Showing posts with label Jimmy Wayne. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jimmy Wayne. Show all posts

Jan 24, 2020

The Worst Country Songs of the Decade (2000-2009)

The Worst Country Songs of 2000-2009

By Bobby Peacock a.k.a. TenPoundHammer

"Bob That Head" by Rascal Flatts
If Gary LeVox screeching "BOB THAT HEAD!" at full blast doesn't scare you away immediately, then you must be the most stoic person alive. Not that the rest of the song is any better. Even after the label wisely sent out an edited version, it still didn't change the dopey, meatheaded proto-bro-country lyrics about riding around town with a hot girl in your car -- a theme that fits Gary LeVox about as comfortably as a pair of size 36 slacks from Ross Dress for Less.

"Bonfire" by Craig Morgan
Like I pointed out in the 2010s list, this is the point where Craig decided that screaming everything in an over-exaggerated drawl was the same thing as singing. To be fair, "party in the woods" songs weren't nearly as omnipresent as they would be in later years, but the harsh sonic surroundings do nobody any favors. Can you believe Kevin "That's Just Jessie" Denney wrote this?

"The Bumper of My SUV" by Chely Wright
As the AV Club once pointed out... how does Chely in the song know that she's being flipped off because of her bumper sticker? Why does she act so bluntly defensive over something she's only assuming? Why does she turn around and make such broad assumptions about that person? Maybe that person doesn't go to a private school. Maybe they don't give two shits about your bumper sticker. Or your stance on war. Or that fact that this song just drones on and on without any melodic changes.

"The Christmas Shoes" by NewSong
Most CCM is just too slickly produced and stridently sung for my tastes. But rarely can I hate it on message alone -- if you find something like "I Can Only Imagine" (which I took off this list at the last minute) uplifting, then I won't fault you for it. But what exactly is uplifting here? We've all heard the Patton Oswalt routine so we all know what's wrong with its message. But the sterile production, the pompous lead vocals, and the zombie children singing on the last chorus just really send it over the top, don't they?

"The Climb" by Miley Cyrus
I hate motivational songs. I hate pop songs being sent to country radio for no reason. I... actually don't hate Miley at all. But this is just a mountain of motivational clichés with no real narrative thought or emotion, and it certainly feels like a climb to listen to.

"Concrete Angel" by Martina McBride
I would never make light of child abuse. But like so many of Martina's songs, it feels like it was inserted into the song just to manipulate a bleeding-heart fanbase instead of tell an actual story.  Every second of this song is bombastic and overwrought and, as I've said before, it's like watching a Lifetime movie where everyone is screaming their dialogue.

"Country Boy" by Alan Jackson
When the first thing a 50-year-old man says is "I'm not a stalker", and then he follows it up with a blatant innuendo like "climb in my bed, I'll take you for a ride", all I can ask is why Herbert the Pervert got to record a country song. Not that the clunky melody, God-awful slant rhymes (asphalt/red dirt, help you/take you), and overlong verses (why does the song have two bridges?) do it any favors.

"Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry American)" by Toby Keith
Spoiler alert: this list will have a lot of 9/11 and Iraq War songs on it. I have no problem with love of country. I have no problem with anyone who is pro-war or anti-war. What I have a problem with is over-the-top jingoism. (You do know that the Statue of Liberty would have to set down either the torch or the tablets to shake her fist, right?) But what really sent this song over the top for me was the "boot in your ass" line. It just promotes an aggressive, violent, xenophobic mindset and to me, reinforces all the negative stereotypes of the "MURICA" crowd.

"Girls Lie Too" by Terri Clark
I ultimately took the cringeworthy Gretchen Wilson knockoff "Dirty Girl" off this list (come to think of it, "Gypsy Boots" was pretty dreadful too). I decided that two factors make this song even worse: 1.) uninspired attempts at battle-of-the-sexes humor that are either trite or misandristic, and 2.) the blatant chart manipulation that got this song to #1 in the first place.

