The Worst Country Songs of 2017 So Far


Warning: Language

Oh man are these some stinkers. Not only does an elite and highly-trained group of mainstream country artists seem to be like devoted experts at defining new lows for the genre, in 2017 the amount of non-country-ness of some of these “country” songs is so off the charts, it’s like they’re purposely challenging each other to see how NOT country they can be.

So let’s take the gloves off and get small, and show these losers we ain’t gonna take it lying down.

Sam Hunt – “Body Like a Backroad”

To release a song called “Body Like a Backroad” in the year of our Lord 2017, after we suffered through five years of embarrassment as a genre at the hands of the Bro-Country scourge, it goes so far beyond aggressively cliché, it’s just downright grotesque. The level of objectification and misogyny in this song would make the quarter-century dead corpse of Conway Twitty writhe as if it was in an epileptic fit. Even Florida Georgia Line isn’t stupid enough to release a song like this, and they still have to recite the story of the rabbit going down the hole to get their fucking shoes tied every morning.

“Body Like a Backroad,” despite the Herculean efforts of Sam Hunt’s back catalog of audio abominations, somehow, inexplicably, sets a new low for this country music interloping pop star who would fuck off the entire 90 year history of country music if it meant getting a hit in a format where he not only doesn’t belong, but defines the absolute antithesis of—the perfect antonym to—and only continues to hang around because he knows he would get his ass handed to him if he tried his hand in the pop format with this vomitous dreck.

I want to see all you Sam Hunt apologists—you know who you are; the ones that work at entertainment outlets that only know country music from the outside looking in and say about Sam Hunt, “Gee I didn’t know I liked country music until I heard him,”—come and defend this abortion. It’s been flabbergasting heretofore to see critics give Sam Hunt a pass simply because he’s a guilty pleasure for them, and turn songs about getting a hand job in the back of a downtown taxi into some important, forthright expression of our time that deftly blends modern themes with small town sensibilities. Sam Hunt is Mad Lib lyrics overlaying shitty electronic beats thrown together in 30 minutes. And his haircuts suck. (read more)

Keith Urban – “The Fighter”

If there was any other country music travesty more swept under the rug in 2016 than Zac Brown getting caught in a hotel room with hookers and blow it would be the release of Keith Urban’s latest album, Ripcord. My goodness is this thing a dog, and how it became responsible for three #1 singles, a #2 single, and was nominated for Best Country Album by the Grammy Awards is all the evidence you should need that the entire country music radio system is completely rigged.

Keith Urban has now released the fifth single from Ripcord—a duet with Carrie Underwood called “The Fighter,” and even taking into consideration the monstrosities from pop stars calling themselves country because they’d get their asses handed to them in pop like Sam Hunt and Chris Lane, “The Fighter” very well may be the most non-country “country” song released as a single in the history of the genre. It’s at least close enough that I feel confident to puff my chest out and challenge anyone to offer an alternative to this ultra-synth, completely inorganic, Macbook-composed ode to the Metrosexual lifestyle more urbanized than a perfectly-waxed gonad glistening with Ax Body Spray in the waterfall of EDM light pulsations. (read more)

Chris Janson – “Fix A Drink”

You want to talk about musical “evolution”? This song is like some sort of reverse engineered audio trigger formulated by a comic book archenemy to cause mankind to swing a U-turn in the evolutionary process where all people want to do is purchase full size trucks, hang out near bodies of water, and drink themselves into a stupor so that an evil regime can waltz right into the places of power and seize ultimate control due to the widespread lethargy and indifference throughout society. With songs like this being blasted out to the teeming masses, soon the social order in society will be determined by who picks ticks off each other’s backs, and we’ll be slinging our own poo at each other to settle differences.

“Fix A Drink” isn’t a delicately-crafted beverage made with only the finest ingredients by a season mixologist using feel and instinct to make signature and customized liquid magic, it’s jiggered-by-the-book watered-down swill served up by an Applebee’s fry cook covering the bar’s swing shift because the real bartender had the shits. Funny thing is, Chris Janson’s been out there for the last year or so trying to sell records by pulling at people’s heartstrings about his hard fought sobriety. He was an inspiration to people for overcoming obscurity as a struggling songwriter and putting his family first. Now all of a sudden he’s the drunk-in-chief personally pushing the sauce because that’s what the record label wants. What a piece of shit move. Forget authenticity arguments, this guy is a downright sleaze. (read more)

The Chainsmokers w/ Florida Georgia Line – “Last Day Alive”

The only thing perfect about this song is the title, “Last Day Alive.” Because pairing these two titular duos of our time together falls only inches short of looking up in the beautiful American sky one bright morning only to see an unholy, vicious crag form for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to come trundling through to usher in the absolute annihilation of every piece of living matter on the planet via the waves of pestilence which are the voices of Florida Georgia Line so mercilessly Auto-tuned to a crisp, and the fuckstick wastes of oxygen that are the Chainsmokers standing behind a podium pushing buttons on computers under the artifice of making “music” like Lucifer’s angels architecting of the final eradication of all mankind.

Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line recently called this collaboration “a God thing.” I think a Satan thing is perhaps more appropriate. This Apocalyptic pairing for “Last Day Alive” inspires such an apoplectic response, you go from fearing your own death while in its audience, to praying for death to alleviate the suffering it bestows. (read more)

David Allan Coe w/ The Moonshine Bandits – “Take This Job & Shove It (remix)”

Look, I am an unapologetic David Allan Coe fan. I don’t care that his list of personal flaws is as long and flowing as the fake blonde locks adorning his otherwise prune shriveled head. Yes, David Allan Coe’s got problems. He doesn’t have a closet of skeletons, he’s got a living room full of them riding circles around him on those little Shriner motorcycles while he does rows of Jack shots off a residue and paraphernalia-cluttered coffee table. David Allan Coe is bat shit crazy and a certified country music wing nut if there every was one. But you can put his legacy of creative output up against 90% of the rest of country artists and it’ll kick their asses.

