Chad’s Top 10 Country Songs of 2013 [Video]
Cue the head-scratching. Cue the moans and groans. Cue the laughter! Cue the choruses of “What is he thinking?” 2013 is in the books and here’s my official list of the Top Ten Country Songs of the Year!
#10- Outta My Head- Craig Campbell
Until Jaclyn and I saw him singing curbside during the CMA Music Fest in June, I really thought Craig Campbell had gone into witness protection and was churning butter in a hidden Amish community. But Io and behold! “Family Man” returned to the charts in 2013 with this infectious song about a love that just won’t let go. I love the melody of and then intentional drums pounding in the chorus and I just can’t get it out my head.
#9- Boys Round Here- Blake Shelton
As we speak, my close friends are screaming “What the” and inserting their letter of choice after the “W” and the “T.” Here’s the deal. I really don’t “like” this song, but it’s on my list because it is, without a doubt, the song I have sung, hummed or mimicked most this year. Country is getting a lot of grief these days because artists are trying to incorporate rap, pop and other styles. But this song is the song that actually got the fusion right and it fires on all cylinders . . . the versus, the chew-tobacco-chew-tobacco spit chorus. And there’s something undeniably infectious about it’s opening mantra of “Red-red-red-red-red-red-red-red redneck.” Listen! Did you hear that? All my big-city friends just disowned me.
#8- Wasting All These Tears- Cassadee Pope
While I don’t watch The Voice regularly, I am a huge fan of Season 3 champ Cassadee Pope. And I am a HUGE fan of this song. Normally, I would call someone “standing on the corner crying” a complete drama queen . . . but I am all up in this hot mess. “Wasting All These Tears” bears shades of an early Kelly Clarkson song called “Just Missed the Train” and it’s a showcase for Cassadee’s voice- equal parts pop, country and, yes, punk. Pop country seems to be here to stay and I hope Cassadee is among the conversation.
#7- Lettin’ The Night Roll- Justin Moore
Justin Moore is my favorite act in country music right now. Hands down. No questions asked. I love this guy and I think he is the absolute real deal. While some male country singers (not naming names) are putting on painful acts trying to be “country,” Justin Moore looks, talks and sings like he just fell off the back of a turnip truck. And I think that’s a great thing. This song is about as country as it gets. And I will blare the Kenwoods anytime I am driving around some old back road!
#6- He Loves To Make Me Cry- Kristen Kelly
The BEST song by a woman in country this year. And, wouldn’t you know? It wasn’t a hit. Not even close. It seems if your name isn’t Miranda or Carrie, you’re gonna have a very difficult time finding any chart success in country music. And that, my friends, is a shame. This song is a sexy fusion of country and blues and the hint of gravel in Kristen’s voice just draws you right upstairs, doesn’t it?
#5- Drink a Beer- Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan’s best song to date and it’s striking chords with just about everyone who hears it. We’ve all experienced loss and the yearning that looms behind. Whether it’s a pier, the porch, the truck, the car . . . we’ve all sat somewhere to watch the sun set and disappear. This song is beautiful and I love the unexpected resolution in the chorus. After “the sun set disappears” you expect Luke to hit you with another line . . . but he waits . . . as if he just doesn’t have the right words to express his loss and longing. He then, resolutely, decides to “Drink a Beer.”
#4- I Want Crazy- Hunter Hayes
Okay, so Hunter is relatively young and he likely doesn’t realize that you have to be careful what you wish for. Just think Michael Douglas and Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. He thought he wanted crazy, right? LOL! But Hunter scored a huge hit with this song and it went on my iPod immediately. “I Want Crazy” is the perfect pop-country song. Driving beat. Big vocals. Teenage-flavored lyrics that adults can go “crazy” for as well. And it’s a good workout song. I ran miles to this song all summer long! There. I admitted it. I work out to Hunter Hayes songs. I may even start wearing a sweatband.
#3- Drunk Last Night- Eli Young Band
Last year, Eli Young Band hit #8 on my year-end list with “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” This year, they finish even higher with the awesome “Drunk Last Night.” The opening guitar riff in this song is genius and immediately pulls into the story of a guy who got a little drunk last night. Who’s been there? Show of hands . . . if you can hold them up! While it’s never a good idea to get hammered and then discuss major relationship problems, I know a ton of people who’ve done it. And it never seems to get them anywhere. And, much like the song, it offers no real resolution.
#2- Point At You- Justin Moore
Last year, he was in my Top Ten with “Til My Last Day.” This year, he’s in it twice. Like I said, Justin Moore is my favorite contemporary country singer and this is one of my favorite songs of the year. “Point At You” is the driving up-tempo tale of a country boy with a “wild side at least a country mile wide” who is tamed by a country gal who brings out his softer side. Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Justin Moore is Sears. He has a softer side too.
#1- It Goes Like This- Thomas Rhett
Simply put . . . this song about a song is one of the best songs of the year across ALL genres. Seriously. When I look back over 2013, my list of favorite songs will include Katy Perry’s “Roar” (one of the best pop songs ever written) and THIS (one of the best country songs ever written). Thomas Rhett is a terrific songwriter and a great singer. And this is the PERFECT song. Everything about it works. It goes like “Hey” and country audiences were “blown away” by it.