"God Bless the Children" by Wayne Warner and the Nashville All Star Choir
This guy's slick, strident, overly touchy-feely delivery makes the lead singer of NewSong sound like Leonard Cohen. He both looks and sounds like that child counselor that ends up flashing you. The song was done for an adoption charity, and as my sister is an adoptee I have no issue with his support. But as a musical product, this is cringeworthy in how unlistenable it is.

"God Only Cries" by Diamond Rio
"God only cries for the living 'cause it's the living that are so far from home." So He doesn't cry for the dead because they're no longer with their loved ones? He doesn't cry for the living because He wants them to be comforted in their loss? Does He want everyone to die so the angels can all be happy and no one has to cry anymore? The more I look at that one line alone, the more problematic it comes off.

"The Good Lord and the Man" by John Rich
I was way too soft on this song when I reviewed it for Roughstock in 2009. Where do I even begin? Describing Pearl Harbor as a "sucker punch"? Or how about saying that we'd "all be speaking German / livin' under the flag of Japan" if not for our soldiers? Maybe it wouldn't be too bad from another singer, but from someone who released a song called "Shut Up About Politics" and never managed to follow his own advice, this seems like a fine line between pandering and trolling.

"Have You Forgotten?" by Darryl Worley
Tired of hearing me rant about political songs yet? Just about everyone's picked this one apart for how much of a wrongheaded straw-man argument it is. And I agree -- regardless of the intentions, the song just adds up to a confused mess of patriotic rah-rah lines. And WHY IN GOD'S NAME am I still hearing "You say we shouldn't worry 'bout Bin Laden" on the radio in 2020?!?

"Here for the Party" by Gretchen Wilson
I actually kind of liked Gretchen Wilson. Her grit was refreshing even if a bit calculated at times. But this song was easily the weak link in her debut. It was one of the only times that she sounded forced and over-the-top, instead of letting the fun come naturally, and the whole song just fell flat. And it's probably also her shrillest vocal performance.

"I Ain't No Quitter" by Shania Twain
"My man does literally everything wrong, including excessive womanizing and infidelity. But I'm not getting rid of him because... uh, I'm stubborn?" What a wonderful positive message to send out. Especially when Shania gives one of the most deadpan, lifeless deliveries of her entire career.

"I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack featuring Sons of the Desert
I hate songs that consist entirely of motivational platitudes with no narrative or through line of any kind. This is one of the biggest, and one of the most infuriating simply for how antipodal it is to the rest of her discography. Even if I weren't as vehemently opposed to this kind of song, I would still find it as out-of-character as I would if George Strait suddenly started recording gangsta rap.

"I'm a Survivor" by Reba McEntire
Starting off the song by declaring yourself to be a premature baby when you clearly weren't absolutely smacks of manipulation. It's the only thing that even gives this song any semblance of flavor, as the rest is sub-Jo Dee Messina level "you go girl" empowerment the likes of which does not fit Reba at all.

"I'm Already There" by Lonestar
Usually in the "when you coming home, Dad?" kind of songs, the father actually does come home at the end. But instead, this one just has the father coldly dismissing the family's valid pleas to come home. (At least I can see how "My Front Porch Looking In" could be uplifting...) Add some of Dann Huff's most bombastic, string-drenched power ballad production and Richie's overwrought singing, and you're just left wondering how this is the same band that did "No News".

"In My Daughter's Eyes" by Martina McBride
In my daughter's eyes, everyone lives in peace and harmony with puppies and sunshine and rainbows. My daughter is going to be so sheltered and doe-eyed when she becomes an adult, because she thinks such syrupy drivel is the truth. Maybe her daughter in this song is actually RaeLynn? This explains so much. At least this one wasn't an ear-splitting belt-fest.

"Iraq and Roll" by Clint Black
Yeah, you probably don't remember this song. It was only on his website for a short time. But lucky for you, the Wayback Machine saved it: Link... if you dare
The song actually starts off inoffensively enough, but then launches headlong into some absolutely laughable lyrics ("If they won't show us their weapons, we might have to show them ours / It might be a smart bomb, they find stupid people too") that seem like the insane ramblings of someone who's been locked in a pod watching nothing but Fox News since 2002.

