Luke Combs - She Got the Best of Me
Luke Combs is hope for the future on country radio. No, he's no country music savior. Nobody's gonna mistake him for the next Waylon. Still, he's a throwback - even if the era he's a throwback to is the 90s. There's twang, real instruments, and real emotion. "She Got the Best of Me" is a catchy power ballad that'll stick in your head after a few listens. The vocal performance is strong and the lyrics are solid - though one wonders if he's telling the audience they're just getting the leftovers.
Kenny Chesney ft. Mindy Smith - Better Boat
Travis Meadows gets another big single and that's enough reason to root for this song. On top of that, Mindy Smith gets her first top 40 song ever with this release. Kenny's performance lacks the passion of Meadow's lived-in delivery, but there's little to complain about here. It's a thoughtful, restrained song that stands out amongst a sea of same-sounding mid tempo thumpers.
Cody Johnson - On My Way to You
The Texas darling seems well on his way to national stardom and it's good to see that he hasn't compromised a thing to get there. "On My Way to You" is a more country and more detail-oriented take on Rascal Flatts' "God Blessed the Broken Road." What stands out to me about this song is how there's still a tear in Cody's voice despite the positive subject matter. That's important. Hope this one goes to #1.
Chris Young - Hangin' On
It's depressing to see one of the potentially great voices of this generation wasted on such meh radio fodder as this. "Hangin' On" is like off-brand vanilla ice cream that kinda has that funny taste from being in the freezer too long and has those weird ice crystals in every bite. There's nothing too shameful about the lyrics and there's no hip-hop beat; this song just sucks. Hopefully, the success of Luke Combs and Cody Johnson will inspire Chris to go back to the sound that brought him to the dance.
Dustin Lynch - Good Girl
It's depressing to see one of the potentially pretty good voices of this generation wast… oh, who am I kidding? Yeah, Dustin had a couple of good pop-country songs at first, but this is who he is now: a good looking fake cowboy who sings vapid songs for undiscerning mainstream "country" fans and their boyfriends. There's a lot shameful about the lyrics and there's a hip-hop beat and this song just sucks. I hold out no hope Dustin Lynch will ever put out another song I'm not embarrassed to hear.
Mitchell Tenpenny - Drunk Me
Please don't let this guy happen. Aside from the "Bitches" controversy, I CANNOT FREAKING STAND MITCHELL TENPENNY'S VOICE. He's just terrible to the point that I feel rage welling up in me when I hear it. There is literally not one even microscopic thread of country in this song. It's fake ass watered down white boy R&B with some rock guitars thrown in to make it acceptable to play on the country station. I suppose the chorus is fairly catchy but it doesn't redeem this absolute feckless turd. Could he just go away?