Country Perspective’s 2016 Worst Song of the Year – Thomas Rhett’s “Vacation”

There have been some pretty awful songs in country music in recent years. Check that there hasn’t just been some bad songs, but horrendous songs that any music fan would be repulsed by and run away in fear of indecency. You don’t have to be a country fan to recognize bad music because it’s pretty obvious to the ears. Every genre has their fair share of awful acts. But in the other genres most of the times these bad acts get laughed out of relevance. In country music these acts are known as some of their biggest stars who can stay in the spotlight for several years. So that means every years there’s a nice batch of awfulness to choose from for this award. But amongst the truly terrible one song usually stands out worse amongst even the worst. This year was no different. One song was horrendous that it was a no-brainer for me to give the award. I present Country Perspective’s 2016 Worst Song of the Year award to Thomas Rhett’s “Vacation.”

thomas-rhett-vacation

Not only is this the worst country song of 2016 in my eyes, but one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard. When listening to Rhett’s album released last year, I knew there was a good chance he would release one of two truly awful songs (the other is “South Side”) as a single in 2016 and if he would it would win the award hands down. Lo and behold I was right. The only good thing I can even say about “Vacation” is thankfully it only peaked at #30 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. But that’s also an indictment on the song. This single was so horrible that not even country radio wanted to play it and they’ll play almost anything.

So let’s talk about this abomination of a song. You know what this isn’t even a song. This is fucking torture. It makes me long for the dulcet sounds of Rebecca Black, William Hung and Milli Vanilli harmonizing together. I would rather listen to the theme song for Barney on a loop over this song because a purple dinosaur at least has something to say in his song. Here Rhett literally sings about nothing. He just wants to party on vacation! How fucking original is this? The thing is country radio has been flooded with terrible beach music for years, but at least all of the other terrible beach songs had a catchy hook and it didn’t make me want to tear my hair out. The lyrics can’t get any worse. Speaking of songwriting, this song has 16 songwriters. 16 fucking songwriters. I won’t attack the poor bastards from the rock group War, who are innocent bystanders in this train wreck. I wouldn’t want to be credited for being a part of this song in any way, shape or form. In fact I would sue to have my name taken off of it. To the others who helped conceive it, may you step on a thousand Legos. This obviously isn’t country, as anyone with properly working ears and a brain could tell you. I would like to think Johnny Paycheck is haunting Rhett for the rest of his life for unleashing this upon the world. And don’t call it pop because they don’t deserve this crap either. This is horrendous, money-grabbing noise that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I wish it was instead buried deep into the ocean where no soul would ever hear nor see it again.

It’s really hard to believe it took this long for Rhett to win one of our worst of awards, but I guess he can thank Sam Hunt for not releasing anything new this year to block his path to winning. Florida Georgia Line even put out better music this year along with Cole Swindell (or at least tried). While this is the first time he’s won, I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t the last either. Regardless Rhett will forever be Country Perspective’s Worst Song of the Year for 2016.


Dishonorable Mentions:

  • Chris Lane – “Fix” – I think I covered this one pretty well in the Worst Album of the Year post. But I’ll add this: this probably would have won if “Vacation” wasn’t released as a single. These two songs had a pretty good gap on the rest of the field.
  • Steven Tyler – “Red, White, and You” (The Yum Yum Song) – 2016 was the year Steven Tyler tried to go country and failed miserably. If he was 40 years younger country radio might have actually played it. But thankfully most ears never got to hear a song that reference’s a woman’s vagina as yum yum.
  • Chase Rice – “Whisper” – Rice himself essentially admitted this was a bad song!
  • Dierks Bentley – “Somewhere on Beach” & “Different for Girls” – No artist disappointed me more this year than Dierks Bentley. He released both of these singles and each repulse me for a different reason. The first is so lazy and clichéd and the second is sexist bullshit. Of course both went on to be #1 songs. Bring back the old Dierks please.
  • LoCash – “I Know Somebody” – The amount of auto-tune on this crappy song hurts my music loving soul. As one reader told me, these guys are the definition of a bar band.
  • Michael Ray – “Think A Little Less” – This song is essentially a sequel to Sam Hunt’s “Take Your Time.”
  • Kelsea Ballerini – “Yeah Boy” – Yeah no. Go to the Disney channel already.
  • Dustin Lynch – “Seein’ Red” – I’m not seeing red. I’m seeing more bullshit from one of the most transparently sell out artists in country music.
  • Brantley Gilbert – “The Weekend” – This song is like rubbing sandpaper on your ass.
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18 thoughts on “Country Perspective’s 2016 Worst Song of the Year – Thomas Rhett’s “Vacation”

  1. Great review, Josh. Here are my contenders for worst song of 2016, in countdown form. Without further ado, here we go…

