Sep 29, 2011

Snap Judgments: Promo Only Country Radio September '11

Promo Only Country Radio September 2011
(click the titles to hear the songs)

George Strait – Here for A Good Time 2:57
A solid single from ol' King George. It incorporates partying and a little philosophy with relative ease. It also exudes all the charm Strait is known for. Nothing earth-shattering but a strong tune.

Brett Eldredge – It Ain’t Gotta Be Love 3:04
What a voice. As long as this guy selects/writes good songs, he's going to be good for the genre. This is a catchy track. Mid-tempo rocker about a one night stand ...or one weekend stand, anyway. I'd rather hear this than most of what's on the radio these days.

Montgomery Gentry – Where I Come from 3:20
Same song, new verses. Stock Montgomery Gentry tune. Thankfully, that at least means some twang, steel guitar and some of the trappings of what country should sound like. Of course that also means rocking and strutting. "Where I Come From" is pretty much "My Town Part 2." Not bad and it'll probably get them back on the radio but really.... can't we get some new freaking subject matter on the radio?

Sawyer Brown – Smokin’ Hot Wife 3:10
I smell cheese before this even starts. It sounds like a Bellamy Brothers song right off the bat, which I would prefer. Hmm, no this isn't good. It reminds me of some other song that I can't recall at the moment, but I'm pretty sure it's a direct rip-off of that song. This is worse than bad Buffett, and that's saying something.

Robin Meade – Dirty Laundry 4:17
I'm not expecting much from the CNN news caster... and oh shit, it's a cover of Don Henley. This is awful. Not as spectacularly bad as that Chenoweth chick's foray into country, but it's in that league. Make it stop. Robin, stick to your day job.

Danny Gokey – Second Hand Heart 3:42
Go away, Danny. I'm as tired of looking at you as I am Jared at Subway. Holy crap, this sounds JUST like Dave Matthews Band's "Crash" at the beginning. Unfortunately, it gets worse from there. Lots of shout-singing. I don't like it. Go away, Danny.

Keith Urban – Long Hot Summer (Venti Mix) 4:31
Ooh, venti mix. Does that mean we get to hear lots of Keith shredding at the end? His timing is way off... hell, summer's even over here in the deep south. Keith's in his usual groove here... driving tune with a little banjo plucking in the background. Female friendly, anthemic. His schtick. Not memorable.

Craig Morgan – This Ole Boy 3:20
Craig probably stole this one from Blake Shelton. Sounds just like one of his sure-shot mindless hits. Okay, I suppose but I'm bored with this. Morgan better pray this catches on. He's teetering on the edge of being relegated to the Country Tailgate Tour with some 90's hat acts if he doesn't get a hit soon.

Taylor Swift – Sparks Fly 4:19
Well, it sounds like a Taylor Swift song. Ms. Swift is most certainly NOT like a box of chocolates. She certainly knows how to craft a vaguely country pop tune that's sweet on the ears. Nothing more, nothing less. The gals 12-25 will love it.

Blake Shelton – God Gave Me You 3:47
The least country song Shelton's ever put out (maybe aside from "Home?"). It's a fairly catchy power ballad, but it's also pretty standard fare aimed at the soccer mom demographic. It's a radio programmer's wet dream.

Rock riff. Attitude. Testosterone. The gates are open, y'all. The Aldean copycats are lined up from here to Athens and Nashville's herding them in. No thank you.

Alan Jackson – Long Way to Go 3:39
I want to like this a lot more than I actually do. It's not bad, mind you, but it sounds like too many AJ songs that came before it. Still, you can't complain too much about "Long Way to Go" filling up airspace that might otherwise be dedicated to some up and coming pop country poser.

Billy Ray Cyrus – Runway Lights 3:40
If BRC had chosen some better songs throughout his career, he could have been a lot more than a punch line. He's got a strong, distinctive voice that deserves good material. This is a military-related tune, but for the most part, it doesn't dip too far into the flag-waving of most songs of this ilk. It's personal and relateable. It's also got a heavy Springsteen vibe. Not bad.

Martina McBride – I’m Gonna Love You Through It 3:44
Yay, another cancer song. Well, this is country music after all. Martina sounds good here, though kinda Leann Rimes-esque in spots. Hmm, just remembered October is breast cancer awareness month. That's a great cause but the calculated release time rubs me wrong. The overwroughtness also.

