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Chad’s Worst Five Country Songs of 2013

Okay.  I’ve published my choices for the Top 10 Country Songs of 2013, so it’s only fair that I pick my five worst, right?  And, I know.  I know.  Some of you will completely disagree and that’s perfectly fine.  Some songs that you absolutely love will, quite possibly, make this list.  If that happens, all I can do is say I’m jealous.  You were lucky enough to find something positive hidden deep inside a steaming pile of mashed up music mess.  LOL!  So, here we go.  Let the disagreements begin.  I proudly present . . . The Worst 5 Country Songs of 2013.

#5-  Easy- Sheryl Crow

Ironic that this song comes from the gal who gave us the pop smash “If It Makes You Happy.”  Because this just doesn’t.  In fact, it makes me a cutter.  Sheryl Crow has gone country, folks!  And for what?  This?  It drives me crazy when pop stars turn to country when their star fades on the other chart.  Jewel did it and her “country” CD was a train wreck.  Now along comes Sheryl Crow thinking the switch to country is going to be “Easy.”  But it takes more than “sitting in the sun and drinking tequila all day” to give a song some country flavor.  With this song, Sheryl is simply eating crow.

#4-  That’s My Kind of Night-  Luke Bryan

Go ahead.  Start taking my name in vain.  LOL!  I know ya’ll love ya some Luke Bryan.  And before you get too bent out of shape, I ask that you remember that Luke also made my Top Ten list with the amazing and contemplative “Drink a Beer.”  But this song is atrocious.  Zac Brown made headlines earlier this year when he said the same thing about it.  And I am totally Team Zac here.  I mean, really.  Who thought it was a good idea to use the saying “Winner winner catfish dinner” as the basis for the chorus of a song.  My grandfather Russell was a tournament fisherman.  In his glory days, he was amazing and won trophies in tournaments in rivers and lakes all over the place.  And Russell taught me how to fish (or tried to) and the golden rules of the sport.  One of the most important rules- if it ain’t a good enough catch, you throw it back.  Luke, you should have thrown this back.  I firmly believe this song was a #1 hit SOLELY because of Luke’s growing popularity.  If any other artist had recorded this, it would have been catch and release.

#3-  1994-  Jason Aldean

Two years ago, Jason Aldean had two songs in my 2011 Top Ten (“Dirt Road Anthem” & “Tattoos on this Town).  I thought his My Kinda Party CD was genius.  But, with the exception of “Night Train” and “When She Says Baby,” Jason’s latest has been a total disappointment.  And “1994″ just takes the cake.  Actually, I think someone left the cake out in the rain and I don’t think I can take it.  The only thing more ridiculous than rap-inspired chants of “Joe, Joe, Joe Diffie” is the fact that the song actually ended up inspiring a Joe Diffie response . . . the unfortunate-as-a-stray-fart-during-church “Girl Ridin’ Shotgun” w/ D-Thrash.  You can only say the Serenity Prayer so many times.

#2-  The Outsiders-  Eric Church

The word “artist” drives me crazy.  The judges on American Idol and The X Factor will routinely ask contestants, “What kind of artist do you want to be?”  Well, how about this?  Let’s instead ask, “What kind of singer do you want to be?”  The goal of any singer should be to get their music heard.  The ultimate goal- to get it on the radio so the majority of people have access to it and can hear it, enjoy it and want to buy it.  Right?  I’m pretty sure that’s why record labels sign and market singers.  It took years for Eric Church to achieve that kind of commercial success but he finally did it . . . with radio and ear-friendly songs like “Springsteen” and the infallible “Like Jesus Does.”  But now it seems Eric fancies himself an “artist” and he’s taking a rather “artful” (if not pretentious) approach to unveiling his new album.  He had a listening party in a dimly lit church where the music was blaring and the “Thank you’s” to Tori Amos were flowing (she previously recorded a CD in a church).  Eric, this is country music.  We’re not really interested in the “art” of it all.  We just want to hear good music we can drive to, drink to, dance to and rock out to at concerts.  You’ve worked hard to become part of the country music landscape and you belong here.  You don’t have to pretend to be an “Outsider.”

#1-  Drinks After Work-  Toby Keith

There aren’t enough emoticons to demonstrate how much I dislike this song.  Look.  Let me explain.  I normally love Toby Keith.  In fact, I think up-tempo Toby rocks (“How Do You Like Me Now,” “God Love Her,” “Mexico”).  Well, it used to rock.  I’m not sure why the gruff, not-taking-any-crap-from-anybody Toby is suddenly recording songs like this.   To me, “Drinks After Work” sounds like a really bad theme song for a 1980′s sitcom.  I’m serious.  Close your eyes and listen to it.  Do you not picture Michael J. Fox, Justine Bateman and Tina Yothers?  Or better yet?  Can you picture Tootie, Blair, Jo, Natalie and Ms. Garrett as Toby sings.  Toby, you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life.  And the fact is . . . “Drinks After Work” is a big hiccup (or beer burp) in a great career.

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