Nov 8, 2009

Snap Judgments: Promo Only Country Radio Dec. 09

I have a friend who worked at a country radio station in the 90's and he used to let me have these Promo Only Country Radio comp's pretty regularly but I haven't listened to one since the (non-legal) Napster days. An anonymous source sent this newest edition to me to review... can't imagine why - except that it's got 5 of my favorite targets (Toby Keith, Justin Moore, Jimmy Wayne, Rascal Flatts, Fast Ryde) on one album! Fish in a barrel and me with this shotgun! I doubt this will become a regular series, since I don't have access to these compilations (but hey, anonymous or somebody else, keep 'em coming if possible!).

Anyway, here are my snap judgments of the songs your local station will be overplaying in December if not sooner. (to be honest, I've heard a few of them before, but anyway...)

1. Chasin' Girls (Album Version) - Rodney Atkins
My IQ dropped 15 points in the 3:30 span of this song. It's not looking good for me still knowing how to spell by the end of this post. This is the dumbist song Rodney's put out yet, and that's saying sumtheeng. D-

2. Cryin' for Me (Wayman's Song) - Toby Keith
Personal, moving and maybe a little surprising, given who it's from. It's a very good song, but possibly a little too narrow in focus to go any higher than top 10 for Toby. Country radio's got no soul. B+

3. Seeing Stars - Jack Ingram with Patty Griffin
Jack tries to maintain his last shred of Americana cred with this thoughtful song featuring singer/songwriter Patty Griffin. Successful? A little, but it strives to be much deeper than it really is. Still, it did help restore my IQ a bit after Rodney's track. B-

4. Hell on the Heart - Eric Church
Not the next single I'd have chosen from Eric's fine Carolina album, but a lesser Church single is miles better than, say, Chuck Wicks' best. B-

5. Angels Like Her - Trent Tomlinson
Hmmm, I get the feeling I've heard this before. Oh yeah, I have... and I still don't like it that much. The imagery in the opening lines is great though. C

6. Backwoods - Justin Moore
Opens with a greasy southern guitar lick... that's nice. Then comes the listing of all things southern... Hmmm, I get the feeling I've heard this before. Oh yeah, I have.... in 1246 previous country pride songs... and I still don't like it that much. It is catchy though. C-

7. Make it Rain - Fast Ryde
This "difficulty of farming lament" runs about as deep as the dry creek running by their dusty farm. IQ nosediving again. Worse than "That Thang." (!!) F

8. Gimmie That Girl - Joe Nichols
Fun, catchy and warm. Solid single from one of the best voices in the genre. B+

9. Why - Rascal Flatts
I'm glad that they're touching on this serious subject that affects way too many people. That aside, this doesn't work for me, but it will be their umpteenth #1 hit. C

10. Stay - Telluride
A dull track from a band that sounds like Jake Owen lite (and Jake Owen heavy ain't much to write home about). D

11. Gotta Be Somebody - Bucky Covington (full .99 Review coming soon)
I'm not prone to cliché or violence, but this makes me want to punch kittens. F-

12. Long After I'm Gone - Big Kenny
He means well, and this is a pleasant enough song, but it's probably not going to be a hit due to his less than Clearchannel-friendly voice. C

13. Sara Smile - Jimmy Wayne Ft. Daryl Hall & John Oates
I'm starting to think this anonymous source was trying to ruin my day. This is the least country song ever released as a country song, period. If not for him being a real decent guy, I might hate Jimmy, but this is just music not life. At music, he FAILS. F

14. One More Drinkin' Song - Jerrod Niemann
This is a middle of the road drinkin' song that is unlikely to get much airplay outside the barrooms that inspired it. C-

15. Julianna - Emma Jacob
Good message, good delivery, decent song overall. If sung by Sugarland, a top 5 hit. Unfortunately, contemporary radio's about as welcoming to up-and-coming females as Adam Lambert is. B

16. The Road - Aaron Watson
Once upon a time in the 90's when country radio still had a soft spot for salt-of-the-earth country songs, this could have been a one-off hit. Now, not so much. A-

17. Hard Rain - Gwen Sebastian
Not sure what I think about this one. It's okay. I like her voice and the imagery of the chorus, but overall, the song is somehow lacking. C

18. Johnny Be Good - Doug Adkins
Suffice it to say, you won't ever hear this on the radio. Interesting to see that the Promo Only comps still include these local oddities. I like that it has some rockabilly flourish, but this is an overly awkward and very lily-white rendition of Chuck Berry's classic. Cranking up some Bo Diddley now. D-


  1. I agree on most but for some reason I just love the Rodny Atkins song. Love the comments!

  2. Jerrod Niemann is not a former Nashville Star contestant check your sources before you post false information! Also please give me the relevance of comparing a sad ballad drinking song to an uptempo fun drinking song!

  3. D'oh! I compared them based on my faulty memory that told me Mr. Niemann was on Nashville Star (my dumb *ss got him mixed up with Jared Ashley whom I should have recalled from his issues with John Rich... I'm BAD remembering names). Since I have no research department, I'll reprimand myself and fix the post. I still don't care for the song much. Thanks for the heads up.



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