    ***********************************WORST COUNTRY SINGLES OF 2016*********************************

    10. (tie) Michael Ray, “Think a Little Less”
    The first entry in the worst singles of 2016 list is by last year’s worst song of the year champion, Michael Ray. Michael Ray was the dark horse in last year’s list, with “Real Men Love Jesus” sneaking in at the last minute to win it all, passing by such abominations as “Ridiculous”, “B.Y.H.B”, and what was to be last year’s champion, Old Dominion’s “Break Up With Him”. “Real Men Love Jesus” pissed me off to no extent with its bullshit societal stereotypes of what a real man should be. And of course, Michael Ray is back this year with this shitty, vapid hookup song. Seriously, Michael? “Kiss a little more, think a little less…get you out of this bar, out of that dress?” I thought you would learn something from “Real Men Love Jesus” barely peaking inside the top 20. This is just another stupid song about meaningless hookups that shouldn’t exist. I remember in a few interviews of Michael Ray that I stumbled upon early in his career, when he said that he loved traditional country music and that he would make traditional country if his record label would let him. What the fuck, Michael? You’re on the same record label with Ashley Monroe and William Michael Morgan. Both of them have been able to make pure country music, much less pure country albums, so the whiny bullshit about your record label is not an excuse. I also remember Michael Ray saying that Gary Allan was his hero, and that his [Michael’s] music was like that of Gary’s. Being as big of a fan of Gary Allan as I am, that kinda pissed me off and really soured my outlook on Michael Ray a little bit. Michael Ray is a mindless pretty boy pop singer, much like Luke Bryan. And I hate to break it to you, Michael, but Jon Pardi is closer to being musically similar to Gary Allan than you are or ever will be. And of course, “Think a Little Less” is written by none other than Thomas Rhett, who will make an appearance of his own later on in the list. Puke a little more, listen a little less.

    10. (tie) Love and Theft, “Candyland”
    Okay, guys, I have a confession to make: I like pop-country as well as traditional country. But only if it is insanely catchy, very well-written, or both. Right now, I can think of five examples of pop-country done right on the current chart: RaeLynn’s “Love Triangle” (a very well-written, great song), Trent Harmon’s “There’s A Girl” (another decently-written song with obvious country influences), Maren Morris’s “80’s Mercedes,” (more of a straight-ahead pop song, but nonetheless insanely catchy and very well-written), Little Big Town’s “Better Man” (a very well-written song), and Lauren Alaina’s “Road Less Traveled” (an insanely catchy song that I’ve found myself singing along with quite a few times). There is a definite place in country music for pop-country. Carrie Underwood is another example of a fantastic pop-country artist. Maddie and Tae are a fantastic pop-country duo with traditional influences, and they are arguably the best group/duo in mainstream country music today. However, pop-country is an insanely hard concept to master. And when pop-country goes wrong, it can result in a complete doozy. Which brings me to Love and Theft’s “Candyland”. “Candyland” is this year’s last-minute entry. I was analyzing the bottom 30 of the top 60 on the Billboard Country airplay chart one day. I was familiar with Love and Theft but had never heard Candyland. Out of curiosity, I opened up my Spotify account and typed in “Love and Theft Candyland”. Holy shit. Turns out, my curiosity got the best of me, as “Candyland” turned out to be downright awful. “Got you better than a lemon drop, poppin’ like a pop rock/Feeling like a kid in a candy store”?!?!? You have got to be fucking kidding me. This song sounds like a bunch of bored middle-schoolers wrote it on their study break. And to think it came from the same duo who sang “Whiskey on My Breath”. What a difference a year makes. 😦

    9. Old Dominion, “Snapback”
    You know there’s an even bigger pile of shit ahead when Old Dominion tanks to #9. Snapback is an exercise to avoid being country at all costs. The instrumentation/production is beyond annoying, the lyrics are stupid, and there’s absolutely nothing country at all about a snapback hat. This song sucks.

    8. Steven Tyler, “Red, White, and You”
    “Free fallin’ into your yum yum…” That’s enough to make the pink umbrella stickers themselves, Florida Georgia Line, cringe in disgust. Enough said.

    7. Kelsea Ballerini, “Yeah Boy”
    You know, I have almost had enough of this Mickey Mouse country. It is completely mind-boggling to me how artists like Kelsea Ballerini, Clare Dunn (who I’ll get to in a minute), Hunter Hayes (who is actually super-talented but wastes his incredible gift on this poppy bullshit), RaeLynn (I love “Love Triangle” and like “Careless” but most of her other music sounds like it could be interchangeable with the music from all of the Disney Princess movies or Disney Channel sitcoms), and the like are even considered in the same genre with various legends (George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Dolly, Tammy Wynette, Hank Sr., and the like) and George Strait, Alan Jackson, Gary Allan, Tim McGraw, Josh Turner, William Michael Morgan, Eric Church, Jon Pardi, Chris Stapleton, Mo Pitney, Kacey Musgraves, Ashley Monroe, Carrie Underwood, Lee Ann Womack, Maddie and Tae, and Miranda Lambert. “Yeah Boy” is just another piece of shit pop song that belongs nowhere near the country genre. “Yeah Boy” would fit better on an episode of Hannah Montana or some other fluffy Disney Channel sitcom than on a country radio station. And to add to all of this, “Yeah Boy” is basically female bro-country. The lyrics are extremely shallow and somewhat objectifying. Mouseshit is a good word for describing this type of Mickey Mouse Disney country. And “Yeah Boy” is mouseshit.

