My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Annus horribilis: the worst country songs of 2012

wile e coyoteAfter several years of the reign of redneckus maximus, we’re now to the point of trucksong overloadus, way past selfus parody-us, and nearing complete-us crappus.  How does mainstream country music crawl out from under this pile of cartoonish crap it has buried itself in? I don’t know. My fellow writers don’t know either. But we know these are truly terrible songs.

10. “Something ‘Bout a Truck” – Kip Moore

Georgia native Moore first landed on the Hot Country Songs chart last year with “Mary Was The Marryin’ Kind”, a decent little throwback of a song. When that tanked, he came back (and not surprisingly hit big) with this loud, obnoxious and cliche’-laden song, a song so lowest common denominator and devoid of intelligence that even Craig Morgan would have passed on it.

- J.R. Journey

9. “Must’ve Had a Good Time” – Parmalee

No. Thank. You. How can anyone call this mess even remotely country? Just when you think you’ve heard it all, something comes along to make the rest seem like the second coming of Hank Williams, Sr. Every year I think we’ve hit rock bottom and then we go further and further down the black hole. I now understand why people give up listening to country radio.

- Jonathan Pappalardo

8. “Telescope” – Hayden Panettierre

A ridiculously bad pop song like a parody of bad country radio yet somehow it has made the jump from TV’s Nashville (where I gather it’s supposed to be a bad record) to being a bona fide minor hit with both sales and radio play. This seems like the ultimate indictment of modern radio programmers.

- Occasional Hope

7. “Good Girl” – Carrie Underwood

The horrible echoey production and shouted vocals make this unlistenable.

- Hope

Frantic, spastic, shout-y, and a good dose of forced rasp. Couldn’t she have found a better influence than Steven Tyler? He’s clearly no good for this girl. Any chance I can pick up the tab for his goodbye shoes? Please?

- Jonathan

6. “Cruise” – Florida Georgia Line

The only thing worse than this pair of deebags hitting a major breakthrough in their career with a piece of drivel like this will be the countless deebags-in-training that will be inspired to emulate Florida Georgia Line’s success. From the butchered grammar lyrics to the singers’ affected twang and dog tags around their necks, these guys are a legit training manual on how to be scuzzy deebag losers.

- J.R.

5. “Dancing Away With My Heart” – Lady Antebellum

We get it already. You haven’t seen each other in ages. Now move past this chance meeting and see where life takes you from here. Just maybe, there might be an interesting story in there somewhere. That is, if you can get over not having seen each other in ages and move beyond this anti-climatic dance floor run-in. Give it a try, you can’t get much worse. Right?

- Jonathan

This isn’t offensive to my ears like some of the songs on this list, it’s just so damn boring. Aren’t we on the twelfth floor yet?

- J.R.

4.  “She Cranks My Tractor” – Dustin Lynch

For every “Big Green Tractor” we get…this. I want to respect Dustin Lynch, but he isn’t helping his case by writing, recording, and releasing an ode to having an orgy with farm equipment.

- Jonathan

3. “Family Tree” – Her and Kings Country

Features an actual, very bad rapped section, badly constructed lyric. This almost unbelievably terrible song fortunately failed to make any headway for the Warner/Elektra group.

- Hope

2. “Kick It In The Sticks” – Brantley Gilbert

Wow, country radio sure has changed, yeah? The thought that Gilbert could get this pumped up nonsense up the charts (it stalled at 29, thank goodness, but in a re-release – it didn’t chart in 2010, wonder why?) is flat-out disgusting. I can stand my share of pop/country or rock/country type songs, but this is taking it to a whole new level. “Kick It In The Sticks” should be “Kick Him to the Curb.”

- Jonathan

This one was too awful even for country radio, which is quite an indictment. Heavy rock accompaniment to a song about country living, with very bad rock-style vocals from Brantley who sounds as if he has laryngitis. Unfortunately I think he meant it to sound that way. I also do not find the George Strait namedrop remotely credible.

- Hope

1. “Truck Yeah” – Tim McGraw

Don’t judge a book by its cover, but in this case judge a song by its title. When you’ll do anything to stay relevant, like record this junky play on words, you’re nothing more than desperate. “Felt Good On My Lips” and “It’s a Business Doing Pleasure With You” are bad, but this is inexcusable.

- Jonathan

I have no idea what McGraw is thinking. Having escaped the malign clutches of Curb I had hoped he would be free to record some decent material, but instead he comes up with this witless semi-rap trash, which is completely without merit of any kind. Some people don’t deserve artistic freedom.

