Another song that's not going to make me any friends on Pulse! I had no idea this song would place this high on the countdown! But I have no regrets. As much as this song was hated on Pulse, I actually enjoyed it. The part that immediately leapt out to me was the bass in the intro. The melody of the song itself is fairly generic, but dammit if I didn't listen again because I just loved the bass intro so much! And with time the rest of the song grew on me as well... Now we'll have to see if LANco are one-hit-wonders for me, or if they manage to capture lightning in a bottle again with their next single.
This is one of those nights, And I don't want to wreck it With distractions and worries 'Bout what all could go wrong tomorrow. So live in this moment And know that there's no time to borrow.
55. "Setting The World On Fire" - Kenny Chesney ft. P!nk
Peak: 6 (So far...)
Total Points: 661
As raylatch98 predicted weeks ago, Kenny Chesney makes a return to the countdown, this time MUCH higher up! "Setting The World On Fire" is a much stronger song than "Noise". This song won me over pretty quickly, which has honestly not always been Kenny Chesney's forte. This song is lyrically nothing special, but I love the vocal performances. Kenny sounds great, and pushes himself to some high notes that he seldom reaches for. P!nk was also a perfect choice for a duet partner. The two of them complement each other so well. I really should check out more of her music one day...
Yeah, we got drunk on La Cienega Boulevard Taking pictures of people we thought were stars. It’s easy to give in to your heart When you’re drunk on La Cienega Boulevard.
Chris Janson makes one last return to the countdown with his latest hit. "Holdin' Her" is by far the best single he has released to radio thus far, in my opinion. It is the first time I have sat back and realized that he actually has a very serious country sound to him. His voice isn't super strong, but it is perfect to sell this song. One of the best parts of this song for me is the occasional slight similarities to George Strait's "Meanwhile" in the verses. The chorus melody is also very strong, although oddly similar and inferior to Craig Campbell's current hit. This song is enough to get me to take Chris Janson seriously, but he is at the point now where he will have to really deliver with his next album to see if he can find this level of success again for me.
Now on a park bench down on 4th street, that's where I popped the question, And to my amazement she actually said yes. Tears filled my eyes as I slipped the ring on her hand.
I am always excited for new Craig Morgan music. His serious songs like this almost always work for me, despite a lot of people not liking his tendency to belt. This was a very strong single, and it is a shame this one was unable to make it big on country radio. Craig is just facing the inevitable waning popularity that every artist eventually faces, but he will continue to do well on my chart as long as he doesn't start releasing more turkeys like "Bonfire". I think his vocal performance here is quite strong, and I also enjoy the melody.
And I'll be home soon To kiss away the world, Burn your troubles down. I'm gonna make you forget.
This song is nothing short of awesome. The instrumentation is perfect. The vocals are haunting. The lyrics are both evocative and stunning. Cam proves that she could be here to stay (if only she weren't a female trying to make it on country radio). She has a real presence behind the microphone, and can carry a song like this without making it seem boring, which is actually very hard to do. Even some accomplished vocalists would struggle with a ballad like this. If there is any justice in the world, 2017 will be huge for Cam, because she is too talented to have it squandered by industry politics.
I had a dream about a burning house. You were stuck inside; I couldn't get you out. I lay beside you and pulled you close, And the two of us went up in smoke.
Jo Dee Messina is an artist that is sorely missing from country radio these days. She has always had probably the most radio-friendly voice I have ever heard. It is a shame that her career went downhill so quickly in the late '00s. This song proves that she's still got it! Her voice is aging, which is an absolutely perfect sound for this song. Her head voice in the choruses is so smooth and perfect. Then when the bridge arrives and she really belts it out, the rough sound really gives this performance an irresistible added layer of oomph. I am eagerly awaiting Jo Dee's return, and hoping it comes in 2017... I am tired of not having anything new from her to chart!!
When the lights go down And the stage goes dim, When the silence is loud, Will you love me then?
We kick off the top 50 with something I never thought I would ever see. Florida Georgia Line is in my top 50!! That is absolutely unbelievable to me!! But it is SO deserved, imo. "H.O.L.Y." is a terrific song. I have loved it from the first time I heard it. The lyrics are strong, and the melody is actually catchy (unlike anything else they have ever released). Their vocals even sound pretty good on it! I hope for more material like this from FGL in the future, because I actually really enjoyed them releasing something I could get behind with no trepidation whatsoever. Now hopefully this is the last time I ever have to type the song title, because it is an absolute bitch to type with all those capital letters and periods...
I don't need these stars, 'cause you shine for me. Like fire in my veins, you're my ecstasy.