    6. Clare Dunn, “Tuxedo”
    While we’re on the subject of female bro-country and Mickey Mouse mouseshit, here’s another good example brought to us by Clare Dunn. “Tuxedo” is extremely vapid and stupid, and Clare Dunn, while a talented guitar player, has one of the worst voices I have ever heard in the genre of country music, along with Brantley Gilbert (who will be featured later on this list), Tyler Farr, RaeLynn, and Tucker Beathard (who sounds like a mix between a dying cow, nails on a chalkboard, and a cat in heat, and who barely missed the list with his boringly bad single “Rock On”). Clare’s Iggy Azalea-style white-girl rapping is absolutely horrendous and the lyrics are just vapid, stupid, and somewhat objectifying. “My baby looks so sexy out there working in his boots…” “He’s a knight in shining armor with them blue jeans on…” “He’s like a George Strait quiet type…” How dare you name-drop George Strait in your gosh-awful pop song! The audience demographic that this song seemingly aims for (stereotypical pre-teens and teenagers) probably don’t even know who George Strait is, sadly. And the “Tux-tux-tuxedo” bridge is headache-inducingly annoying. Much like “Yeah Boy”, “Tuxedo” sounds more like it belongs on an episode on Hannah Montana than on a country station. Mouseshit.

    5. Jana Kramer, “Said No One Ever”
    Holy. Fucking. Shit. What on earth is this?!?!? Jana Kramer should know better than this. I’d halfway expect it out of someone like Kelsea Ballerini or RaeLynn, but Jana Kramer? The same artist who sang songs like “Why Ya Wanna” and “I Got the Boy” (both of which I thoroughly enjoyed, and the latter being one of the best singles of 2015)? It doesn’t even sound like the same person. “Said No One Ever” is arguably worse than anything Kelsea Ballerini or RaeLynn both have ever released. “Said No One Ever” makes Kelsea Ballerini’s “Yeah Boy” sound like Kacey Musgraves and RaeLynn’s “God Made Girls” sound like Ashley Monroe. Along with how cringe-inducingly bad “Said No One Ever” is, while “Yeah Boy” and “Tuxedo” sound like Mickey Mouse mouseshit, “Said No One Ever” sounds slightly more childish and more like it wouldn’t sound out of place in a Barbie or My Little Pony movie. I would love to support Jana Kramer because her first album and a select few songs of off her second album (“Boomerang”, “I Got the Boy”, “Dance In the Rain”, and “Last Song”, namely) are awesome, but “Said No One Ever” and over half of its accompanying album, Thirty-One (every song on Thirty-One except the four named above) makes me seriously question Jana and if she is really serious about a career in country music. This song is pretty good……said no one ever.

    4. Chris Lane, “Fix”
    At this point, trashing “Fix” for the umpteenth time would be pretty much beating a dead horse. The subject of many memes, much tomfoolery, and quite a few epic rants (thanks to Farce the Music, this site, and Saving Country Music), “Fix” has made Chris Lane pretty much universally hated by all real country music fans. “Fix” also spearheaded Chris’s crap-tacular album, Girl Problems, which is a strong competitor (and maybe even the winner) for the worst album of 2016. However, for a quick review, “Fix” likens a romantic relationship to meth, cocaine, and alcohol. It also painfully references Breaking Bad when it says “I’ll be your smooth ride, your late night, your Walter White high…” Obviously and sadly, Chris Lane has a point here. The only way anyone in their right mind could enjoy Chris Lane and “Fix” would be if they were incredibly drunk and/or extremely high. Not to mention that “Fix” is not country in any way, shape, or form, and has a sound that makes Sam Hunt sound like Alan Jackson. The lyrics are kindergarten-level stupid, and after hearing Chris’s annoying falsetto, I couldn’t find the Motrin fast enough. Chris Lane is just another of many pretty-boy pop singers making a living in the country genre. Maybe he and these other posers should take notes from guys like George Strait, Alan Jackson, William Michael Morgan, Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, Tim McGraw, Jon Pardi, Gary Allan, Brad Paisley, and Josh Turner on how to make country music that is enjoyable but still genuine and respecting the roots of country music. And is it just me, or does the narrator of “Fix” seem like a complete douchebag? The narrator of “Fix” is self-absorbed, pushy, extremely whiny and needy, and a slight bit creepy. The narrator of “Fix” reminds me of this one guy I have had a class with in college. He is also pushy, excessively needy, and extremely self-absorbed, with an ego bigger than the entire state of Texas. The ambience of “Fix” also annoys the hell out of me. It all seems so contrived and fake. The delivery of the song would actually be somewhat convincing coming from the guy from the class I described, although still pushy, needy and creepy. But it seems like a total cop-out for Chris Lane. The way I perceive Chris Lane, he seems to me like a seemingly heartless ballsack of a douche (for lack of a better insult) that hasn’t the slightest clue on the subject of romantic pursuit. To sum it all up, “Fix” is yet another exercise in sheer stupidity and blatantly avoiding anything at all to do with actual country music.

