Discussion: Worst Singles of 2008

monkey-with-fingers-in-ears As we launch our list of the best singles of 2008, it’s only fair that we give some time to the…not best singles of 2008.

What was the low point this year for country singles?

Was it John Rich’s ego/talent balance tipping decidedly in the wrong direction, with tripe like “Raisin’ McCain” and “Another You”?

Was riding in on a beautiful “White Horse” not enough reason to forgive Taylor Swift for the British Literature-flunking “Love Story” and the casually homophobic “Picture to Burn”?

Do Rodney Atkins’ “It’s America” and Jason Aldean’s “She’s Country” deserve to the final nails in the coffin of “let’s make a list” songwriting?

Or did Buddy Jewell sink the lowest of all with his anti-immigration rant “This Ain’t Mexico”?

You tell us.

What were the worst singles of 2008?

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62 Comments

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62 Responses to Discussion: Worst Singles of 2008

  1. “Bob That Head” takes it in a walk. Of course it’s a brilliant combination of one of Rascal Flatts’ cheesiest musical compositions ever and one of Gary LeVox’s most grating performances ever, but consider the fact that someone actually sat down and thought, “man, how bad-ass would it be if we wrote a song imploring our fans to bob their heads?” Consider how it had LeVox celebrating “giving everybody that rock-on sign!” Then think about the implications of the release; the idea that a group could be so unquestioned in its popularity that it could release such a thing and have it go Top 20. Shame. It would’ve been Spinal Tap-level hilarious if it weren’t delivered so earnestly.

    I will say that I don’t I don’t think “Picture to Burn” is actually homophobic. I think she’s trying to hurt his dating prospects with that line, not attack his character (although given that many people in the United States still treat homosexuality like a character flaw, I can see how the line might have been misinterpreted by a great number of people and thus affirmed a harmful prejudice). It’s still a wildly immature song, to be sure, and I certainly don’t condone gossiping about someone’s sexual orientation as a way to cope with romantic disenchantment, but I don’t think it’s a homophobic implication per se.

  2. CharlesNo Gravatar

    Toby keith – She’s a hottie

  3. CarsonNo Gravatar

    Oh yeah definitely “She’s a Hottie”! And “Bob That Head”!!! And ya know, probably “Put a Girl in It” I mean sorry Brooks and Dunn, but you come to a certain age when you have to stop singing about teenage girls.

    And I really don’t think “Picture to Burn” is a homophobic. She even personally said, “I’m not against gay people or anything. I was basically saying, if you’re going to make up a rumor about me, I’ll make up a rumor about you”. And besides, they even edited it out of the radio version. And no matter how cheesy it may get, “Love Story” is insanely catchy and has a stunningly beautiful video.

    There’s several bad, yet catchy songs.
    Does “All I Want to Do” come to anyone’s mind? :P

  4. Greg MNo Gravatar

    All I Want to do – Sugarland

    This was probably the most disheartening single of the year for me. The reason why is because I love Sugarland, I love songs like Everyday America, Stay, Something More, Baby Girl, and the other wide array of singles that was released. Then they released this one and it was annoying the first time I heard it, and more annoying the next 10 times I heard it. Now whenever it comes on, I have to change the station because it’s so bad. I’m glad they followed up with Already Gone though. Hopefully the rest of the album isn’t like their first single.

  5. DiamondNo Gravatar

    Sorry, but “Start a Band,” considering the talent behind it, is bad. I expected better from talented people like Brad and Keith. It’s a really average duet, another one of those “hard-rockin’ country songs,” but really just an excuse to show off a few guitar licks.

  6. ZachNo Gravatar

    “Bop That Head” by Rascal Flatts is by far the worst one I’ve heard this year.

    Other Not-so notable mentions
    (songs that I thought were ick.):

    “I’m Still A Guy” by Brad Paisley (definatly #2)
    “Should’ve Said No” by Taylor Swift (def. #3)
    any John Rich songs
    “Change” by Taylor Swift
    “Everybody wants to go to heaven” by Kenny Chesney
    “Put A Girl In It” by Brooks and Dunn
    (wasnt really bad… the video made it worse.)
    “Here” by Rascal Flatts
    “Love You With All My Heart” by Sara Evans
    (I love Sara, but good gosh, this song sucked.)

    thats my take, but i think i probably missed some. oh well.

