My Kind of Country

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

Dogs and duds: The worst singles of 2010

It’s not usually our style here at My Kind of Country to spend a lot of time writing biting reviews about all the crap we don’t like.  You can believe that our writers can be as brutal as the next when the dreck crosses our desks.  But hey, everybody’s gotta have a niche’ and ours is writing positively about only what we deem print-worthy.  Aside from that, there are so many other talented writers churning out brilliantly scathing analyses all over the interweb.  Still, we couldn’t resist – just this one time of year – to compile a list of the worst singles of the year, and then see just how blistered we can get a few superfans.

So here they are, the bottom of the bottom.  These are ranked in order, by a points system, taken from respective lists from Razor X, Occasional Hope, and myself.  Listening while you read is not necessary nor recommended.

P.S.  When commenting, please refrain from expletives.  Attacking the writers’ taste in music, intelligence, or even our Mamas won’t bother us so much.  Just keep it clean please.  Enjoy!

10. Jason Aldean – Crazy Town

I’m usually the first one to enjoy a song that paints up the roundabouts of Music Row. Romanticizing your hard-beaten path to stardom or just lamenting the rigors of the road in song is something of a rite of passage in country music.  Listening to this tune, it’s obvious Aldean is adhering to his own adage with ‘To be a star you gotta bang bang bang’. The problem is, he doesn’t even have the right drum. – J.R.

9. Craig Morgan — Still A Little Chicken Left On That Bone

I really dislike rock-oriented songs that try to gain country cred by adding some banjo to the mix, but it is the shouted chorus that really makes this record annoying. – R.X.

Banjo added to the mix or no, I bet even those guys from Deliverance would change the station when this came on. – J.R.

8. Toby Keith – Every Dog Has Its Day

Like Trace Adkins, Toby Keith continues to reach new lows with his pseudo-clever ditties such as this. Here, your typical white-trash honky-tonk angel (the same gal from all of Toby’s classy odes to true love) finally knocks out a suitor coming on too strong. I’m not sure what’s worse: that the narrator actually thought saying “every dog has its day dog but today dog just ain’t yours” would cool the suitor’s jets, or that someone thought this story even needed telling. – J.R.

7. The JaneDear Girls – Wildflower

Another overproduced rock-based number with an extremely grating sing-song chorus. – R.X.

Everything about this is awful. The girls can’t sing very well, even given a song with only a few notes to sing, and the overly processed sound is entirely inappropriate for a song comparing the protagonist to a wild flower. – O.H.

6. Laura Bell Bundy – Giddy On Up

I don’t know whether to dismiss this one as something that shouldn’t be taken seriously or to be offended that Bundy and her team thought that country music fans were so lacking in taste that we’d actually like something like this. – R.X.

5. Sugarland – Stuck Like Glue

Inane lyrics and annoying vocal tics (even before the reggae part starts). – O.H.

An absolute hot mess of a record that is annoying up until the reggae part, and from that point on it’s just embarrassing. – R.X.

4. Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins – Hillbilly Bone

Heavy handed production and clichéd redneck anthem lyrics combined with a pseudo hip-hop beat are the hallmarks of this record which is far beneath the talents of the two artists who recorded it. – R.X.

3. Trace Adkins – AlaFreakinBama

A tuneless shoutfest that would vie for the title of Worst Record of Trace Adkins’ career were it not for ‘Honky-tonk Badonkadonk’. – R.X.

Trace Adkins has a great voice but apparently no musical taste, judging by the number of truly crappy songs he has picked in his time. This manages to achieve something I previously thought unachievable: it’s actually worse than ‘Honky Tonk Badonkadonk’. Almost tuneless in the verse, the chorus degenerates into a one-note yelling of the title, backed up by crowd noise. – O.H.

2. Carrie Underwood – Undo It

If Underwood were ably revisiting the sound Shania Twain pioneered in the 90s, I’d be one of the first to jump on board. But if the production sounds like an old mix tape from that era recorded over the FM airwaves, I’ll probably fall off the wagon. A chorus that falls apart with the first line doesn’t help to win me back either. – J.R.

Sheer unadulterated 80s pop melody, processed sounding and much too loud production, with absolutely no subtlety or light and shade in the delivery and an ultra-annoying chorus. I can see why her fans would like it, but personally I wish I could unhear it. – O.H.

1. Justin Moore – Backwoods

I can live with the clichéd lyrics (which could be worse), but not the almost complete lack of melody, loudly over-produced backing and yelled singing. The interjected laugh is also irritating. – O.H.

In just over two and half excruciatingly long minutes, Moore manages to cram every cringe-worthy hillbilly cliché’ into a melodically clunky hit song. If country music all sounded like this, it would have stayed in those woods. – J.R.


16 responses to “Dogs and duds: The worst singles of 2010

  1. bob December 28, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Great job. These are all songs that would make be change the station on the rare occasions that I listen to radio (that would be in the car if i forget to bring a cd.)