"Jeep Jeep" by Krista Marie
What would happen if you made a bro-country song before bro-country was even a thing, but flipped the sexes? And gave it a really dumb dumb hook hook that repeats repeats words words for no reason reason? You'd get "Jeep Jeep", of course course. At least she ended up making far better music in The Farm.

"Kiss My Country Ass" by Rhett Akins
Country pride songs are a dime a zillion. Most of them are inoffensive enough, or sometimes even guilty pleasures. Some are even quite well-written. But this is infuriatingly dismissive from its title alone, and it only gets worse with the overly MURICA second verse. It's okay to be country; just don't be a dick about it.

"The Little Girl" by John Michael Montgomery
Nothing good can come from a song based on one of those sickeningly manipulative e-mail stories that got circulated in the early 2000s (nowadays it'd be on Facebook). Even at the time, I read Snopes enough to know how manipulative (both parents get murdered!) and unrealistic (how does he know that's Jesus?) the story is. In the words of Weird Al, "Stop forwarding that crap to me."

"Love Is" by Katrina Elam
Getting back to the subject of ear-splitting belt fests... how about an oversung, over-the-top power of love anthem that brings literally nothing new to the subject other than awkwardly shoehorning in the word "bling"? This sounds like the kind of Celine Dion/Whitney Houston/Mariah Carey knockoffs my mom used to listen to back in the late 90s, only at least 10-15 years too late.

"Loud" by Big & Rich
Horse of a Different Color is one of my all-time favorite albums for how balls-to-the-wall madly creative it was. But as early as the second album, I could tell that Big & Rich were starting to run out of ideas. And by "Loud", they were reduced to a bunch of party-hearty clichés without any semblance of creativity other than a couple of interesting guitar textures. Even their voices sound strained and off on this.

"Mr. Right Now" by Povertyneck Hillbillies
Hey, remember that time you heard what sounded like a local bar band that somehow got on your radio? No, not "I Loved Her First". That one's actually okay. This one, however, just sounds like an utterly uncreative bunch of guys who somehow snuck onto a few playlists. From the unoriginal title to the groan-worthy dance/chance/romance rhyme to the name-drop of Popeye the Sailor Man, this song just screams "not ready for prime time".

"One Voice" by Billy Gilman
Yet another entry in the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" country song movement sparked by "Holes in the Floor of Heaven". Lyrics about as subtle as a ten-pound hammer to the face (mom won't watch the news, meaning she's sheltered and oblivious), all sung by a kid too young to even know what's going on in the world as it is. Maybe an adult singer could have made this at least palatable, but Gilman just wasn't ready for prime time yet.

"Sideways" by Dierks Bentley
One of the most atonal guitar/banjo intros I've ever heard, a chunky melody that flows like a year-old container of cottage cheese, a weaksauce hook, and one of Dierks' dullest deliveries. Maybe on the surface it just sounds mediocre, especially considering how phoned-in the entire Feel That Fire album was, but this song just has that extra degree of not caring that sends it over the top for me.

"Streets of Heaven" by Sherrié Austin
Another song with a perfectly valid topic: a mother's grief about possibly losing a child. But where it fails is in its attempts to browbeat God ("Don't you know one day that she'll be your little girl forever / but right now I need her so much more"). I'm an atheist and I still know that's not how you talk to God. Also, I thought Heaven's streets were made of gold. Not exactly the kind of thing that has a lot of traffic.

"Then" by Brad Paisley
This is actually one of Brad's better vocals and it has a good arrangement. Shame that the lyrics are absolutely unimaginative pap. (No lie, I correctly predicted nearly half the chorus, down to the insipid whole life/whole world/without you, girl rhyme on the first listen.) Even "When I Get Where I'm Going" had some flavor to it, but this is just beyond bland. What makes it worse is that overplay of this one kept the massively superior "Welcome to the Future" from going to #1.

