Reacting to The Absolute Joke of the 2017 ACM Awards Nominations

pile_of_shit

Let’s be honest, I’ve never been that fond of country music award shows. Outside of the 2015 CMA Awards that helped launch Chris Stapleton to a brand new level of stardom, I’ve pretty much scoffed at these shows. As I’ve said before, no other genre spends more time patting themselves on the back than country music. This is evident by the heaps of award shows held throughout the year and this trains the viewer to basically not give a shit. But nevertheless we keep an eye on these shows in hopes they get it more right each time. Well we now have the nominations for the 2017 ACM Awards and there’s no other way to put it. These are an absolute joke. My first reaction was are these the mainstream country radio awards? Because it’s mostly a list of radio darlings that programmers fall over themselves to play. After seeing these nominations it makes me not want to watch and may not. Each category seems to have its own joke, so let’s pick through each.

Entertainer of the Year

  • Jason Aldean
  • Luke Bryan
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Keith Urban

No Eric Church or Chris Stapleton, but sure Aldean and Florida Georgia Line get nominations. Complete failure already before we even get to the more insane nominations. I know the ACMs are in the tank for Aldean, but could they be any less discreet about it? The only nomination even worthy of winning is Carrie Underwood for her excellent touring numbers and consistently churning out hits and I give her a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. Aldean and Bryan are the odds on favorites here.

Male Vocalist

  • Jason Aldean
  • Dierks Bentley
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Keith Urban

Once again Eric Church isn’t a nomination. Church released the best album of his career and is releasing the best singles of his career. And every awards show is stiffing him. I guess the industry is pissed he isn’t giving them radio fodder anymore. But I’m guessing Church doesn’t give a shit. Another category with one worthy candidate in my mind: Chris Stapleton. Remember when Dierks Bentley was considered one of the good guys at these shows? Then he decided he wants to be Luke Bryan and make a bunch of cheesy and stiff adult contemporary schlock. No Tim McGraw. Also no Blake Shelton in any categories. Well there’s some good news.

Female Vocalist

  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Maren Morris
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Carrie Underwood

I don’t know why Kacey continues to go to these awards show when she and everyone else knows she’s just a token nomination to fill out the field. What did she do in 2016 to earn a nomination? She didn’t release any new music. And keep in mind this isn’t a jab at her. She’s one of the best on a major country label. You would think Miranda is the shoe-in to win, but with her turn towards a more songwriter/Americana-like side I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Maren Morris wins. She seems poised to usurp Lambert as the new female darling in mainstream country and is racking up awards like crazy.

Vocal Duo

  • Big & Rich
  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Maddie & Tae

Big & Rich are a Vocal Duo nomination in 2017…..hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! They released one single last year that took like 40 weeks to peak at #14 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. They’re completely irrelevant. What in the hell makes them deserving of a nomination? Maddie & Tae are a complete token nomination like Musgraves above. I don’t see Dan + Shay being quite in the position to win yet. So it’s between CMA 2016 Duo of the Year Brothers Osborne and past years favorite Florida Georgia Line. I’m hopeful the former wins, but being a radio favorites show I expect the latter to win.

Vocal Group

  • Eli Young Band
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Old Dominion
  • Rascal Flatts

Eli Young Band?! Where are they getting these joke ideas for nominations? You’re telling me Eli Young Band is a nomination, but not Zac Brown Band who at least had a song reach the top 15 in the last year and are a mainstream staple? Get out of here! Lady Antebellum was on hiatus for all of 2016. Rascal Flatts are irrelevant. Yet despite this joke of a category, the best group Little Big Town should easily walk away with this award.

New Male

  • Kane Brown
  • Chris Janson
  • Chris Lane
  • Jon Pardi
  • Brett Young

Out of all the categories, this actually might be the one I have the least qualms with because these are all new male artists who have did something notable in the last year. Despite not being a fan of him, Kane Brown is deserving based on the fact that he does sell well and has great streaming numbers. While you and me might not like him, there are many he does resonate with and it’s ironic he’s one of the few nominations where the ACM looked beyond radio. Hands down this should go to Jon Pardi, who achieved a #1 album with California Sunrise, racked up a #1 hit in “Head Over Boots” and is on his way to another #1 in “Dirt on My Boots.” And I think it actually does go to him because his accomplishments blow the others out of the water. If anyone else wins I’m calling shenanigans.

