As an addendum to Saving Country Music’s Worst Songs list, 2015 necessitates we also single out some of the worst albums released in 2015. Take note that in most years, such a list is not necessary. Not that there aren’t bad albums, but even when you’re speaking about country music’s worst offenders, many actually release fairly decent songs on their albums. But 2015 was a different case.
Eli Young Band
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
It’s all R&B. Like, all of it. If it’s American and mainstream, chances are it’s better categorized as R&B than anything else. It doesn’t matter what genre of music you’re talking about. Of course R&B sounds like R&B, but so does hip-hop these days. Modern rock? Yeah, it’s pretty much just R&B. Country music? That may be the most convincing case.
Adele, Alabama Shakes, Brett Eldredge, Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Coldplay, Country Music Gold, Eli Young Band, Gary Allan, Jason Aldean, Justin Timberlake, Leon Bridges, Luke Bryan, mono-genre, Old Dominion, Prophets and Outlaws, Sam Hunt, The Weeknd, Thomas Rhett
There’s something about being a Texan that makes you regard what happens in Texas as being the most important thing in the world. It’s the center of the universe, so to speak. For Texans at least. So when Josh Abbott felt the need to pronounce his infidelity to the world in February of 2014, the little hamlets that harbor the support network for Texas music were sent reeling.
The color yellow was picked to be the primary backdrop for the relaunch. The image of a diamond shaped like a heart was selected as a logo (even though that’s not the way a true heart-shaped diamond is cut), and everyone had visions of a blockbuster #1 single and sold out arena tours dancing in their heads. . . . and since then, “Live Forever” has flopped.
Out with the old and in with the new. You thought Bro-Country was bad? Well just wait until you hear what country music has in store for you now. White washing away anything and everything to do with country, here comes a completely new style that unlike Bro-Country, isn’t being segregated to a dedicated segment […]
I believe it was the Buddha who once said “life is suffering.” And though you would think mainstream country artists who make their living playing music to massive audiences, they have problems too apparently, and recently the biggest one appears to be having to play music that fits within the confines of the country music genre. Oh, the horror.
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.
With all the hullabaloo surrounding recent radio executive comments about the importance of radio in validating a country artist’s career, Will Hoge stands as a shining star example about how you can carve out a career in music doing it independently. Despite a year-and-a-half stint with Atlantic Records, Hoge has developed a significant following of fans and produced ten albums over the last two decades.
In 2015, the names and music residing at the top of Billboard’s respective genre charts seems topsy-turvy and misguided. While Sam Hunt and his music that resembles next to nothing country is at the top of the country charts, an artist like Brandi Carlile who does uphold some of those country standards has the top album in rock. A very serious case can be made that those two artists should be switched.
Here we go country music fans, it’s time to usher in the new Metro-Politan era of poorly-conceived country music hyper-trends, so turn your dirt roads and tailgates in for club hookups and cocaine mirrors because it’s Katy bar the door, here come the dance club “country” songs at you hard and fast. Bro-Country who? That was so 2014.
Ahead of this self-titled release, the buzz was immense. There was a sense this wasn’t going to be simply another Wade Bowen album—that his experiences of the last few years helped Wade see himself for who he really is, instead of who everyone else wants him to be. Two songs in, and this album already delivers on any promises and expectations preceding it.
Aaron Watson, Brandy Clark, Cody Canada, Eli Young Band, Jason Eady, Josh Abbot Band, Randy Rogers, Randy Rogers Band, Rodney Clawson, Sarah Buxton, Sean McConnell, Shane McAnally, Travis Meadows, Vince Gill, Wade Bowen, Waylon Jennings, Will Hoge, Willie Nelson
This isn’t just your average album release, or even your average album release from Lee Ann Womack. This one has a little more special meaning for Womack since it is her first release without a major label, and a release that helps rate of progress for both women and traditional country artists looking to revitalize their place to a wider audience.
Brennen Leigh, Bruce Robison, Chris Knight, Eli Young Band, Emmylou Harris, Frank Liddell, Hayes Carll, Julie Miller, Lee Ann Womack, Mando Saenz, Miranda Lambert, Nash Icons, Review, Sugar Hill Records, The Way I'm Livin'
Well apparently Jake Owen isn’t just a man of talk, he’s a man of action, and one country artist from Arizona is set to be the beneficiary of Owen’s good nature, and desire to see more substance in the format. Tony Martinez is a well-seasoned traditional country artist and touring sideman for multiple projects, and by a strange twist of fate, will be playing on Jake Owen’s Days of Gold arena tour.