    3. Brantley Gilbert, “The Weekend”
    Oh, Brantley. Don’t you know that bro-country is so 2014? Obviously not, because “The Weekend” is bro-country cranked up to eleven. As I already said before about this song, it features blatantly lazy songwriting, terrible instrumentation that could make a deaf person cringe, and it gave me a nagging headache after listening to it once out of curiosity. I spent the following two hours listening to Gary Allan, Tim McGraw, and Lee Ann Womack to clean out my ears and relieve my headache. “Wake and bake and we at it again…”? Really, Brantley? I thought you were sober. And even worse, “we at it again”? As a future English teacher, this bugs the absolute shit out of me. It’s “we’re at it again”. Learn some grammar, Brantley. The rest of the song is just extremely stupid and incredibly cliché. “The Weekend” is music for those who have the I.Q. of a sheep. And speaking of his sheep fans, the die-hard members of the BG Nation will defend Brantley to the death. They are always like “Brantley iz da bestest kuntry artest evurrrrrrrrr! Reel kuntry muzik at it’s finust! BG NASHUN 4 LYFE!!!!!!” You could tell me that Brantley Gilbert is better than Cole Swindell and Thomas Rhett, and I would agree with you. You could tell me that Brantley Gilbert is better than Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean, and I might believe you. But there is absolutely no way that you could tell me that Brantley Gilbert is better than George Strait, Alan Jackson, Chris Stapleton, Tim McGraw, Eric Church, Gary Allan, Josh Turner, William Michael Morgan, Jon Pardi, Brad Paisley, Mo Pitney, Chris Young, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Ashley Monroe, Lee Ann Womack, Maddie and Tae, Brothers Osborne, and Maren Morris. Anyway, avoid this song like the plague and go listen to William Michael Morgan’s excellent new album, Vinyl, instead.

    2. Luke Bryan, “Move”
    (Semi-rant time!) The runner-up spot in this year’s worst-of list rightfully goes to Luke Bryan. Just when I thought Luke couldn’t piss me off any more, especially after taking up three back-to-back spots in last year’s worst-of list, he proves me wrong and does it yet again with “Move”. This is basically “Country Girl Shake it for Me 2.0”. In all honesty, “Move” is actually worse than “Kick the Dust Up”, “Strip it Down”, and “Home Alone Tonight”, which I counted among the worst of the worst of 2015. And of course, after the decent “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day”, Luke releases the worst song on his Kill the Lights album and one of the worst songs of his entire career, the absolutely horrendous “Move”. Luke Bryan is 40-fucking-years-old. When the hell is he ever going to grow up? Luke, you are a grown ass man and you’re still singing about spring break and dancing with teenage girls. What the hell? I feel sorry for his wife and family. If I were his wife and saw him dancing and prancing around like an assclown and humping every freaking thing in sight on stage, I would be the epitome of mortified. It would embarrass the absolute shit out of me. Luke, you are not sexy. You are creepy as hell. Gary Allan is sexy. And he doesn’t wear sparkly skinny jeans, he doesn’t shake his ass like a Chippendales dancer and dance like an idiot, and he doesn’t sing about mindless, meaningless hookups and spring break. Gary Allan is the perfect example of what a sexy male country star should be. He dresses and looks sexy with his plethora of tattoos and his tight-in-all-the-right-places jeans (NOT skinny jeans like Luke’s, absolutely no man should ever wear skinny jeans, in my honest opinion), and he struts around the stage in a sexy manner, but he doesn’t act vulgar, disgusting, and immature like Luke Bryan. There is a way to be sexy that completely avoids being disgusting and creepy. Apparently, Luke Bryan hasn’t quite grasped this concept yet. And y’all know the old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Luke Bryan is an “old dog” that has been wiggling his non-existent pancake ass on stage for so long that it has seemingly become a habit of his. I highly doubt Luke ever will learn how to be sexy but mature. Going back to the song, “Move” is absolutely fucking pointless. The lyrics are extremely misogynistic and idiotic. Hell, Luke even gives his army of sheep fans a spelling lesson with M-O-V-E. Luke, a rational person would already know how to spell “move”. But those who actually enjoy this song are not rational. Many of Luke Bryan’s fans are seemingly idiots. They’ll eat up anything, even ridiculous, pandering bullshit. It absolutely baffles me why people my age (mainly girls and the “douchebag bro” type guys my age; I’m 20) eat this shit up. Seriously, I’m beginning to think that I’m one of the very few 20-year-old girls who thinks Luke Bryan is creepy, disgusting, and an absolute waste of space and airplay in the country music world. “Move” makes me want to puke every time I hear it, and Luke Bryan makes me want to puke every time I see him on TV shaking his ass and acting like a horny college bro. It is quite appropriate that “Move” is number two on this list, because it is nothing but a flaming pile of shit.

