ballard – “It All Started With A Beer”
  • Justin Moore – “You Look Like I Need A Drink”
  • David Nail – “Night’s On Fire”

 

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

Great Music Currently at Country Radio [January 20]

The very best of country radio right here in a nice playlist. In order for a song to be added to the list, it must currently be in the top 60 of the Billboard Country Airplay chart, so this will be updated weekly. Normally this feature is part of The Hodgepodge, but I’ve decided to make this a weekly standalone post. Here’s where all the songs currently stand on the chart:

6. Jana Kramer – “I Got The Boy” 

15. Eric Church – “Mr. Misunderstood”

21. Chris Stapleton – “Nobody To Blame”

28. Maddie & Tae – “Shut Up and Fish” 

29. Jon Pardi – “Head Over Boots”

31. Frankie Ballard – “It All Started With A Beer”

32. Maren Morris – “My Church” 

36. Justin Moore – “You Look Like I Need A Drink”

37. Kip Moore – “Running For You”

39. William Michael Morgan – “I Met A Girl”

47. Big & Rich (feat. Tim McGraw) – “Lovin’ Lately”

51. Charles Kelley (feat. Dierks Bentley & Eric Paslay) – “The Driver” 

54. Love & Theft – “Whiskey on My Breath”

55. Toby Keith – “Beautiful Stranger”

58. Jennifer Nettles – “Unlove You” [New]

59. Chris Stapleton – “Tennessee Whiskey” [Re-Enters]

 

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [January 19]

Each week I take a look the Billboard Country Airplay chart and grade the top 30 songs. The grading format I use each week is every song will receive either a +1, -1 or a 0. These will then be tallied up for an overall score, or pulse of the current top thirty country songs, with the highest possible score being a +30 and the lowest possible score being a -30. How do I determine if a song is rated a +1, -1 or 0? The rating it received on the site or myself will determine this. If it hasn’t been rated yet, then I will make the call. Songs rated between 7 and 10 receive a +1. Songs rated a 5 or 6 receive a 0. Songs rated 4 or lower receive a -1.

The goal of this exercise is to evaluate the current state of mainstream country music and determine if it’s improving or getting worse. Let’s take a look at this week’s top thirty…

  1. Thomas Rhett – “Die A Happy Man” -1 {Five Weeks at #1}
  2. LoCash – “I Love This Life” -1 (Up 1)
  3. Brothers Osborne – “Stay A Little Longer” (Up 1)
  4. Luke Bryan & Karen Fairchild – “Home Alone Tonight” -1 (Up 2)
  5. Sam Hunt – “Break Up In A Small Town” -1 [Worst Song]
  6. Jana Kramer – “I Got The Boy” +1 (Up 1)
  7. Jason Aldean – “Gonna Know We Were Here” -1 (Down 5)
  8. Granger Smith – “Backroad Song” -1 (Up 2)
  9. Kelsea Ballerini – “Dibs” -1 (Up 2)
  10. Keith Urban – “Break On Me” -1 (Up 2)
  11. Randy Houser – “We Went” -1 (Up 2)
  12. Brad Paisley – “Country Nation” -1 (Up 2)
  13. Zac Brown Band – “Beautiful Drug” -1 (Up 2)
  14. Carrie Underwood – “Heartbeat” (Up 3)
  15. Eric Church – “Mr. Misunderstood” +1 (Up 1)
  16. Florida Georgia Line – “Confession” (Up 2)
  17. Rascal Flatts – “I Like The Sound of That” -1 (Up 2)
  18. Chase Bryant – “Little Bit of You” -1 (Up 2)
  19. Cole Swindell – “You Should Be Here” -1 (Up 4)
  20. Brett Eldredge – “Drunk on Your Love” -1 (Up 2)
  21. Chris Stapleton – “Nobody To Blame” +1 
  22. Lee Brice – “That Don’t Sound Like You” -1 (Up 3)
  23. Old Dominion – “Snapback” -1 (Up 4)
  24. Michael Ray – “Real Men Love Jesus” -1 (Up 2)
  25. Dustin Lynch – “Mind Reader” -1 (Up 3)
  26. Brantley Gilbert – “Stone Cold Sober” -1 (Up 3)
  27. Tyler Farr – “Better in Boots” -1 (Up 3)
  28. Maddie & Tae – “Shut Up and Fish” +1 (New to Top 30) [Best Song]
  29. Jon Pardi – “Head Over Boots” +1 (New to Top 30)
  30. Chris Lane – “Fix” -1 (New to Top 30)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -17

The pulse improved three spots this week. 

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Blake Shelton – “Gonna”
  • Tim McGraw – “Top of the World”
  • A Thousand Horses – “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial”

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Maddie & Tae – “Shut Up and Fish”
  • Jon Pardi – “Head Over Boots”
  • Chris Lane – “Fix”

Song I Predict Will Be #1 Next Week:

  • Brothers Osborne – “Stay A Little Longer”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Chris Lane – “Fix” – Up 5 from #35 to #30
  • Cole Swindell – “You Should Be Here” – Up 4 from #23 to #19
  • Old Dominion – “Snapback” – Up 4 from #27 to #23

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Blake Shelton – “Gonna” – Out of the Top 30
  • Tim McGraw – “Top of the World” – Out of the Top 30
  • A Thousand Horses – “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial” – Out of the Top 30

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

  • Jason Aldean – “Gonna Know We Were Here”
  • Jana Kramer – “I Got The Boy”
  • LoCash – “I Love This Life”

On The Hot Seat:

  • Brad Paisley – “Country Nation”
  • Kelsea Ballerini – “Dibs”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Maren Morris – “My Church”
  • Frankie Ballard – “It All Started With A Beer”
  • Justin Moore – “You Look Like I Need A Drink”
  • David Nail – “Night’s On Fire”

 

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

Great Music Currently at Country Radio [January 13]

The very best of country radio right here in a nice playlist. In order for a song to be added to the list, it must currently be in the top 60 of the Billboard Country Airplay chart, so this will be updated weekly. Normally this feature is part of The Hodgepodge, but I’ve decided to make this a weekly standalone post. Here’s where all the songs currently stand on the chart:

7. Jana Kramer – “I Got The Boy” 

16. Eric Church – “Mr. Misunderstood”

21. Chris Stapleton – “Nobody To Blame”

31. Maddie & Tae – “Shut Up and Fish” 

32. Jon Pardi – “Head Over Boots”

33. Frankie Ballard – “It All Started With A Beer”

38. Kip Moore – “Running For You”

40. Justin Moore – “You Look Like I Need A Drink”

41. William Michael Morgan – “I Met A Girl”

52. Charles Kelley – “The Driver” 

53. Maren Morris – “My Church” 

55. Love & Theft – “Whiskey on My Breath”

58. Toby Keith – “Beautiful Stranger”

59. Big & Rich (feat. Tim McGraw) – “Lovin’ Lately” [New]