Arizona, Dana Armstrong, Days Of Gold Tour, Eli Young Band, Hank Williams III, Hank3, Jake Owen, Jerry Reed, JP Harris & The Tough Choices, Junction 10, Ray Lawrence Jr., Robert Perez, The Bluegrass Inn, The Cadillac Three, Tony Martinez, Valley Fever, Waylon Jennings
Glam metal band Mötley Crüe confided in the world today that they are calling it quits after three decades. But buried in the litany of announcements and side stories about the Mötley Crüe retirement was a little nugget of info with a country music angle. Apparently the band has signed a contract with Scott Borchetta and Big Machine Records to produce a country-themed Mötley Crüe tribute album.
Hard to pigeonhole, and certainly not what one would traditionally consider mainstream country music, their ability to appeal to mainstream fans, Southern rock fans, and even some independent and underground fans with a sound that despite whatever lack of depth is hard to not label as authentic and gritty, The Cadillac Three could be a band who finds themselves at the nexus of of the “bro-country” phenomenon, and its backlash.
American Bang, Bang Bang Bang, Ben Brown, Big Machine Records, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Eli Young Band, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen, Jaren Johnston, Keith Urban, Kelby Ray, Llama, MIke Eli, Neil Mason, Rhett Akins, Scott Borchetta, The Cadillac Black, The Cadillac Three, The South, Tim McGraw
Today it was announced that Austin, TX would be the site for iHeartRadio’s first ever country music festival, transpiring at Austin’s Frank Erwin Center on March 29th, with a list of top tier headliner talent. There is so much that is ill-conceived about this, I’m not sure where to start. Throwing a corporate country event in Austin, especially at that time of the year will be about as popular in Austin as running over a bicyclist in your Hummer.
Austin, Bobby Bones, Carrie Underwood, Chris Young, Clear Channel, Dustin Lynch, Dwight Yoakam, Eli Young Band, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, iHeartRadio Country Festival, Jake Owen, Jason Aldean, Josh Turner, Lady Antebellum, Lee Brice, Loretta Lynn, Luke Bryan, Rodeo Austin, Scotty McCreery, South by Southwest, SXSW, Thompson Square, Willie Nelson
Will Hoge in so many ways is sitting in the enviable catbird seat of music crossroads right now. As country music continuously favors a more rock than country sound, Will Hoge, without having to make any stretches or augmentations of his sonic palette, finds himself in the sweet spot of the relevancy arch, reaping the rewards of a renewed interest in a style he’s been perfecting in one capacity or another since the mid-90’s.
For years Saving Country Music has been preaching that the result of these idiotic, bellicose laundry list country songs perpetuated by country music’s belligerent males would result in a trash culture full of fighting and general disrespect for everything but materialism and the consumer culture. This was on full display this Saturday (June, 22) when Kenny Chesney’s “No Shoe’s Nation Tour” stopped in Pittsburgh.
There’s been much talk so far this year about how the women of country are outpacing the men when it comes to the quality of music, we’ve talked about possible reasons why that is. But we haven’t talked about some of the men that if simply given a chance, could shoot an immediate injection of substance into the country music format. They just need similar chances to their female counterparts.
Austin Lucas, Corb Lund, Dirty River Boys, Dwight Yoakam, Eli Young Band, Evan Felker, Garth Brooks, Hayes Carll, Hellbound Glory, Jason Boland, John Fullbright, Lady Antebellum, Leroy Virgil, Mumford & Sons, Sturgill Simpson, The Lumineers, Turnpike Troubadours, Whitey Morgan, Will Hoge
When Billboard announced new rules on how the songs on their “Hot 100” country chart would be tabulated, it caused a tizzy amongst folks who pay attention to these sorts of things. But the average Joe fans out there may have a little trouble understanding why the issue is something they should care about, and how it could negatively effect the music they enjoy.
Alan Jackson, Babel, Big Machine Records, Billboard, Brantley Gilbert, Charts, Country Charts, Eli Young Band, George Strait, Jason Aldean, Justin Moore, Kanye West, Mumford and Sons, new rules, Red, Rihanna, Scott Borchetta, Taylor Swift, Toby Keith, Will Hoge
I first used the phrase “Country Music Antichrist” in reference to Big Machine Records CEO Scott Borchetta about 2 1/2 years ago. I’d like to hold my chin high and say I was being prophetic, but in truth at the time I just thought it was a nasty way to label the guy primarily responsible for the rise of Taylor Swift. Little did I know Borchetta would become one of the most powerful men in all of music.
Big Machine Records, Brantley Gilbert, Clear Channel, Eli Young Band, Jack Ingram, Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts, RCA, Reba McEntire, Republic Nashville, Scott Borchetta, Sunny Sweeny, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, The Mavericks, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Valory Music Group