  7. ZachNo Gravatar

    I forgot to add Pickler’s “Best Days Of Your Life” x.x

  8. bobbyNo Gravatar

    i would defenitley go with “bob that head”
    that one by by the winner of nashville star that sounded spanish was pretty awful too though. i don’t remember the name of it. i was too disgusted to listen to it more than once.

  9. I feel like I’m spitting in Kevin’s cornflakes here, but I have to say that I really don’t get Sugarland’s “Love,” which is supposed to be their next single, at all. I’m not saying conclusively that it’s a bad song, but is there a point to it besides the notion that a lot of different things “are” love? Seems to me like that’s no deeper than saying a lot of different things “are” America, a la Mr. Atkins. I’m certainly open to feedback on it. Maybe I’m just missing something.

  10. Greg, Sugarland’s album is much better. “All I Want To Do” is the worst track by far. (I personally love “All I Want To Do”, but I agree it’s a bad song…)

    Dan, the difference is that the things in “Love” can be used to describe love, unlike America. Sugarland tells about actual love, not random images like in Rodney’s song.

    For worst single? “Bob That Head” by a mile or 10. I detest that song with the passion of the intensity of a thousand suns, give or take a few.

  11. bobbyNo Gravatar

    In the cd booklet, Sugarland had something about how the song was supposed to be asking what love is. I think it’s kind of like a defenition of the word love, and it’s looking at it from different angles. So, baisically exactly what you said, but I think it kind of goes deeper than a normal list song and get stronger and more decisive as the song goes on. I really like the harmonies as well, I think it brings out the meaning. Just my opinion though

  12. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    My reading on “Love” is that it’s rejecting that love can be defined as any one thing. Instead of saying, “Love is…”, she poses many different things as a possibility (“Is it…?”, then answers, “I say it’s love.” The message that I get is that it’s futile to try to define love in the first place. It just is. All attempts to define it fail because they describe the results of love, not love itself.

    Regarding my corn flakes, you can feel free to spit in them. But mess with my Cherry Coke Zero and I’ll have to hurt you.

  13. Couldn’t have said it better Kevin.

    I hate cherry coke zero…

  14. Blake BoldtNo Gravatar

    Hot girl wants a ride
    Climbs up inside
    Feelin’ that rhythm
    Right along with him
    Now he’s cruisin’
    Don’t want to lose it
    Loop around Sonic
    And right back on it

    “Bob That Head,” Rascal Flatts

  15. AaronNo Gravatar

    “Bob that Head” and “Here” have been the worst singles of the year by far! I used to like the Flatts boys but they’ve just screwed up the format with their pop stuff. I also wasn’t a fan of “She’s a Hottie” and “She Never Cried in Front of Me” from Toby Keith.

    Other notable songs:
    “Best Days of Your Life” Kellie Pickler
    “Come on Over” Jessica Simpson
    “Chicken Fried” Zac Brown Band (how did this song go number 1?!?! I don’t get it!)
    “Let it Go” Tim McGraw

    On the whole Sugarland thing, I love that song!! It’s one of my favorites from the album and I’m super excited it’s being released as a single! And I also agree that even though it’s not the best song of the year, Swift’s “Love Story” is EXTREMELY catchy! So is “White Horse” I haven’t stopped singing it all day! Haha

  16. Steve from BostonNo Gravatar

    I’m glad that even many Sugarland fans are annoyed by “All I Want to Do”…

    Do I understand correctly that one of their four year olds came up with the melody for this ear irritant?

    I heard Jennifer Nettle’s herself call the song an “earworm” something you just can’t get out of your head….Yeah, thanks a lot Jennifer!

  17. Add me to the chorus of those who just didn’t get into “All I Want To Do”. Worst song of their career by a mile. But I’m sorry, Rodney’s “It’s America” is the biggest stinker of the year. Give me a REAL song about living in America like “Small Town Southern Man” any day. Not that I would say I LOVE that song, but it just feels more genuines. “America” is just a formula that’s been used 20 times too many.