New Female

  • Lauren Alaina
  • Cam
  • Brandy Clark
  • Maren Morris

That’s right they couldn’t even fill out the nominations for this one. Hey ACMs: Margo Price and Aubrie Sellers. Did you forget they exist? How is Brandy Clark new? This is just another award for them to give Maren.

New Vocal Duo/Group

  • A Thousand Horses
  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • LoCash
  • Maddie & Tae

None of these are really new, but then again barely anything else makes sense with these awards. I’m guessing Brothers Osborne or Dan + Shay win here.

Album

  • Dierks Bentley – Black
  • Florida Georgia Line – Dig Your Roots
  • Maren Morris – Hero
  • Keith Urban – Ripcord
  • Miranda Lambert – The Weight of These Wings

This should 1000% go to Miranda Lambert for her great album. But it’ll probably go to Urban or Morris or maybe even Bentley. You could take the best material from all of the non-Lambert ones, put it in one album and it still wouldn’t top Lambert’s album.

Single

  • Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color”
  • Florida Georgia Line – “H.O.L.Y.”
  • Tim McGraw – “Humble and Kind”
  • Maren Morris – “My Church”
  • Miranda Lambert – “Vice”

Key distinction is this is single. I’m kind of surprised Thomas Rhett’s “Die A Happy Man” isn’t here, but rather under Song below. I don’t give Lambert a chance here either sadly. I could see any of the other four winning.

Song

  • Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color”
  • Thomas Rhett – “Die A Happy Man”
  • Tim McGraw – “Humble and Kind”
  • Eric Church (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) – “Kill A Word”
  • Chris Stapleton – “Tennessee Whiskey”
  • Miranda Lambert – “Vice”

I would be happy with any of the bottom four winning, but watch one of the top two win. If I had to pick the winner I would definitely go with “Kill A Word,” being the best song of the nominations and for Church getting screwed over in general.

Video

  • Chris Stapleton – “Fire Away”
  • Various Artists – “Forever Country”
  • Tim McGraw – “Humble and Kind”
  • Kelsea Ballerini – “Peter Pan”
  • Miranda Lambert – “Vice”

With all due respect to the other videos, “Fire Away” is the no-brainer best video. It’s one of the powerful music videos I’ve watched in years and takes the song to a whole new level of meaning. Instead though “Forever Country” will probably win because it’s done insane numbers on YouTube and sold well (also great numbers on this very blog). The only hesitation I have of it winning is this song was specifically made for the ACM’s chief rival show CMA’s 50th Anniversary. How ironic would that be if it won an ACM Award?

Songwriter

  • Ashley Gorley
  • Luke Laird
  • Hillary Lindsey
  • Shane McAnally
  • Lori McKenna

McKenna has to win this one, right?

Vocal Event 

  • Dierks Bentley (feat. Elle King) – “Different For Girls”
  • Various Artists – “Forever Country”
  • Florida Georgia Line (feat. Tim McGraw) – “May We All”
  • P!nk (feat. Kenny Chesney) – “Setting The World on Fire”
  • Chris Young (feat. Cassadee Pope) – “Think of You”

I could see a case made for any of these conceivably winning. I think this will largely depend on the other categories’ winners.

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio [Nov. 7]

