1. I really dig Ran’s “The House That Built Me.” I remember the first time I played the CD when I bought it last year that this was a really special recording. I didn’t listen to radio this year so I can’t say whether it got tiresome or not, but it was one of the few songs I’ve heard all year that actually caught my ear. I’d kind of forgotten what it was like to hear something that wasn’t a generic anthem or power ballad or Republican rally jingle. It was…refreshing.

  2. Still soaking on my “best” list, but I’m very excited about it this year. One thing I’ll say is that it will likely include “What Do You Want” by Jerrod Niemann, a song we haven’t talked much about here at CU.

  3. Oh Tara, I hate that guy’s songs! Every time that Lover, Lover song came on…off went the radio. I know I’m probably in the minority on him, but I just don’t connect with his music. So that is probably my least favorite. Can’t think of a favorite right now.

  4. A few on my best list:

    Miranda: THTBM & “Only Prittier”
    Carrie- “Temporary Home”
    Rascal Flatts- “Why Wait”
    Sara Evans- “A Little Bit Stronger”
    Little Big Town- “Little White Church”

    Brad- “This Is Country Music”
    LA- “Our Kind Of Love” & “Hello World”
    Taylor- “Speak Now”
    Sugarland- “Stuck Like Glue”
    Tim McGraw- “Felt Good On MY Lips”
    Reba- “Turn On The Radio”
    Craig Morgan- “Still A Little Chicken Left On That Bone”

  5. I think among the best were:
    “Keep On Loving You” -Reba McEntire
    “Undo It” -Carrie Underwood [i think it was 2010?]
    “Stuck Like Glue” -Sugarland
    “The House That Built Me” -Miranda Lambert
    “Drop On By” -Laura Bell Bundy [i liked it]
    …….. I forget any others that really stick out.

    I didn’t find myself loving:
    “Lover, Lover” -Jerrod Niemann
    “Our Kind Of Love” -Lady A
    “She’s Country” -Jason Aldean [was this in 2010?]

  6. I don’t have a worst-of list, but I probably should.

    Favorites this year include:

    ‘Notes To The Coroner’ – Chely Wright
    ‘I Put My Ring Back On’ – Mary Chapin Carpenter
    ‘From A Table Away’ – Sunny Sweeney

    I also really like ‘If I Die Young’, ‘The House That Built Me’, ‘Til Summer Comes Around’, ‘Anything Like Me’, and ‘Highway 20 Ride’.

  7. “She’s Country,” from Aldean’s 2009 release Wide Open, was released as a single on March 1 of this year. It just seems like it’s been around forever…

    I gave my worst single list a lot of thought and of all the atrocious country singles from 2010 that topped my list.

    I LOVED “Drop On By” and “From A Table Away” as well.

    I’m with granna, I didn’t care for “Lover,Lover” at all, mostly because he was covering a pop song which lessened his country credibility for me.

    And Tara, I’m with you on “What Do You Want.” It’s a great song and one I cannot get out of my head. Much better than “Lover,Lover”

  8. Oh yeah Tara [guess so], then nevermind. hee hee.

    I do hope to see Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “I Put My Ring Back On” on the list…. Also like Band Perry’s “If I Die Young” & Underwood’s “Temporary Home.”

    And I forgot to mention Rimes’ stellar cover of “Swingin’.”

  9. how do you all even remember all the singles this year? lol

    I admit, when I’m listening to the radio, there are the ones I turn off on the first note, and then there are those I turn way, way up.

    So, I suppose (going off others lists here):
    “The House that Built Me” – Miranda Lambert
    “Need You Know” – Lady Antebellum
    “Speak Now” – Taylor Swift
    “Lover Lover” – Jarrod Neimann
    “Ain’t No Son” – Court Yard Hounds
    “Stuck Like Glue” – Sugarland

    “Temporary Home” – Carrie Underwood
    “This is Country Music” – Brad Paisley
    That inane song by Laura Bell Bundy…just no., oh, “Giddy On Up”

    I’m sure there are others on both sides of the coin, those are just the ones I remember right now….