Ashton Shepherd – Where Country Grows 3:11
I love Ashton's voice and the fact that she's very traditional sounding. However, I can't be a hypocrite here. This is YET ANOTHER COUNTRY LISTING SONG. Sigh.

Steel Magnolia – Without You 3:26
Did this accidentally get put on here when it was actually intended for the Adult Contemporary promo only disc? I half expect Sting or Train to come on next. This is pleasant enough, I suppose but just not what I want out of country radio. This group lacks excitement.

Jeff Bridges – What A Little Bit of Love Can Do 3:35
This sounds different than the crap he's put out lately. Oh... Jeff Bridges.. not Jeff Bates. My bad. Catchy, bouncy, cool song. I love this but it's pointless sending it out to radio. Nashville likes glitter not gruffness.

Johnny Patton – Save the Jukebox 2:58
Ooh, this is a throwback. Sounds like a cross between Johnny Paycheck and Billy Joe Shaver. You could tell me it was recorded in the 70's and I'd believe you. Good stuff! No chance at radio, but we can dream.

David Adam Byrnes – She Only Wanted Flowers 3:47
Sounds like something from the 90's from the start. That's a good thing. Good voice, cool harmonies with another male voice. I dig this. Guys like this and Justin Haigh give me hope. Thumbs up.

Jim Quick – Down South
Delbert McClinton-esque. It's pretty catchy, but way too standard bar band fare to ever make it to the radio. Production is a weak suit here too.


  1. I disagree that "you can't complain too much about "Long Way to Go" filling up airspace that might otherwise be dedicated to some up and coming pop country poser."

    Long Way to Go is boring and I've been hearing this stuff from Jackson for years now. It offers nothing interesting. Some "pop country poser" might at least offer something somewhat new and not totally stale. Doubful, but possible.

    I think its about time radio ditched Alan Jackson, and they seem to be. George Strait needs to be next unless he can come up with something less generic than "Here For a Good Time.": I love his music and have over 10 of his albums. But I've been listening to country for 20 years now and while it was good while it lasted, I feel its time for something new.

    Also George Strait and Alan Jackson seem to have declined in vocal quality quite a bit lately. I'd much rather hear a poptry singer whose voice is in fine form than the lethargic, phoned in performances of these legends. They once made great music, but that was the past.

  2. I am glad Montgomery Gentry didn't record the Alan Jackson hit.

    Not that big a fan of the title track, but the George Strait album is really good — his best in several years, in fact. I must respectfully but vehemently disagree with Anonymous; judging from several of the tracks on Here For A Good Time I think Strait's still sounding great. "Shame On Me," "Drinkin' Man," "Poison," "Lone Star Blues," and "A Showman's Life" are about as far from generic songs or phoned-in performances as you can get these days — hell, any day, for that matter.

  3. RE: John's deleted comment - Language, John, language. Let's keep the "f" word off of here (and I don't mean "fuck").

    Anonymous, I also respectfully disagree. Different strokes for different folks, but I'd rather hear mediocre neo-traditional country over the "best" pop-country song.

  4. Trailer - I respect that. Especially because 5 or 10 years ago I also would have gathered hear mediocre neo trad over poptry. I would have much preferred to hear a mediocre Mark Chesnutt album filler track than even the best Jo Dee Messina or Faith Hill. I would have agreed.

    I think my tastes have been changing a bit in the last few years. Not sure why. I think mainstream country has really turned me off lately with the "God, Patriotism and Beer" type stuff coming from the men. The women seem to avoid that and they also seem to be more pop.

  5. ..I take offense to the TSwift GalFans being the age of 12-25. But once again I find myself agreeing to everything on here. George is what I would call comfort. You expect something GOOD from him, and 9 times out of 10, you get something good. Almost like a fragrant potpourri, acts as a filler in a vase and smells nice.. even a big decorative. Not everyone likes it, but we can agree it smells better than a sweaty taint. Love love LOVE The Dude's album. I hope it makes it to the radio since the aux cable for my ipood got hung up in my car door..

  6. Oh dear God, please no Jason Aldean copycats.

  7. As a breast cancer survivor, I'm offended by your hating on the Martina McBride song.

    Nah, not really, I'm sick of all this pink bullshit. It was cheesy as hell. I teared up, though, kind of like Hallmark commercial tears when I was pregnant with my kiddos.

    Keep em coming, Trailer.



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