Dec
16

Saving Country Music’s Worst Songs of 2013

December 16, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  89 Comments

saving-country-music-2013-worst-songsSo here you go ladies and gentlemen, the worst of the worst that 2013 had to offer in country music. As you might suspect, a list of mainstream country’s worst misdeeds in 2013 is mostly populated by an ear-serrating cacophony of country rap songs. With only a couple of exceptions, country rap has replaced what last year at this time was a parade of laundry list-themed songs.

2013 SCM Song of the Year Nominees

PLEASE NOTE: To qualify for this list, the song had to be released as a single. And with such a crowded field, only the worst of the worst were selected. Feel free to share your most vilified songs of 2013 below.

Jason Aldean – “1994″

When I originally ranted about this song in February, I called it the worst country song ever. If I only knew what the rest of 2013 would have in store.

“In Music Row’s everlasting quest to train all of its resources on scouring America to unearth only the finest, most purest form of audio diarrhea, they have struck the mother of all motherloads originating from the unholy bowels of Macon, Georgia’s Jason Aldean. Yes Nashville, pat yourself on the back, let all of the Auto-Tuned stars sing out in unison as Stratocasters bray out a cacophony of stadium rock riffs in unified celebration–you have officially discovered the shittiest country music song to ever touch the human ear drum.

Do I understand the levity and the long history of country music that must be considered to declare “1994″ the worst country song that has ever been released? Yes, yes I do. And yet I still stand firmly behind that opinion.” (read full rant)


Florida Georgia Line – “Cruise”

What can make a bad song worse is when it becomes so ubiquitous throughout society that it pursues you like a bad nightmare—playing at the grocery store, blaring out of the car next to you at a red light. “Cruise” was officially released in 2012, but since this was the year it achieved historical success as the longest-running #1 in the history of the country genre (though that record when you look deeper into the numbers is somewhat spurious), it would only be fair to include 2013′s summer anthem here.

“Originating from the Republic Nashville imprint of Big Machine Records, the duo consisting of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley met while attending the Mike Curb College of Music at Nashville’s private and exclusive Belmont University. I know, right? Doesn’t get more country than that! Apparently they were both enrolled in the “How To Be A Upper Middle Class Douchebag But Pretend To Be A Country Boy And Filch Rednecks Out Of Their Hard Earned Money, 101″ class. They made eyes across the classroom, and afterwards discussed their mutual desire for world music domination over $175 haircuts, manscaping, and colonics. Next thing you know, Florida Georgia Line is born.

Florida Georgia Line is a horrible combination of Rascal Flatts pretty boy hyper-pop, and designer jeans Jason Aldean “backroad” laundry list bullshit. They are everything bad about quotation mark “country” in 2012 combined into one big stuffed crotch sandwich.” (read full rant)


Blake Shelton – “Boys ‘Round Here”

“The Decider’s” offering to the 2013 resurgence of the country rap trend.

“Just when we thought the American public was finally getting wise to the fact that country rap is a Cancer of Western Civilization, needing to be cut out and radiated like the grapefruit-sized, puss-filled tumor it is, here it comes roaring back like a raging case of bleeding hemorrhoids.

“Blake Shelton’s “Boys ‘Round Here” is songwriting by algorithm and analytics, fashioning together words and sounds known to have the widest impact on mainstream radio’s weak-of-mind demo. The “boys” in the title of “Boys ‘Round Here” is fitting, because this song is rank immaturity. It’s the audio equivalent of sneaking out of your mom’s house to smoke pot behind a Pizza Hut.” (read full review)


Montgomery Gentry – “Titty’s Beer”

Yes, this actually exists, was even released as a single with an accompanying video.

“This isn’t a cry for relevancy folks, this is a blood-curdling scream; a banshee yawp from the innermost depths of holy hell, destined to beset the eardrums of all rationally-minded music listeners with a cursed memory so potent and terrible, it will be well-documented as a clinically-certified precursor to the most acute and debilitating onset of post traumatic stress disorder, terrorizing the very sanity of any semi-intelligent human.

“If a truly good country song is represented by a delicate pair of supple female breasts, then Montgomery Gentry’s “Titty’s Beer” would be a rack of cellulose-addled man boobs replete with coarse and graying disheveled chest hair, pock marked with skin Cancer and bisected by a grizzly double bypass scar. Originally recorded by the Country Music Grimmace Colt Ford, “Titty’s Beer” is an ode to idiocracy and a battle hymn for the forces of misogynistic cultural reduction. The premise doesn’t even make sense, but you can see some oaf going, “Well hell. I like titties, and I like beer, so….” (read full rant)


Joe Diffie feat. D. Thrash – “Girl Ridin’ Shotgun”

What is worse than Jason Aldean’s “1994″ ? Joe Diffie’s “answer” song.

“Did you feel that Oklahoma? That was the earth tremor caused by your native son Joe Diffie selling out so violently it measured 2.1 on the Richter scale. The mulleted, cop mustached 90′s semi-star has released an “answer” song to what many consider the worst song in country music history, Jason Aldean’s country rap “1994,” and it is as embarrassing as puberty.

“The beats for “Girl Ridin’ Shotgun” sound like they were composed by a 7th grader who just snorted his ADD meds, just like all of the beats of the Jawga Boyz’s bombastic and trashy tracks. The beat doesn’t even get five seconds into the song without going off meter. There’s biscuit crumbs in Joe Diffie’s mustache that could compose a better beat. And then D Thrash’s first line doesn’t even rhyme. Are you effing serious with this song? “Girl Ridin’ Shotgun” makes me want to make out with my cousin and bet on a dog fight.” (read full rant)


Tyler Farr – “Redneck Crazy”

There’s bad, and then there’s downright wrong. Tyler Farr’s “Redneck Crazy” crosses that line.