    And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for…the worst country single of 2016 is………*drum roll please*…………………………

    1. Thomas Rhett, “Vacation” (WARNING: NSFW language rant)
    Well, well, Thomas. You have really managed to fuck up mainstream country music for good this time. As soon as I caught wind that Thomas was releasing “Vacation” as a single, I knew that no one, no matter how hard he, she, or they tried, would be able to top “Vacation” as the worst song of the year. I have been waiting since the moment it was released to tear the song a good deserved one, and now is my chance. So let’s get started, shall we?
    The first issue that I have with Vacation is the fact that Thomas Rhett basically borrowed the beat from War’s “Low Rider”. Essentially, this is what he did with “Crash and Burn (ripping off Sam Cooke’s “Chain Gang” and copying basically every Bruno Mars song from the past five years) and “Die a Happy Man” (which is Thomas Rhett’s half-assed cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”). Thomas Rhett is an artist with not a shred of originality to his name. He is a proud product of nepotism, riding the coattails of his daddy, 90’s country star and songwriter (one of the infamous Peach Pickers, might I add) Rhett Akins. Rhett had some pretty decent songs back in the day. Thomas has only had one song that I enjoy, and that is “Beer With Jesus”. That being said, the lyrics to “Vacation” are absolutely asinine. The lyrics sound like an annoying jingle to a commercial. “Vacation” could be a commercial for a number of things: Billabong bikinis, Coppertone lotion, Motel 6, Solo cups, Walgreen’s beach chairs, Red Stripe, and Busch Light beer. If “Vacation” was a commercial, it would be a headache-inducingly annoying one. “Vacation” would be one of those commercials in which a person would change the television channel every time it came on. And let’s not even get started on the grammar. It’s awful. Who the hell wrote this? A five-year-old? “Hey, let’s party like we on vacation”? Give me a fucking break! And Thomas, you don’t mean to tell me that it took 14 songwriters to write this trainwreck. 14 fucking songwriters! Of course, half of them are from the band War, in which Rhett wisely credits because he shamelessly stole the beat from “Low Rider”. Take away half of 14 and you still have seven. How in the hell does it take 7 songwriters to come up with something that sounds like a little bitty kid wrote it? Every time I think about this song, I think of my two very favorite country songs of all time and how many people it took to write them. It took only two people to write Gary Allan’s “Smoke Rings in the Dark” and it only took two people to write Ashley Monroe’s “Two Weeks Late” (one of those two being Ashley herself). Both “Smoke Rings in the Dark” and “Two Weeks Late” are absolute musical masterpieces. If you take away the members of War, you have, I’m assuming, six or seven songwriters. It took six or seven songwriters to create “Vacation”, and it is an absolute disaster. I could write a random song by myself that would probably suck, but still be a hell of a lot better than “Vacation”. And the video for this shit mountain is just creepy as hell. Seven-to-eight-year-old little girls dancing around in bikinis singing about “cold ones”. Holy moly shit, it makes Thomas Rhett look like a pedophile and it is just plain wrong. “Vacation” is a train wreck coming in contact with a plane crash. It is truly horrific, awful, and terrible in every way, shape, and form. Thomas Rhett has really outdone himself this year with “Vacation”. I’ve been wanting to nail him ever since he released Tangled Up last year, but he didn’t make that easy. Crash and Burn, while not a great song, had decently-written lyrics to back the annoying Bruno Mars-on-drugs-style instrumentation and Thomas’s weak vocals, Die a Happy Man was kinda boring (but dare I say average if not due to radio overplaying the song), and T-Shirt was bad, but not really among the worst of the worst. I know that this title gets doled out a lot over the years, pretty much every time a horrifically bad song is released, but I can confidently say that Thomas Rhett has released the worst radio single in the history of country music. Not even country radio cared very much for it, as it only peaked at #30(?) on the country airplay charts, and they’ll play whatever tripe Thomas Rhett sends them. And if it wasn’t for Thomas’s slightly more horrific album cut “South Side” (which gets my vote for the worst country song of all time), Vacation would even be considered “the worst country song of all time”, in my opinion. “Vacation” is way worse than “Kick the Dust Up” and “Donkey”. “Vacation” is way worse than any song Sam Hunt has ever released. “Vacation” is worse than “Move” and “Burnin’ It Down”. Hell, “Vacation” is even worse than “Real Men Love Jesus” and “Break Up With Him”. “Vacation” is terrible in any genre you put it in. It is a sorry excuse for a country song, a sorry excuse for a pop song, a sorry excuse for a rap song, a sorry excuse for an R&B song, a sorry excuse for a song in general. Shit, “Vacation” isn’t even really music. “Vacation” is a haphazard hodgepodge of sounds and noise fused together to form a gigantic mass of audio diarrhea. To make yet another sarcastic, attempting to be humorous quip to sum up the awfulness of “Vacation”, I would rather be forced to write down every dirty and downright inappropriate thought I have ever had about Gary Allan and next go on national country radio and read them all aloud, than to ever listen to “Vacation” again, or even better yet, “Vacation”‘s accompanying album, “Tangled Up”. There are two groups of people who purposely listen to this drivel: the extremely brave reviewers at sites like this one, Saving Country Music, and the like (I greatly admire you guys, I couldn’t make it the entire way through “Tangled Up” without getting a massive migraine); and the Thomas Rhett fans who are seemingly so stupid and have not a clue what real country music is. Aside from maybe “Beer With Jesus”, the career of Thomas Rhett has been nothing short of embarrassing and just plain sad to those who know what real country music is and love real country music. As a fan of mostly traditional country and decent pop country, “Vacation” made me angry that Thomas Rhett would have the nerve to release this steaming pile of dog shit as a single, especially as a single in the country genre, and it also made me sad for what country music has become, and for what many people my age that claim to be country music fans think of as country music. “Vacation” is an absolute disgrace to country music and music in general. Congratulations, Thomas Rhett. You have not only unearthed the worst single of 2016, but the worst single of all time.