YASSSS, this song is FIRE!!!!!!! Reba proves what a diva she can be once again The "1-2-3-4, A-B-C-D, Left-Right-Up-Down" verses are some of the cleverest s**t I have ever heard, to be honest. Then there's that vocal performance! Reba sounds tenacious, determined, sassy, whimsical, and spiteful all at the same time. She sounds FIERCE. Especially during that growl followed by a voice crack in the last verse! "And now I'm DOWN HERE on my knees". Mmmm. Food for my soul! Anyway, this song has a whole lot of personality and character in a music industry that is more or less leaving character behind in favor of vanilla cookie-cutter rehashes of the same regurgitated themes. I am so glad this song managed to land in the top 50 on this countdown despite having most of its run cut off by the start of my chart! (chicken077 this song would also be a pretty good introduction to Reba! I can't remember if I mentioned it that one day )
Don't pay attention to your heart until it's bleeding. Don't know what you have until you can't keep it. Don't know what you want till you need it. Don't know that it's love until it's leavin'.
Queen Reba returns right on her own heels, this time with her haunting heartbreak ballad about her dad's passing. This song is one of the most perfect tributes she could have given her dad, a long-long horse rancher. The fact that she sang this song at his funeral gives it such a personal significance for her. I cannot even imagine how she made it through that performance... I honestly am surprised she can get through this song live at all in her regular concerts! The icing on the cake with this song though is the sad sighing breath she draws before easing into the last chorus. The lyrics are incredible enough on their own, but that interpretation helps all the emotion of the song explode to the forefront. It proves why Reba is such a master of her craft. Such a gifted vocalist... I just wish a song like this didn't have to represent such a difficult loss for her
She held his hand, he took one last breath, Then she walked out to the front porch step. Stared at the sky, tears on her face, And she swore she could hear him say,
If you love me, don't you be afraid To look in my eyes and open up the gate, Then watch me ride beneath a newborn sun Just like them horses when it's time to run.
As much as I fail to see Chris Stapleton's overall widespread appeal, this song grew on me quite a bit. Definitely one of my top 50 favorites of this year! Chris's voice is fire when he launches into high notes randomly, and the lyrics are stone-cold country. They are pretty clever too! I wish this song hadn't stalled out on country radio, because that definitely wasn't fair considering how well this song was doing with its audience.
She fired up my old hot rod, Ran it in the pond. Put sugar in my John Deere; I can’t even mow my lawn! And I got nobody to blame but me.
Here we go with a current super-hit on the chart! Jana Kramer is currently white hot with this song. She is only just inside the top 10 so far, but she already has 718 points! She still has most of her top-10 points ahead of her, and I haven't even factored in the favorites points yet because this song is still on the real country charts! She could easily double her current point value... Heck, I wouldn't be shocked if this song finishes in the top 5 for 2017. This is one of those songs where it is not about IF it will hit #1, it is about WHEN it will. And then how long it will stay there once it is there... This song just continues to grow on me, and I am not even close to sick of it! This is good stuff! Between all the Reba appearances tonight and this song, we are definitely entering the realm of legendary songs
You got me spinning like a wheel. Oh, how you make me feel. It's more than gold on my finger, it's six feet down and forever. 'Cause where I end is where you begin. You picked up the pieces and put me together. You're the only part of me unbroken, And I'm going in circles.
Post by .indulgecountry on Dec 29, 2016 3:49:37 GMT -5
Your love for "Circles" makes my heart happy. Such a wonderful song and it's downright tragic that it has done virtually nothing on the real country charts. It should've smashed.
Love the twin appearances of Reba McEntire, too! "Until They Don't Love You" in particular is one of my favorites from her, for all the same reasons you listed. It's such a lively song and the lyrical structure is BRILLIANT! <3
I love Setting the World on fire!!! Also Burning House is awesome Until They Don't Love You is great too. When I checked your first charts, I heard that. Really! I need to check more this kind of country songs.
What an excellent discovery this song was this year! This song is awesome! It is catchy and clever. Rainey has a beefy, brassy alto voice similar to Terri Clark, which is super rare in popular music these days. Well, not that either of them could be considered "popular", especially Rainey But you know what I mean. This song is perfect in pretty much every way! But the best part for me is the production. Very contemporary yet makes excellent use of traditional elements. This song is absolutely dripping in dobro surrounded by screaming electric guitars, which is a pretty awesome effect if you ask me. This song was one of my very favorites this year. It would have finished even higher if the beginning of its chart run wasn't cut off.
You better just stay away, 'Cause you know what they say About a woman scorned: You'll regret the day you were born.
