While 2013 had some monumental positives, it wasn't without some massive failures. The evolution of the genre has produced a brigade of wanna be pop stars parading about in their big trucks, downgrading women, and making sure everyone knew just how country they are. While we finally saw a lot of backlash to this trend, we still had a slew of bro-country songs. If you can stomach it, lets relive the songs in 2013 that had us shaking our heads and covering our ears.
First of all, lets take a peak at the dishonarable mentions. These songs certainly sucked, but didn't quit crack the top (bottom?) five.
Round Here -Florida Georgia Line
Booze Cruise -Blackjack Billy
Ready Set Roll -Chase Rice
Cruise (Remix) -Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly
She Cranks My Tractor -Dustin Lynch
Drinks After Work -Toby Keith
5. Aw Naw -Chris Young
Chris Young has one of the best voices in country music. He also has been responsible for some of the best mainstream country in years. "Neon", "Drinkin' Me Lonely", "Voices", "Tomorrow", and "The Man I Wanna Be" are all fantastic songs. That's what makes "Aw Naw" so disappointing. Chris truly had it all: mainstream success and traditionalist's respect. Instead of building on that resume, Chris 100% sold out to the bro-country world. "Aw Naw" performed very well, despite its unimaginative lyrics and clunky melody. Chris still has my vote as a good guy in country music, but that's also why this song ranks on this list. Luke Bryan can do this crap, Chris. We expected better of you. With great power comes great responsibility.
4. Parking Lot Party -Lee Brice
Keep It Country Kids has been existent for two year end lists now, and I'll be darned if both times an artist had the distinction of having a song place on the Best Song of the Year category, and one on the Worst Song of the Year category. Last year, Tim McGraw had "Better Than I Used To Be" in the top, and "Truck Yeah" topped the worst. This year, Lee Brice had "I Drive Your Truck" in the top 5, and followed up that smash single with this turd. "Parking Lot Party" places here not just because it is another dumb drinking-party-bro song in an over saturated market, but for the sheer laziness of the song. "Ain't no party like the pre-party and after the party is the after party" is an actual line in the song. It may be the least imaginative song I've heard. The melody isn't catchy, and the chorus seems to stagger and stumble its way to the finish. I can hear the catchiness of Florida-Georgia Line or Luke Bryan's worst and maybe get some of the guilty pleasure factor, but I can't at all with this. It's just bad. Much like Chris Young, Lee Brice has put out enough strong material that he isn't on my shit list yet, but a few more "Parking Lot Party" clunkers and he may be. Stick to the good stuff, Lee! "I Drive Your Truck", "Crazy Girl", "A Woman Like You", and "Love Like Crazy" are all well done. You are better than this!
3. Boys Round Here -Blake Shelton
Ahhh. The man who dubbed myself and many other like me "old farts and jackasses" and claims to have a deciding role in the direction of country music showed us just how scary that direction is. Much like "Parking Lot Party", the laziness of this song is where I get frustrated. "Talkin' bout girls, talkin' bout trucks..." no story, no characters... Just Blake and his goofy hip-hop wannabe sound. Blake is on top of the world right now, and instead of using his pedestal to promote real country music and keep the genre true to its roots and relevant, he sold out to the highest bidder, cutting this dumb hick-hop ode to being a bro country d-bag, and further tarnished country music's reputation. Sorry Blake, this song isn't appealing to red-red-red-red-rednecks, its appealing to dumb-dumb-dumb-dumb-dumbasses.
2. 1994 -Jason Aldean
Let me just start this off with the biggest problem I have with the whole hick-hop craze: Most of these guys CAN'T rap! I can appreciate a good rap song. I could even appreciate it if the country rap was well done, like some of the stuff Gangstagrass puts out. With that being said, Jason Aldean is the worst of all the bad country rappers. He has no flow, his voice is too nasally and everything comes across as monotone. Put that terrible execution with some terrible lyrics and you have this poop sandwhich of a song. "1994" pretends to be a tribute to 90's country star Joe Diffie, but it comes across as making fun of him. All in all, "1994" is a dumb song with dumb lyrics and a dumb backbeat performed by a guy who can't rap trying to rap. Sounds about right for mainstream country music in 2013.
1. That's My Kind of Night -Luke Bryan
Uhh uhh.... The opening line to this mess perfectly describes my stomach when I hear it come on. Luke Bryan, the hip shaking country man-child that all women want to get their hands on, pulled out all the bro country stops on this train wreck of epic proportions. Bad 80's rock guitar? check. Name dropping rappers? check. Hip-hop structuring? check. Objectifying women? check. Big trucks, hunting, fishing, dirt roads, beer, any other over-exaggerations about how ridiculously country Luke Bryan is to make up for the fact that his music is clearly not country? check. Luke sounds like he is swallowing something as he glurps out the first few lines of the song. Imagine Gomer Pyle mixed with an autotuner and you have a good idea of how this song sounds. Zac Brown called this the "worst song he has ever heard", and I'd have a hard time finding one to challenge Zac with. Of course, the masses ate it up. The sales from this song alone could let Luke buy all the Crest White Strips and women's skinny jeans he needs to be happy and content the rest of his life. Luke Bryan used to have serious potential. I was a big fan when he started. I still think Luke is actually a nice guy. But he simply lacks the ability to make a stand for himself. He is completely ok with allowing the suits from the record label make him into a walking caricature of rural life and country music in general to make a profit. Somewhere deep inside, Luke Bryan has that talent and potential I saw in him early in his career. Unfortunately, those tight jeans have smothered and choked that potential. Come back to us, Luke. It's time to grow up and sing real songs. I know you have it in you. Until then, you get to be the target of my disdain and snarkiness, but to be fair your brought this on yourself when you spit on the traditions of real country music.
Full Song review
Full Song review
Well folks, there you have it. The worst of the worst. If I missed a real stinker of a song, or I put your favorite song in the top 5 and I'm a total jealous hater in my mom's basement who will never ever be that famous and takes out my frustrations on all the people I will never be as cool as, please let me know as well. Cleanse your senses by checking out the 10 best albums of 2013 or the 10 best songs of 2013. Until next time, remember to KEEP IT COUNTRY KIDS!