  2. DimSkip December 28, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Country Universe just did a series of posts on their picks for top 40 singles of the year. Interestingly three of your “worst” choices were among their “best” and quite highly placed too…

    The Best Singles of 2010, Part 4: #10-#1

    #3 = Sugarland’s “Stuck Like Glue”

    Every once and awhile, a piece of ear candy comes along that defies the term “ear candy.” That’s what “Stuck Like Glue” is, to be sure: an infectious acoustic-pop morsel, invigorated by Nettles’ insanely joyful performance and a genre-busting breakdown. But there’s something about the song that puts it on another plane. Maybe it’s the organic energy, or maybe it’s the lack of artistic inhibition. Or maybe it’s the simple fact that “Stuck Like Glue” doesn’t try to be anything that it’s not. It just is. And as a result, it’s that rare breed of song that taps into your spirit – that demands you to stop thinking, start feeling and have a damn good time. – TS

    #7 = Laura Bell Bundy’s “Giddy On Up”

    The most interesting and surprising debut single that I can remember. So many creative and unexpected choices are made, but it is Bundy’s forceful personality that pulls it all together into something cohesive. In an era of country music that is little more than dull shades of gray, “Giddy On Up” is a Technicolor marvel. – Kevin Coyne

    The Best Singles of 2010, Part 3: #20-#11

    #15 = Carrie Underwood’s “Undo It”

    Judging from what I’ve heard people say about this song, I don’t think there’s any middle ground on this one. Either turn the radio off in disgust, or turn it up and sing along. – KC

  3. Ben Foster December 28, 2010 at 10:34 am

    10. Crazy Town – Dislike
    9. Still a Little Chicken Left On That Bone – Dislike
    8. Every Dog Has Its Day – Dislike
    7. Wildflower – Dislike
    6. Giddy On Up – Like
    5. Stuck Like Glue – LOVE
    4. Hillbilly Bone – Like
    3. Ala-Freakin’-Bama – Totally Abhor
    2. Undo It – Dislike/ Guilty Pleasure (Depending on current mood)
    1. Backwoods – Totally Abhor

    Not gonna lie here – Jennifer’s annoying vocal tactics (especially in the reggae bridge) are what secure a place for “Stuck Like Glue” on my BEST list.

    • J.R. Journey December 28, 2010 at 10:43 am

      ‘Stuck Like Glue’ was a near-miss on my own best-of list too. These 10 come from collective lists from all 3 full-time writers here, so it’s decidedly different than what any of us would have came up with on our own.

      I agree that songs like ‘Glue’ and ‘Undo It’ are definitely polarizing, and I can hear the love it/hate it factor in both. For me, ‘Glue’ is like a lot of other Sugarland singles – it’s super catchy with lyrics to charm your socks off. ‘Undo It’, on the other hand, has about as much charm as subtlety as a wild boar.

  4. Ken Johnson December 28, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Great list but you neglected to include EVERYTHING recorded by Taylor Swift & Rascal Flatts. Why those acts are considered “country” is a mystery to me.

    Taylor Swift really belongs on top 40 where most of her pimply, adolescent fans are. The topics of her songs are relatable only to them.

    If you die and go to hell the country radio station there plays nothing but songs from the above list and the entire Taylor Swift & Rascal Flatts catalogue. Another excellent reason to begin your road to redemption today.

    • Ben Foster December 28, 2010 at 12:26 pm

      Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift definitely don’t fit everyone’s definition of “country,” even if they are country as the current market now defines it. But they both released some rather good singles this year with “Why Wait” and “Back to December” respectively (even though they’ve also released a few clunkers over the course of their careers). Such songs might not be traditional country, but they were well-written and well-performed, so I don’t think the pop sheen necessarily makes it bad music. Though I am an enthusiastic devotee of traditional country music, I do think there are more important factors to judge than whether or not a song sounds country.

    • Razor X December 28, 2010 at 3:19 pm

      Again, this list was compiled from our three individual “worst of” lists. Taylor and RF were definitely in the running but didn’t rank quite high (or is it low?) enough to make the final cut. I agree with everything you said, though.

  5. plain_jo December 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Agreed with the exception of #1, maybe a bad song but I really like it.

  6. Lina December 28, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Interesting list & thoughts. Not in agreement w/Jason & Hillbilly Bone was catchy but you were spot on with the rest. I always enjoy seeing different views. Toby has reached new lows for the past few years & Sugarland is like nails on a chalkboard. Carrie has a wondeful voice but seems to think she needs to do pole dancing songs to show how good she can sing.

  7. Rick December 28, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    I’ll admit I like “Hillbilly Bone” to a point for its musical structure, but then again I consider “Honky Tonk Badonkabonk” a guilty pleasure for the same reason. The lyrics to both songs are a real drawback though.

    I do like the music video for “Giddy On Up” even though I turn down the volume as Laura Bell Bundy in that midriff baring buckskin outfit is a sight to behold! I guess she was hoping the belly button exposure would work for her like it did for Shania all those many years ago. It didn’t, although if Laura hooked up with Mutt Lange who knows what might happen!

    I’ll take your word for the rest of the songs as I really have no interest in hearing them.

    PS – The Jane Dear Girls song has been following Sunny Sweeney’s “From A Table Away” up the singles charts but seems to have finally lost steam at # 20. Thank goodness for small favors!

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  12. Jon G. January 30, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Guilty. I basically just copied Ben Foster’s format.
    10. Crazy Town – Dislike
    9. Still a Little Chicken Left On That Bone – Dislike
    8. Every Dog Has Its Day – Meh. It’s not terrible. My bias prevents me from actively disliking many Toby songs; he usually sings well enough where I’ll let him slide a little on lyrics.
    7. Wildflower – Dislike
    6. Giddy On Up – Hate
    5. Stuck Like Glue – Again, not terrible. I definitely would not rank it among the worst singles of the year.
    4. Hillbilly Bone – Fresh standpoint, highly skilled singers, bad song.
    3. Ala-Freakin’-Bama – Embarassed on Trace’s behalf.
    2. Undo It – Utterly detest
    1. Backwoods – Dislike

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