  10. Among my favs. this year were “Undo It” by Carrie Underwood, “Let Me Introduce Myself” by Carolyn Dawn Johnson, and despite the bashing it has taken, “Turn on the Radio” by Reba.

  11. Actually, Tara is right about “She’s Country” the song I was thinking of was actually “Crazy Town!” the two sound so much alike that I often mix them up.

  12. Best of the year has got to be “The House That Built Me.” The more times I listen to it, the more layers peel back. It’s beautiful and painful and powerful.

    I’d have to think some more about worst, though. Too bad “Cowboy Casanova” and everything by Justin Moore were 2009.

    I would vote “American Honey” for inane lyrics, but it’s such a pretty song that it gets a pass.

  13. best:
    carrie underwood – temporary home! (such a wonderful song. feel like it was high rated, but overall, seriously overlooked by awards & all that)
    miranda lambert – the house that built me (amazing)
    sugarland – stuck like glue (awesome)
    jason aldean ft. kelly clarkson – don’t you wanna stay (love it, although pop kelly totally destroys country jason in the vocal department)

  14. Well, I took a look at the country songs that I downloaded from iTunes this year and they include:

    Court Yard Hounds – Ain’t No Son
    Keith Urban – Til Summer Comes Around
    Keith Urban – I’m In
    LeAnn Rimes – Swingin
    Little Big Town – Little White Church
    Martina McBride – Wrong Baby Wrong
    Sunny Sweeny – From a Table Away
    Zac Brown Band – Free
    Zac Brown Band – Highway 20 Ride
    Zac Brown Band – As She’s Walking Away

    Soooooo… a lot of overlap with many others here.

    A list of the worst songs would be harder to compile because 1, there were so many and 2, I’ve tried to forget them. :)

    I do seem to recall switching the station as soon as most of Carrie Underwood’s single selections (Undo It, etc.) came on, but I’m not sure they were among the absolute worst of the year.

  15. Best: Undo It- Carrie Underwood
    Temporary Home- Carrie Underwood
    Highway 20 Ride- Zac Brown Band
    As She’s Walking Away- Zac Brown Band
    The Truth (if it was released this year??)- Jason Aldean
    Smile- Uncle Cracker
    Why Wait- Rascal Flatts

  16. For starters, I know that Trace Adkin’s new single “Brown Chicken Brown Cow” is an immediate addition to my WORST list, along with a few offerings from Craig Morgan and Jason Aldean. Also Tim McGraw’s “Felt Good On My Lips,” Brad Paisley’s “This Is Country Music,” Gretchen Wilson’s “I Got Your Country Right Here,” and unfortunately, The Judds’ “I Will Stand By You.”

    I very much expected that quite a few people would mention Miranda’s “House” and LBT’s “Little White Church” and I wholeheartedly agree. I would also add Taylor Swift’s “Back to December” along with a few awesome feel-good tunes like “Why Wait” and “Stuck Like Glue.” A few lesser-known releases for my BEST list are Mary Chapin’s “I Put My Ring Back On,” Randy Rogers Band’s “Steal You Away,” and Dierks Bentley’s “Draw Me a Map.”

  17. Someone mentioned Chely Wright’s “Notes to the Coroner.” I was unaware this had a single release, but I can get behind it. Very well written. That whole album was great, and I say that as someone previously entirely underwhelmed by Chely’s discography.

    Also, I thought it odd that I loved Dierks Bentley’s “Up on the Ridge” album but couldn’t name one single from it. Perhaps this is because I found the album to be a singular work of art and not an aggregate of individual songs?

    Lastly, I’m not getting in on the “worst” lists. I could bash some stuff that didn’t work for me (and I have, elsewhere here), but I’m far more interested in promoting the works that resonated with me than in drawing attention to the ones that didn’t.

  18. Lots of interesting song came out this year, some really good and some really awful. Here’s a list of the top songs from 2010

    The # before the song indicates its highest chart position.