“Tyler Farr’s “Redneck Crazy” isn’t for jilted male lovers looking for solace, it is for socially awkward, introverted, creepy-ass chronic masturbaters that hold a minor in megalomania. This song doesn’t need a rant, it needs a restraining order and ankle bracelet. It’s an insult to both the terms “redneck” and “crazy.” True rednecks ride their problems out, rub their wounds in the dirt and move on, not whine about them like a panty waist, eliciting threats and enlisting their loser friends to enact adolescent acts of vandalism as some sort of self-righteous recompense.”

“About the only thing this song is good for is turning in for state’s evidence of why Tyler Farr shouldn’t be allowed within 200 yards of his ex’s or any elementary school.” (read full rant)


Luke Bryan – “That’s My Kind Of Night”

Outmatched only by Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” for the longest-charting single in 2013.

“Let’s start this off by dispatching with the 700 lb gorilla in the room and say what everyone is thinking, but few are willing to say publicly: The only reason Luke Bryan’s “That’s My Kind Of Night” is a #1 song is because bored suburban moms and their daughters want to fuck him. Luke Bryan’s music has the nutritional value of notebook paper, and is the clinical result of when an entertainer spreads his arms wide in a submissive pose and relents his entire will to the country music industrial complex, saying “Do your worst.” Luke Bryan has no soul. He is more machine than man. He has the integrity of a Guatemalan mule bridge with a squadron of M1 tanks trying to cross it. “That’s My Kind of Night” is like a diabolically-specialized form of audio diarrhea that marries the ideal ratio of water to solids so when it is sent through an industrial fan it inflicts the widest collateral damage on as many people as possible.

“A little Conway a little T-Pain?” Yep, that pretty much sums up American music in 2013, sans the Conway—replaced by Luke Bryan and his vomit-inducing country rap trend-chasing ilk.” (read full rant)


Jerrod Niemann – “Drink To That All Night”

Listening to this song is as traumatic as waking up naked in a stranger’s bed, with pacifiers and spent glowsticks littering the sheets around you, other people’s bodily fluids encrusting on your bare skin of your midriff, your eyebrows shaved, and the unsettled sense like you spent the night before indulging in designer drugs and weird sex against your will. Yes ladies and gentlemen, in 2013, country music when there—to the techno-rave glitterdance sounds of Jerrod Niemann and his woman’s ball cap that he got on clearance from Ross.

When the words kick in to this awful, awful song, you think it must be some sort of Saturday Night Live parody. But no, this song is a serious single from Jerrod. Luckily it skidded off the charts pretty rapidly, but “Drink To That All Night” symbolizes another new low for country music in 2013, with an excruciatingly-boring video.


Dishonorable Mention:

89 Comments to “Saving Country Music’s Worst Songs of 2013”

  • No Taylor Swift?! Haha! This genre is dying to please others.

       5 likes

    • Taylor Swift’s two big singles “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” were focused on pop radio, so I don’t consider them country singles.

         4 likes

      • Trigger, I must say I disagree. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was played heavily on country stations. It was #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for 10 weeks, most recently the week of January 12, 2013. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_number-one_country_singles_of_2012_%28U.S.%29, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_number-one_country_singles_of_2013_%28U.S.%29).

           2 likes

        • “We Are Never Getting Back Together” the longest running number one by a woman in the history of the country charts was released September of 2012. It is not a 2013 song.

             1 likes

          • Neither was Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise”, which was released in August 2012. But that song is still on this list for 2013.

               2 likes

          • The ‘Cruise’ remix was in 2013 though. It had dropped off the Hot 100 before the remix.

               2 likes

        • Not only that, Billboard changed the Hot Country chart rules just in time to help that song in country and help country go pop. It was the most pop song ever sent to country radio, got the turn country pop ball rolling and opened the door for more pop songs.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Are_Never_Ever_Getting_Back_Together#Background_and_release

          It was released in 2012 and Clear Channel stations were still playing it in early 2013. Before this mess started I loved to listen to country radio but then had to turn it off every time this annoying bubblegum pop song played. Clear Channel said they play these Artist Integration Program songs because they deserve to be heard. No they deserve to be banned and there are 1,000 times better country songs that deserve to be heard! Try getting a pure country song played on pop radio or even just country radio now.

             2 likes

  • Lots to choose from, but you pretty much nailed it. The worst offenders really did stand out. And thanks for including the Jerrod Niemann song – it looks as if it won’t achieve enough popularity to inflict significant damage, but it is a true monstrosity.

       4 likes

  • I’ll ashamedly admit that I don’t really hate ‘Cruise’ (for me, it’s a guilty pleasure in every sense of the word), but I’ll back you up on all of these.

    I’d also throw into the mix Thomas Rhett’s ‘All-American Middle Class White Boy’ (yes, that’s a song), Luke Bryan’s ‘Blood Brothers’, and pretty much the entirety of Justin Moore’s wretched album ‘Off The Beaten Path’ (although ‘Old Habits’ deserves a special place in the ninth circle of hell for ripping off ‘Colder Weather’ by the Zac Brown Band).

       4 likes

    • I too kind of like “Cruise” but nothing else I have heard from them.

      For me, this list runner up is “1994″ – goodness, that song sucks balls. But at least it’s not lyrically offensive in the way “Redneck Crazy” is — that would be my clear winner for worst, I think.

      And thank you for getting “Joe Joe Joe Diffie” now stuck in my head.

