Ranking the Country Chart

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Welcome to the weekly ranking of the top 30 Mediabase Country Chart! For this exercise I rank each song in the top 30 based on grade and then give a grade for the top 30 as a whole.

  1. Tin Man: Miranda Lambert 9/10
  2. Broken Halos: Chris Stapleton 9/10
  3. The Long Way: Brett Eldredge 8/10
  4. Boy: Lee Brice 8/10
  5. Round Here Buzz: Eric Church 8/10
  6. Five More Minutes: Scotty Mccreery 8/10
  7. Make a Little: Midland 7/10
  8. I Could Use a Love Song: Maren Morris 7/10
  9. Ask Me How I Know: Garth Brooks 7/10
  10. Outta Style: Aaron Watson 5/10
  11. She’s With Me: High Valley 5/10
  12. I’ll Name the Dogs: Blake Shelton 5/10
  13. Girl Like You: Easton Corbin 5/10
  14. Yours: Russell Dickerson 5/10
  15. Like I Loved You: Brett Young 5/10
  16. For the First Time: Darius Rucker 5/10
  17. Light It Up: Luke Bryan 4/10
  18. Marry Me: Thomas Rhett 4/10
  19. Stay Downtown: Cole Swindell 4/10
  20. Female: Keith Urban 4/10
  21. The Rest of Our Lives: Tim Mcgraw/Faith Hill 3/10
  22. Legends: Kelsea Ballerini 3/10
  23. The One’s That Like Me: Brantley Gilbert 2/10
  24. Singles You Up: Jordan Davis 2/10
  25. Everything’s Gonna Be Alright: David Lee Murphy/Kenny Chesney 2/10
  26. Written in the Sand: Old Dominion 2/10
  27. All on Me: Devin Dawson 2/10
  28. Happens Like That: Granger Smith 1/10
  29. Losing Sleep: Chris Young 1/10
  30. You Broke Up With ME: 37 year old with 7 Kids 0/10

Grade: 47% F (140/300)

New to the Top 30: Stay Downtown: Cole Swindell

Left the Top 30: None

 

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Top 10 Current Country Artists

Since I am currently all caught up with the albums that I want to cover this week (next week is another story) I was thinking about different lists that I could make. I think lists can be fun to make and can be useful for the readers. So, I decided to make the least objective list that I could possibly come up with and do a top 10 list of current country artists. Now, I don’t want this to just be a list of all time greats like George Strait and Dolly Parton. I understand that they are still making music however, I wanted this to be a list of more current artists. For the purposes of the list, whether or not the artist is mainstream or independent is irrelevant. The only qualification is that they are a country artist who is semi current. This is just my personal top 10 artists at the moment so there was plenty of artists who could have been swapped. Feel free to comment, agree/disagree. Enjoy!

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10. Josh Turner: One of my all time favorite artists. The mainstream has certainly chased it’s share of trends over Josh Turner’s career however he has stayed true to his neo-traditional sound through it all.

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9. Miranda Lambert: Before The Weight of These Wings was released I would not have had Lambert on this list. However, when you combine her past work with the Weight of These Wings, it’s hard to argue that there are many better artists in the mainstream.

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8. Eric Church: Is there an artist in the mainstream that releases as many quality singles as Eric Church? Sure he’s not a traditional artist but, he makes great, modern country music and he actually has something to say!

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7. Aaron Watson: Perhaps the biggest country artist in Texas and for good reason. Watson does a fantastic job of combining radio sensible songs and powerful songs with a message in his albums. Even in his more modern sounding songs you can still hear tons of country instrumentation.

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6. Kacey Musgraves: Radio doesn’t deserve Kacey Musgraves. A fantastic neo traditional artist who refuses to compromise her art for the radio machine.

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5. Flatland Cavalry: The closest comparison to Flatland Cavalry would be the Turnpike Troubadours and boy is that a hell of a compliment. After only releasing about an album and a half’s worth of songs, they have already established themselves as one of country’s best groups.