    (A) active on charts (position at the time the list was compiled).

    3 Ain’t Back Yet Kenny Chesney
    1 All About Tonight Blake Shelton
    1 All Over Me Josh Turner
    1 American Honey Lady Antebellum
    2 American Saturday Night Brad Paisley
    1 Anything Like Me Brad Paisley
    1 As She’s Walking Away Zac Brown Band with Alan Jackson (A)
    6 Backwoods Justin Moore
    17 Beer on the Table Josh Thompson
    1 The Boys of Fall Kenny Chesney
    10 The Breath You Take George Strait (A)
    18 Bullets in the Gun Toby Keith (A)
    1 Come Back Song Darius Rucker
    1 Consider Me Gone Reba
    2 Crazy Town Jason Aldean
    6 Cryin’ for Me (Wayman’s Song) Toby Keith
    14 Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You Kellie Pickler
    15 Every Dog Has Its Day Toby Keith
    5 Farmer’s Daughter Rodney Atkins (A)
    10 Fearless Taylor Swift
    11 Felt Good on My Lips[ Tim McGraw (A)
    1 Free Zac Brown Band
    18 Get Off on the Pain Gary Allan
    1 Gimmie That Girl Joe Nichols
    17 Hard Hat and a Hammer Alan Jackson
    10 Hell on the Heart Eric Church
    19 Hello World Lady Antebellum (A)
    1 Highway 20 Ride Zac Brown Band
    1 Hillbilly Bone Blake Shelton with Trace Adkins
    20 Hip to My Heart The Band Perry
    3 History in the Making Darius Rucker
    1 The House That Built Me Miranda Lambert
    17 How I Got to Be This Way Justin Moore
    14 Hurry Home Jason Michael Carroll
    3 I Gotta Get to You George Strait
    7 I Keep On Loving You Reba
    2 I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes Dierks Bentley
    2 I’m In Keith Urban
    3 If I Die Young[ The Band Perry (A)
    16 It’s Just That Way Alan Jackson
    4 Keep On Lovin’ You Steel Magnolia
    1 A Little More Country Than That Easton Corbin
    6 Little White Church Little Big Town
    3 Love Like Crazy Lee Brice
    1 Lover, Lover Jerrod Niemann
    9 Mama’s Song Carrie Underwood (A)
    1 The Man I Want to Be Chris Young
    2 Mine Taylor Swift (A)
    7 My Kinda Party Jason Aldean (A)
    14 Only Prettier Miranda Lambert (A)
    1 Our Kind of Love Lady Antebellum
    13 Pray for You Jaron and the Long Road to Love
    1 Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer Billy Currington
    13 Put You in a Song Keith Urban (A)
    1 Rain Is a Good Thing Luke Bryan
    1 Roll with It Easton Corbin
    4 She Won’t Be Lonely Long Clay Walker
    6 Smile Uncle Kracker
    20 Smoke a Little Smoke Eric Church (A)
    17 Someone Else Calling You Baby Luke Bryan (A)
    15 Somewhere with You Kenny Chesney (A)
    1 Southern Voice Tim McGraw
    16 Still Tim McGraw
    2 Stuck Like Glue Sugarland
    1 Temporary Home Carrie Underwood
    1 That’s How Country Boys Roll Billy Currington
    15 This Ain’t No Love Song Trace Adkins (A)
    13 This Ain’t Nothin’ Craig Morgan
    3 ‘Til Summer Comes Around Keith Urban
    18 Today Gary Allan
    19 Trailerhood Toby Keith
    1 The Truth Jason Aldean
    6 Turn On the Radio Reba (A)
    20 Turning Home David Nail
    14 Twang George Strait
    1 Undo It Carrie Underwood
    7 Unstoppable Rascal Flatts
    12 Voices Chris Young (A)
    1 Water Brad Paisley
    15 Way Out Here Josh Thompson
    2 White Liar Miranda Lambert
    1 Why Don’t We Just Dance Josh Turner
    4 Why Wait Rascal Flatts (A)
    18 Work Hard, Play Harder Gretchen Wilson
    11 Wrong Baby Wrong Martina McBride

  19. I’ll save most of my lists for Roughstock and potentially Nashville Scene year-end lists but I’ll say this.

    “House That Built Me,” “Hello World” “Lover, Lover” are all shortlisted for best of list.

