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The Best And Worst Country Songs Of 2011: Erin Grant Chimes In [VIDEO]

Thompson Square (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Okay, so why am I chiming in? Because Chad told me to! Ha Ha! But seriously, there were a lot of good songs and bad songs this year, let’s see how I stack up against my fellow djs.

The Best

#10. Eric Church–”Drink in my Hand”: 2011 was Church’s biggest year to date. His third studio album, Chief, not only landed at Number One on the Country Album chart, but it also peaked at the top of the Billboard 200. Yeah, watch out Taylor Swift! Some may prefer the album’s lead single “Homeboy”, but I absolutely love his latest “Drink in my Hand”.

#9. David Nail–”Let it Rain”: Nail’s follow up to his breakthrough single from last year, “Red Light”, is a little more pop-sounding than country because of the harmonies, but it’s a solid song. I hope David Nail can continue to build momentum, he’s a heck of a singer.

#8. Miranda Lambert–”Baggage Claim”: Miranda Lambert certainly had another big year. She got married to fellow country star Blake Shelton (we’ll get him in a little bit), she formed the Pistol Annies, a group that produced one of the best albums of the year, and she released her most ambitious album to date, Four The Record. The lead single is pure Lambert, attitude, conviction, and it has a sense of humor. Oh and I guess she was too busy to make a proper video. Why? Because she can!

#7. Brantley Gilbert–”Country Must Be Country Wide”: Gilbert was writing hit songs for other people, including Jason Aldean, but sometimes, the writer has to step out on his own and this Number One hit is the perfect opening statement.

#6. Sunny Sweeney–”From a Table Away”: Although Sunny Sweeney had been signed to a major label since 2007, it wasn’t until technically last year that she charted her first hit. A scorned lover always makes a good story and an even better song.

#5. Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson: “Don’t You Wanna Stay”: A duet can be a good thing. This just isn’t any old duet, it’s what the CMA dubs a “Vocal Event”. Aldean was lucky to score American Idol winner and Kelly Clarkson can sing any genre she darn well pleases. The track was Number One on the Country charts and it also did well on the pop charts.

#4. Zac Brown Band–”Colder Weather”: Zac Brown writes some of the best country music today. I don’t think this band has put out one bad song yet. This ballad is tender and almost perfect. It’s one reason why country continues to crossover.

#3. Kenny Chesney featuring Grace Potter–”You and Tequila”: It was nice to hear a song from Kenny Chesney that wasn’t a rollicking good time song about drinking. Well, yes, this song has tequila in the title, but it’s a little different and more personal. Grace Potter adds the soul. Here’s their performance of the song from this year’s CMA awards.

#2. Thompson Square–”Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?”: Okay, technically this song was released last year, but a country song will chart for months, sometimes years. This husband and wife duo almost made to number one on my best list; I guess it could tie for the top. Nevertheless, this song is catchy, it crossed over, and it has achieved platinum status. Not too shabby for a debut single.

And landing at #1 on my Best list? Blake Shelton–”God Gave Me You”: This song was originally written and recorded by contemporary Christian singer Dave Barnes. When Blake Shelton heard the song, it inspired him to propose to then-girlfriend Miranda Lambert. And he then recorded it. For me, this has to be Shelton’s best love song yet. Great hooks and very powerful. The following video is not the official video, oh well.

The Worst

#5. Brad Paisley feat. Alabama–”Old Alabama”: I’m sorry, but if I wanted to listen old Alabama, I would listen to old Alabama! I just find it a bit insulting that Paisley made one of the biggest country groups of all time just basically re-record “Mountain Music”. Not to mention, I think Paisley’s songwriting has gotten worse over the years. Try something fresh already!

#4. Rascal Flatts–”I Won’t Let Go”: Oh I let go of these guys a long time ago. I’ll never understand why every one of their smaltzy ballads end up in the top 5 or at Number One almost every time. I’d say these guys deserve a long overdue break…PLEASE!

#3. Tim McGraw–”Felt Good On My Lips”: I usually like McGraw’s stuff, but this one is just all kinds of wrong. What’s even more unbelievable? It went to Number One. Are you kidding me? I’m hoping now that McGraw is free from the shackles of Curb Records, he can get back to putting out some real country music again. (p.s. “Better Than I Used to Be” is a good start, I hope he keeps it up.)

#2. Faith Hill–”Come Home”: Lord bless Mrs. McGraw. Faith Hill hasn’t had a hit record in what seems like an eternity. If this is what she thinks will put her back on the map, she needs to turn around and ask for directions. And it might be a good idea for Hill to get back to some country roots. Her roots are showing, not good!

#1. Shania Twain–”Today is Your Day”: Oh boy, where do I begin? Twain is another female who hasn’t had a hit since God was a child. Her writing is good, but it’s almost too basic and this dull gem didn’t make one dent in my brain. It’s sad really. I blame Oprah.

Will these former country divas and studs find a way to bounce back in 2012? We’ll just have to wait and see.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

(All videos courtesy of YouTube.com)

 

 

 

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