    Dishonorable mentions:

    -Thomas Rhett, “T-Shirt” (unsurprisingly just another bad song by Thomas Rhett)

    -Kane Brown, “Thunder in the Rain” (pop bullshit that sounds like Justin Bieber/One Direction)

    -Every Cole Swindell single released/or had significant impact in 2016 (somehow Cole managed to miss my list this year, which totally takes me by surprise considering the fact he is a constant source of horrible music)

    -Tucker Beathard, “Rock On” (due to his gosh-awful cat-in-heat vocal performance)

    -Chase Rice, “Everybody We Know Does” (Bottom-of-the-barrel horseshit like everything else Chase Rice releases)

    -Justin Moore, “Somebody Else Will” (a straight-up pop song with no place in country music. Although Justin Moore is not one of the best artists in mainstream country music, he clearly knows better.)

    -Dustin Lynch, “Seein’ Red” (another shitty pop song from a once-promising artist)

    -Chase Bryant, “Room to Breathe” (more shitty pop-funk type music. Chase is talented, but he should stay away from this Sam Hunt-copycat music.)

    -Dierks Bentley and Elle King, “Different for Girls” (Dierks sounds great here, but the production is a bit sleepy and sterile, and the lyrics are filled with presumptuous lies and outdated gender ideals. Miranda Lambert’s “Vice” is a good counter-argument to “Different for Girls”, stating that girls sometimes do the same as guys regarding the demise of a relationship. Some girls move on quickly, while some also try acting seemingly tough and unscathed although they are deeply saddened and devastated inside. And unlike “Different for Girls, “Vice” is actually a good song. “Different for Girls” falls quite a few points short of average due to the nature of the lyrics.)

    -Blake Shelton, “She’s Got a Way With Words” (Blake sounds decent here and the production is alright, but the lyrics are nothing but vapid, shitty, petty, stupid bullshit. Blake sounds childish and whiny throughout the duration of the song, which has an extremely immature approach. There’s a reason Jake Owen passed on “She’s Got a Way With Words”.)

    -Drew Baldridge, “Dance With Ya” (Horrific, sad, and pathetic. That’s all.)

    -LoCash, “Ring on Every Finger” and “I Know Somebody” (LoCash is nothing but the poor man’s FGL. We definitely don’t need another one of those. One FGL is more than enough.)

    -Dylan Scott, “My Girl” (Holy hopping sheep shit, did he just name-drop Eminem in a supposedly country song? Between the dime-a-dozen, painfully generic lyrics and migraine of a production, Dylan’s monotone delivery makes “My Girl” nearly insufferable.)

    -Morgan Wallen, “The Way I Talk” (“The Way I Talk” sounds like a FGL reject. And Morgan Wallen reminds me very much of a Tyler Hubbard impersonator.)

    -Jerrod Niemann and Lee Brice, “A Little More Love” (two has-beens collaborating on a stupid ’90’s sounding rap-pop-rock-reggae song. I thought we’d heard the last of Jerrod Niemann with the ridiculously humiliating “Donkey”, but I was wrong. While “Blue Bandana” was decent, “A Little More Love” sucks. The only scrap of redemption found in this song is the fact that Lee and Jerrod harmonize fairly well in the chorus. Other than that, the song is a pathetic cry for attention. Lee and Jerrod should co-headline a tour and call it “Touring With the Has-Beens”. Randy Houser, Jana Kramer, Parmalee, and Thompson Square could open for them.)

    -Lanco, “Long Live Tonight” (We do not a “country” One Direction. Especially one with a name that sounds like a catering company.)

    -Dierks Bentley, “Somewhere on a Beach” (Dierks, please. Get back to the music we all know and love you for. “Somewhere on a Beach” is more sad than anything, because it signifies that 2016 was the year of Dierks Bentley selling out. Hope you like the cash, Dierks. You had to trade in your respect for it. Hopefully his next album is better than “Black”. Aside from a couple of decent-to-good songs, “Black” is a disappointment. Maybe Dierks will get back to himself, the Dierks Bentley we all know and love, with his next album.)

    -Chris Lane, “For Her” (Go away, Chris. And never come back.)

