Chart for Charts’ Sake: Hot Country Songs

Liberals are ANGRY about Carrie Underwood’s new song, a link a conservative relative posted to Facebook tells me. Now maybe I luckily dodged some snitty Bill Maher tweet, but I’ve yet to hear any reaction from my Obamaoist friends to “Something in the Water.” In fact, Underwood bleats about washing her sins in the blood of the Lamb with such featureless immensity that if you tune out every lyric except “must have been something the water” she could just as well be rallying anti-fluoridation activists, decrying how teen vandals roofied the baptismal font, or recalling that time a case of the runs spoiled a Cancun getaway.

Underwood is the only solo woman in this week’s country top ten, which seems like bad news till you realize that means RaeLynn’s cornpone creation myth “God Made Girls” has sugar ‘n’ spiced off to a better place. The great Ashley Monroe does get to slum alongside the good Blake Shelton on the dour booty call “Lonely Tonight” (“Nothing on TV” — oh Blake, you charmer), but as sex duets go, an uncredited Faith Hill saddling Tim McGraw and giddyupping into the sunrise on “Shotgun Rider” leaves ’em in the dust.

Elsewhere, the dudes ain’t partying like they used to. Sure there are the usual harmless, manipulative fibs about the-way-you-look-at-me-baby like Thomas Rhett’s “Make We Wanna” and small-town life like Zac Brown Band’s “Homegrown” (not to be confused with “Homegrown Honey,” in which Darius Rucker sings “You’re so money” because he has even more reason to miss the ’90s than most of us). But on “I See You,” Luke Bryan fends off advances from “a thousand girls” (one by one, I hope) to moon over one who got away, while Eric Church wistfully recalls a bromantic getaway to “Talladega”  (I always hear the opening line as  “It was the summer before The Real World started.”)

Lee Bice’s “Drinking Class” throws its broad shoulders back with the stolid commitment of later Springsteen, though I’d prefer he “get rowdy … get wild and loud” rather than just celebrate people who do (and who would never be prissy enough to false-rhyme the title with “bust our backs). As for the always sluggish-pulsed Kenny Chesney, he struggles to get the weekend started with “Til It’s Gone”; it’s bizarre and a little disturbing even to hear his constitutional blandness degenerate into a kind of reluctant anhedonia. I hope he’s all right.

Which brings us to Florida Georgia Line, who elicit the sort of intense rage you might expect from serious music fans if it turned out Bieber did 9/11. If the two dumbest members of Alabama performed botched mutual lobotomies on each other, the FGL dudes would still be asking for their help answering Jeff Foxworthy’s questions. Sure their lite-beer skank makes Magic! sound like Sly & Robbie. (OK, the Police.) (OK, the guys in your dorm who do a halfway decent  cover of “Message in a Bottle.”) And they dictate their Spotify playlists (“hip-hop and Haggard and Jagger” — big “Let’s Work” fans, these guys) like some dim OKCupider out to prove the breadth of his taste. (Bros: My new song “The Six Things I Could Never Do Without” is a sure-fire hit. DM me.). But every Line has a hook at the end, and the whistle on “Sun Daze” is one splashy lure. Definitely nothing to get ANGRY about.

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  • Craig Bickle  On February 7, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Now that I know, I’m livid! You should see me… blood boiling. How dare she!

  • Craig Bickle  On February 7, 2015 at 7:40 am

    (So you can go ahead and tell your aunt or whatever… 😉

  • chester  On February 10, 2015 at 9:10 am

    This was genius – thank you

  • usefulnoise  On February 10, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Thanks! And thanks for reading it.

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