The fact that “Vice” has now gone platinum is not entirely surprising as a lead single from a mainstream country star, but what is surprising is the song never cracked the Top 10 on country radio during its ascent. “Vice” stalled out at #11 before being moved to recurrent.
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.
But this is the thing about Aaron Lewis and his anti-country stance: Normally this type of thing would solicit high praise from an outlet like Saving Country Music. And hey, I will give him credit for taking a stand. But Aaron Lewis, a dyed-in-the-wool rock gone country guy, is not the one to be delivering this message, I’m sorry.
Usually such a list is only reserved for the worst songs at the halfway pole of a given year, but 2016 has been especially lush with heartbreakily bad efforts, including from some artists who tend to be on the right side of the good music/ bad music divide. So before we really take the gloves off, let’s reflect back on 2016 biggest disappointments in the album category.
The lead single to Chase Rice’s new record is done, finished, finito, dead, and game over according to radio insiders. And the results do not paint a very pretty picture at all for the performer. After a big promotional push by Rice’s label Columbia Nashville, all that his song “Whisper” could muster on the radio charts was a whimper before limping off into the night virtually unnoticed.
On Monday, the official lineup for the 2016 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was “announced” by astronaut Scott Kelly from the International Space Station. Perhaps the aeronautical histrionics were a bid to distract everyone back on Earth from the fact that this year’s lineup is the most mundane, most mainstream-centric and generic pop tart Kellogg’s cereal assemblage of plastic talent ever accrued on this beautiful blue planet.
Abbi Walker, Billy Currington, Bri Bagwell, Cole Swindell, Cooper Wade, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston Rodeo, Jamie Richards, Jason James, JB and the Moonshine Band, Josh Ward, Justin van Sant, Little Big Town, Max Stalling, MIke and the Moonpies, Miranda Lambert, Randy Rogers, Sam Riggs, The Band Perry, Trent Willmon, Wade Bowen, Zane Williams
As we transition into 2016, you can anticipate the masters of Bro-Country filing into line to prove they have gravitas in the face of dwindling support for their party hardy dreck falling so quickly out of favor from the sheer frequency such narrow themes have cast over the last couple of years. Prove you can be an artist of substance, or you may not be long for this world.
And so continued on the unrelenting march of terrible songs in 2015. This year included some especially diabolical turns that puts the last 12 months in contention for the worst run for songs in country music history. Of course the usual suspects appear on the rap sheet like Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, and Sam Hunt. But 2015 ushered in the worst year for watching previously heralded artists turning their coats from blue to red.
Alabama, Bret Michaels, Brett Eldredge, Cole Swindell, Danielle Bradbery, Eli Young Band, Eric Paslay, Gary Allan, Granger Smith, Jennifer Nettles, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Randy Houser, Sam Hunt, Scotty McCreery, The Band Perry, Thomas Rhett, Ucle Ezra Ray, Zac Brown Band
Look, Chris Young has a tremendous head of hair, seems like a super swell guy, and heretofore has never done anything to run afoul of Saving Country Music. But man, listening to this record was like the most non-listening experience ever. That’s about the only way I know how to put it. It’s not that this album is bad necessarily, or wrong. Those things would still be senses one feels and would raise the pulse.
If you haven’t heard of Kane Brown, you’re about to, whether you like it or not. You can pride yourself in being one of those country music fans impervious to the buzz machine the industry uses to attempt to reel you in. But Kane Brown is coming, and he will be ubiquitous . . . unless his entire career implodes on itself.
Saving Country Music contacted the Green Bay Police Department and confirmed 22 arrests were made during the stadium show, but any more specific information on arrests, ejections, or medical responses was not immediately available. However one enterprising local reporter, Doug Schneider of the Green Bay Press Gazette decided to listen in to the police scanner during the concert and Tweet what he heard.
If you’re going to release a country music song that is likely to completely alienate the core of your fan base and cut against the grain of all of the long-standing principles of your career, it better be commercially successful. Otherwise you’ve angered the constituency that helped create your success in the first place, and you haven’t even added any new members to your fandom.
A collective rolling of eyes ensued when the ACM’s announced earlier this month they would pair some of today’s country music spares with legends from the past as part of their “Party For a Cause” concert centered around the ACM’s 50th Anniversary. Punctuating the ridiculousness of the duet roster was the unfortunate marriage of country legend Dwight Yoakam and country/EDM star Sam Hunt.
The calamitous and disturbing plan of the Academy of Country Music to pair up some of country music’s worst stars of today with country music heroes of the past just keeps getting worse. Though a few of the collaboration ideas seem kind of cool, some of them are downright sinister to the hearts of traditional country fans who revere the past greats, and revile the new artists who are stomping on the traditions of the genre.
Sorry sweetheart, but you’re not even worth a shot of Evan Williams passed off to frat boy Cole Swindell as Bushmills because he’s too tanked to tell the difference. That’s the inspiring, forward-thinking message of merch guy turned misogynist Cole Swindell’s shitty new single that threatens to top the country music charts.
“Bro-Country”—the much-maligned sub-genre of country music that is defined most purely by acts such as Florida Georgia Line, Chase Rice, Cole Swindell, and a host of others, was recently featured on the Cambridge Dictionary’s “New Words” blog as a neologism, or newly-coined word. And it couldn’t come at a better time since many of Bro-Country’s perpetrators profess ignorance at the word’s meaning.
The increasingly irrelevant Academy of Country Music Awards, or ACM’s, released their annual earache of ignoble pseudo-country performers known as the semi-final “New Artist” nominees this Monday, that spellbind any beholder with an even elementary understanding of the definitions of “New” and “Artist” as to how such names were populated.
We complain all the time about how today’s popular country music pretty much all sounds the same, but is this really true from a technical standpoint? That is what one enterprising Audiophile and songwriter set out to illustrate by making a mashup of some of Bro-Country’s biggest singles over the last couple of years in a pretty mind-blowing and revealing video.
The downward spiral for mainstream country music continues as evidenced by the following list of some of the most horrible offerings of 2014. With how terrible these selections are, you could consider this not only the worst songs of 2014, but arguably a list of the majority of the worst songs in the history of country music. And with such a crowded field, only the worst of the worst were selected.
Beachin, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bottoms Up, Brantley Gilbert, Burnin' It Down, Chase Rice, Chillin' It, Cole Swindell, Donkey, Florida Georgia Line, Girl In Your Truck Song, Jake Owen, Jason Aldean, Jerrod Niemann, Leave The Night On, Lookin For That Girl, Luke Bryan, Maggie Rose, Sam Hunt, Sun Daze, This Is How We Roll, Tim McGraw, Worst songs 2014
Here’s to watching what you wish for. For a while we’ve been clamoring for these Bro-Country types to put a little story in their songs instead of simply listing off the stuff they see as they sit on their tailgate with their iPhone notepad pulled up trying to write a song. Unfortunately those results regularly turn out to be worse than the latter.