"This Ain't Mexico" by Buddy Jewell
"You can call me a closed-minded, old-fashioned, flag-waving gringo". Yes, because that's what you are. By stapling on stereotypical mariachi sounds to your xenophobic rant against immigrants, along with head-scratching namedrops like Johnny Rodriguez (who was born in Texas, by the way). Oh yeah, and your desire to have that wall built... how's that working out for you 12 years later? I'm surprised you didn't work the word "wetback" in there somewhere.

"This One's for the Girls" by Martina McBride
Can I nominate "living on dreams and Spaghetti-Os" for one of the worst lyrics of all time? If not, then that still doesn't help this song's case. Messina had already beaten girl-power anthems into the ground by this point, and Martina makes it worse with some of the cheesiest lyrics I've ever heard, combined with a gaggle of girls on the obnoxious chorus.

"Troubadour" by George Strait
No, that's not a typo. Everyone hypes this up as one of his best, but I really, really don't get it. This song just feels like it barely exists. Like they just came up with 10% of an idea and left it at that. So you're a troubadour -- what does that mean in this context? Why doesn't the mirror tell the whole truth about you? Why did you rhyme "mirror" with "mirror"? What's your backstory? Why are you telling us so very little?

"The Way You Love Me" by Faith Hill
"If I could grant you one wish / I wish you could see the way you kiss." Um, that's not how wishes work. How did nobody involved in the creation process catch this? While there is an admittedly very clever use of key change on the chorus, that is instantly snuffed out by the bubblegum-pop lyrics (baby/crazy, never seen that one before) and the incessant "ooh"ing to stretch out the meter.

"What I'm For" by Pat Green
Yay, a list song of stock country-boy tropes. Never heard that one before. Let's see: technophobia? Check. Jingoism? Check. Random regional food and drink name-drops? Check, twice actually. Respecting your elders? Check. God? Check. And this is the song you pulled "Country Star" for?

"What If She's an Angel" by Tommy Shane Steiner
One of the last waves of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" movement and one of its worst. Ripping off "Don't Laugh at Me", a song I already dislike, in its first verse, and then somehow also forcing in abuse and cancer. It's like a genderflipped Martina McBride.

"When It All Goes South" by Alabama
Hey, who wants to hear a band of middle-aged men strain for cred by doing a G-rated ripoff of Kid Rock's "Cowboy"? Nobody, that's who. Not even their collab with 'N Sync was this embarrassingly bad.

"Who I Am" by Jessica Andrews
I tore this one when I wrote about Jessica Andrew forRoughstock back in 2013. It's always felt like two men writing what they think teenage girls think about because they haven't seen any teenage girls in 20 years. No teenager is going to be upset about not seeing the Seven Wonders or not winning a Grammy. Jessica did have good songs in her, but she just sounded dull and lifeless on these facepalm-worthy lyrics.

"You Are" by Jimmy Wayne
When it comes to cliché storms, this is Hurricane Katrina. (Too soon?) "It breaks my heart in two". "You are my love, you are my life." "Heart and soul." "My fantasy, my reality." It's like if you tried to write a country wedding song with a random number generator.

Mar 22, 2010

Snap Judgments: Promo Only Country Radio April 2010

Did this back and December and it was such a rousing meh, I thought I'd do it again. Here are some quick "reviews" of all the songs your local country station will be running into the ground next month.

