All posts by Megan

Random Thoughts of the Week: Introducing the “Tomatoes”

I gave this the name “random thoughts” because basically that’s what you will find here. Think of the music version of a daily or weekly sports column with some news and/or opinions along with several random bits of information. Country Perspective has a similar Thursday column called “The Hodgepodge” and it is one of my favorite things to read from them, so I wanted to start something similar on my own blog.

One of the most irritating things for me in the wake of #SaladGate is the comment/defense that Keith Hill was merely stating facts of the music business right now. To be clear, country radio has far more problems than the lack of airplay for women. There is quality music being made by both men and women that is not getting the airplay it deserves, but I am truly tired of hearing, “Well, there really aren’t that many women right now,” or “he was just stating facts,” or the most infuriating, “of course that’s the statistic, how can you play women when there aren’t any?”

The thing is, my music collection is filled with women. There are plenty of great women artists, both mainstream and independent, but most casual listeners don’t know any names besides Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, or maybe Kacey Musgraves and Kelsea Ballerini now, but that’s being optimistic. A large part of this is that radio doesn’t play these women, and so people assume they don’t exist.

People should know the “tomatoes” of the country world. Whether you like their music or not, they should at least have a chance to be heard, and so I will be featuring a woman on this site every Friday to help with this problem. Personal preference will not be taken into account–I hate Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line, but I got the chance to decide that because I heard them. So although I will comment on my personal preference, my main focus here is to fix this problem of people thinking there aren’t any women out there to fill the country airwaves.

Tomato of the Week: Katie Armiger

In light of her recent feud with her long-time label, Cold River Records, Katie is the first, and one of my favorite, underappreciated tomatoes. Check out her full article on Female Friday!

Random Country Suggestion: Shannon Brown

This song came on my iPhone on Shuffle, and I went to see what else she did (turns out nothing) and ended up buying this whole album.

Random Non-Country Suggestion: Selena Gomez–“The Heart Wants What it Wants”

I love country, but I like a little of everything else too, and I truly love this song. I have this version and a cover by our featured female–both are great.

That’s all for this week’s Random Thoughts!

Billboard Country Airplay and Country albums Chart (July 11th)

Billboard Country Airplay

  • 1. Blake Shelton–“Sangria” (up 1)
  • 2. Carrie Underwood–Little Toy Guns” (up 1)
  • 3. Tim McGraw and Catherine Dunn–“Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” (up 2)
  • 4. Jason Aldean–“Tonight Looks Good on You” (up 2)
  • 5. Easton Corbin–“Baby, Be my Love Song” (down 1)
  • 6. Kelsea Ballerini–“Love Me Like You Mean It” (down 5) [biggest loser]
  • 7. Canaan Smith–“Love You Like That”
  • 8. Little Big Town–“Girl Crush” (up 1)
  • 9. Brantly Gilbert–“One Hell of an Amen” (up 1)
  • 10. Michael Ray–“Kiss You in the Morning” (up 2)
  • 11. Luke Bryan–“Kick the Dust Up” (up 2)
  • 12. Brad Paisley–“Crushin’ It” (down 1)
  • 13. Zac Brown Band–“Loving You Easy” (up 2)
  • 14. Frankie Ballard–“Young and Crazy”
  • 15. Dustin Lynch–“Hell of a Night” (up 1)
  • 16. Sam Hunt–“House Party” (up 2)
  • 17. Eric Church–“Like a Wrecking Ball”
  • 18. Thomas Rhett–“Crash and Burn” (up 1)
  • 19. Chris Janson–“Buy me a Boat” (up 1)
  • 20. Brett Eldredge–“Lose my Mind” (up 1)
  • 21. Maddie & Tae–“Fly” (up 1)
  • 22. Keith Urban–“John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 (up 7) [biggest gainer]
  • 23. Chase Rice–“Gonna Wanna Tonight”
  • 24. Kip Moore–“I’m to Blame”
  • 25. Jake Owen–“Real Life
  • 26. Cole Swindell–“Let me See ya Girl” (up 1)
  • 27. Lady Antebellum–“Long Stretch of Love” (entering top 30)
  • 28. Old Dominion–“Break up With Him” (up 2)
  • 29. Dan + Shay–“Nothin’ Like You” (down 3)
  • 30. Reba–“Going out Like That” (down 2)
    • New NO. 1: “Sangria”
    • Next week’s No. 1: “Sangria” or “Tonight Looks Good on You” (Carrie has no chance)
    • biggest gainer: “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16”
    • Biggest Loser: “Love me Like You Mean It”
    • Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter’s “Wild Child” fell out of the top 30