         2 likes

    • Since we’re talking album tracks here as well, here are some I nominate among my worst:

      *

      Blake Shelton: “Country On The Radio” and “Small Town Big Time”
      Tyler Farr: “Chicks, Trucks & Beer” & “Wish I Had A Boat”
      Chris Young: “A.M.” and “Nothin’ But The Cooler Left” (half the album is awful aside from Young’s vocals, actually)
      Brett Eldredge: “Tell Me Where To Park”
      Toby Keith: “Shut Up And Hold On” and “Show Me What You’re Workin’ With”
      Thomas Rhett: (Pretty Much The Entire Album, But Especially “All-American Middle Class White Boy” and “Front Porch Junkies”, With “Beer With Jesus” Making My Worst Of 2012 Singles List)
      Justin Moore: (Pretty Much The Entire Album, But Especially “I’d Want It To Be Yours” & “Old Back In The New School”)

      *

         1 likes

      • Aww, I actually liked ‘Shut Up And Hold On’. It had some meat to the guitars, some heftier production, Toby Keith actually dropped into his lower register a bit, the lyrics referenced whiskey over shitty beer, and unlike most songs in this vein, the girl in the song has agency, as she’s the one singing at Toby Keith in the second chorus. It’s the same sort of reason I liked ‘We’re Gonna Find It Tonight’ from Chris Young.

        But yeah, I’m pretty much with you on the rest of those.

           0 likes

        • I attribute my opinion of “Shut Up And Hold On” to two factors.

          Firstly, the lyrics. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Keith is a hypocrite in light of his recent comments admitting artists have to hop on the hick-hop bandwagon in order to achieve hit songs in this day in age……….but the lyrics of this song are blatant pandering to the tropes of the current frat-boy country zeitgeist, and come across as absolutely unsettling. If not for Keith’s robust vocals, it would also come across as calculating.

          Secondly, the Auto-Tune. WHY, KEITH?!!! Why do YOU need Auto-Tune?

          The “loudness wars” that mars the mixing and aspects of the production also doesn’t help matters either, although I will admit the touches of roadhouse blues and harmonica sound like a semi-saving grace until the terrible lyrical refrain at the end squanders the momentum that is built at that point.

          *

          Whaaaaaaaaaa? You’re not going to contest my bashing of half of Chris Young’s album too? ;)

             1 likes

          • Lol, nah, I’ve cooled on that album a bit since I’ve heard it. I still like ‘Aw Naw’ and ‘We’re Gonna Find It Tonight’ and ‘Goodbye’, but honestly that album should have been a lot better.

            As for Toby Keith…ugh, I’m not convinced Toby Keith needs to let more people into the production studio with him, because neither ‘Drinks After Work’ or his daughter Krystal’s album were strong in this regard. There’s too much polish in the guitar tones, and most aren’t well-chosen. Frankly, he’s trying to imitate the sound of modern country production but do it his way, and I don’t think he’s got a good handle on it.

               0 likes

      • There was actually a song called “Chicks, Trucks & Beer”? Kinda reminds me of the generic labels in that movie ‘Repo Man’ (“BEER” brand beer, etc.)…

           1 likes

    • I hate most of JMoore’s new album, but I gotta admit I heard “Wheels” on Pandora and it caught me off guard.

      The guy is so much better when he just fucking sings and doesn’t concentrate on the obvious fake twang. I’ve met people from Georgia. They don’t talk like that.

         0 likes

  • I absolutely agree with this list, and +1 for including Jerrod Niemann. Also hated Chase Rice’s single and +1 to Mark for mentioning Thomas Rhett’s ‘All American Middle Class White Boy’. The rotting cherry on a food poisoning-inducing album.

    Oh and we can’t forget Dallas Smith ‘Tippin’ Point’, that was pretty horrendous.

       8 likes

    • I had forgotten about that Chase Rice song, that one definitely needs to be on the list.

         2 likes

  • Wow, great list. I’m thankful that I only recognize 4 songs in your list, and even that is 4 too many! The “Redneck Crazy” song is extremely creepy and unnerving to say the least. The fact that the guys from Duck Dynasty are in it as well is puzzling.

       2 likes

  • A worst of list that doesn’t include “Accidental Racist” but still feels complete is a pretty good indicator of how bad things are.

       6 likes

    • You certainly nailed it.

      These are all awful songs and singers/bands, but they are no competition for “Accidental Racist”.

      It comes close to approaching “Having My Baby” by Paul Anka, which is on everyone’s worst song short list.

         1 likes

  • Musically “1994″ is still the worst for me

    Lyrically “Titty’s Beer” and “I’d Want it to be Yours” are tied for being literally nothing but perverted idiocy (“I’d Want it to be yours” get’s an extra knock against it for making me feel bad for Justin Moore after watching that promo video. I’d rather just dislike him than feel bad for him).

    “Redneck Crazy” is in a whole other class of bad.

       2 likes

    • I’m right there with you. “1994″ is the worst music I’ve ever heard. That is not hyperbole. But like these others its worst crime is inanity.

      But for “Redneck Crazy” its worst crime is… crime toward women.

         3 likes

  • “Listening to this song [Jarrod Neimann's 'Drink to That All Night'] is as traumatic as waking up naked in a stranger’s bed, with pacifiers and spent glowsticks littering the sheets around you, other people’s bodily fluids encrusting on your bare skin of your midriff, your eyebrows shaved, and the unsettled sense like you spent the night before indulging in designer drugs and weird sex against your will.”

    :D I’ll take your word for it, Trig.

    Of the official list, I think “Cruise” is the only one I’ve heard in its entirety (I’ve also heard “Wagon Wheel” and “Accidental Racist” among the Dishonorable Mentions), but I can’t really argue with any of your picks.

    You’ve had some pretty epic rants this year; that “Boys ‘Round Here” one still makes me smile.

       4 likes

  • we could go on and on and on unfortunately with all the “what, no ________?”s:

    Parking Lot Party – Lee Brice
    Ready Set Roll – Chase Rice

    and a host of others it hurts my brain to think about…might just be easier to copy Sirrus radio’s “The Highway”s best of 2013 and paste it here…

       5 likes

  • While ‘Cruise’ may not be the absolute worst of the year I think it is certainly the most damaging to country music because of it’s enormous crossover success. How many times was this song referred to as ‘country’ by some radio personality and that seeps into the culture that this is what country music is. Plus the recruitment of a far past his prime rapper just goes to show you how country music is viewed by those outside the genre. What was MC Hammer unavailable?

