The Current Pulse Coronavirus Pandemic of Mainstream Country Music: June 15, 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. Carly Pearce & Lee Brice, “I Hope You’re Happy Now” 0 (5/10)
2. Luke Combs ft. Eric Church, “Does To Me” +1 (6/10)
3. Kenny Chesney, “Here And Now” 0 (5/10)
4. Travis Denning, “After A Few” 0 (5/10)
5. Scotty McCreery, “In Between” +1 (6/10)
6. Luke Bryan, “One Margarita” 0 (5/10)
7. Miranda Lambert, “Bluebird” -1 (4/10)
8. Sam Hunt, “Hard To Forget” 0 (5/10)
9. LoCash, “One Big Country Song” 0 (5/10)
10. Carrie Underwood, “Drinking Alone” 0 (5/10)
11. Florida Georgia Line, “I Love My Country” -3 (2/10)
12. Justin Moore, “Why We Drink” -1 (4/10)
13. Keith Urban, “God Whispered Your Name” 0 (5/10)
14. Thomas Rhett ft. Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Keith Urban and Chris Tomlin, “Be A Light” +1 (6/10)
15. Chris Janson, “Done” 0 (5/10)
16. Maddie & Tae, “Die From A Broken Heart” +2 (7/10)
17. Ashley McBryde, “One Night Standards” +5 (10/10)
18. Kane Brown, “Cool Again” -1 (4/10)
19. Chase Rice, “Lonely If You Are” -2 (3/10)
20. Tim McGraw, “I Called Mama” +4 (9/10)
21. Jameson Rodgers, “Some Girls” 0 (5/10)
22. Kip Moore, “She’s Mine” +1 (6/10)
23. Jason Aldean, “Got What I Got” +2 (7/10)
24. Brad Paisley, “No I In Beer” 0 (5/10)
25. Matt Stell, “Everywhere But On” 0 (5/10)
26. Gone West, “What Could’ve Been” +1 (6/10)
27. HARDY ft. Lauren Alaina & Devin Dawson, “One Beer” -1 (4/10)
28. Lee Brice, “One Of Them Girls” -1 (4/10)
29. Parker McCollum, “Pretty Heart” -1 (4/10)
30. Midland, “Cheatin’ Songs” +4 (9/10)
31. Jon Pardi, “Ain’t Always The Cowboy” 0 (5/10)
32. Jon Langston, “Now You Know” -2 (3/10)
33. Lauren Alaina, “Getting Good” +2 (7/10)
34. Dustin Lynch, “Momma’s House” -1 (4/10)
35. Old Dominion, “Some People Do” +3 (8/10)
36. Lady A, “Champagne Night” 0 (5/10)
37. Russell Dickerson, “Love You Like I Used To” 0 (5/10)
38. LANco, “What I See” -1 (4/10)
39. Brett Eldredge, “Gabrielle” 0 (5/10)
40. Chris Lane, “Big, Big Plans” +1 (6/10)
41. Luke Combs, “Six Feet Apart” +2 (7/10)
42. Tenille Arts, “Somebody Like That” +2 (7/10)
43. Dylan Scott, “Nobody” 0 (5/10)
44. Maren Morris, “To Hell & Back” +2 (7/10)
45. Brothers Osborne, “All Night” -1 (4/10)
46. Kane Brown, “Worldwide Beautiful” +2 (7/10)
47. Dillon Carmichael, “I Do For You” +2 (7/10)
48. Brett Young, “Lady” +1 (6/10)
49. Granger Smith, “That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads” 0 (5/10)
50. Niko Moon, “GOOD TIME” -1 (4/10)
Present Pulse (#1—#25) +10
Future Pulse (#26—#50) +14
Overall Pulse +24
Change From Two Weeks Ago
-2 😦

Best Song: “One Night Standards,” 10/10
Worst Song: “I Love My Country,” 2/10
Mode Score: 0 (14 songs)

Gone:

  • Eric Church, “Monsters” (recurrent)
  • Lindsay Ell, “I Don’t Love You” (dropped below #53)

Leaving:

  • 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)

Is Thanos:

  • 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:

On The Way:

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!

One thought on “The Current Pulse Coronavirus Pandemic of Mainstream Country Music: June 15, 2020

  1. Eagerly awaiting your disdainful review of “If I Was A Bar” by Matt Stell, which…I actually like? 😀

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