    “Bob That Head” was more like “hurt my head”. Also, if you’re inferring a description of a group of people in a derogatory way, it’s offensive. So yeah…”Picture” has a homophobic context. Taylor saying it isn’t just because she isn’t against gay people doesn’t change the impact of it.

  18. I’m Still A Guy – Brad Paisley (this one I find very homophobic)
    I’ll Walk – Bucky Covington (ugh I hated this one so, so much)
    This Ain’t Mexico – Buddy Jewell (and I really liked Buddy before this…)
    Love Remembers – Craig Morgan (I just couldn’t get into this one, it bored me)
    I’m About To Come Alive – David Nail (I really hope this guys got better material if MCA tries to launch him again.)
    River Of Love – George Strait (I doubt this’ll ruin his career so that’s good)
    Relentless – Jason Aldean (not bad but really boring)
    She’s Country – Jason Aldean (Really bad and really boring)
    Where I’m From – Jason Michael Carroll (zzzzz…..)
    Everything – Jessica Andrews (Nice to see her back but needs to be better, shame on Marcel)
    I Will – Jimmy Wayne (What happened to him?)
    MAd Cowboy Desies – John Michael Montgomery (The rest of his album is good)
    Somebody Needs A Hug – Keith Anderson (I like him some, but really wouldn’t miss him)
    15 Minutes Of Shame – Kristy Lee Cook (well at least she won’t be boring us anymore)
    Make A Wish – Laura Bryna (She will though…)
    Holler Back – Lost Trailers (I think the record exec. made em do it)
    If You Didn’t Love Me – Phil Stacey (I’d rather listen to Rascal Flatts for eternity)
    It’s America – Rodney Atkins (It’s an Embarassment)
    Off The Hillbilly Hook – Trailer Choir (I was hoping they’d be good)

  19. “Also, if you’re inferring a description of a group of people in a derogatory way, it’s offensive.”

    Not necessarily. I think you have to look at in the context of why she would say that kind of thing about her ex. The only reason it’s bad for him, besides being untrue, is that it keeps him from getting what he presumably wants, which is more girls (unless we assume that being gay is considered bad enough in and of itself in that environment, which hopefully is not the case). That doesn’t mean it’s a general attack on gay people or homosexuality itself. If she went to a school of Orthodox Jews and told all her friends he was a closeted Christian, and that made them more reluctant to date him, it wouldn’t be an outright insult to him or to Christianity, per se; it would just be an extremely immature way to make other people who are predisposed not to be romantically interested in a certain group of people find him less attractive. Again, I can’t vouch for how Swift’s listeners interpreted or misinterpreted it; I’m just calling it like I see it in the song itself.

    I hear what y’all are saying about “Love”; that certainly sounds a little better to me. I’ll have to listen again and see what I think.

  20. This is a brilliant idea for a post, BTW, and one that made me giggle a little, too. Same for the best songs of 2008.

    I’d have to say it’s a three-way tie between “This Ain’t Mexico,” “Bob That Head,” and “Picture to Burn.” BLEHHHHH.

  21. lauraNo Gravatar

    i’ll walk – Bucky Covington
    Holler Back – The Lost Trailers
    Ready Set Don’t Go – Billy Ray Cyrus
    Picture To Burn – Taylor Swift

    How did these songs go top 10, and ‘This is me your talking to’ didn’t?

    I Will by Jimmy Wayne (Sounds like a Backstreet Boys reject)

    But the prize for me has to go to ‘Bob That Head’. Not only the worst country song of the year, but one of the worst songs of all time in any genre.

  22. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Sure, Swift meant to ruin his chances of getting another girlfriend because all of the girls will think he’s gay, but I’ve got a feeling that it’s not the only reason she’s spreading that rumor. I’m betting that it’s also supposed to ruin his reputation with his possibly homophobic buddies. So, in the end, I’ll have to agree with Kevin’s “casually homophobic” label. I don’t believe it was meant to be harmful, but I think it was sloppy. It may just be a song, but a song is pretty influential. While it’s true that it’s what kids say these days, it’s also an indictment on our society that we teach them that it’s okay that someone being gay is an insult or something to be made fun of. As adults we can figure out what she probably intended, but her target demographic, teens and adolescents, may not be so discerning.