       7 likes

  • There was nothing worse than “Boys Round Here” to think this is the same guy who did “Austin’ and “Ol’ Red” liked him but he totally lost my respect. sell out.

       5 likes

  • I agree with this whole list. I hate Redneck Crazy with a passion.
    If i had to choose three more songs to add to this list they would be
    Parking Lot Party- Lee Brice
    I Drive Your Truck- Lee Brice
    See You Again- Carrie Underwood

       2 likes

    • What would someone have against “I Drive Your Truck”?….if you’ve ever listened to the whole song it’s about a guy who’s brother lost his life and he drives his truck to remember him….lyrically I thought it was a great song. My friend played it at his brothers funeral I hadn’t heard it until then

         3 likes

  • “Redneck Crazy” is the standout worst of the worst, in my opinion.

    At the very least “1994″ and “Boys ‘Round Here” don’t blatantly endorse vandalism, harassment and, yes, even domestic violence (“I didn’t come here to start a fight, but I’m up for anything tonight…”). Moreover, with the way it is packaged as just another affecting and blistering power ballad, it is designed for mass consumption and when it is clear hordes have fallen for it, “Redneck Crazy” is not just absolutely toxic in itself, but proves to be a viable blueprint in how other audio uranium propaganda of this sort can be effortlessly peddled to the masses.

    I will say it’s looking like we already have a surefire contender for Worst Song of 2014 eagerly pouncing in the ring. Right after “Stay” peaks (likely by Christmas), Florida-Georgia Line are planning on releasing “This Is How We Do” as the lead single from the newly-released deluxe edition of “Here’s To The Good Times: This Is How We Roll”………….which consists of yet another atrocious conflating of Hank with a rapper (this time Drake cause………..well…………..it rhymes close enough! =P ), Tyler Hubbard “rapping” the second verse and a featured vocal by Luke “Making It Rain” Bryan on the bridge and outro! -__- -__- -__-

    Other observations:

    *

    1) No “Ready Set Roll” by Chase Rice, “She Cranks My Tractor” by Dustin Lynch or “Tippin’ Point” by Dallas Smith, Trigger? EVEN in the “Dishonorable Mentions”? ;)

    2) Easton Corbin’s “All Over The Road” would make my list, much to the astonishment of countless other critics who have worshipped the track critically.

    Why? It all comes down to the sorry excuse for what passes as neo-traditional songwriting: romanticizing reckless driving that is always right on the cusp of dangerous driving. Corbin sounds more like the subject of a Cialis commercial than someone conscientious of his and his sweetheart’s safety, and laughs off to the officer of the seriousness of the situation (let’s pray it at the very least wasn’t on St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s Eve). And the easy-going production and Corbin’s devil-may-care delivery, in effect, further trivializes this matter that leads to thousands of fatalities on the highways every year. The fact this has received universal praise is beyond me, and the fact it’s atrocious songwriting foiled in immaculate ear candy wrapping makes this not only one of the worst singles of 2013, but a dangerous single.

    3) I hadn’t even heard “Drink To That All Night” up until this point, but you’re right. And the Auto-Tune is HORRENDOUS!!! =X =X =X

    *

       1 likes

    • While I don’t think ‘All Over The Road’ is the greatest song ever I also don’t think it’s anywhere near the worst of the year. I think you’re really taking the lyrics too literally and reading way too much into them, Noah. It’s just a fun uptempo song. If we are going to become the lyric police then we could have a never ending list of outrages. How about all the partying and drinking songs throughout the history of country music? Don’t those people know the negative health effects of drinking alcohol?

      Or how about the great song from the 70s “Ridin’ My Thumb To Mexico’ by the criminally underrated Johnny Rodriguez. Doesn’t he know about all the people who have been kidnapped, murdered and/or raped while hitchhiking? Maybe he should have written a song about getting a part time job to ‘Ride The Bus To Mexico’ or ‘Ride A Train To Mexico.’ Sometimes a song is just a song, man.

      The great Johnny Rodriguez:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NoQ3dJ5PKo

         2 likes

      • I stand firmly by my opinion of “All Over The Road”, much for the same reason Trigger stands by his opinion of “Wagon Wheel”, for this reason.

        The fact “All Over The Road” passes itself as a fresh breath of neo-traditional air amidst a genre landscape largely devoid of its culture this year, only underscores how tragically lyrical quality in the radio genre has levelled off. Many have continued to herald Easton Corbin as a most deserving and capable successor of George Strait (don’t believe me, read the reviews)……….and yet the drop-off in lyrical quality is just utterly STAGGERING.

        And “It’s just a fun uptempo song” is a lazy excuse for lyrical dross such as this. This is the exact same crutch apologists of Chase Rice, Florida-Georgia Line and The Lacs have been employing to justify their releases. Perhaps I read songs like this too literally, but either way this REALLY got on my nerves from the first time I heard it long before it climbed the charts (and my resentment of the song has only deepened since it became one of the biggest hits of his career).

           1 likes

        • Like I said I don’t think ‘All Over The Road’ is great by any means but every artist if they have been around for any amount of time has had a few hits that aren’t lyrically deep. Not every song has to be deep and profound nor can they be. Now if that is all you release like FGL and their ilk then that is very bad.

          But my bigger point is that it’s a little silly to start quoting highway safety statistics as a criticism of a song.

             5 likes

          • I see your point. I truly do.

            Still, I felt obliged to include “All Over The Road” for the same reason Trigger includes “Wagon Wheel” in the “Dishonorable Mentions”. Despite the fact that there are plenty other songs worse than either one of those, I feel it is pertinent as both listeners and/or music critics/reviewers that we maintain some sort of standard or demand for quality in the genre.