    “This is Country Music” and “Undo It” are on a short list for the ‘bad’ list.

  20. Miranda’s “The House That Built Me” topped my Best of list. Other songs that made my top five were:

    “Hello World” Lady Antebellum
    “If I Die Young” The Band Perry
    “Little White Church” Little Big Town
    “Stuck Like Glue” Sugarland (I might be the only one that lists this on a best of list)

    As far as worst singles I would have to list Reba’s “Turn on the Radio” and Gretchen’s “I Got Your Country Right Here.”

  21. I like “Notes to the Coroner” too, but I was underwhelmed by Lady Antebellum’s whole release, and thus even though they’ve had a big impact on the radio this year I don’t like any of their singles.

    However, I do like:

    Get off on the Pain – Gary Allan
    Put You in a Song – Keith Urban
    American Saturday Night – Brad Paisley
    Anything Like Me – Brad Paisley
    Up On the Ridge – Dierks Bentley
    The House that Built Me – Miranda Lambert
    Only Prettier – Miranda Lambert
    Chasin’ Rodeo – Troy Cassar-Daley (I don’t know if you’ve heard this one in the US)
    Hard Hat and a Hammer – Alan Jackson
    Turning home – David Nail
    Groovy Little Summer Song – James Otto
    Let’s Fight – Thompson Square
    Kick it Up – The McClymonts
    She Won’t Be Lonely Long – Clay Walker
    Rain is a Good Thing – Luke Bryan
    As She’s Walking Away – Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson (I still can’t get this album in Australia :( )
    Smoke a Little Smoke – Eric Church
    All Over Me – Josh Turner
    A Man Like Me – Randy Houser

    Judging by the length of this list I’ve spent too much on music this year :|

  22. My favorite, for personal reasons, was Craig Morgan’s “This Ain’t Nothin.”

    Also liked “Why Don’t We Just Dance” by Josh Turner, “Little White Church,” and “Temporary Home” by Carrie Underwood.

  23. 3 each, but I could easily do more. These 3 are in no particular order, although the Lady A song is easily the best song of this year.

    Best–“Need You Now”
    “The House That Built Me”
    “Temporary Home”

    Worst “Stuck Like Glue”
    “Get Off on the Pain”
    “Aint Back Yet”

  24. I like the Emily West song “Blue Sky” which she wrote with Gary Burr. The single released earlier this year with Keith Urban went nowhere. I have her original version from her 2007 EP. The other songs I liked have already been mentioned.

  25. I like Gary Allan’s “Kiss Me When I’m Down” and The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young”. I think Gary Allan also nails it for worst with “Get Off on the Pain”. It just goes against his whole aesthetic, as far as I’m concerned.

  26. I guess it’s predictable that it would happen, but it’s still funny to see singles on someone’s best list wind up on someone else’s worst. No middle ground for a lot of these songs.

  27. I think perhaps it’s just that those songs we pick for “best” and “worst” have high visibility? If they weren’t so conspicuous, perhaps we wouldn’t care. For me personally, if I didn’t know how good Gary Allan could be, I probably wouldn’t have picked “Get Off On the Pain”. I was just so disappointed in that song/single/album. The good songs were very good, but the bad ones were awful.

  28. @Susan K. – I couldn’t even talk myself into buying “Get Off on the Pain.” That stretch of albums from “Smoke Rings in the Dark” through “Tough All Over” was amazing, and I saw him in concert five or six times during that run. Loved the guy. Since then, I scarcely recognize him. It’s like growing up with someone, they move away and when you reunite they’ve completely re-styled themselves and bear no resemblance to your former friend.

    Like any artist, he’s allowed to change his style, grow, experiment, etc., but I just wonder where he’s actually going with this wishy washy pseudo-pop stuff.

