As the year draws to a close we figure that it is time to begin sharing our year end rankings. Today we will begin counting down someof the year’s best songs. The criteria for this list is pretty simple, these songs must be country songs either released this year, or released previously but on an album that was released this year.
Let’s get to it
50) Wine, Beer, Whiskey- Little Big Town (Hillary Reynolds, Michael Jade Trevor Jones) Wine, Beer, Whiskey may just be the record setter for the most varieties and brands of alcohol listed in a single song. This fun, upbeat ode to drinking is one of a few standout tracks on a standout album which may just find it’s way on to our albums of the year countdown.
49) Boots- Hardy (David Garcia, Hillary Lindsey, Michael Hardy)- The year of Hardy! The longtime hit songwriter’s artist turn was a roaring success. Boots tells the story of a guy who knows that his relationship is coming to an end so he decided to sleep in his boots and save her the trouble of kicking him out. The heavy rock feel of this song works to drive the message of this song, and Hardy delivers a vocal to match.
48) Happy Does- Kenny Chesney (Brock Berryhill, Brad Clawson, Greylan James, Jamie Paulin) The lead single off Chesney’s latest album provides a template for the struggle that this year brought to many of us. Happy Does spreads the message that we should find a way to be happy despite the circumstances we may currently find ourselves in, and finding a way to be happy may just help us turn our fortunes around.
47) When You’re Gone- Drew Parker (Drew Parker, Jameson Rodgers)- Another songwriter trying his hand in the artist chair, Drew Parker released his debut EP this year (which landed him on our 10 artists to watch list!), The standout track, While You’re Gone features Parker sitting around waiting for a girl to come back. Parker’s big, gravely voice can drive any song but especially stands out on this one. And BP PBR is possibly the greatest lyric we’ve heard all year.
46) Forged In The Fire- Caylee Hammack (Andy Skib, Caylee Hammack, Thomas Finchum)- One of a few standout tracks on Caylee Hammack’s debut album, If It Wasn’t For You, Forged In The Fire recounts the story of a fire that destroyed Hammack’s house when she was younger. Hammack sings of learning of this experience learning that there are far more important things than the physical items in the house. What sets this track apart is Hammack’s usage of the fire as a metaphor for life, and her need to rise above any hardships in life.
45) Never Will- Ashley McBryde (Ashley McBryde, Blue Foley, Chris Harris, Christian Sancho, Matt Helmkamp, Victor Quinn Hill)- The title track off McBryde’s sophomore album is a rocking track, in which McBryde reaffirms that she will never sell out. McBryde’s powerful voice sends a strong message to radio, and label executives that may be thinking of remaking her as a more “radio” friendly artist.
44) Magnolia- Brett Eldredge (Brett Eldredge, Scooter Carouse)- Brett Eldredge’s long awaited return to the scene was a smashing success. Magnolia tells the story of Eldredge and his High School Girlfriend and the way they used to sneak out and meet under the ‘magnolia’. The song features incredible imagery, and relatable story telling and we hope it gets a chance to become a single some day.
43) Like A Cowboy- Parker McCollum (Al Anderson, Chris Stapleton)- Like A Cowboy features McCollum telling the story of being thought of as being better than he is. McCollum is though to be a good guy, but deep down he knows that despite what he may desire in the end he will run away, ‘Like A Cowboy’. This self reflective track is a true standout in McCollum’s catalogue.
42) Here Goes Nothing- Muscadine Bloodline ft Jordan Fletcher ( Gary Stanton, Jordan Fletcher)- Here Goes Nothing tells the story of a guy scared to tell his girlfriend that he loves her the first time, before referencing the common moniker, Here Goes Nothing. The chorus then explains that this supposed ‘nothing’ is really everything that is on his mind at the time. The chorus and song more generally is an example of the genius of Muscadine Bloodline, and the ridiculous amount of quality songs they released this year.
41) Seeing Other People- Mackenzie Porter (Matt McGinn, Emily Falvey, Jason Afable)- Released in February, Seeing Other People is a song that I almost forgot was released this year, but lyrically this is song is unforgettable. The song is based around the common decoupling phrase that ” we should see other people”. Throughout the song Porter plays the role of the girl who told her ex that they should see other people, until she “stared seeing other people with you” . This song and in particular the chorus is an example of tremendous song writing and makes this song such a stunner.
We’ll be back later this week to continue our countdown with songs 40-31 until then, Happy Listening Y’all!