We took the time to celebrate some of the Best Songs Released in 2018, as well as some of the Best Albums, so now it’s time to place a clothespin firmly on our noses, slip on some elbow-length rubber gloves, and go digging through the cesspool that is radio country to dredge up the absolute worst offenses.
It might actually be the intangibles and industry tentacles extending from Walker Hayes and “You Broke Up with Me” that make the whole thing so sinister. This is not just the lead single from a Sam Hunt knockoff you’ve never heard of before.
Stupid list thing going around the innernets these days asking music folks to list off then bands they’ve seen live, but one is a lie. As a similar exercise to get your country music brain muscles firing and to test your true acumen on the genre, let’s see if you can navigate this difficult intellectual exercise.
Everywhere we turn, there are signs that the tide is turning in country music for the better. Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson are turning the tables on the awards shows, a new generation of traditionalists like William Michael Morgan and Margo Price are finding surprising traction. But it’s not all rosy.
Blake Shelton, Brantley Gilbert, Brett Young, Calre Dunn, Chase Rice, Chris Lane, Dallas Davidson, Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch, Florida Georgia Line, Jana Kramer, Jason Aldean, Jerrod Niemann, Lee Brice, Luke Bryan, Steven Tyler, Thomas Rhett
What would fall and hit the ground faster in the vacuum left where Chris Lane’s self-awareness is supposed to be, a dense pound of his excessive ego, or a pound of air from his vacuous cranium? The answer is “Fix”—an abhorrent effort to assemble any and all obvious and transparent pandering mechanisms known to pop music’s collective brain trust.
Every year we wonder if it can get any worse, and while there are positive signs for country music’s future all over the place, the bad stuff somehow continues to only get worse. The only saving grace is that many of the songs highlighted below have become commercial flops, whereas in previous years it would be a virtual Top 10 on the country charts.
For the last couple of years country fans have been questioning how chart managers for Billboard and other entities could listen to certain songs or performers and consider them country in the slightest. Yet here is a band making music that’s more country than it is anything else, and more country than most of what you hear on country radio, and Billboard is denying their admittance on the country charts.
For the first time ever, two high-powered country and rap acts will tour together, as fast-rising country duo Florida Georgia Line will be paired up with hip-hop artist Nelly in an upcoming summer tour of American Ballparks. The cross-genre pairing first happened when a remix of Florida Georgia Line’s smash hit “Cruise” featuring Nelly was released to radio in April of 2013.