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. Luke Bryan – “Move” -4 
  2. Cole Swindell – “Middle of a Memory” -2 
  3. Jason Aldean – “A Little More Summertime” (Up 1)
  4. Brett Young – “Sleep Without You” -2 (Up 1)
  5. Florida Georgia Line (feat. Tim McGraw) – “May We All” +1 (Up 2)
  6. Kenny Chesney & Pink – “Setting The World On Fire” -2 (Down 3)
  7. Old Dominion – “Song For Another Time” -3 (Up 1)
  8. Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color” -4 (Up 2)
  9. Tim McGraw – “How I’ll Always Be” +3 (Up 2)
  10. Brett Eldredge – “Wanna Be That Song” (Up 2)
  11. Carrie Underwood – “Dirty Laundry” (Up 3)
  12. Miranda Lambert – “Vice” +3 (Up 1) 
  13. Drake White – “Livin’ The Dream” +1 (Up 2)
  14. Granger Dibbles Jr. – “If The Boots Fits” -4 (Up 3)
  15. Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes” -1 (Up 1)
  16. Thomas Rhett – “Star of the Show” -3 (Up 2)
  17. Blake Shelton – “A Guy With A Girl” -1 (Up 2)
  18. Eric Church (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) – “Kill A Word” +4 [Best Song] (Up 2)
  19. Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled” -2 (Up 2)
  20. Chris Stapleton – “Parachute” +3 (Up 3)
  21. Chris Young (feat. Vince Gill) – “Sober Saturday Night” +1 (Up 1)
  22. Brad Paisley – “Today” +2 (Up 4)
  23. Dustin Lynch – “Seein’ Red” -5 (Up 1)
  24. Brothers Osborne – “21 Summer” +2 (Up 1)
  25. Michael Ray – “Douchey Pickup Song” -5 [Worst Song] (Up 3)
  26. High Valley – “Make You Mine” -2 (Up 1)
  27. Garth Brooks – “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance” 0 (Up 2)
  28. Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” +4 (Up 2)
  29. Brantley Gilbert – “The Weekend” -5  (New to Top 30)
  30. Jerrod Niemann & Lee Brice – “A Little More Love” -3 (Re-Enters Top 30)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio: -28

The pulse drops five spots this week. 

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • LoCash – “I Know Somebody” -5
  • Billy Currington – “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” +2

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Brantley Gilbert – “The Weekend”
    • It’s been a while since we’ve seen you in the top 30, Brantley. I was starting to think he would never make it back. It feels like a long time since he’s had a hit and has sort of become irrelevant in the grand scheme of things in country music since the death of bro country. Gilbert returns with “The Weekend,” a song that is simply terrible. Most annoying Gilbert songs in the past at least had a hook, but this song isn’t catchy either. It’s just plain bad. The whole thing is just so stilted and clunky. Gilbert’s voice sounds worse than normal. The song is somewhere between bad hip hop and bad rock music, not really able to decide what the hell it even is. You can call the lyrics mailed in and boring at best, cliché and obnoxious at worst. This is supposed to be a fun song about looking forward to the weekend, but there’s absolutely no sense of joy or happiness in this song. It’s just one big drag. How can I award it any points when there’s nothing about the song I can find redeeming? You can’t even get angry, it’s just unpleasant. This might be the most boring -5 song ever. 0/10
  • Jerrod Niemann & Lee Brice – “A Little More Love”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Brad Paisley – “Today” – Up 4 from #26 to #22
  • Carrie Underwood – “Dirty Laundry” – Up 3 from #14 to #11
  • Chris Stapleton – “Parachute” – Up 3 from #23 to #20

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • LoCash – “I Know Somebody” – Out of the Top 30 & Done
  • Billy Currington – “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” – Out of the Top 30 & Done
  • Kenny Chesney & Pink – “Setting the World on Fire” – Down 3 from #3 to #6

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

  • Kenny Chesney & Pink – “Setting the World on Fire”
  • Miranda Lambert – “Vice”
  • Brothers Osborne – “21 Summer”
  • Garth Brooks – “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance”

On The Hot Seat:

  • Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled” (This song has made sluggish gains for weeks now, so I’m officially putting it on the hot seat. Even if it makes a turnaround I only see this reaching the top ten at best. Most realistically it peaks at #15.)
  • High Valley – “Make You Mine” (Their debut album with Warner drops next week, so I’m guessing this is how much longer this song is pushed. It’s not making enough gains to justify a long push, but hey that hasn’t stopped major labels before)
  • Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” (Be concerned about this song because like the above two songs it just hasn’t been showing much progress)

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Kelsea Ballerini – “Yeah Boy”
  • Jon Pardi – “Dirt on My Boots”
  • Josh Turner – “Hometown Girl”
  • Little Big Town – “Better Man”