- Hope

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11 responses to “Annus horribilis: the worst country songs of 2012

  1. Ken Johnson December 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    You forgot to include anything (and everything) by Taylor Swift.

    Oh that’s right, the title of this article is “…..Worst COUNTRY Songs of 2012,” That excludes her.

    But I gotta say that her “never ever getting back together” recording has got to be the WORST piece of crap of ANY GENRE released this year.

    • Occasional Hope December 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      It made my shortlist, Ken. You’re quite right that there’s nothing country about the way it sounds, and it also exposes her severe vocal limitations, regardless of genre.

  2. Razor X December 19, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Compiling a list of the worst country songs is no mean feat these days simply because there is so much to choose from. I haven’t listened to country radio on a regular basis in about five years. I can’t say I’ve really missed it but I do feel at times that I’m becoming terribly out of touch with the current music scene. I was feeling that way a couple of weeks ago and tuned my car radio to the local country station. Just listening to it for the ten minutes it takes me to drive to the train was almost unbearable. Everything is so loud, overproduced and cliched. After a few days I was happy to go back to being out of touch. I keep hoping things will get better, but they only seem to get worse.

    • Erik North August 18, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      I feel really bad for all true country music fans here. I’d like to ask the powers-that-be on Music Row why they think that having overt country music instrumentation on a Country record is too square, and why they somehow think it’s more commercially “palatable” to bury all of what made the form recognizable to begin with under a wall of bad lyrics, overblown production, and faux-Skynyrd electric guitars. It may be good for arenas and stadium spectacles, but it isn’t good for country music. I fear that unless this terrible trend is somehow reversed, and the music, to paraphrase the lyrics of a classic Beatles hit, gets back to where it once belonged in at least some resemblance, the whole form may cease to exist altogether except in our collective memories. And that, in my honest opinion, would be bad for American music all the way around.

  3. Michelle December 20, 2012 at 4:42 am

    I agree with the above comments about Taylor she is not and I repeat NOT country. I do like the Lady Antebellum and Carrie Underwood songs but they are the only two songs on this list that I do like.

  4. Ben Foster December 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Ha! I’m so relieved that there are only four songs on here that I like… and only two that I know will land on Country Universe’s Top Singles of 2012 ;)

    Aren’t we on the twelfth floor yet?

    I generally try not to overuse “LOL,” but dangit! LOLOLOL!

    Though in all seriousness, it sure does amaze me how Lady A has managed to score endless airplay with a song that pays so little attention to the importance of melody. The tune of “Dancing Away with My Heart” is so monotonous that it’s grating.

    You know it wasn’t a great year for country music when “She Cranks My Tractor” only makes #4, while “Corn Star” and “Party Like Cowboyz” don’t make the list at all. Thanks for a fun read, y’all!

  5. Andrew Leprich December 20, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I stopped listening to country radio entirely 3-4 years ago and haven’t looked back since. Like Razor, it’s a bit of an odd feeling being completely out of touch with today’s mainstream music scene, as there was a time not too long ago (2004-2005ish) in which I liked the majority of what I heard. It’s nothing short of amazing how dramatically and quickly mainstream country has declined. The good news is that with blogs and the Internet, one no longer needs to rely on country radio for music recommendations.

    I’m happy to say I haven’t heard any of these songs. Loved the write-ups, though!

  6. augustviking February 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Interesting.
    Having spent nigh on 30 years in radio (I couldn’t find an honest job)…20 as a PD/MD, I am increasingly dismayed by the putrid pop pap NashVegas assaults listeners with under the guise of ‘Country’ music.
    Cookie cutter programming (in more formats than Country) is a demon unleashed by the use of ‘consultants’…usually people who have never actually done an airshift, but nevertheless feel they are eminently fit to discourse on what is popular, and in what rotation songs should be played on a station until either they burn listeners out or the next big thing comes along.

  7. Bay August 18, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Carrie underwood singing good girl should not be on the list she is the best singer ever the cruise remix should be number one on the list

  8. Pingback: Hip Hop on Pop Country and other bad rhymes: the worst country songs of 2013 | My Kind of Country

  9. jaredrexclark December 25, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    HAHA! I do not understand how Florida Georgia Line are as popular as they are. All of their songs sound the exact same, and they seem to recycle the same lyrics. This song makes me want to scream when I hear it on the radio. Truck Yeah is terrible. It has a great guitar lick , but the lyrics are awful. I keep thinking you are Tim McGraw and you have been one of the most popular artist over the last 15-20 years, so why are you doing songs like this? Why is the same guy who do “Red Rag Top” doing “Truck Yeah”? I cannot figure that out.

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