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!
Best Song: “One Night Standards,” 10/10
Worst Song: “I Love My Country,” 2/10
Mode Score: 0 (14 songs)
- Eric Church, “Monsters” (recurrent)
- Lindsay Ell, “I Don’t Love You” (dropped below #53)
- Travis Denning, “After A Few” (down from #1 to #3)
- Gone West, “What Could’ve Been” (holds at #26, but the album dropped last Friday, so they can stop propping this zombie up)
In Real Trouble:
- Tenille Arts, “Somebody Like That” (up from #43 to #42, but gained only fifteen spins and fifteen points)
- Dillon Carmichael, “I Do For You” (down from #46 to #47, lost its bullet)
In Some Trouble:
- Maren Morris, “To Hell & Back” (holds at #44, but gained only sixteen spins and sixteen points)
In No Trouble At All:
- Jason Aldean, “Got What I Got” (up from #27 to #23)
- Brothers Osborne, “All Night” (up from #49 to #45)
- Luke Combs ft. Eric Church, “Does To Me” (up from #3 to #2, because Thanos never leaves without a fight)
- Luke Combs, “Six Feet Apart” (holds at #41, but lost its bullet and will likely fall as “Lovin’ On You” gets pushed)
Bubbling Under 50:
- Morgan Wallen, “More Than My Hometown” (4/10)
- Jake Owen, “Made For You” (5/10)
- Jordan Davis, “Almost Maybes” (6/10)
On The Way:
- Kelsea Ballerini, “Hole In The Bottle” (7/10)
- Brantley Gilbert, “Hard Days”
- Luke Combs, “Lovin’ On You”
Overall Thoughts: I’m getting more and more nervous about that state of the radio right now. The Pulse has been slowly receding over the last week or two thanks to some new (and awful) Cobronavirus tracks pushing out some solid songs that failed to launch (Runaway June, Ell, and likely Carmichael soon). Incoming mediocre drivel from Smith and Wallen won’t help, and my early impressions of Gilbert’s single aren’t great either. It feels like 2020 has been a year of extremes thus far: We’ve gotten a fair amount of great music, but also a lot of junk as well, and it seems like the latter is what’s finding the most traction these days.
The pandemic front doesn’t look promising either: We’re up to nearly 117,000 COVID-19 deaths now, and the new case rate is going up in nearly half the states in the union. People may be wary of a second wave, we haven’t actually stopped the first wave yet, and although a few places have paused their reopenings, there doesn’t seem to be any political appetite to step in forcefully again. They’d better find that appetite soon, because if case numbers keep growing, we won’t have much of a choice but to go back into lockdown.
Finally…in what universe is it okay for someone to die for sleeping drunk in their car? I don’t care if Rayshard Brooks resisted arrest, or even that they grabbed a taser—there was no reason for that incident to end with a fatality. Despite the heightened awareness and scrutiny of interactions between police officers and citizens of color, things like this keep happening, and it’s inexcusable. We need to completely rethink how policing works in this country, and decide a) who should be responding to to what, and b) how they should be responding.
So what do you think? Are the numbers better or worse than you expected? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!