    -Granger Smith, “If the Boot Fits” (I hate this song. It’s one of the laziest bunch of cliches songwriting I’ve ever heard. Is it bad that I wish that Granger would completely abandon his mainstream career and pack up and go back to Texas? His Texas country music was actually somewhat decent. He could go back to the Texas scene or he could always make a career out of his Earl Dibbles Jr. comedy schtick. Granger’s Earl Dibbles act may be corny, but it’s a hell of a lot better than his mainstream country career. Granger’s mainstream country career is the real joke here.)

    -Florida Georgia Line, “H.O.L.Y.” (Leave it to FGL to place sexual innuendo in a supposedly spiritually-based song. “Get ya singing, babe, hallelujah, we’ll be touching heaven”…um, no thanks.)

    -Keith Urban, “Blue Ain’t Your Color” (The lyrics do have a bit of a sleazy nature, but Keith’s latest offering isn’t really as much outright bad as it is dreadfully and painfully boring. “Blue Ain’t Your Color” is Lunesta in audio form.)

    In the midst of all of the awful atrocities that were listed that mainstream country music had to offer in 2016, “Vacation” is my personal pick for Worst Song of 2016. I fully agree that Thomas Rhett’s “Vacation” is Country Perspective’s worst song of 2016. No contest really, not even with “Move”, “The Weekend”, “Fix”, and “Said No One Ever”.

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    • It’s almost worth all the bad music to read your comments. You are a fantastic writer! Great work, and only 20???

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      • Thanks so much, David! And yes, I actually recently turned twenty. I truly love traditional country music (and decent pop-country music), and feel that all of these bad songs deserve to be called out. Good music deserves to be praised and rewarded, and bad music deserves to be called out and critiqued accordingly.

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          • Thanks! I don’t have any intention of listening to the entire EP. I have heard “Love Me in a Field”, and god, it’s atrocious and very disturbing. It should’ve been considered as an dishonorable mention, but I forgot about the song, as I feel that Luke’s EPs are basically relegated as side projects for his fans, and nine times out of ten, he never releases the songs to radio. I feel as if I had already bashed ole Lukey enough when I deservedly destroyed him for Move. Between Move and Love Me in a Field, yes, Love Me in a Field is god-awful, but Move is actually worse in my opinion, because it was a number one hit on country radio and caused more damage to the landscape of country radio. Either way, we can all agree on the fact that Luke Bryan needs to grow the hell up and start acting like a mature adult (and making music that would reflect the ideas and thoughts of a mature adult) and less like a man-child and awkward male stripper.

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  2. Two canadian tracks:
    Tim Hicks – “Stompin’ Ground” & Dean Brody – “Bush Party”
    Bro-country shit. The lowest of the low.

    Lyrics of “Stompin’ Gound” according to Google Play Music:
    “Sixteen and a six pack
    Twenty bucks and a shoulder tap
    Gotcha too far gone to get back
    Man, we were cool with that

    Cuttin’ class tryin’ to duck our teachers
    Bummin’ smokes out behind the bleachers
    Friday drive-in double feature
    Took my girl and we didn’t watch either

    My stompin’ ground
    Where we got laid, where we got loud
    Yeah, homegrown hometown proud
    My crowd
    Whoa, my stompin’ ground
    Only one road in and out
    Wheels roll up, boots touch down
    My town
    Whoa, my stompin’ ground

    Around here there ain’t no cops
    We did a lot of donuts in parking lots
    Too young to know when to stop
    but we never got caught, no
    If your parents went away for the weekend
    party at your place, what time they leavin’
    Keep this separator blowin’ up the speakers
    Backpack of beer, better throw ’em in the freezer”

    Lyrics of “Bush Party” according to Musixmatch:
    “B-U-S-H P-A-R-T-Y
    We’ll have some F-U-N tonight
    Everybody welcome in the VIP line
    Out here in the woods
    Up here there ain’t no velvet rope
    Just a big bonfire down this all grass road

    It’s a secret place where the music goes
    It goes, it goes, it goes, it goes:
    boom boom boom ‘neith the big blue moon
    And we stomp our boots, sippin on baccardi
    Yeah me and you steal a kiss or two
    Crash under the roof, up against the roots of a georgia pine tree
    Yeah come on down, out side of town
    to our bush party

    B-U-S-H P-A-R-T-Y
    All my buddies need the stars and the roll bar lights
    Yeah the Po-Po probably gonna visit us tonight
    Kids you’re way to loud
    Here they come through the smoke country bo-ho girls, tunic shirts, lace skirts, rockin’ janglets and curls

    Yeah it’s a party now, the woofer’s thumpin out
    They go, they go, they go, they go:
    boom boom boom ‘neith the big blue moon
    And we stomp our boots, sippin on baccardi
    yeah me and you steal a kiss or two
    Crash under the roof, upagainst the roots of a georgia pine tree
    Yeah come one down, outside of town
    To our bush party

    Dancin’ on the hood, it’s off the hook
    My kind of crown outside of town
    The sparks go up, and we get down, down, down”