Maddie & Tae make a splashy return with their most recent single, "Sierra". This song has it all! Excellent instrumentation and production, killer vocals, and sassy lyrics. These girls are excellent at songs that are whimsical and funny. Many songs of this ilk come across as cheesy (see "Mean" by Taylor Swift as an example), but in my opinion this one does not. I love the word play as they imply cuss words that never actually show up. Unfortunately I love their entire debut album so much that this song probably lands in the bottom half for me, which is why it missed #1. (Seriously, this album is GOOD. A killer song like this in the bottom half? Are you kidding me??!) I am so excited for new music from them!!
Ooh, I hope that I'm around when You get knocked up or get knocked down.
Tim McGraw is just so good. For literally my entire life, I have almost always loved his music. It makes my heart happy to see him still finding immense success on country radio after all these years. This song is incredible! I love the message behind it. Before anyone had even heard Tim sing this song, I remember some people on Pulse found a video of Lori McKenna singing this in concert since she is the songwriter. People were commenting about how this would be a perfect song for Martina McBride, and then someone said they thought Tim McGraw had just recorded it. Turns out he had, and lo and behold it became one of the biggest smash hits of the year! I can't say I am disappointed that he got a hold of it instead of Martina, because he does such a perfect job with it and gave it a ton of exposure that she would not have been able to give it at this point in her career.
Don't take for granted the love this life gives you. When you get where you're going, don't forget, turn back around And help the next one in line. Always stay humble and kind.
As I said before when Dierks showed up with "Different For Girls", his latest singles have been SUPER disappointing compared to his previous album. Well, if you need more proof, here he is like 100 positions higher with the incredible final single from his previous album. This song is hella good! I love the earnest tenacity in his voice. You can tell that the narrator of the song IS a hard worker who is willing to fight for a future just by Dierks' vocal delivery! This is another old song with the beginning of its chart run cut off, so it is incredible that it was able to make it this high. I really wish I had had a chart through this whole era so we could see how many points "Bourbon In Kentucky", "I Hold On", "Drunk On A Plane", and "Say You Do" all got in comparison to this song. It would have made "Somewhere On A Beach" and "Different For Girls" look even more shameful...
I’m strong enough to hold you through the winter, Mean enough to stare your demons down. The hard times put the shine into the diamond, I won’t let that keep us in the ground.
Definitely surprised to see this song so high. I must have kept it alive much longer than I remember! This was one of the songs in this past year that simply would not die on country radio, so I never quite knew when to let go of it. It is a very good song, but I was super tired of it by the time it finally peaked. I remember feeling a little miffed that I took it all the way to #3 on my chart, because I was SO sick of it! But I think a #3 placing is very deserved, now that I have had a little space from the song. It is still a very good song. I would like to see Kip return to being as successful on radio as he was with his first album, so his songs will climb a little faster and not hang around forever until I get sick of them!
But if the rain starts falling, falling on you, And your heart starts breaking, breaking in two. If the light starts fading, baby, don't move. Just say my name, stay right there. I'll come running for you.
This song is so beautiful I know I am in the minority on Pulse, but I think Hillary Scott has one of the best voices in modern music. Song choices are something Lady Antebellum has struggled with for years, but Hillary's voice is always on point for me. Either way, whether you like her voice or not, it is absolutely perfect for a song like this! This vocal performance is haunting to me. The production is incredible as well. I think the overall echoey quality of the song definitely contributes to my love for it. I honestly had no clue what to do with this song peak-wise on my chart, but ultimately chart clog made my decision for me. It probably deserved to peak higher than #4, but oh well. At least it finishes within the top 40 on the countdown!
Sometimes I gotta stop, Remember that You’re God And I am not.
Another song I am a little surprised to see so high on the countdown. As you can see, Craig has had a very consistent track record on my chart this year! His other song on the countdown, "I'll Be Home Soon" peaked at #7 and ended up just outside the top 50 of the countdown. Then here's this one, just inside the top 40. In this case the song itself is a little boring, but Craig Morgan's vocal performance elevates it and makes it super catchy. I was so eager to hear new music from him, and this song did not disappoint! The production is also a perfect blend of neo-trad and modern. This will be his last appearance on the 2016 countdown, and at this point it doesn't look like he'll release anything in 2017, so this might be the last time we hear from him for awhile...
Tell them I stared down all my fears, That I danced on a wire, and I walked through the fire. That I lived every moment till that moment retired. So my life goes on, goes on when I'm gone.
This song is another super epic obscure find! I don't usually dabble much with obscure music, but this song immediately jumped out to me when I saw rave reviews about it. Jamie O'Neal has one of the best voices of the early 00's, and I really miss having her around on the radio, so I think I first listened to this song for her. Needless to say, I was absolutely blown away by Erica's voice, and the way these two women sound together! Erica would have fit right in perfectly with the surge of prominent women in the '90s such as Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, LeAnn Rimes, Lee Ann Womack, Jamie O'Neal, Sara Evans, Reba, Wynonna, etc. Her vocals are just so strong and smooth. She even sounds identical to Reba for a brief moment when she sings the very last "do" of the song Melodically this song is super strong on top of the killer vocals. I literally could do nothing BUT fall in love with this song!
