Carly Pearce & Lee Brice “Hope You’re Happy Now”
No snap beats, no slang, real instruments. Lee and Carly’s hit is a pop-country duet full of heartache and harmonies. Their voices sound great together. It’s one of those sad songs that makes you feel good. Well done.
Midland “Cheatin’ Songs”
We’re over their back story now - you either like their music or don’t. I do. This is a slice of 70s Bellamy Bros-esque goodness with steel guitar and modern slickness. The low key harmonies create just the right mood and there’s even a little self-awareness mixed into the lyrics. Midland is consistently one of the best mainstream artists out there and “Cheatin’ Songs” is another gem.
Ingrid Andress “More Hearts Than Mine”
Ain’t a whole lot country about this, but it’s a well-written and gets a lot more personal than most radio fare, bringing a fairly unique angle to relationship tunes. Andress’ delivery occasional veers toward that indie-pop style I hate so much, but never quite goes there and her conversational tone works well for the subject matter. Glad to see this song hit the top 10.
Jordan Davis “Slow Dance in a Parking Lot”
Standard issue dude pop-country, typical mid-tempo blah-ness, electronically affected vocals. This is pure boyfriend country. At least bro-country was loud and proud with its crappiness. This is dull and forgettable just like Jordan Davis would be without the beard.
Locash “One Big Country Song”
At least it doesn’t have snap beats? That’s a positive I suppose. Locash doesn’t sound particularly inspired …ever… but particularly on this anthem about the shared experiences and values of country fans. “Everybody knows the words to ‘Mama Tried’” is an actual lyric of this song and I guarantee you that 80%+ of Locash fans do not in fact know those words. Honestly, there are several songs much worse than this in the top 40 right now - I was just trying to avoid the usual suspects - but this is nothing you haven’t heard before.
Chase Rice “Lonely if You Are”
Snap beats, typical bouncy R&B lite delivery. This is pretty much a Sam Hunt rip-off without Sam’s lyrical ability and likability (and I don’t care for any Sam Hunt songs, so that’s pretty rough). It’s a booty call song that somehow comes off both sleazy and sleepy. There are a few early Chase Rice songs that show some promise, before he was asking fine ass girls to slide on over or whatever, so one would hope he’d eventually dig a little deeper in his subject matter, but nah. Once a bro, always a bro.