The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: July 7, 2019

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!

Song Score
1. Blake Shelton, “God’s Country” -2 (3/10)
2. Eric Church, “Some Of It” +2 (7/10)
3. Lee Brice, “Rumor” (5/10)
4. Luke Combs, “Beer Never Broke My Heart” +1 (6/10)
5. Maren Morris, “GIRL” +1 (6/10)
6. Jason Aldean, “Rearview Town” +2 (7/10)
7. Chris Young, “Raised On Country” 0 (5/10)
8. Dan + Shay, “All To Myself” -1 (4/10)
9. Justin Moore, “The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home” +1 (6/10)
10. Luke Bryan, “Knockin’ Boots” (5/10)
11. Florida Georgia Line, “Talk You Out Of It” -1 (4/10)
12. Brantley Gilbert & Lindsay Ell, “What Happens In A Small Town” +1 (6/10)
13. Runaway June, “Buy My Own Drinks” +2 (7/10)
14. Cole Swindell, “Love You Too Late” +2 (7/10)
15. Carrie Underwood, “Southbound” 0 (5/10)
16. Thomas Rhett, “Look What God Gave Her” +1 (6/10)
17. Keith Urban, “We Were” 0 (5/10)
18. Chris Lane, “I Don’t Know About You” -2 (3/10)
19. Tim McGraw, “Thought About You” 0 (5/10)
20. Rascal Flatts, “Back To Life” +1 (6/10)
21. Russell Dickerson, “Every Little Thing” +2 (7/10)
22. Dierks Bentley, “Living” +2 (7/10)
23. Morgan Evans, “Day Drunk” -1 (4/10)
24. Carly Pearce, “Closer To You” 0 (5/10)
25. Matt Stell, “Prayed For You” 0 (5/10)
26. Lady Antebellum, “What If I Never Get Over You” +1 (6/10)
27. Tenille Townes, “Somebody’s Daughter” 0 (5/10)
28. Chris Janson, “Good Vibes” -1 (4/10)
29. Garth Brooks ft. Blake Shelton, “Dive Bar” +1 (6/10)
30. HARDY, “REDNECKER” -3 (2/10)
31. Midland, “Mr. Lonely” +3 (8/10)
32. Brothers Osborne, “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)” 0 (5/10)
33. Jimmie Allen, “Make Me Want To” -1 (4/10)
34. Dylan Scott, “Nothing To Do Town” -1 (4/10)
35. Zac Brown Band, “Someone I Used To Know” +1 (6/10)
36. Trisha Yearwood, “Every Girl In This Town” +1 (6/10)
37. Jordan Davis, “Slow Dance In A Parking Lot” +1 (6/10)
38. Ryan Hurd, “To A T” 0 (5/10)
39. Old Dominion, “One Man Band” +1 (6/10)
40. Dustin Lynch, “Ridin’ Roads” -2 (3/10)
41. Jon Pardi, “Heartache Medication” +1 (6/10)
42. Travis Denning, “After A Few” 0 (5/10)
43. Brad Paisley, “My Miracle” +1 (6/10)
44. Brett Young, “Catch” +1 (6/10)
45. Scotty McCreery, “In Between” +1 (6/10)
46. Mitchell Tenpenny, “Alcohol You Later” -2 (3/10)
47. Jake Owen, “Homemade” (5/10)
48. LoCash, “One Big Country Song” 0 (5/10)
49. Riley Greeen, “In Love By Now” +2 (7/10)
50. Michael Ray, “Her World Or Mine” 0 (5/10)
Present Pulse (#1—#25) +12
Future Pulse (#26—#50) +5
Overall Pulse +17
Change From Last Week +1 🙂

Best Song: “Mr. Lonely,” 8/10
Worst Song: “REDNECKER,” 2/10
Mode Score: +1 (16 songs)

Gone:

  • Brett Eldredge, “Love Someone” (recurrent)
  • Logan Mize, “Better Off Gone” (down to #51)
  • Caylee Hammack, “Family Tree” (down to #52)

Leaving:

  • Lee Brice, “Rumor” (down from #1 to #3)
  • Thomas Rhett, “Look What God Gave Her” (down from #11 to #16)

In Real Trouble:

  • Tenille Townes, “Somebody’s Daughter” (holds at #27 with a decent point week, but needs to show more strength to get off of this list)
  • Brothers Osborne, “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)” (up from #33 to #32 with an okay week, but like Townes, I need to see more from this song)
  • Dylan Scott, “Nothing To Do Town” (up from #35 to #34, but gained only sixteen spins and thirty-nine points)
  • Brad Paisley, “My Miracle” (holds at #43, but gained only one spin and ninety-three points)
  • Mitchell Tenpenny, “Alcohol You Later” (down from #45 to #46, gained only five spins and forty-nine points)

In Some Trouble:

  • Carly Pearce, “Closer To You” (holds at #24, but gained only fifty-four spins and ninety-four points)
  • HARDY, “REDNECKER” (up from #31 to #30, but gained only forty-one spins and thirty-seven points)
  • Dustin Lynch, “Ridin’ Roads” (holds at #40, but gained only thirty-six spins and seventy-five points)

In No Trouble At All:

  • Old Dominion, “One Mand Band” (up from #46 to #39)

Is Luke Combs:

  • Luke Combs, “Beer Never Broke My Heart” (holds at #4)

Bubbling Under 50:

On The Way:

Overall Thoughts: Depending on which end of the chart you’re talking about, this was either a boring or wild week.

At the top, Shelton has settled in for an extended stay at #1 (he has a rare “continue max spins!” ad in Country Aircheck this week), and getting pinched between Shelton and Combs probably spells doom for Eric Church (which is too bad – “Some Of It” is his best single since “Record Year”). Below that, however, the large-jump trend has quickly given way to a whole lot of nothing: You have to drop down to Stell at #25 to find a jump greater than two slots, and all the way to Old Dominion at #39 to find anything bigger.

That said, that very bottom of the charts saw some unexpected action, as the rich once again got richer: LoCash and Ray (established artists) and Green (hit #1 with his debut single a few months ago) ran over Filmore and booted the debut singles of both Mize and Hammack back off the charts. While this isn’t entirely unexpected, given the quality of returning artists (Green I like; LoCash and Ray not so much), I’d rather see the new artists get a better shot at making some noise. (I’m also very interested to see what country radio does with Brown’s “The Git Up”: At the very least it’s an improvement over “Old Town Road,” but is that enough to get it on the airwaves?)

So what do you think? Are the numbers better or worse than you expected? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!