            I’m calling out “All Over The Road” more for its IMPLICATIONS on the broader genre from a lyrical standpoint than on the merits/demerits of the song alone. OBVIOUSLY the song is better than anything included on Trigger’s list and most, if not all, of the other suggestions cited here in the discussion. But when you consider the broader context, much like Trigger explained the broader context justifying “Wagon Wheel” deserving a place among the Worst list………….which is that Easton Corbin is being wooed by the critical press and countless reviewers as the most worthy successor of George Strait and a neo-tradionalist torch bearer of the genre, and that same attributive bias also spills over into the universal acclaim “All Over The Road” received because Corbin sounds like Strait and he uses (gasp!)………..ACTUAL country instrumentation………….the fact the lyrics are as poor as they are only underscores exactly how much culture and lyrical integrity has been lost in songwriters circles on Music Row.

            The inclusion of “All Over The Road” is more “keeping them honest” than insinuating this song is equally as bad as the likes of Tyler Farr and Chase Rice.

               1 likes

          • I agree if you have or your people have claimed a higher standard for yourself then when you fall short of that standard you are open to criticism.

            Maybe we need a list called ‘Worst Songs By Good Artists’

               6 likes

        • I strongly disagree both with the contention that “All Over the Road” should be included in the dishonorable mentions, as well as with Trigger’s choice of “Wagon Wheel” in that category.

          In my opinion, music should be judged on an equal standard, not based on what we expect from individual artists. In addition, the sonic component should count for a significant percentage (IMO, half) of our evaluation for songs. Lyrically speaking, the song was basically MOR, and sonically it was one of the better songs on country radio in 2013. Based on these criteria, “All Over the Road” should not belong anywhere near the worst songs of 2013 list.

          As for “Wagon Wheel”, the fact is that Darius Rucker introduced the song (which, as Trigger acknowledged, is a good song) to a vastly greater audience. It may have even caused a significant expansion in OCMS’s fan base. I would argue that these factors should absolve Darius Rucker’s version of “Wagon Wheel” from the dishonorable mention list.

             4 likes

    • Even if you hate All Over The Road it’s one of the best and there are many worse songs country radio played in 2013. The music is country and it’s not pop, bro country or copycat lyrics.

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    • I hosted a morning show on a country station for much of this year before getting airlifted out to the news department. 4 hours, every day, of the absolute worst country music had to offer. I get your whole reckless driving thing, but if you think “All Over the Road” belongs among the worst songs of the year, you are wrong.
      When it comes to what’s on country radio, there ain’t no heroes, homie. The list of singles from major artists I enjoyed this year is damn short: It Ain’t The Whiskey by Gary Allan, and that’s it. You’re side of the Bed by Little Big Town maybe.
      Otherwise, you grit your teeth and hope for something slightly less than an abomination. Easton Corbin falls comfortably into the “non-abomination” category.
      Wagon Wheel belongs right where it is on the dishonorable mentions. Rucker’s version is soulless and awful.

         1 likes

      • “Otherwise, you grit your teeth and hope for something slightly less than an abomination. ”

        Good one.

           0 likes

  • “Cruise” is a downright abomination. “Boys ‘Round Here” is garbage, I thought “Girl Riding Shotgun” was a joke at first and everything else on the list was terrible. Never did hear the Jerrod Neimann song but I’m sure it sucked.

    “Parking Lot Party” is awful, “Highway Don’t Care” sucks plain & simple, “Southern Girl” is bad, Lady Antedellum’s “Downtown” made me cringe, I could go on and on and on. I had to listen to country radio at work all summer…

       4 likes

  • Good list.
    Like a few others I dont loathe Cruise.
    Thats my kind of night and anything by Luke Bryan makes me queezy so my top awful song would be that one.

       2 likes

    • And the music video for “That’s My Kind of Night” only made it far worse! I feel corrupted after having the displeasure of viewing it upon its debut! Pass the eye soap! -__- -__- -__-

         1 likes

  • I would add Cole Swindell’s “Chillin’ It”. In my opinion, it is worse than “Cruise”.

    Chris Young’s “Aw Naw” would also make my list. A truly pathetic from such an artist capable of far better.

       2 likes

    • I consider “Chillin’ It” a decaffeinated version of “Cruise”. Still unhealthy, but not quite as jarring.

      I will say this, however. SKIMP ON THE HAND GESTURES IN THE VIDEO, COLE! They’re utterly distracting! You’ve NEVER been a rapper! You are NOT a rapper! And you will NEVER BE a rapper! Get used to it! ;)

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      • At least “Cruise” has good instrumentation. “Chillin It” is based heavily on rap beats.

           2 likes

        • I guess if Joey Moi’s fingerprints passes off as “good instrumentation” that much of Nickelback’s instrumentation can also be considered good, yes? ;)

          I do agree with you that Cole Swindell sounds like a desperate wannabe rapper masquerading in the sticks.

          Can we agree both are musical High Fructose Corn Syrup? ;)

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          • Absolutely. They’re both trash.

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  • So many on this list are on my own list of most hated songs this year. I talk so often about Waylon and Merle and Garth and the kind of music I wish was on the radio these days…it just doesn’t exist out there right now. It does exist, though. There are people playing some very strong country music – they just aren’t getting as much radio airplay.

    For those who come to this blog often, I gotta say – get out there and download and share the GOOD stuff you find. Don’t just trash-talk the garbage. The reason the garbage is so prevalent is that it’s selling.

    Jamey Johnson wins awards, but doesn’t fill stadiums…so, you don’t hear him often on mainstream. As the public, we gotta change that!

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  • If I was going to make a list of my most hated songs, it would be exactly this. The “country” station is the only station that comes in where I work, and all these terrible songs have been beaten into my skull day in and day out. I know all these songs lyric by lyric. I have to come home and immediately turn on good country or else I might commit suicide in a fit of rage.

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  • Niemann’s song hasn’t skidded off the charts. It’s at 27 (up from 29) this week on Mediabase – the chart radio stations actually pay attention to.

