The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: February 2, 2020

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. Jon Pardi, “Heartache Medication” +1 (6/10)
2. Maren Morris, “The Bones” 0 (5/10)
3. Sam Hunt, “Kinfolks” -2 (3/10)
4. Dan + Shay ft. Justin Bieber, “10,000 Hours” -2 (3/10)
5. Jimmie Allen, “Make Me Want To” -1 (4/10)
6. Kane Brown, “Homesick” +1 (6/10)
7. Jason Aldean, “We Back” -1 (4/10)
8. Jake Owen, “Homemade” 0 (5/10)
9. Luke Bryan, “What She Wants Tonight” -2 (3/10)
10. Jordan Davis, “Slow Dance In A Parking Lot” +1 (6/10)
11. Garth Brooks ft. Blake Shelton, “Dive Bar” +1 (6/10)
12. Ingrid Andress, “More Hearts Than Mine” +3 (8/10)
13. Brett Young, “Catch” +1 (6/10)
14. Riley Green, “I Wish Grandpas Never Died” 0 (5/10)
15. Carly Pearce & Lee Brice, “I Hope You’re Happy Now” 0 (5/10)
16. Travis Denning, “After A Few” 0 (5/10)
17. Kelsea Ballerini, “Homecoming Queen?” +1 (6/10)
18. Gabby Barrett, “I Hope” +2 (7/10)
19. Morgan Wallen, “Chasin’ You” 0 (5/10)
20. Ryan Hurd, “To A T” 0 (5/10)
21. Thomas Rhett ft. Jon Pardi, “Beer Can’t Fix” +1 (6/10)
22. Scotty McCreery, “In Between” +1 (6/10)
23. Eric Church, “Monsters” 0 (5/10)
24. LoCash, “One Big Country Song” 0 (5/10)
25. Michael Ray, “Her World Or Mine” 0 (5/10)
26. Florida Georgia Line, “Blessings” +1 (6/10)
27. Caylee Hammack, “Family Tree” 0 (5/10)
28. Blake Shelton ft. Gwen Stefani, “Nobody But You” 0 (5/10)
29. Chase Rice, “Lonely If You Are” -2 (3/10)
30. Gone West, “What Could’ve Been” +1 (6/10)
31. Carrie Underwood, “Drinking Alone” 0 (5/10)
32. Justin Moore, “Why We Drink” -1 (4/10)
33. Maddie & Tae, “Die From A Broken Heart” +2 (7/10)
34. Chris Young, “Drowning” 0 (5/10)
35. Kip Moore, “She’s Mine” +1 (6/10)
36. Jon Langston, “Now You Know” -2 (3/10)
37. Billy Currington, “Details” -1 (4/10)
38. Miranda Lambert, “Bluebird” -1 (4/10)
39. Luke Combs ft. Eric Church, “Does To Me” +1 (6/10)
40. Rayne Johnson, “Front Seat” -2 (3/10)
41. Jameson Rodgers, “Some Girls” 0 (5/10)
42. Chris Janson, “Done” 0 (5/10)
43. Ashley McBryde, “One Night Standards” +5 (10/10)
44. Rodney Atkins, “Thank God For You” 0 (5/10)
45. Lauren Alaina, “Getting Good” +2 (7/10)
46. Eli Young Band, “Break It In” 0 (5/10)
47. Little Big Town, “Over Drinking” +2 (7/10)
48. Dillon Carmichael, “I Do For You” +2 (7/10)
49. Runaway June, “Head Over Heels” +2 (7/10)
50. Matt Stell, “Everywhere But On” 0 (5/10)
Present Pulse (#1—#25) +3
Future Pulse (#26—#50) +13
Overall Pulse +16
Change From Last Week +3 🙂

Best Song: “One Night Standards,” 10/10
Worst Song: “Now You Know,” 3/10
Mode Scores: 0 (17 songs)

Gone:

  • Lady Antebellum, “What If I Never Get Over You” (recurrent)
  • Trisha Yearwood, “Every Girl In This Town” (recurrent)
  • Hootie And The Blowfish, “Hold On” (couldn’t hold on)

Leaving:

  • Dan + Shay ft. Justin Bieber, “10,000 Hours” (down from #1 to #4)

In Real Trouble:

  • LoCash, “One Big Country Song” (up from #25 to #24, but lost its bullet)
  • Gone West, “What Could’ve Been” (holds at #30, but gained only thirty spins and seventy-one points)
  • Carrie Underwood, “Drinking Alone” (holds at #31, but lost its bullet)
  • Jon Langston, “Now You Know” (back up from #38 to #36, but gained only two spins and twenty-two points)
  • Billy Currington, “Details” (down from #36 to #37 after getting passed by three songs, lost its bullet)
  • Rodney Atkins, “Thank God For You” (down from #43 to #44, bullet-less for a second straight week)
  • Eli Young Band, “Break It In” (down from #44 to #46, lost its bullet)
  • Everyone between McBryde at #43 and Stell at #50 had a pretty rotten week.

In Some Trouble:

  • Ryan Hurd, “To A T” (up from #21 to #20 and gained forty-five spins, yet still managed a triple-digit point loss)
  • Caylee Hammack, “Family Tree” (up from #28 to #27, but gained only thirty-eight spins and ninety-five points)
  • Rayne Johnson, “Front Seat” (holds at #40, but gained only forty spins and fifty-eight points)
  • Jameson Rodgers, “Some Girls” (holds at #41, but gained only seventeen spins and fifty-one points)

In No Trouble At All:

  • Ashley McBryde, “One Night Standards” (up from #53 to #43)
  • Blake Shelton ft. Gwen Stefani, “Nobody But You” (up from #34 to #28)
  • Kip Moore, “She’s Mine” (up from #39 to #35)
  • Miranda Lambert, “Bluebird” (up from 42 to #38)
  • Chris Janson, “Done” (up from #46 to #42)

Thanos Returns:

  • Luke Combs ft. Eric Church, “Does To Me” (debuts at #39, will probably be No. 1 by St. Patrick’s Day)

Bubbling Under 50:

On The Way:

Overall Thoughts: …So now the escalator is half-working?

The top half of the charts didn’t see a ton of movement this week, with Dan + Shay + Biebs abdicating the throne and most everyone hopping up a spot or two. The bottom, however, saw a lot of movement both from a quantity and quality standpoint, with both Yearwood and Hootie And The Blowfish falling away and McBryde giving the pulse a massive boost as “One Night Standards” kicked down the doors with authority. (Oh yeah, and Thanos is back too with a slightly-better song than before.) With Morris and Hunt looking especially strong, a dearth of spins for songs in the thirties and forties, and a couple of songs making big moves just underneath the Top 50 (Lynch, Midland, and Gilbert are suddenly knocking on the remnants of the door that McBryde kicked down), expect more of the same for another week or two: Stasis at the top, turbulence on the bottom. If you’re below #25 right now, you’d better have a good survival plan.

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

One thought on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: February 2, 2020

  1. I completely agree with you, Kyle. I also believe that “More Hearts Than Mine” is what “Kinfolks” should have been. That song is a more realistic and relatable take on going to your other half’s hometown & meeting their family and friends.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.