    Billboard Top Country Albums

  • 1. Kacey Musgraves–Pageant Material(debut)
  • 2. Sam Hunt–Montevallo
  • 3. Zac Brown Band–Jekyll + Hyde
  • 4. Canaan Smith–Bronco (debut)
  • 5. Various Artists–Now That’s What I Call Country, Voulume 8
  • 6. Little Big Town–Painkiller
  • 7. Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard–Django and Jimmie
  • 8. Eric Church–The Outsiders
  • 9. Brantley Gilbert–Just as I Am
  • 10. Jason Aldean–Old Boots, New Dirt
  • 11. Florida Georgia Line–Anything Goes
  • 12. Luke Bryan–Crash my Party
  • 13. Luke Bryan–Spring Break, Checkin’ Out
  • 14. Tim McGraw–35 Biggest Hits
  • 15. A Thousand Horses–Southernality
  • 16. Carrie Underwood–Greatest Hits, Decade #1
  • 17. Darius Rucker–Southern Style
  • 18. The Lax–Outlaw in Me
  • 19. Kelsea Ballerini–The First Time
  • 20. Billy Currington–Summer Forever
  • 21. Blake Shelton–Bringing Back the Sunshine
  • 22. Chase Rice–Ignite the Night
  • 23. Corey Smith–While the Gettin’ is Good
  • 24. Kenny Chesney–The Big Revival
  • 25. Cole Swindell–Cole Swindell
    • Kacey Musgraves’s excellent Pageant Material debuts at No. 1, replacing Jekyll + Hyde
    • Canaan Smith’s Bronco debuts at no. 4
    • Kelsea Ballerini’s The First Time moved up 6 spots from no. 25 to No. 19
    • after debuting at No. 12 last week, Big Smo’s EP Bringin’ it Home fell out of the top 25
    • Hank Williams Jr.’s 35 Biggest Hits album fell out of the top 25 after last week’s debut at No. 16

    Have a great Independence Day weekend!

    Source: Billboard

    Album Review: Easton Corbin–About to Get Real

    Rating: 2.5/10

    Easton Corbin is one of the most frustrating people in country music for me. I became a fan with his first two singles, “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It,” but for me, he has gone downhill from there. With a voice nearly identical to George Strait’s, he lends himself naturally to traditional sounding country and could be a leader in this “country” radio climate. So it is all the more disappointing that he has chosen to capitalize on the bro country craze, and when I listened to this album, it quickly became nothing more than a contest for the song with the worst pick-up line.

    The album opens with “Kiss me One More Time,” a relatively decent, if forgettable, love song. I have no problem with this song, although it did not stand out at all. Next is “Guys and Girls,” which is about him asking to be “the guy beggin’ for one last dance” and she’s the “girl who says you missed your chance.” All hope for this song ends here with the next line:

    Let’s take it to the parking lot and put the tailgate down
    Turn it into a Saturday night and a small town world,
    A cooler of beer, a little truck bed twirl in the moonlight.

    Contender No. 1 for worst pick-up line on the album.