 

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

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio [October 31]

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. Luke Bryan – “Move” -4 (Up 1)
  2. Cole Swindell – “Middle of a Memory” -2 (Up 1)
  3. Kenny Chesney & Pink – “Setting The World On Fire” -2 (Down 2)
  4. Jason Aldean – “A Little More Summertime”
  5. Brett Young – “Sleep Without You” -2 (Up 2)
  6. LoCash – “I Know Somebody” -5 (Down 1) [Worst Song]
  7. Florida Georgia Line (feat. Tim McGraw) – “May We All” +1 (Up 1)
  8. Old Dominion – “Song For Another Time” -3 (Up 1)
  9. Billy Currington – “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” +2 (Down 3)
  10. Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color” -4 (Up 1)
  11. Tim McGraw – “How I’ll Always Be” +3 (Down 1)
  12. Brett Eldredge – “Wanna Be That Song” (Up 1)
  13. Miranda Lambert – “Vice” +3 (Down 1) 
  14. Carrie Underwood – “Dirty Laundry” 0
  15. Drake White – “Livin’ The Dream” +1 
  16. Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes” -1 
  17. Granger Dibbles Jr. – “If The Boots Fits” -4 
  18. Thomas Rhett – “Star of the Show” -3 
  19. Blake Shelton – “A Guy With A Girl” -1 
  20. Eric Church (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) – “Kill A Word” +4 [Best Song]
  21. Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled” -2 
  22. Chris Young (feat. Vince Gill) – “Sober Saturday Night” +1 (Up 1)
  23. Chris Stapleton – “Parachute” +3 (Down 1)
  24. Dustin Lynch – “Seein’ Red” -5 (Up 1)
  25. Brothers Osborne – “21 Summer” +2 (Down 1)
  26. Brad Paisley – “Today” +2 (Re-Enters Top 30)
  27. High Valley – “Make You Mine” -2 (Down 1)
  28. Michael Ray – “Douchey Pickup Song” -5 (Up 1)
  29. Garth Brooks – “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance” 0 (Down 1)
  30. Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” +4 (Down 3)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio: -23

The pulse improves five spots this week. 

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Jerrod Niemann & Lee Brice – “A Little More Love” -3

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Brad Paisley – “Today”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Brad Paisley – “Today” – Up 5 from #31 to #26
  • Brett Young – “Sleep Without You” – Up 2 from #7 to #5

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Jerrod Niemann & Lee Brice – “A Little More Love” – Out of the Top 30 (to #31)
  • Billy Currington – “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” – Down 3 from #6 to #9
  • Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” – Down 3 from #27 to #30

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

  • Billy Currington – “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To”
  • Miranda Lambert – “Vice” (Losing spins fast, as it appears it has hit it’s ceiling)
  • Brothers Osborne – “21 Summer” (Shocked it’s still here)
  • Garth Brooks – “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance” (This does not appear to have the airplay support to last in the top 30 much longer)

On The Hot Seat:

  • Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” (It’s been on the chart for 26 weeks already and there are a plethora of songs rising fast behind it. It’s in trouble and will need some serious label support if it wants to stick around, which I could see happening)

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Brantley Gilbert – “The Weekend”
  • Kelsea Ballerini – “Yeah Boy”
  • Jon Pardi – “Dirt on My Boots”
  • Josh Turner – “Hometown Girl”

 

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

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio [October 24]

