The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: December 8, 2019

Several years ago, Josh Schott started a weekly feature on the now-reborn 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. Old Dominion, “One Man Band” +1 (6/10)
2. Luke Combs, “Ever Though I’m Leaving” 0 (5/10)
3. Thomas Rhett, “Remember You Young” +2 (7/10)
4. Keith Urban, “We Were” 0 (5/10)
5. Dustin Lynch, “Ridin’ Roads” -2 (3/10)
6. Lady Antebellum, “What If I Never Get Over You” +1 (6/10)
7. Jon Pardi, “Heartache Medication” +1 (6/10)
8. Kenny Chesney, “Tip Of My Tongue” -2 (3/10)
9. Dan + Shay ft. Justin Bieber, “10,000 Hours” -2 (3/10)
10. Sam Hunt, “Kinfolks” -2 (3/10)
11. Jason Aldean, “We Back” -1 (4/10)
12. Jimmie Allen, “Make Me Want To” -1 (4/10)
13. Garth Brooks ft. Blake Shelton, “Dive Bar” +1 (6/10)
14. Maren Morris, “The Bones” 0 (5/10)
15. Kane Brown, “Homesick” +1 (6/10)
16. Jordan Davis, “Slow Dance In A Parking Lot” +1 (6/10)
17. Luke Bryan, “What She Wants Tonight” -2 (3/10)
18. Blake Shelton ft. Trace Adkins, “Hell Right” -2 (3/10)
19. Ingrid Andress, “More Hearts Than Mine” +3 (8/10)
20. Kelsea Ballerini, “Homecoming Queen?” +1 (6/10)
21. Brett Young, “Catch” +1 (6/10)
22. Jake Owen, “Homemade” 0 (5/10)
23. Riley Green, “I Wish Grandpas Never Died” 0 (5/10)
24. Ryan Hurd, “To A T” 0 (5/10)
25. Travis Denning, “After A Few” 0 (5/10)
26. Trisha Yearwood, “Every Girl In This Town” +1 (6/10)
27. Scotty McCreery, “In Between” +1 (6/10)
28. Carly Pearce & Lee Brice, “I Hope You’re Happy Now” 0 (5/10)
29. LoCash, “One Big Country Song” 0 (5/10)
30. Caylee Hammack, “Family Tree” 0 (5/10)
31. Michael Ray, “Her World Or Mine” 0 (5/10)
32. Eric Church, “Monsters” 0 (5/10)
33. Gabby Barrett, “I Hope” +2 (7/10)
34. Gone West, “What Could’ve Been” +1 (6/10)
35. Morgan Wallen, “Chasin’ You” 0 (5/10)
36. Florida Georgia Line, “Blessings” +1 (6/10)
37. Chase Rice, “Lonely If You Are” -2 (3/10)
38. Maddie & Tae, “Die From A Broken Heart” +2 (7/10)
39. Carrie Underwood, “Drinking Alone” 0 (5/10)
40. Billy Currington, “Details” -1 (4/10)
41. Chris Young, “Drowning” 0 (5/10)
42. Justin Moore, “Why We Drink” -1 (4/10)
43. Rodney Atkins, “Thank God For You” 0 (5/10)
44. Hootie & The Blowfish, “Hold On” +1 (6/10)
45. Kip Moore, “She’s Mine” +1 (6/10)
46. Jon Langston, “Now You Know” -2 (3/10)
47. Caroline Jones, “Chasin’ Me” 0 (5/10)
48. Eli Young Band, “Break It In” 0 (5/10)
49. Dillon Carmichael, “I Do For You” +2 (7/10)
50. Rayne Johnson, “Front Seat” -2 (3/10)
Present Pulse (#1—#25) 0
Future Pulse (#26—#50) +4
Overall Pulse +4
Change From Last Week +1* 🙂

*The actual gain here was +2, but the grade for “Front Seat” was revised from -1 to -2.

Best Song: “More Hearts Than Mine,” 8/10
Worst Song: “Hell Right,” 3/10
Mode Scores: 0 (17 songs)

Gone:

  • Miranda Lambert, “It All Comes Out In The Wash” (recurrent)

Leaving:

  • Keith Urban, “We Were” (max-spin week is over)

In No/Some/Real Trouble:

  • It’s December, which means we have no idea…

Is Thanos:

  • Luke Combs, “Even Though I’m Leaving” (down from #1 to #2, but it’ll take a while before this truly goes anywhere)

Bubbling Under 50:

On The Way:

Overall Thoughts: There really isn’t a whole lot to say here, besides “‘Tis the season.” The holiday monster that I hypothesized was surreptitiously siphoning off spins last week isn’t bothering to hide its tracks this time: A whopping twenty songs lost their bullet this week (in fact more songs lost their bullet than changed their position this week), ranging from Old Dominion at #1 to Hootie And The Blowfish at #44. The year is officially in winding-down mode, and with the one major being Carmichael joining the party and bolstering the Pulse (and with Thanos being the slowest chart-leaver in the history of history), we just might be able to stay in positive territory for the rest of the year.

Mediabase isn’t listing any new single additions until January 13th right now, so while the folks at the top might share the wealth among themselves (“Remember You Young” probably hits #1 before the New Year), I don’t expect to see a whole lot of movement otherwise. Seeing McBryde break into the Top 50 would be a nice holiday gift though…

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