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    • (Unfortunately) I expect “Drink To That All Night” will accelerate up the charts in 2014, as it has also been moderately successful digitally! -__-

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    • Just saying, it was released in September. Do we really think it’s going to be rocketing up the charts at some point? I think it’s beginning to reach its shelf life.

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      • Yeah it’s bouncing around 30 on the Airplay chart and on Billboard’s mongrel chart also. He’s a pretty minor player really, his first single ‘Lover Lover’ went to #1 in the pre-mongrel chart days and his second went top five but since then it’s been pretty middling results and this shouldn’t be much different.

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      • Yes, Trigger, I do! (unfortunately)

        I attribute my hunch to where it’s at in terms of digital sales. It has been steadily selling in the Top 25 of the “country” genre on iTunes the vast majority of its run, which is usually a surefire indicator it will catch fire on radio as well.

        If you’re an established A-list artist and your single is lacking in sales, you can still get away with a radio hit off of the momentum of a previous hit alone (i.e. Darius Rucker’s “Radio” and The Band Perry’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely”.) Otherwise, I’ve been noticing digital sales results are the deal-breaker for less established artists.

        “Drink To That All Night” is selling quite well, and I’m quite sure it’s going to pick up the pace next year and eventually go Top Five! Just being honest as a chart-watcher too! -__- -__- -__-

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        • Well I guess we shall see. “Cruise” took a pretty long trip to the top as well, but I think “Cruise” held a lot more appeal.

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      • I should add that the Top 25 doesn’t sound all that impressive on the surface.

        But the bulk of the chart above it is comprised of singles that have already become decisive hits. The only non-Top Twenty songs outpacing “Drink To That All Night” that are on the rise (and aren’t Eric Church’s “The Outsiders”) are Scotty McCreery’s “See You Tonight”, Dierks Bentley’s “I Hold On” and Dan + Shay’s “19 You + Me” (what a stupid song title)………..as well as the yet-to-be-released follow-up single for Florida Georgia Line (“This Is How We Roll”).

        It’s also pretty common to see singles take their sweet time scaling the charts as of late unless you’re a 800-pound commercial gorilla like Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean or Florida-Georgia Line:

        *

        1) Parmalee’s “Carolina” required 44 weeks to reach the top of the chart (and even went recurrent in the 30s before re-emerging).

        2) Joe Nichols’ “Sunny and 75″ needed 31 weeks to reach #1 despite having three previous #1s under his belt.

        3) Eric Paslay’s “Friday Night” just entered the Top Ten in its 33rd week on the chart.

        4) Joe Pardi is still rising just outside the Top Fifteen in his 38th week on the chart with “Up All Night”

        5) Despite successful sales, Scotty McCreery’s “See You Tonight” is at #23 in his 34th week, despite a healthy bullet.

        *

        Those are just some examples. More often than not, unless you’re among the select few of genre superstars, it takes forever for your single to go beyond merely picking up adds to translating to medium rotation and higher.

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        • You are correct that there are really two tracks on the chart nowadays. The fast track for a select few and the slow road for most others but I still don’t think this will be a top ten hit. Niemann’s last few singles have been trending downward chart wise and he seems to be completely free of any buzz. This song may very well slowly drift upward near the top 20 for the next couple months before peaking as quite a few songs seem to do.

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          • I’m well aware Niemann struggled with his sophomore album “Free The Music”.

            But tell what you just said to Gary Allan: who had a string of low-peaking singles of his own until abruptly scoring a colossal hit early this year with “Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)”. Or David Nail, whose follow-ups to his lead singles on multiple occasions performed pitifully and yet was able to shake off the dust and rebound.

            As much as I cringe that it will be with his current release, I am pretty confident at this point in time that “Drink To That All Night” is going to be a big comeback hit for Niemann.

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      • Anymore, songs move slowly enough on the charts that’s a relatively short time. Craig Campbell’s last song “Outta My Head” was released September 2012, peaked at 15 this past summer and didn’t fall out of the airplay charts until October. I don’t expect Niemann’s song to make the top 10, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it got in the 15-20 range.

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  • Honestly, and I’m surprised I didn’t figure this out earlier, But I figured out why the pretty boy, country music stars are popular, and I learned this from one of my friends kicking me in the knee when I insulted her precious Luke Bryan, I said, he uses auto-tune, Sings about trucks, Almost got arrested for a DUI, and has rap beats in her song, her response after kicking me in the knee, But he’s hot.

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  • While the song definitely deserves a place here based on principal, “Titty’s Beer” doesn’t really apply to your criteria. You have claimed since your initial rant about the song that it was produced and marketed as a single, yet I’ve seen utterly no evidence of such. Radio DJs and fellow fans that I would complain to had absolutely no idea that the song even existed. Even the duo’s site doesn’t list the song as anything but an album track: “I’ll Keep the Kids” is advertised as their newest single and it’s from late 2012. Heck, even Wikipedia doesn’t have the song listed as such. As you know, I’m a big fan of these guys and I didn’t even hear of this song until I was scrolling down their discography on Spotify one day to see if they had any songs I hadn’t heard (and this was a month or so after the “Mud Digger Vol. 4″ album that contained the song had been released). Other fans that I vented to about the song didn’t know what I was talking about, either. Tell me again how this song was released and pandered to the radio crowd? Just because it has a video on YouTube? I know more than a few album tracks with videos by artists that haven’t been released as singles.

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    • Seriously, Trigger, I’d like to know where you got the idea that it was intended as a radio single from? Call me ignorant, but no one else I know appears to be able to tell.

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      • Honestly man, I think you’re making too much of this. So it wasn’t a single. Whatever. I really don’t have any conclusive intel one way or another if it was a single or not, and have much bigger fish to fry than trying to find out. It still was a stupid song that I felt needed to be roasted and included on this list, so I did. It was a song Montgomery Gentry felt worthy of making a video for, so clearly they had a push behind it. Simply as that. If you disagree, I respect that, and understand your viewpoint.

