Several years ago, Josh Schott started a weekly feature on the now-defunct Country Perspective blog that asked a simple question: Based on Billboard’s country airplay charts, just how good (or bad) is country radio at this very moment? In the spirit of the original feature, I decided to try my hand at evaluating the state of the radio myself.
The methodology is as follows: Each song that appears is assigned a score based on its review score. 0/10 songs get the minimum score (-5), 10/10 songs get the maximum (+5), and so on. The result (which can range from +250 to -250) gives you an idea of where things stand on the radio.
This week’s numbers are from the latest version of Country Aircheck, but I’m going to link to their archives since I never remember to update this from week to week. Without further ado, let’s crunch some numbers!
Best Song: “Miss Me More,” 9/10
Worst Song: “REDNECKER,” 2/10
Mode Score: +1 (15 songs)
- Kane Brown, “Good As You” (recurrent)
- Sheryl Crow ft. Stevie Nicks and Maren Morris, “Prove You Wrong” (dropped below #50)
- Morgan Wallen, “Whiskey Glasses” (down from #2 to #4)
- Kelsea Ballerini, “Miss Me More” (max-spin week is over)
- Cody Johnson, “On My Way To You” (down from #9 to #11)
- George Strait, “Every Little Honky Tonk Bar” (holds at #19, but takes a second straight 700+ point loss and remains bulletless)
In Real Trouble:
- Rascal Flatts, “Back To Life” (holds at #21, but gained only fifty-one spins and fourteen points)
- Jimmie Allen, “Make Me Want To” (holds at #39, but lost spins and gained only sixty-six points)
- Brad Paisley, “My Miracle” (up from #42 to #41, but gained only six spins and lost points)
In Some Trouble:
- Florida Georgia Line, “Talk You Out Of It” (down from #15 to #16 despite a decent point week, but also got run over by Moore and Bryan)
- Carly Pearce, “Closer To You” (down from #24 to #25, gained only twnety-seven spins and 143 points, as has looked shaky for a few weeks now)
- Tenille Townes, “Somebody’s Daughter” (down from #27 to #29, gained only sixty-two spins and 148 points, and seems to be in the same boat as Pearce)
- Brothers Osborne, “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)” (up from #36 to #35, but gained only six spins and lost points)
- Dylan Scott, “Nothing To Do Town” (up from #40 to #38, but gained only thirty-one spins and seventy-three points)
- Zac Brown Band, “Someone I Used To Know” (up from #41 to #39, but gained only twenty-five spins and lost points)
- Dustin Lynch, “Ridin’ Roads” (up from #44 to #42, but gained only forty-five spins and seventy points)
- Travis Denning, “After A Few” (up from #45 to #43, but barely holds its bullet by gaining ten spins and breaking even on points)
- Caroline Jones, “Chasin’ Me” (down from #49 to #50, loses its bullet)
In No Trouble At All:
- Ryan Hurd, “To A T” (up from #47 to #40 with double-digit adds
- Eric Church, “Some Of It” (up from #10 to #6)
Is Luke Combs:
- Luke Combs, “Beer Never Broke My Heart” (up from #11 to #9)
Bubbling Under 50:
On The Way:
- Logan Mize, “Better Off Gone” (6/10)
- Walker Hayes, “Don’t Let Her” (7/10)
- Old Dominion, “One Man Band” (6/10)
Overall Thoughts: Is it just me, or does it feel like country radio is playing things really safe right now?
The chaos of the past two weeks has finally calmed down, but I’m hearing a rise in songs that generate a “eh, they’re not bad, but they’re not really good either” reaction. (Most of these fall into the “lightweight love lost/found” category, from Eldredge at #1 to Jones at #50.) It doesn’t seem like there’s a lot that moves the needle in either direction, a trend that will likely get worse as Ballerini (good) and Shelton (yuck) complete their single cycles.
Technically there’s a question over who will grab the #1 slot this week (Rhett’s team called this week’s max push a while ago), but his gains are so massive that Brice will likely get stuck at #2 for another week (he may get a Billboard #1, though). Record companies have the clout and resources to smooth these sorts of disputes over, so I expect a split #1 week where Brice and Rhett share the top honors.
So what do you think? Are the numbers better or worse than you expected? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!