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4. Sunny Sweeney: It’s hard to argue Sunny Sweeney isn’t one of country music’s best after her most recent masterpiece Trophy. The neo traditionalist is extremely honest and relateable in her music with loads of traditional instrumentation.

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3. Chris Stapleton: The biggest, most important moment in country music in recent memory was Chris Stapleton performing alongside Justin Timberlake at the 2015 CMA Awards. Stapleton has since become the biggest selling star in country music with perhaps the greatest voice in the genre. He has helped to prove the irrelevance of radio and the fact that people will pay for good music.

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2. Cody Johnson: Cody Johnson is country music. It’s rare that I go a day without listening to a Cody Johnson song. A true cowboy who mixes heartbreak and uptempo tracks with an undeniable country sound.

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1.  The Turnpike Troubadours: The Turnpike Troubadours are the greatest group/artist in country music. Their songs are written so brilliantly it makes you wonder how anyone could have written such brilliant songs. Musically lets just say if you don’t love the fiddle you may want to stay away from this Oklahoma based group.

A Rebuke of This Whiskey Riff Nonsense

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I don’t do this. I don’t write rebuttals to other blogs articles/think pieces but I think something should be said about the idiocy that is the Whiskey Riff Article Here’s The Real Reason You Hate Mainstream Country. The condescending article from the click bate, faux news site Whiskey Riff (written by Wes Langeler) attempts to paint people who are displeased with the direction of mainstream country as nose picking losers who are just jealous of how good looking and successful mainstream country artists are. The article does nothing of course to delve into actual criticisms that non mainstream fans have of the genre. Instead, the article starts off by comparing the mega stars in the mainstream to the jocks on the football team in high school. “Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt and Florida Georgia Line are like those jocks that you loves to hate. The good looking, popular guys that seem to get an unworthy and unjustified amount of attention (and girls). You hated them for it.” So essentially if an artist is good looking and popular then they are off limits to critique. Forget the fact that Luke Bryan has not recorded one above average song during his 11 year career and stop being a hater, obviously Sam Hunt is country. Next in the click bait article Langeler attempts to say that this bro country life style of underage drinking, hunting and fishing is what real people do. If you can’t identify with every song on the radio singing about those things then obviously you never did any of those things. You were just a little geek and you were jealous of the kids that did do those things.

Well Wes Langeler, the truth is we don’t give a rats ass whether the music is mainstream or not, popular or not. The reason that so many fans are fed up with mainstream country is because it lacks any substance, lacks any country instrumentation and is just a cheap rip off of other genres of music and other artists. Your honestly saying that you can’t understand why people would dare say that Sam Hunt isn’t a real country artist? An R&B singer being pedaled to country radio because he would disappear if he went pop? You can’t understand why people would be ticked off at Luke Bryan for putting out songs like “Home Alone Tonight” where he sings about sending drunk revenge selfies to his ex girlfriend? Or how about Thomas Rhett who rips off a different artist with every single?

The reason that independent artists and artists of substance are having greater success than ever and the reason radio is dying is because people are sick of it. Chris Stapleton is the biggest star in country music by a mile according to sales and he can’t even get radio play. Aaron Watson an independent Texas artist has had 2 consecutive number 1 albums despite not getting a lick of airplay on the radio while Chris Lane sold a paltry 6000 albums in his debuts first week. The only place that mainstream country stars are still relevant is the bankrupt, failed radio enterprises who will be lucky to survive beyond the next couple of years.

And as I said, it has nothing to do with mainstream or not mainstream for us it has to do with good music versus bad music. There are certainly artists in the mainstream putting out great music. Eric Church, William Michael Morgan, Miranda Lambert and Chris Stapleton just to name a few. And isn’t it ironic that a mainstream fan would mock independent fans for just being losers. Have you not seen the destruction and chaos that has ensued at some of your hero’s concerts including your boy Luke Bryan punching a concert goer? I could go into more graphic acts of debauchery that have ensued at these concerts but i’ll save you the details.