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        • Whoa, whoa, let’s dial this back a bit. Making too much of what? I was honestly just asking a question because I wanted to do a little reading on the song’s origin and how it came to be in your line of fire. My comments are in no way an extension of my previous criticism from the rant about the song, I was really just being inquisitive. The only reason I asked twice is because I know that you’re busy and I wanted to make sure I got your attention with my question. I’M not sure whether it is a single or not, either, so I was wondering if you had access to some article that I wasn’t aware of. Believe me, I hate this song MUCH more than you do. Montgomery Gentry are two of my musical heroes and seeing them stoop to this level is sickening. Not disagreeing, only inquiring.

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  • Going by lyrics, Thats My Kind Of Night is the worst.
    Going by poppyness, Done by The Band Perry should be on the list,
    And going by how absolutley annoying the song is, All Over The Road should be at the top. That song made me hate the first month of my new job before i knew i could change the radio station.

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    • I don’t even consider “DONE” a pop song. To me, it’s a 90′s Alternative rock song that sounds woefully out of place on “country” radio. The guitar crunches remind me of the now-defunct Australian band Jet.

      I was starting to feel I was all alone regarding “All Over The Road”. ;) ;) ;)

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  • It’s sad that country radio played many of these songs and some so much they hit #1. If they would play more of the best and ban the worst songs then country music would be getting somewhere in the mainstream.

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  • Let us not forget Hunter Hayes “please let me be your little bitch” aka somebody’s heartache. This is why women laugh at men these days and guys don’t know how to take the bull by the horns and man up to ask a girl to dance!!

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  • All are terrible, worthy worst song of the year nominations. Unlike last year’s list, I unfortunately heard many of these songs over and over again. In 2013, I listened to the most country radio since 2008 (the year country radio died for me).
    The bar I work at struck up a deal this past year with the local country radio station to host Thursday Night Live! – a concert series that brought in the likes of Kacey Musgraves, Joel Crouse, and others. The station would broadcast all day from the bar exposing me to top 40 country.
    That deal has expired and I have retreated back to my Outlaw and Willie Sirius stations.
    Someone mentioned in the comments that “Cruise” was their guilty pleasure. I just mentioned to a friend that my “radio friendly guilty pleasure of 2013″ was Gretchen Wilson’s “Still Rollin’” A Seger/ Classic Rock rip-off that sounded great on the radio last spring for a short stint.

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  • This list is pure trash if that stupid ass Parking lot party song isn’t on it.

    Any mention of tall boys and whatever he says, 14 of em’s mine or whatever. Then at the end he says y’all gonna have ta tow me outta here…

    OMG douchebag of the century and it’s not on the list?

    Somethin ain’t right.

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  • Conversely, I’ve seen plenty of instances this year where disappointing sales figures resulted in abbreviated chart runs, even among established acts, including:

    *

    1) Lady Antebellum’s “Goodbye Town” peaked at #11 despite following a Platinum-certified #1 hit that also notably received no crossover airplay (the song peaked at a lowly #22 on the mongrel chart)

    2) Kenny Chesney’s “When I See This Bar” peaked at #14 despite following a Top Three lead single (“Pirate Flag”). The song peaked at #25 on the mongrel chart.

    3) Charlie Worsham’s “Could It Be” settled for a #13 peak, with poor sales working against it (it peaked at #28 on the mongrel chart).

    4) There was a notable eleven-position spread between both singles from Toby Keith this year (“Hope On The Rocks”, “Drinks After Work”) on the Hot Country Airplay and mongrel charts, surely explaining their disappointing runs,

    5) Gary Allan’s “Pieces” peaked at #18 on the radio, but #29 on the mongrel chart.

    6) Dierks Bentley’s “Tip It On Back” peaked at #5 on the radio, but #16 on the mongrel chart.

    7) Dustin Lynch’s “She Cranks My Tractor” peaked at #16 on the radio, but #29 on the mongrel chart (yay, they got that one right! ;) )

    8) Brantley Gilbert’s “More Than Miles” peaked at #7 on the radio, but #21 on the mongrel chart.

    *

    See a pattern here?

    Whenever there’s a double-digit divide between an artist’s radio performance and composite performance, it adversely affects their radio run regardless of callout scores. It didn’t matter that both Gary Allan, Lady Antebellum and Dierks Bentley were following on the heels of #1 hits. Their follow-ups suffered because they weren’t selling and the labels felt inclined to pull the plug.

    There are a few notable outliers: Brad Paisley’s “Southern Comfort Zone”, the Zac Brown Band’s “Jump Right In” and Taylor Swift’s “Begin Again” most tellingly. All three of these artists are established A-list artists who, because of their name recognition and popularity, were able to push their singles to the Top Three. Yet, their mediocre-to-poor sales performances probably cost all three #1 hits off of their respective efforts. Same can also be said for second-tier releases like Justin Moore’s “Point At You” (#2 airplay, #10 mongrel) and Kip Moore’s “Hey Pretty Girl” (#2 airplay, #8 mongrel).

    *

    So far, “Drink To That All Night” has EQUAL peak positions on the airplay and mongrel charts. That suggests it’s of good health and is unlikely to stall anytime soon (unfortunately)

       1 likes

    • (gag) Taylor Swift’s “Begin Again” actually had a really nice video made for it. It directly appealed to her audience and it was double released. One thing most people don’t see with Taylor Swift is that globally (vomit) she makes an appearance at almost every single award show that exits (unless it’s a country music award show not based in the US). She’s got Oprah syndrome and had a bad case of Sansa Stark syndrome.