Nonetheless, I got no use for David Allan Coe with the country rap fucknards of the Moonshine Bandits prancing around him like a pink stuffed elephant they just won at the meth carnival for beating off a donkey, acting like Coe’s mere presence in any way legitimizes their imbecilic racket.

The only thing on God’s creation that is worse than country rap is 3rd tier country rap like the version The Moonshine Bandits peddle. When Kid Rock was sticking his tongue up Coe’s ass back in the 90’s, at least he was popular enough where it resulted in some otherwise culture-deprived hellions getting wise to real country music. The Moonshine Bandits ain’t no RUN DMC, and David Allan Coe ain’t no Aerosmith. If Coe had all his faculties about him circa 1974, he’d know The Moonshine Bandits got a big bag of nothing and would drive his Harley Davidson Panhead right up their asses and hard cuss anyone who tried to stop him. (read more)

Canaan Smith – “Like You That Way”

Canaan Smith, Cole Swindell, Chase Bryant, Chase Rice, Chris Lane, who are these clowns? It’s like one douchebag with many faces. Their songs, their styles, their personalities are indistinguishable and interchangeable. They might as well be the same person. Nashville’s overcrowded enough these days. Just pick one of these guys and release all the music through them. Nobody would recognize the difference and it would free up a few more parking spaces downtown. Seriously.

Whatever a guy like “Canaan Smith” releases, you know it’s going to be a hit because he’s a young male signed to a major label. It doesn’t even matter what the song is. It’s preordained by the well-ordered Music Row system to make sure every major label remains flush with cabbage and in equal and ample portions. Canaan Smith made his name with a song called “Love You Like That” that name drops Tom Petty. Now he’s looking to take the next step with a song called “Like You That Way” that name drops Miranda Lambert. “Love You Like That” to “Like You That Way.” They’re not even trying to hide anymore how bereft of ideas and formulaic they’ve become.

It’s just the same song, from the same basic person, about the same stuff. Canaan Smith just happens to be the vessel they’ve chosen on this particular round. It’s his turn down the conveyor belt. Rearrange the words a little bit, up the tempo maybe because it’s the summer and people like up tempo stuff in the summer, right? And boom, here’s a summer hit. Take it or leave it, but you’ll probably have to take it because radio will ram it down your throat for the next four months. (read more)

Thomas Rhett – “Craving You”

If for nothing else, give Thomas Rhett credit for this: He’s taken an incredibly average set of marginal skills and talent, and made himself into a bona fide arena-level superstar. That in itself takes a level of cunning that your ordinary citizen doesn’t posses. Music Row in Nashville has an implausible knack for making mediocrity seem exceptional. Thomas Rhett couldn’t make his way out of even the most early stages of auditions for something like The Voice, and would have been laughed out of every song publishing house on Music Row in the 80’s. He can’t dance, and he has the stage presence of a cinder block.

Just like the effect of even the strongest of drugs, soon a tolerance becomes embedded in the population, leaving them with little to no pleasure, but still “Craving” the same crap they know is unhealthy for them and causing other adverse side effects in their personal lives. It’s too late though, they’re just another sucker on the vine, not listening to the latest Thomas Rhett single because they want to, but because they have to, extracting little to no true personal enjoyment, while the industry turns a blind eye to how they’re poisoning the population because of the obscene profits they’re pulling from it. (read more)

Sam Hunt – “Drinkin’ Too Much”

This song was released by Sam Hunt on New Years Eve

I’d down two quarts of black-eyes peas in one sitting with not a trace of seasoning or even a biscuit for sopping to not have to listen to Sam Hunt’s dumbass sing talking ever again in this year or any other. Dammit if we didn’t cut loose of the bad dream that was 2016 just to get hit square in the face with the godawful reality that the mortal coil still harbors enough morons that believe that Sam Hunt has even a modicum of anything to do with country music so that his releasing of a new song means it slithers on to our radar, and like coming up on a bad, boozed-fueled New Years automobile accident, you can’t help but slow down and gawk, even though you’re immediately repelled by the gore and horror your poor senses invariably behold.

From the Mariah Carey college of electronic musical crutching and cultural stultification, Sam Hunt has released a New Years surprise in the form of a new song called “Drinkin’ Too Much.” I take that back, Mariah can actually fucking sing when she’s not mixing champagne with Xanax and her in-ear monitors are operating properly. All Sam Hunt can do is mumble the itinerary of metrosexual nights in Ebonic inflections recounting bouts of self-centered douchebaggery.

“Drinkin’ Too Much” is so bad, after listening to it a Hillary supporter isn’t even as daunted by the idea of suffering through four years of a Trump Administration. If you can make it through this monstrosity, anything is possible. We can do this people! “Drinkin’ Too Much” is so bad, perhaps it will inspire all the peoples of the earth to finally and forever renounce their tribalism and affiliations due to race, gender, religion, location, and social status, and work to banish Sam Hunt from popular culture finally and forever. We can’t agree on shit, but after listening to “Drinkin’ Too Much,” perhaps this is the tragedy that will finally awaken our shared humanity and common purpose to come together to alleviate the burden of ever finding this dude within our earshot in 2017 again, and forevermore into eternity. (read more)

Dishonorable Mention:

Dustin Lynch – “Small Town Boy” (read review)

Lady Antebellum – “You Look Good” (read review)

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