1. Jason Aldean - "Crazy Town"
This dreck tosses what little goodwill I'd gotten about the guy based on his strong single "The Truth" right out the window. This is a rock song about becoming a country star. And not a very good one at that. Its emotional depth on the subject of making it in country music runs about as deep as Cowboy Troy's street cred. D

2. Miranda Lambert - "The House that Built Me"
Some have called this the single of the year and who am I to argue? Let's just hope Miranda has built up enough glad tidings with radio that she can get this fine ballad played as much as it deserves. A

3. Blaine Larsen - "Chillin'"
Blaine's groovy little summer song seems to have been ripped from Kenny Chesney's songbook. His likable drawl and delivery will probably make this a hit, but as laid back top-down songs go, this is middle of the pack due to a heavy dose of cliché. C+

4. Tim McGraw - "Still"
Moderately more exciting than its title. "Still," it has an interesting enough sonic texture to give it a little more weight than much of McGraw's output of recent years. C+

5. Tyler Dickerson - "Tell Your Sister I'm Single"
While I'm a little uncomfortable that it seems young Tyler is making a play not only on his ex's sis but also on his ex's mother in the chorus, this is a catchy song from a strong new talent. It's also a male-centric attitude song, something sorely missing on country radio in recent years. B-

6. Jimmy Wayne Ft. Whitney Duncan - "Just Knowing You Love Me"
Another slice of soft rock banana bread from the master of milquetoast (Carb overload!). Luckily, this one's not as bad as most of his previous singles and the compliment of Whitney Duncan's vocals makes this fairly listenable. I just wish J-dub would get some testosterone replacement therapy. C

7. Kenny Chesney - "Ain't Back Yet"
This Springsteen-esque country rocker is more satisfying than Chesney's recent work by a pretty long stretch. It's another reminiscing song added to a long resume of 'em, but a lot less annoying than say, "Young." Surprisingly, I think I like this. B

8. Taylor Swift - "Today Was a Fairy Tale"
Treacly, schmaltzy, cliché, lilting, formulaic, but somehow I can't bring myself to hate it. It'll make millions (more). C-

9. James Otto - "Groovy Little Summer Song"
I'm glad he reminds the guitar player where to start his solo, because he may have just dozed off during the early part of this happily lazy, uh, groovy little summer song. Sure it's a release calculated for maximum timeliness, but just the fact that it's not a hard rock song celebrating bonfires and cutoffs sets this apart from the usual summer dreck. B

10. Jason Sturgeon - "Simple Life"
Simple song. Repetitive, fairly dull and without a single chance at heavy rotation, though some of the instrumentation is nice and Jason's voice is good on the ears - kind of a mix of Radney Foster and Toby Keith. C-

11. Brandi Carlile - "Dying Day"
A token folk-alt-country addition to this month's edition of the promo only disk. For the rare few stations that will play something outside the mainstream. While I'm an apologist for and a big fan of folk-alt-whatever-country, this track is actually fairly listless and unmemorable. Brandi's a big talent in a small genre though. C+

12. Jerrod Niemann - "Lover, Lover"
Well, this is an unexpected surprise. It's bouncy, catchy and commercial while still managing to sound like nothing else on the dial with its bluesy front porch clap-along sound. Excellent track! A-

13. Uncle Kracker - "Smile (Happy Hour-Deluxe Version)"
I'm not sure I can tell the difference between this version and the version that played on pop and AAA stations a couple months ago. The fact that it didn't have to be changed much, if at all, to be presentable to country radio speaks volumes. This was a guilty pleasure the first 3 times I heard it. Since, not so much. C-

14. Laura Bell Bundy - "Giddy On Up"
I'm still in the honeymoon phase with this song. I'll hate it and myself for kinda liking it after a couple of weeks, but damn if it's not catchy and so bad it's good. This generation's "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" or (more likely) "Achy Breaky Heart?" It's Broadway country custom built for line dancing. B (2 weeks from now grade - D)

15. Jaron and the Long Road to Love - "Pray for You"
Wow. Here's attitude for you. I was about to write this one off as a Jimmy Wayne wuss-song (though the over-wrought organ intro should have clued me in) until the chorus punched me in the stomach. I like the resurgence of gonaditude on this compilation, but this might be a little harsh with the hopes for God to call down vengeance with flower pots and blown tires. Still, it might elicit enough of a "hell yeah" response in listeners to smooth over the fact that Jaron's praying physical and emotional harm upon his ex. B