  23. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I agree that “Bob That Head” and “I’ll Walk” are strong contenders for my pick of worst single of the year, but “This Ain’t Mexico” is the worst of them all, maybe even worst of the decade.

  24. MarcNo Gravatar

    Yeah, I like the Sugarland song too.

    James Otto and Jamie Johnson’s crooning are up there with the flats to me. For some reason both of their music reminds me of gray dust. A thick layer of gray dust. That’s the only way I can put it.

    Never any accounting for taste in the world of opinions… as JR Put it on My Kind of Country..
    Some really great tracks are scattered among some real crap (but that’s just this writer’s opinion, of course)

    :)

  25. Blake BoldtNo Gravatar

    I chose “Bob That Head” earlier, but “This Ain’t Mexico” is awful, too.

  26. ScottNo Gravatar

    “Bob that Head” and “She’s a hottie” are the two that stick in my mind as the worst.

    A couple that arent bad, but very boring, do nothing for me songs: “Love Remembers” and “Better As a Memory”

  27. Blake BoldtNo Gravatar

    Swift’s threat of “outing” her ex is, as Dan said, a schoolyard strategy. That lyric is intended to make little schoolgirls giggle at how clever Swift is for employing this tactic. Then, Swift slides so easily into the head-banging chorus and the line is forgotten.

    Leeann’s argument makes a lot of sense to me. I don’t believe that Swift meant to be blatantly homophobic, but the writing is, in Leeann’s words, “sloppy.” But, of course, why sweat over little details when there is a message to scream in your face?

    The first verse says, “I realize you love yourself more than you could ever love me.” Swift’s ex likely doesn’t enjoy the company of men, but he could possibly be enjoying his own.

  28. GailNo Gravatar

    (1)”Everybody Wanna Go to Heaven”….proves he can sing just about anything and it will go straight to #1…just don’t get it! His performance & most of his performances on award shows are so boring! Always makes me wonder why he keeps getting entertainer trophy!
    (2)”She’s A Hottie”…just a throwed together song.
    (3)”I’ll Walk”…it’s just a terrible song.
    (4)Anything Taylor Swift…same old topics in every song and listening to her whine through them takes a lot of work! She ruined a lot of good Christmas songs by recording them. Can’t believe she represents country music and is it’s #1 artist! Lookout Kenny, Taylor’s coming!

  29. “That Ain’t Mexico” is horribly written, but so are a lot of songs. What puts it over the top are its hatefulness, its willful ignorance and its shamelessness in appealing to people’s worst instincts.

    And Dan’s on the money about “Picture to Burn.”

  30. Steve from BostonNo Gravatar

    From Dan’s post #1:

    “..the idea that a group could be so unquestioned in it’s popularity that it could release such a thing and have it go Top 20. Shame.”

    Dan, I think you nailed it..I know you were referring to the Rascall Flatts song “Bob That Head”, but I think your statement could also fit the Sugarland song “All I Want To Do”

    In my opinion, the infliction of both these songs on the public bespeak a certain disrespect for their audience, perhaps unintentional and unconscious, but disrespect nonetheless. It’s almost like “we’re so great, let’s see if they buy THIS pos, lol..” kind of sentiment. I guess the joke’s on us.

  31. I’ll Walk, and all this yearr’s Elvis duets recorded after his death.

    All very distasteful for me.

  32. MarcNo Gravatar

    Steve.. while I still maintain my disagreement about Sugarland’s “All I Wanna Do” as I think it very much follows their standard upbeat bouncy ballad model; I’ll add Trisha’s “Heaven, Heartache and..” as something that *I* feel really doesn’t follow suit of the artist’s more common fare, and that despite being a Trisha fan, I absolutely couldn’t stand.

  33. Vinny's PalNo Gravatar

    Hey # 18!
    As for TRAILER CHOIR! i have to be honest,
    i know them,they are good people,great musicians,& awesome live…while, i agree,that “off the hillbilly hook” wasnt the best choice for a single, PLEASE dont give up on them yet…they’ll surprise you!