      Here’s an interesting conversation though (“pull the plug”). Record Labels are really nothing more than investment bankers with contact lists and dedicated reps. I’ve always been a bit fuzzy on exactly how much power they have. Someone like Taylor Swift runs her own management company, but she’s still with a record label (no idea what her contract looks like of course). I’ve always been curious what a major star like Taylor Swift thinks they need from a record label that they can’t provide for themselves. She has (as far as I know) well over 1/2 a billion dollars in the bank right now. Exactly what can’t people like Taylor Swift (or others with serious money) not do for themselves or don’t want to do for themselves?

      Or more to the point, the artists you listed all have the money to invest in PR and it shouldn’t matter a record label “pulls the plug” unless they don’t want to make an investment in promotion that will mostly only benefit the record label profit wise.

      Is it even possible to get anywhere with corporate country radio unless you’re with a record label which is just a store front for one of the three music corporations? What exactly is keeping record labels in power with acts that have enough money not to really need them?

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      • “unless they don’t want to make an investment in promotion that will mostly only benefit the record label profit wise”

        This is exactly right. The artists have calculated that paying out of their own pocket for promotion would be a net loss, as most of the revenue from the album sales would go to the label shareholders and executives.

        “Is it even possible to get anywhere with corporate country radio unless you’re with a record label which is just a store front for one of the three music corporations?”

        This is the only reason why the major labels have any power. Fortunately, this label-radio stranglehold over music will fade as online music streaming gains popularity. Of all the trends in music, THIS is what I am most excited about.

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  • I enjoyed reading the worst of 2013 list. Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, and Luke Bryan are all represented! And these three were also nominees for Entertainer of the Year in last November’s CMA Awards!!! It’s very telling where country music is headed!

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  • This is one of the rare occasions when I am truly happy that these videos “are not available” in Germany.

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  • From the depths of my Ameripolitan heart I still think Blake Shelton takes the cake and is all too familiar with the boys ‘Round Here. Sad to “hear” Joe Diffie sold out. Great Post, Great “LIST” Triggerman! tHANKS for reminding me why I don’t listen to country radio.

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  • Holy crap, I just listened to all of those back to back. Apparently I like torturing myself. I mainly listen to internet radio where I have more control over who I listen to. I was blissfully unaware of these songs until now. But wanted to be in on the conversation and figured I couldn’t comment on a song I haven’t listened to. I do have a few comments to make after that.

    1. What’s with all the trucks? Is it a badge of honor or something? I would be a whole lot more impressed if they were riding horses or hell even lawn mowers.

    2. If you are over 30 and have more in common with the spring breakers in Cancun then the rest of your peers, maybe you should look at your life. It’s okay to grow up some and put away the beer bong. When did it became a good thing to be a man-child? I thought that was something to avoid not glorify.

    3. I had never even heard of Florida Georgia Line till now, but those dudes creeped me out. Seriously if I’m going for a swim and some perverts are watching me from their truck like that, the last thing I’d ever do is get in.

    4. That Tyler Farr guy. How disturbing to open your door at night and see a group of men on your lawn with your angry ex. Especially since her house was in the middle of nowhere, if she called the cops it would take them a while to get there. Who toilet papers a house when their over 18? Where I live if you trespass on someone’s property like that you’d be looking down a gun barrel.

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  • you guys all suck ass

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  • Talk about a shit sandwich… this list is a Dagwood! Extra dipshit points to “Redneck Crazy” for featuring Duck Dynasty bullshit.

    However terrible “1994″ is (and it’s horrible as all get-out), I’d like to thank that video’s casting agents for whoever that redheaded dancer is… yowza!

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  • Thought the comment ’bout the 700 Lb gorilla in the room concerning Luke Bryan was very funny.

    Then, I was showing my wife a couple of these videos. She kept asking if we could watch “That’s my kinda night”, again.

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  • Yeah, all pretty awful. I don’t know some of these tracks and just 30 seconds or so was enough to make me think you’re right, but that “Redneck Crazy” is really unsettling. I apologies if I end up paraphrasing Trig’s rant here but how the fuff can a song about someone stalking a former girlfriend be deemed as being acceptable? Scary …. very scary!!

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  • Wow. I had never heard any of these songs before. I can hardly blame the half-wits with good hair who’d rather be on stage than greeting shoppers at Wal-Mart, but how do their songwriters sleep at night? I’m inclined to believe the theory that 1994 was composed as a perverse joke. Also, I had no idea there was that much autotune and men wearing child-size t-shirts in mainstream country. I can only infer the existence of man-girdles. The chafing must be a real problem on their delicate skin.

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  • I hate where the mainstream is going. I stopped listening to country radio a long time ago. All I listen to is songs on my iPod and 99.9% is Red Dirt music like Casey Donahew Band. That’s the good stuff. It’s funny to think that my ex loves all those songs making this list…I had a damn good reason to break up with her.

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  • As much as I hate McGraw, Swift, and post Love, Pain, and the Whole Crazy Thing Keith Urban (seriously, why did he drop the great guitar driven outros to songs? Where’s the crazy guitar? It made him unique), Highway Don’t Care is an absolute juggernaut of a song and if it had been in the right hands, we would have loved it. It was certainly better than anything the three artists involved had released in quite some time.

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  • Right on target, this crap sucks. We all know it. If you disagree I think you are visiting our website by mistake. The pop 20 is playing on PMT right now and you might be missing the latest from your heroes Florida Georgia line or Taylor Swift. Be careful while running for the remote you don’t trip over last months Justin Bieber cd. Please, enjoy your visit but don’t forget to leave.

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  • If we’re judging songs just on how musically horrible they are, rather than what they represent (whatever that may mean), I don’t see how Tim McGraw’s “Southern Girl” can miss this list. Although the awful vocoder bit in the chorus would seem to represent something rather sinister as well.

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  • And how long can we continue to turn a blind eye to Blake’s mawkish, maudlin, tuneless, dulling balladeering like Mine Would Be You? Worse than Boys Round Here in my book.

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