world-on-fire

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. Kenny Chesney & Pink – “Setting The World On Fire” -2 (Up 2)
  2. Luke Bryan – “Move” -4
  3. Cole Swindell – “Middle of a Memory” -2 (Up 2)
  4. Jason Aldean – “A Little More Summertime” (Up 3)
  5. LoCash – “I Know Somebody” -5 (Down 4) [Worst Song]
  6. Billy Currington – “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” +2 (Down 2)
  7. Brett Young – “Sleep Without You” -2 (Up 1)
  8. Florida Georgia Line (feat. Tim McGraw) – “May We All” +1 (Up 1)
  9. Old Dominion – “Song For Another Time” -3 (Up 1)
  10. Tim McGraw – “How I’ll Always Be” +3 (Up 1)
  11. Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color” -4 (Up 1)
  12. Miranda Lambert – “Vice” +3 (Up 1) 
  13. Brett Eldredge – “Wanna Be That Song” (Up 1)
  14. Carrie Underwood – “Dirty Laundry” 0 (Up 3)
  15. Drake White – “Livin’ The Dream” +1 
  16. Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes” -1 
  17. Granger Dibbles Jr. – “If The Boots Fits” -4 (Up 1)
  18. Thomas Rhett – “Star of the Show” -3 (Up 4)
  19. Blake Shelton – “A Guy With A Girl” -1 (Up 8)
  20. Eric Church (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) – “Kill A Word” +4 (Up 1) [Best Song]
  21. Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled” -2 (Down 1)
  22. Chris Stapleton – “Parachute” +3 (Up 1)
  23. Chris Young (feat. Vince Gill) – “Sober Saturday Night” +1 (Up 2)
  24. Brothers Osborne – “21 Summer” +2
  25. Dustin Lynch – “Seein’ Red” -5 (Up 5)
  26. High Valley – “Make You Mine” -2
  27. Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” +4 (Up 1)
  28. Garth Brooks – “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance” 0 (Down 9)
  29. Michael Ray – “Think A Little Less” -5 (Re-Enters Top 30)
  30. Jerrod Niemann & Lee Brice – “A Little More Love” -3 (Down 1)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio: -28

The pulse drops two spots this week. 

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Tucker Beathard – “Rock On” -3

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Michael Ray – “Think A Little Less”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Blake Shelton – “A Guy With A Girl” – Up 8 from #27 to #19
  • Thomas Rhett – “Star of the Show” – Up 4 from #22 to #18
  • Carrie Underwood – “Dirty Laundry” – Up 3 from #17 to #14
  • Jason Aldean – “A Little More Summertime” – Up 3 from #7 to #4

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Tucker Beathard – “Rock On” – Out of the Top 30 & Done
  • Garth Brooks – “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance” – Down 9 from #19 to #28
  • LoCash – “I Know Somebody” – Down 4 from #1 to #5

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

  • LoCash – “I Know Somebody”
  • Billy Currington – “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To”
  • Brothers Osborne – “21 Summer”
  • High Valley – “Make You Mine”

On The Hot Seat:

  • Jerrod Niemann & Lee Brice – “A Little More Love”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Brad Paisley – “Today”
  • Kelsea Ballerini – “Yeah Boy” (Oh joy to the world, I’m so excited about this)
  • Jon Pardi – “Dirt on My Boots” (This is well on it’s way to being a big hit for Pardi, as it’s having great sales)
  • Josh Turner – “Hometown Girl”

 

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

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio [October 17]

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. LoCash – “I Know Somebody” -5 (Up 5) [Worst Song]
  2. Luke Bryan – “Move” -4 (Up 2)
  3. Kenny Chesney & Pink – “Setting The World On Fire” -2
  4. Billy Currington – “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” +2 (Down 3)
  5. Cole Swindell – “Middle of a Memory” -2 
  6. Tucker Beathard – “Rock On” -3 (Down 4)
  7. Jason Aldean – “A Little More Summertime”
  8. Brett Young – “Sleep Without You” -2 (Up 1)
  9. Florida Georgia Line (feat. Tim McGraw) – “May We All” +1 (Up 1)
  10. Old Dominion – “Song For Another Time” -3 (Up 3)
  11. Tim McGraw – “How I’ll Always Be” +3 
  12. Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color” -4 (Up 3)
  13. Miranda Lambert – “Vice” +3 (Down 1) 
  14. Brett Eldredge – “Wanna Be That Song” (Up 4)
  15. Drake White – “Livin’ The Dream” +1 (Up 1)
  16. Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes” -1 (Up 1)
  17. Carrie Underwood – “Dirty Laundry” 0 (Up 3)
  18. Granger Dibbles Jr. – “If The Boots Fits” -4 (Up 1)
  19. Garth Brooks – “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance” 0 (New to Top 30)
  20. Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled” -2 (Up 1)
  21. Eric Church (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) – “Kill A Word” +4 (Up 2) [Best Song]
  22. Thomas Rhett – “Star of the Show” -3 (Up 6)
  23. Chris Stapleton – “Parachute” +3 (Down 1)
  24. Brothers Osborne – “21 Summer” +2
  25. Chris Young (feat. Vince Gill) – “Sober Saturday Night” +1 (Up 1)
  26. High Valley – “Make You Mine” -2 (Up 1)
  27. Blake Shelton – “A Guy With A Girl” -1 (New to Top 30)
  28. Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” +4 (Up 1)
  29. Jerrod Niemann & Lee Brice – “A Little More Love” -3 (Up 1)
  30. Dustin Lynch – “Seein’ Red” -5 (New to Top 30)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio: -26