  34. Blake BoldtNo Gravatar

    @Jim O: Bucky Covington is one star who bewilders me with his appeal to the country music audience.

  35. CoryNo Gravatar

    Oh there are so so many, now my list of least favorite songs is different than worst songs, i fear if i listed Underwood and Strait I would get chased out of here!

    But worst songs…
    Im Still A Guy-waste of talent Brad has released nothing decent in years
    Good Time-sorry but this song had nothing to it for me.
    Everybody Wants to Go To Heaven-so tired of the islands….
    “Picture to Burn,Our Song Love Story”-this girl is the most over rated thing going right now, her lack of vocal interpretation shines in all of her music.
    A few more, Bob that Head, Come On Over, Put A Girl in It all painful to my ears
    Thank God for Trisha Yearwood gracing radio on and off throughout the year!
    Holler Back-whats to like?

  36. As per the Swift conversation

    It’s no secret that I’m something of a T. Swift fan, so I’ll play apologist here like I did over at the9513 review of the song

    Seems to me that this is a song about a spurned teenage lover who is engaging in something like an emotional “total war”. Are all of her strategies petty? Totally petty. As petty as burning a picture of someone who rejected you, in fact.

    But the character in the song has given herself up to complete pettiness for the sake of complete high-school revenge. It no longer matters if what she is doing is right, wrong, mature, fair, or anything else. She’s willing to sacrifice herself to get the “win” in this conflict.

    Will she encourage her father, a grown man, to beat up a minor? Yes.

    Will she burn him in effigy and swear that she never liked anything about him anyway, despite that making her look as crazy and obsessive as he claims she is? Yes, otherwise should wouldn’t be emotionally free to wage her total war.

    Will she date a bunch of guys in an insincere way, making her somewhat of a floozy, in an effort to hurt him and make him feel inferior? Totally.

    Will she spread nasty rumors? Rumors that, for example, he’s…GAY!!!! You betcha.

    Now, we all know, as adults, that it isn’t nice to use “gay” as a slur, and that furthermore, if someone is gay, that we shouldn’t let that affect our opinion of them. But a petty, vicious, teenage girl bent on total conflict is going to use the handiest bad rumor at her disposal, and telling her friends that he broke up with her because he was “gay” has the advantage of not only helping her save face (since it made his rejection of her less personal), and ostracize him from the community at large, but it will also hurt his chances with her rivals, other girls.

    So I’ll give some credit to this song for having a narrator that is more interesting than most because she’s willing to be completely flawed and pursue moral failure for the sake of validating her feelings of hatred and revenge.

    Is this a great “girl-power” song that advances a positive example for girls to follow? Nope. Instead, it does something that country music has shied away from as of late, it offers a picture of a completely relateable, instantly familiar, utterly flawed human being, and all with a catchy hook.

    so yeah, the character is playing on the casual homophobia, but she isn’t presented as a positive paradigm and Swift doesn’t give us any reason to think that the character herself is homophobic.

    and “Love Story” has really grown on me. what can I say, I’m a fan.

  37. I won’t post my ‘least favorites’ here (that’ll happen @ Roughstock) but I will say this: how the hell did Laura Bryna get an album out? That thing was one of the biggest steamy piles of dung I’ve ever heard. She doesn’t even look that good.

  38. Ben presents a great argument and I’m inclined to agree with a lot of it, since I also don’t think we should necessarily judge songs based on the inherent nobility of their characters, but rather how well those characters are developed (otherwise, we’d be taking issue with a lot more of Johnny Cash’s stuff, no?). The only part where it falls apart for me is here:

    “so yeah, the character is playing on the casual homophobia, but she isn’t presented as a positive paradigm”

    If Swift had made any acknowledgment of her behavior’s consequences in the song or even made an effort to explain to her fans that the song applies to the very particular case of ‘total war’ (or however she would choose to explain it), I could sort of buy that, but the closest she’s ever come to such an acknowledgment is saying, “I’m not usually an angry person…but if you mistreat me, I’m gonna write a song about you!” Leeann makes a good point that adults have the ability to see the song for what it is, but many kids (especially some of the younger ones who idolize Swift) are a lot more impressionable and may take the “gay” line (along with all of the other uber-irrational tactics she employs) as a sign that that’s an acceptable way to deal with relationship problems. It’s like the classic violence-on-TV dilemma, except this time, the bad behavior is being modeled not by grown-ups, but by a younger role model who otherwise seems like a very nice person. I honestly think it’s a very well done song for what it is, but I object to its release for the same reason I object to “I’m Still A Guy”; however well-crafted the music is, I object to the social impact I suspect it feeds.