He don't like being alone. I ain't tellin' you nothing you don't already know. He's holdin' you wishin' he was here. That may sound a little mean, but I don't care if you care.
Things must be getting very exciting, because Kelsea Ballerini finally makes her first appearance on the countdown! Many of you don't know this about me, but I was NOT a fan of "Love Me Like You Mean It". I mean, it is okay, but not great, and then overplay kinda put the nail in the coffin for me. So naturally, I did not have high expectations for this song, or for Kelsea in general. Boy was I surprised! I tried hard to hate this, and then I realized that I absolutely LOVED the "Hey"'s in the chorus. I thought they were hilarious! It's like, "You want a kiss? Hey, look at me!!" I can't really explain it very well in words. But it cracked me up, and I very quickly grew fond of the whole song from there. The melody is very catchy. I even love the talk-singing breakdown at the end of the chorus, which is very uncharacteristic of me! Basically this song won me over from every angle. It also gets the distinction of being the first #1 contender that got blocked and stuck at a #2 peak. She got stuck behind Rainey Qualley's "Me And Johnny Cash", and then ironically finished higher on the countdown. Both songs would have done even better if they hadn't had the beginning of their runs cut off though...
If you got a kiss on your lips that you're looking for somebody to take, (Hey!) If you've got a heart that ain't afraid to love ain't afraid to break, (Hey!) If you've got a Friday night free and a shotgun seat, Well I'm just saying, I ain't got nowhere to be. So baby, I'll take whatever it is you've got to give. Yeah, I'm calling dibs.
Miranda Lambert makes her first and only appearance on the countdown at #36. "Vice" is a killer of a song! I love it! After being gone for so long there is no doubt her lead single was highly anticipated, and in my opinion she did not disappoint. The lyrics and vocal delivery of this song are both incredible! As someone who has always been fairly critical of Miranda, I wholeheartedly embraced this song. I even think the production is perfect. My favorite part is the way she sings "It's gone before it ever melts the ice", highlighted below. But honestly the whole song is great. We have reached the part of the countdown where I literally have no criticisms of the songs, and there are still 35 to go!
All dressed up in a pretty black label. Sweet salvation on the dining room table Waiting on me Where the numb meets the lonely. It's gone before it ever melts the ice, Another vice.
I also love:
If you need me, I'll be where my reputation don't precede me. Maybe I'm addicted to goodbyes. Another vice.
Sorry I keep taking so long in between posts! Everything is really picking up post-holidays for me!
35. "Lipstick" - Runaway June
Peak: 7 (So far...)
Total Points: 827
Runaway June provide a sound that is sorely missing in country music these days. The 3-part female harmonies are incredible for sure, but the absolute best part for me is the production. This song is full of fiddle and dobro, and the lyrics are incredible! I think the chorus is so clever, as well as the hook at the end of it. I would love to see Runaway June get a full album sometime in 2017, so they can see continued success on my chart.
If you're gonna love somebody, Yeah, you better love somebody Who would keep those pretty blue eyes as dry as the Sahara. If you're gonna love somebody, Yeah, you better love somebody Who ruins your lipstick, not your mascara.
My favorite male vocalist strikes again! Truthfully though, I am a little shocked to see this song made it so high on the countdown. I have such a high standard for George Strait music that a "good" song like this comes across as a little too boring to me. George is so consistently awesome that when I first heard this song I was slightly let down. The production is great, and vocally George is still on top of his game, but melodically this song is kinda lacking. And I kept thinking it would grow on me more than it did. George sounds so natural singing a song like this though, which is a major selling point for it. I would like to see him go for more of the clever hooks and catchy choruses that he is so good at finding!
Brother, my folks are gettin' up there in years. Momma still thinks the devil's in him.
Ironically, this song comes right on the heels of a George Strait song, and this is by far the most George-Strait-like song of 2016, in my opinion! The production is littered with steel guitar yet still feels modern, and the vocal performance is like straight out of George's early-00's catalog. This song would fit in perfectly on George's Somewhere Down In Texas album. Craig sounds exactly like George on the "pearly gates" line in the first verse too! Anyway, enough about George, Craig does an awesome job with this song. Vocally he has always reminded me a little bit of Chris Young too. In other words, he is criminally underrated as a vocalist. Unfortunately for Craig, Chris is much better at song selection, but I still think Craig is worth watching. Songs like this show just what he could be capable of, and I hope to see this song continue to do well on country radio in 2017. Yeah, the good Lord knows me. He knows I need blue skies And green grass forever. Lord, when I die, I wanna live on the outskirts of heaven.
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