    “Clockwork” is about a relationship that doesn’t work. It reminds me of Chris Young’s “I’m Comin’ Over,” only much more boring. “Diggin’ on You” is next, and contender No. 2 for worst pick-up line goes to “I’m buzzin’ on, kissin’ on, trippin’ on, diggin’ on you.” Seriously, who writes this and thinks it’s good? And immediately after this comes the single, currently at NO. 5 on Billboard Country Airplay, “Baby, Be my Love Song.” This sounds like it would be a great song, but no; here we have the pick-up line, “Be the buzz in my Dixie cup”–I hope there aren’t any women out there who find this at all romantic.

    Next is the title track, an actual decent love song (I know, surprising)

    It’s about to get real good,
    Come on baby, get real close,
    Girl, you know I want you real bad, got me fallin’ fast,
    Let’s take it where it wants to go.

    Following this is “Yup” which is as unoriginal as the title–just a song about picking some girl up at a bar, minus a dreadful pick-up line. “Wild Women and Whiskey” is a pretty good song and reminds me of something George Strait might have sung. This is infuriating because it proves that Easton Corbin is capable of singing something decent. “Are You With Me” is another good song (two in a row, he’s on a freaking roll) about taking a chance on love.

    The streak is broken with typical bro country anthem “Damn Girl” which is ironic because he actually says, “this ain’t just a pick-up line, damn girl.” Again, who writes this? “just Add Water” is a summer anthem like Brad Paisley’s “Water”–no problem with this one, but nothing stood out. Last is “Like a Song,” a decent song about a woman who has left him and is stuck in his head like a song.

    Musically, About to Get Real was great. Every song sounded country–very few pop or hip-hop influences to be found. Somehow this frustrates me even more. It proves that Easton Corbin could be great if he wanted to be, but he has chosen to cash in on a trend instead. Consequently, I don’t think I will remember most, if any of these songs within five minutes.

    Listen To Album

    Single Review: Cam’s “Burning House”

    Rating: 8/10

    “Burning House” is the second single off Cam’s EP “Welcome to Cam Country.” She impressed us with her debut, “My Mistake,” and Bobby Bones is supporting “Burning House” with On the Verge, the program that is largely responsible for the atrocity that is Sam Hunt. This time, at least, he is backing a decent artist.

    “Burning House” is about a love going up in flames. The song is entirely acoustic, with only guitars, pianos, and violins. It makes it easy to just listen to the lyrics, something that has been lost in country.

    Having said that, I don’t necessarily think the lyrics are great. They are good, but there is no real hook. Cam sings,

    I had a dream about a burning house,
    You were stuck inside, I couldn’t get you out
    Lay beside you, and I pulled you close
    And the two of us went up in smoke.

    I do like the song, I’m just not sure people will like it, even if Bobby Bones does promote it. However, even though I am not sold on the song yet, I am sold on Cam, and I can’t wait to hear more from her.

    What Kelsea Ballerini’s No. 1 Single has to Say About Women in Country Music

    Kelsea Ballerini’s debut single, “Love me Like You Mean It,” made history this week when it became the first debut single by a female to hit No. 1 on the billboard country charts since Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel” in 2006. Kelsea hit No. 1 on both the Billboard Country Airplay and mediabase country charts. I wonder what Keith Hill is saying about women in country now. (For those of you who don’t know, radio executive Keith Hill made himself a household name and a chauvinistic douchebag all in one day about a month ago when he compared women in country to tomatoes and said they should be taken out of radio completely.)

    So what does this say about country? Well, it proves that country radio is not sexist, even if Keith Hill is. However, Kelsea sounds like a pop artist or at best a Taylor Swift, and what this does say is that women have to sound like pop singers to get on the radio. Also, there are plenty of women out there making great country albums who are being snubbed by country radio–Kacey Musgraves, Ashley Monroe, and Sunny Sweeney, just to name a few. Just proves that women are making more quality country music and therefore getting less airplay. So while it is a great day for the “tomatoes,” it is a sad day for country in general. Give Kacey or Ashley a NO. 1 instead. All the same, congratulations to Kelsea Ballerini for breaking this ridiculous nine-year drought.