    Man, you have to love how practically any country music post these days can spiral into a lengthy discussion about the psychology of Taylor Swift songs.

  39. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    To be fair, I started that lengthy discussion with the original post. Glad to see it playing out, though. It’s certainly nicer than seeing Carrie Underwood threads be hijacked by Shania-mania.

  40. It’s like the classic violence-on-TV dilemma,except this time, the bad behavior is being modeled not by grown-ups, but by a younger role model who otherwise seems like a very nice person.

    true, and a good point, and I agree that even though I think it’s effective writing, it is not the height of social responsibility but…

    1. Country Music at its best always explores the negative reality rather than the positive paradigm. Drinking yourself to death in the wake of a failed relationship is actually not an advisable course of action. But country music isn’t here to lecture us or advise us, it’s here to commiserate with us.

    2. It’s clear that the girl in this song is totally insane.

    3. (this is probably the crux of the issue) I don’t think that kids would react reasonably to breakups but for Taylor Swift presenting them with a negative paradigm. I don’t think that any kid out there would have been cool with gay people, but decided not to be because of this song. In fact, if anything, by presenting the lead character as so crazy, it firmly places her actions into the category of “things one only does when they are crazy and pathetic” and I think a strong argument could be made that Taylor is actually challenging her listeners react to break-ups in the opposite fashion as is presented here.

    But more importantly, I think that the casual homophobia was benign enough as to not be significant, as opposed to something like Gangster Rap or ultra-violent 80’s movies which strongly advance very negative paradigms.

    or something like “I’m Still a Guy” for example, which is think is WAY more homophobic, and also much much dumber, and it actually categorically associates violence, stupidity, and insensitivity with masculinity.

    but yeah, I think that the fact we have so much to talk about when it comes to T. Swift’s songs is evidence that they are, in fact, substantive.

  41. oh yeah, and p.s. if you guys put a preview button on your comments I’d love you forever.

  42. Yeah, you certainly can’t fault her for being insubstantive, however you might feel about the substance itself. In any case, I certainly wouldn’t put Taylor’s song in the same offensive league as “I’m Still a Guy”; that was just the most recent example I could think of a song I liked structurally (although not as much) but hated in terms of its greater implications.

  43. I still think she’s just trying to screw up his love life.

  44. CoryNo Gravatar

    How is Picture to Burn homophobic? Which line is it in the song? I put myself through the pain of listening to the song voluntarily but didnt pick up on it. But her diction is pretty poor so there are alot of words I just cant understand.

    And its not that I cant relate to Taylor’s song for the reason I dont like them because if that was true I wouldnt like a single female artist or Johnny Cash or Kris Kristofferson song! Its the fact she is a poor vocalist! I like power, personality, and emotion in a voice!!!
    Ex-Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, Tammy Wynette, Dottie West ect

  45. Blake BoldtNo Gravatar

    @Cory:

    The unedited, album version includes the word “gay.”

    State the obvious
    I didn’t get my perfect fantasy
    I realized you love yourself
    More that you could ever love me
    So go and tell your friends
    That I’m obsessive and crazy
    That’s fine
    I’ll tell mine
    You’re gay
    And by the way

    I hate that stupid old pickup truck
    You never let me drive
    You’re a redneck, heartbreak
    Who’s really bad at lying
    So watch me strike a match
    On all my wasted time
    As far as I’m concerned
    You’re just another picture to burn

    Forget about calling the guy “gay,” but who here believes that Swift would actually pine over your run-of-the-mill redneck? She seems a little too prim and proper for that.