16. Emily West w. Keith Urban - "Blue Sky"
See this review. B+

17. Lee Allen - "Settle Down"
Cute hook. A voice reminiscent of John Michael Montgomery. The song is pretty reminiscent of some of JMM's non-ballads also. It's not bad. Probably not enough oomph to conquer the top 30 though. C

18. Coldwater Jane - "Bring on the Love"
The second act on this compilation from my home state of Mississippi (the first being Tyler Dickenson), these girls slide pretty easily into the spot SheDaisy vacated with their hit drought (if that spot still exists). Thankfully, Coldwater Jane is far closer to country than SheDaisy ever thought of being. B-

Dec 20, 2009

10 Worst Country Singles of 2009

2009 was a banner year for crap in the world of country music. There's no way I could summarize the sad state of the genre with only ten bad tunes, but allow me to try. Here are the worst country singles of 2009, in no particular order.

Tyler Dean - Taylor Swift
Ample cause for a restraining order if ever there was one. Can't hide the proof. It's right there on iTunes with a 2 star rating. And furthermore, they rereleased it on iTunes after Taylor's late year awards. We hated it the first time, dude.

Jimmy Wayne - Sara Smile
I actually have no problem with a country singer covering Hall & Oates, but for the sake of my sanity and human decency, at least pick a good H&O song, and at least attempt to make it sound country.

Phil Vassar - Bobbi with an "I"
A song about a good ol' boy who likes to cross dress? Did Phil's record company somehow get their demographics and marketing studies mixed up with Lady Gaga's? I'm not shocked by its content, just that it was actually released to country radio.

Bucky Covington - Gotta Be Somebody
More processed than cheese spread, but not nearly as tasty. They could have had one of those NOAA weather radio voices sing this song and I might not know the difference. And holy mother of drive by truckers, it's a Nickelback cover. Why? Just why?

Billy Currington - That's How Country Boys Roll
This is how a country boy turns the station.

Jessie James - My Cowboy
The only thing country about this song is the title. Does that necessarily make it one of the worst country singles of the year? Well, yes... but on artistic merit alone, it's still not good.

Fast Ryde - That Thang
"That Thang" is inexplicably better than their second single, "Make it Rain" (a "farming is hard" anthem so shallow it makes Jason Aldean sound like Levon Helm), but since this ode to country girl bootay is higher profile, it gets the slot. One of the most annoying choruses ever sung. Dang me.

Krista Marie - Jeep Jeep
This one got deservedly ripped to shreds in my .99 review. Krista's decent voice aside, this song is a second-rate product that should never have been released. More like a Yugo than a Jeep.

Jake Owen - Eight Second Ride
That this is supposed to be a sexy song but it has that "spit cup" line in it automatically adds the song to this list by default.

George Strait - River of Love
We hope for more from the King than this warmed-over seventies pop-country, but since he made it up to us with the stellar "Twang" album, this song's inclusion here is just a minor speed bump. In the grand scheme of things, it's better than the other songs on this list and the dishonorable mentions, but as they say, "to whom much is given much is expected."

Dishonorable Mentions: Rodney Atkins "Chasin' Girls" - Toby Keith "God Love Her" - Jason Aldean "She's Country"

Dec 13, 2009

Farcie Awards: Worst Album

Our final award of this year's Farcies is the most important. A lot of suck and ineptness goes into winning the trophy for Worst Album. Winning their third broken guitar award of the night is Rascal Flatts with their Unstoppable album, chosen on a staggering 48% of ballots. Remember, multiple selections could be made for this award, so the percentages don't add to 100%. Take a bow, Gary, Joe Don and Jay! Click on the list below to see the voting results. Jimmy Wayne, your lame efforts did not go unnoticed!

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-

A Closer Look: CMAs

With the 43rd annual CMAs coming up Wednesday, FTM takes a look back at one of the scenes from last year's festivities. Here's a shot of Jake Owen, Julianne Hough and Jimmy Wayne presenting an award at last year's show. Looks lovely enough huh?

But let's see what a closer look reveals! (click here for a closer view)


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