People are sick and tired of mainstream country because it sucks not because they are/were losers. I sincerely hope you don’t truly believe this incredibly close minded, vacuous idea. This failure to see what is really happening in country music is what is destroying the mainstream and the institutions that support it. When Cumulus and IHeart media’s collapses are complete I hope you have a “safe space” as you so brilliantly called it. TRIGGERED.

 

Re-Charting The Chart

Every week we will take a look at the top 30 Mediabase Country Chart. We will re-rank the songs on the chart based on the quality and overall enjoyment of each song. Next to each song I will provide the ranking that we would give it and the actual ranking on the Mediabase chart in parenthesis (From America’s Music Charts). Songs that are in the color red are songs that are either recurrent or in danger of going recurrent soon, while blue is for songs that I predict will go to number 1 at some point. At the end of each ranking there will be some thoughts about the current chart as well as any news or updates that are deemed important. I hope everyone enjoys this weekly post and feel free to comment/agree/disagree with anything you see.

  1. Zac Brown Band                                                       My Old Man (30) A
  2. Eric Church ft. Rhiannon Giddens                     Kill A Word (8) A-
  3. Craig Campbell                                                         Outskirts of Heaven (26) B+
  4. Runaway June                                                            Lipstick (28) B+
  5. Chris Janson                                                               Holdin’ Her (21) B+
  6. Brad Paisley                                                                Today (4) B+
  7. Miranda Lambert                                                      We Should Be Friends (25) B
  8. Darius Rucker                                                             If I Told You (22) B
  9. Chris Young                                                                Sober Saturday Night (1) B
  10. Dan and Shay                                                              How Not To (19)
  11. Little Big Town                                                           Better Man (5)  B-
  12. Josh Turner                                                                  Hometown Girl (12) C+
  13. Jon Pardi                                                                       Dirt On My Boots (2) C+
  14. Luke Bryan                                                                  Fast (6) C+
  15. Jason Aldean                                                               Any Ol’ Barstool (9) C+
  16. High Valley                                                                 Make You Mine (16) C+
  17. Luke Combs                                                                Hurricane (18) C
  18. Kenny Chesney                                                          Bar At The End of…(14) C
  19. Garth Brooks                                                              Baby, Let’s Lay Down… (13) C
  20. Trent Harmon                                                            There’s a Girl (20) C
  21. Lauren Alaina                                                             Road Less Traveled (7) C
  22. Rascal Flatts                                                                Yours If You Want It (23) C-
  23. Brett Young                                                                 In Case You Didn’t Know (27) C-
  24. Keith Urban                                                                 The Fighter (29) F
  25. Kelsea Ballerini                                                          Yeah Boy (10) F
  26. Dierks Bentley                                                            Black (17) F
  27. Michael Ray                                                                Think a Little Less (3) F
  28. Lady Antebellum                                                       You Look Good (24) F
  29. Brantley Gilbert                                                        The Weekend (11) F
  30. Sam Hunt                                                                    Body Like A Backroad(15) F

New To The Top 30: Zac Brown Band “My Old Man” Such a great song. This is also the first time a song has surpassed “Kill A Word” for the top spot on my Re-Charting The Chart.

Songs That Left The Top 30: “Seein’ Red.” I would love if I never had to see Dustin Lynch on this chart again. His music is garbage and has no place on any station.

Songs I See Leaving Us Soon: “Baby Lets Lay Down and Dance” and “Lipstick” are done. I’m so disappointed to see “Lipstick” go because I love that song and Runaway June in general. No news on a new album or follow up single yet. And yeah Garth Brooks is still a thing I guess. Also “There’s A Girl” is done. 

Quick Thoughts: One of the worst songs on the chart leaves and probably the best song that will chart this year joins the chart so good news on that front. There are still too many songs that just don’t belong on the chart hell “Make You Mine” is on week 54 for pete sake. Also I added “Road Less Traveled” to songs that I predict will go number one eventually. I’m a little surprised but, it shows how powerful On The Verge can be. What helps her is that there are some songs behind her that are running out of gas that will not go number 1.