  46. KentNo Gravatar

    I’m shocked. Appalled even? Nobody has mentioned Shiftwork as the worst single of the year. It is quite simply the worst country song I’ve ever heard (I think). Both Kenny and George provide the most dull, uninspiring vocals I have ever heard in country music, which are so boring that it’s a wonder I haven’t fallen asleep attempting to listen to it yet. Hopefully you’ve all just forgotten about it because it was so forgettable. I have no comment regarding its lyrics, however. They don’t bother me.

    As for Bob That Head, I know many of you hated it for its awful screeching vocals and terrible lyrics, but at least its a good rockin’ song that at least tries to be interesting (if not with its lyrics, but with its energy). And the guitar solo at the end… very nice. On a side note, I was surprised to find that even the video made references to its double entendre.

  47. Let’s try this, shall we? …

    Carrie Underwood – All American Girl (what a shreik-fest!)
    Taylor Swift – Should’ve Said No (um, this song just blows)
    Zac Brown Band – Chicken Fried (as someone said above, I just don’t get the appeal of this song)
    Rascal Flatts – Bob That Head (hey, if that’s the way you made it to the top, you might as well tell everybody)
    Toby Keith – Get My Drink On (another Toby dud, just one step behind ‘She’s a Hottie’)
    Lost Trailer – Holler Back (still annoys me when the radio plays it)
    Bucky Covington – I’ll Walk (run, don’t walk)
    Billy Ray & Miley Cyrus – Ready, Set, Don’t Go (meh. riding your daughter’s coattails is the epitome of a has-been)
    Josh Gracin – We Weren’t Crazy (we must be to let this song go top 10)
    Rodney Atkins – It’s America (tsk.)
    Jason Aldean – She’s Country (then why isn’t the song?)

  48. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    First, I’d take “Shift Work” over “Bob That Head” any day!

    As for the Swift song, I actually don’t hate it. I think it’s pretty catchy and that it does serve its purpose well. I just have the problem iwth the line that I mentioned above, but I don’t actually take it too seriously because I don’t believe it was meant to be harmful. I simply wanted to point out what I see as the societal implications of it.

  49. LFO– the Lyte Funky Ones themselves– used more or less the same line as Swift in more or less the same context (“But then I think about the time that we broke up before the prom/And you told everyone that I was gay/Well, okay”) in their teen-pop single “Every Other Time” back in 2001. So whether or not Swift’s being offensive, she’s not being particularly original… but I also haven’t gone back to re-read her lyrics for references to “girls that wear Abercrombie & Fitch.”

    “Bob That Head,” hopefully, is the first crack in Rascal Flatts’ heretofore impenetrable armor and is the beginning of their fade into well-deserved obscurity. And “This Ain’t Mexico” is an attention-grab that’s as hateful and ignorant as it is shameless. It’s inspired plenty of heated discussion, sure, but the fact that it didn’t gain any traction for Buddy Jewell or earn him any renewed inroads at radio really makes at example of epic fail.

    I said it in my review of their album, and I’ll say it again here: Sugarland’s “All I Want to Do” is the most grotesque thing shipped to radio since Jessica Simpson’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” cover or K-Fed’s “Popozao.” That it lifts the melody of its chorus from, of all things, a Tony!Toni!Tone! single, also demonstrates how maddeningly inconsistent in quality their pop influences are. When they’re on, they’re pretty spectacular, but they can also go off-the-rails as spectacularly as nearly anyone else in country.

    The competition from Swift, Rascall Flatts, and Jewell is pretty stiff, but the fact that “All I Want to Do” was actually a bona fide hit– one that also killed the traction that Sugarland’s genuinely lovely (if not at all “country”) cover of “Life in a Northern Town” was beginning to gain at radio– makes it my pick for the worst single of 2008.

  50. All my leasts have been covered here. I must say, for the most part, this is a nausea inducing list. It was not a good year for songwriters/songwriting.

  51. AaronNo Gravatar

    Am I the only one here that didn’t think too much about the “gay” line in Swift’s song??

    If so, then I guess it goes to show how sometimes I really don’t pay attention to songs! haha

  52. CarsonNo Gravatar

    Awww “Best Days of Your Life” by Pickler was not bad, in my opinion.