    Meh:
    Ryan Follese – “Float Your Boat”
    Jana Kramer – “Said No One Ever”
    Love & Theft – “Candyland”
    River Town Saints – “Cherry Bomb”
    Keith Urban – “Wasted Time”
    Old Dominion – “Snapback”
    Tebey – “Old School”
    Cold Creek County – “Beer Weather”
    Dustin Lynch – “Seein’ Red”
    Kelsea Ballerini – “Yeah Boy”
    Brantley Gilbert – “The Weekend”
    Jerrod Niemann & Lee Brice – “A Little More Love”
    Thomas Rhett – “Vacation”
    Chris Lane – “Fix” & “For Her”
    Chase Rice – “Everybody We Know Does”
    Kane Brown – “Thunder In The Rain”
    Jon Pardi – “Dirt On My Boots”
    LoTrash – “i Know Somebody”

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    • Holy moly macaroni, is that Bush Party song for real? I’ve never heard of the song, but just looking at the lyrics make me want to laugh out loud. What the hell are “janglets”? What the fuck is a “woofer”? Did a kindergartner write this? Holy crap. Maybe it’s a good thing I haven’t heard this. It looks worse than American bro-country. At least Luke Bryan, FGL, and Co. write at a first-grade level. “Bush Party” just looks pathetic. And “Stompin’ Ground” doesn’t look much different from American bro-country, just a bunch of repetitive, shallow shit. Wow.

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      • “Bush Party” was a Top 10 hit in Canada. The “song” was written by Dean Brody. It’s on his current album Beautiful Freakshow. He won a couple of CCMA & Juno awards in the last couple of years. His new single “Time” is decent but not half as good as his earlier material.
        The quality of canadian “country music” is sinking like the Titanic. Only much faster.

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  3. Yep. Other contenders are “Fix,” “Said No One Ever,” and “Move.” Actually, luke Bryan’s “Love me in a Field” off his new EP is worse than “Move,” and if it gets released as a single, Thomas Rhett and Chase rice will have a hard time trying to top it for worst single of 2017.

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    • It won’t get released. Luke Bryan new single is “Fast” and after that I imagine we will get a new lead single from him.

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  4. Worst song of the year for me was Diff for Girls. Bad/dumb songs are one thing, sexist songs that are trying be serious and spread meaning, and the meaning is sexist BS are worse. And Dierks/Elle will probably win a grammy for this too. Now excuse me while I vomit.

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  5. Shit, I totally forgot all about “Whisper”. I wouldn’t say “Whisper” is as bad as my top 10 songs I picked, but it should definitely be a dishonorable mention. It is a bad song, and a creepy one at that. And, it was a colossal flop, mercifully. Yikes.

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  6. Definitely “Vacation” and “Fix” lapped the field in this. Still disappointed for its week on the chart my recommendation to give it a -25 on the pulse wasn’t taken.

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  7. I do agree that “Vacation” is the worse song of 2016 (although “Said No One Ever” and “Tuxedo” really came close).

    Am I the only one who didn’t mind “Fix”. Yes it is a pop song on country radio and yes the lyrics paint Chris Lane in a bad light. But that chorus melody works for me very well and imo Chris Lane has a decent amount of charisma. I wouldn’t shed a tear if his career burns down, but I don’t mind the song.

    I also have “I Know Somebody” and “Ring On Every Finger” as a guilty pleasure. I don’t know why but I have no qualms with LoCash music.

    Kelsea Ballerini on the other hand, her success baffles me. I love “Peter Pan” like a lot. But her voice remains unremarkable, and her songs are so just faceless and sound like female bro country. I am happy that “Peter Pan” is Kelsea Ballerini biggest hit, and I can only hope that gives Kelsea Ballerini the sign to right more serious music.

    News broke today that Lauren Alaina plans to release her Sophomore album in late January and I can’t wait to hear it (I do think with the album out, “Road Less Traveled” will probably last a couple more months).

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    • I saw the Alaina news. I’m not excited to see that busbee’s involved because it’s probably going to have a lot of pop leanings. I’m expecting an album similar to Maren Morris’ HERO, which isn’t worth thing in the world, but Alaina can do better. “Same Day Different Bottle” will probably be the best song on it (Caitlyn Smith is a co-writer).

      Also for some reason the spam filter tried to eat your comment. Don’t know why it randomly does this.

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      • There are some live audio of “Same Day Different Bottle” and it is really good!

        That does make me nervous that busbee is involved. Hero to me was a really good album if you remove the genre label (had some catchy hooks, well written and Maren Morris is a good singer imo) but at times the production was a massive problem. I hope the same doesn’t happen for Lauren Alaina, but well despite my overall love for “Road Less Traveled” that song is overproduced, so while I am excited about it I am nervous. I do love that she co wrote every single song on the album so it seems a little more personal than other mainstream acts (looking at you Blake Shelton)

        At least they ditched “History”, that song was awful and even I can’t defend it.

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  8. Yes. That’s defiantly the worst song not just in country music, but probably music in general this year. Looking at this and everyone else’s list sometimes it’s hard to believe how much shit comes out every year.

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