The pulse drops 14 spots this week. 

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • William Michael Morgan – “I Met A Girl” +3
  • Big & Rich (feat. Tim McGraw) – “Lovin’ Lately” +2
  • Brad Paisley – “Today” +2

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Garth Brooks – “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance”
  • Blake Shelton – “A Guy With A Girl”
    • So Blake’s last single “She’s Got A Way With Words” pissed a lot of people off. It was a deliberate jab at Miranda Lambert and came off at best as petty. It was so hated that it broke his #1 streak at country radio. So it’s not surprise at all that Blake would follow this up with something that’s generic, boring and safe in “A Guy With A Girl.” There’s nothing offensive nor anything that stands out about it. This is every generic country love song you’ve heard on country radio the last five years. And it’s probably one of his best singles lately. If the instrumentation wasn’t so all over the place and the lyrics were a little more focused this might have turned into something good. Instead we’re left with something that is almost good enough to be called average. 4/10
  • Dustin Lynch – “Seein’ Red”
    • Why does Dustin Lynch keep getting airplay? Why?! He’s one of the most transparent sell outs in Nashville pop. Lynch is essentially Gumby in a cowboy hat: he’ll bend and move wherever his label tells him to go. The guy isn’t an artist, he’s a brand for music executives who think they know what’s best for people. “Seein’ Red” is soulless, uncreative garbage that sees Lynch try to do his best Justin Timberlake impression (spoiler alert: it’s terrible). Even as a mindlessly fun pop song it fails all around, as it’s rigid and sterile production isn’t catchy in any way. There’s steel guitar buried deep in the mix because they think this low-effort pandering will win you over. The lyrics are vapid and shallow (“Ride this Chevy like a Cadillac” is a line in the song). This song accomplishes nothing except getting your arm some exercise: reaching to turn the dial so you never have to hear this crap again. 0/10

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Blake Shelton – “A Guy With A Girl” – Up 9 from #36 to #27
  • Thomas Rhett – “Star of the Show” – Up 6 from #28 to #22
  • LoCash – “I Know Somebody” – Up 5 from #6 to #1

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • William Michael Morgan – “I Met A Girl” – Out of the Top 30 & Done (“Missing” is the next single, which is an excellent choice)
  • Big & Rich (feat. Tim McGraw) – “Lovin’ Lately” – Out of the Top 30 & Done
  • Brad Paisley – “Today” – Out of the Top 30 to #37

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

  • Tucker Beathard – “Rock On” (This was never a hit and I doubt if we’ll ever see one from Beathard)
  • Billy Currington – “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” (A great rebound hit from Currington. Now let’s hope he remember this for his next album)
  • Drake White – “Livin’ The Dream”
  • Brothers Osborne – “21 Summer”

On The Hot Seat:

  • Miranda Lambert – “Vice” (Her label is pushing it and doing their best to keep it going it appears. I imagine they will at the very least get it in the top ten before giving up.)

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Little Big Town’s new single (It’s being released on Thursday and is expected to get hourly play on iHeart just like Paisley’s “Today” and Garth’s “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance” got the last two weeks)
  • Michael Ray – “Think A Little Less”
  • Josh Turner – “Hometown Girl”
  • Brad Paisley – “Today”

 

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