    I mean for “All I want to do” I LOVE Sugarland’s album, but the fact someone actually wrote “ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh oooh oooh” on paper is kind of disturbing.

  53. HamNo Gravatar

    How many of the responders who DO NOT think Taylor Swift is homophobic are gay/lesbian? That alone tells the tale. It is way easier to toss off the line in a song when you have not suffered personally from bigotry. Taylor Swift is offensive both lyrically and sonically.

    It’s very sad to read these comments in light of those posted on the Christianity blog. Me thinks major double standards exist here in the universe of country readers/commenters.

  54. Blake BoldtNo Gravatar

    Again, in my personal opinion, Swift is not spewing homophobia, but the line in question is lazy. She’s using it as a conniving tool to curb her ex-boyfriend’s future romantic endeavors, and the easiest rumor (and the one bound to elicit the most giggles from schoolgirls) is to spread the word that he’s gay. While it doesn’t signal Swift’s homophobia (to me), it inadvertently advances the notion that, in our society, being termed “gay” can be a scarlet letter. (!)

  55. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Ultimately, Blake, that’s what I think too.

    Ham, what does Country Universe have to do with the Christianity blog? I must be missing something? Double standard?

  56. Blake BoldtNo Gravatar

    @Leeann: Ham is referring to the Christianity discussion from last night.

  57. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Ah…I see…

  58. CoryNo Gravatar

    Opps sorry Kent, I just forgot to mention Shiftwork!!! haha terrible song!

  59. “How many of the responders who DO NOT think Taylor Swift is homophobic are gay/lesbian? That alone tells the tale. It is way easier to toss off the line in a song when you have not suffered personally from bigotry.”

    I hear what you’re saying, but please don’t assume that every person who doesn’t agree with your viewpoint on one relatively insignificant line is or is not of a particular sexual orientation; that’s an ultimatum which is bound to exclude a lot of other rational thought on the matter. I am sensitive to this issue as well, and that’s why I believe in correctly identifying when homophobic messages are being spewed as opposed to just whistle-blowing every time someone mentions the word “gay” in a negative context.

    I don’t think Swift herself is a homophobe (she once said in an interview that she would like to take Perez Hilton to prom, and he’s not exactly the most machismo fellow around), and I don’t think the song itself is homophobic. If we lived in a more accepting society, we would probably never think twice about the line in question; we would just see it for its intended impact (in my opinion, ruining his dating life) and laugh it off. The only reason it can be called “casually homophobic” is because we don’t yet live in such a society, and as Blake and Leeann have put rather well, certain people who hear the song may see it as an affirmation of the idea that sexual orientation is sufficient cause for social ostracism. It is indeed “sloppy” and socially irresponsible of Swift, but stretching that out to say that she herself must be homophobic is also irresponsible, in my opinion.

    And yeah, I don’t get how this relates to the Christianity post either.

  60. CarsonNo Gravatar

    I agree with Blake.

    It was NOT meant offensive, and meant as a way to get back at her boyfriend after he tells his friends that she is “obsessive and crazy”. And as even more proof it was no homophobic, Swift rerecorded the song for the video and radio version that says “You won’t mind if I say/by the way”.

    People are just being too sensitive, or hating on Taylor.

  61. Erik NorthNo Gravatar

    Re. John Rich: “Raising McCain” wasn’t the problem I had with him; that was just his way of supporting his man for president. It was the chutzpah he showed in claiming that Johnny Cash would have supported McCain and the political positions of the far-right, when just the opposite was true of the Man In Black. Proof, as I said several months ago, that just because your last name is Rich doesn’t mean you’ve got Cash (LOL).

  62. ChelseaNo Gravatar

    All of Taylor’s singles are a low point for country music, because simply put, they are not country… and they suck. Period.

    Bob that head made my ears bleed.

    All I wanna Do made my head hurt.

    Cleaning this Gun made me want to hurl.

    Whoever put All American Girl on the worst list is crazy– that was one of the best songs in 2008. It is a great song and one of the highlights of this year as it is an anthem for women and young girls. Her vocals are great in it as always.