  29. Best:
    Miranda Lambert (her whole 2010 catalog)
    Carrie Underwood (her whole 2010 catalog)
    –Both of them, in my opinion, had a very stellar year.
    “Little White Church”, Little Big Town
    “If I Die Young”, The Band Perry
    Due to the recent Grammy nods for it, “I’d Love to Be Your Last”, Gretchen Wilson
    “Need You Now”, Lady Antebellum
    “Stuck Like Glue”, Sugarland
    “The Truth”, Jason Aldean
    “Don’t You Wanna Stay”, Jason Aldean feat. Kelly Clarkson
    “This Ain’t Nothin'”, Craig Morgan
    “I Will Not Say Goodbye”, Danny Gokey
    “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You?”, Kellie Pickler
    “Keep On Loving You”, Reba McEntire
    “I’m In”, Keith Urban
    “Back to December”, Taylor Swift

    “Still a Little Chicken Left On That Bone”, Craig Morgan — completely AWFUL.
    “Our Kind of Love”, Lady Antebellum
    “Speak Now”, “Mine”, and “Fifteen”, Taylor Swift
    “This is Country Music”, Brad Paisley
    “Trailerhood” and “Bullets in the Gun”, Toby Keith
    “Felt Good On My Lips”, Tim McGraw
    “Crazy Town”, Jason Aldean
    “Why Wait”, Rascal Flatts

  30. The worst: Mine, Today was a fairytale – Taylor, Why wait – Rascal Flatts,

    The best:
    The House That Built Me , Only Prettier – Miranda
    Temporary Home, Undo It – Carrie
    American Saturday Night – Brad Paisley
    If I Die Young – The Band Perry
    Need You Now – Lady Antebellum

  31. The Best:
    Undo it, temporary home – Carrie
    Turn on the Radio – Reba
    Put you in a song – Keith
    Don’t you wanna stay – Jason & Kelly
    Back to December – Taylor
    The worst:
    Stuck like Glue – sugarland
    hip to my heart – band perry
    only Prettier – miranda

  32. The Worst:
    The Breath You Take, George Strait. Sap built around one of the most cliched, overused sayings of our time. And I normally love Strait.
    Every Dog Has Its Day, Toby Keith. No. Just no.
    Hip to My Heart, The Band Perry. Horrible. I would never have believed they had If I Die Young in them after listening to this.
    A Little More Country Than That, Easton Corbin. Though sometimes I think to myself, “He’s a little more country than hats.” And then I laugh.
    Mama’s Song, Carrie Underwood. Is he good, Carrie? I’m not sure you said it enough. (Waits to be lynched by Underwood fanatics.)
    That’s How Country Boys Roll, Billy Currington. If I had one wish for 2011, it would be no more songs about country boys, backwoods, hick towns, etc.
    Water, Brad Paisley. Paisley was very hit or miss (mostly miss) for me this year.

    Songs that made it to my iPod:
    All Over Me, Josh Turner. Best summer song this year.
    Come Back Song, Darius Rucker. Only Rucker song I’ve liked. Kind of a guilty pleasure.
    Highway 20 Ride, Zac Brown Band. By far ZBB’s best single.
    The House That Built Me, Miranda Lambert. Really brilliant, though it has been overplayed in my area.
    If I Die Young, The Band Perry. Memorable and interesting if imperfect.
    Kiss Me When I’m Down, Gary Allan. I love this song.
    Little White Church, Little Big Town. A nice return to form for LBT.
    Mine, Taylor Swift. Yes, yes, I have no taste, etc. I am not a die-hard Taylor fan (never heard that fairytale song, didn’t care for Fearless), but I like this.
    Somewhere with You, Kenny Chesney. The “I hate my life” verse makes the song for me.
    Stuck Like Glue, Sugarland. Fun and light-hearted.
    ‘Til Summer Comes Around, Keith Urban. Probably the best song of the year for me.
    Wrong Baby Wrong, Martina McBride. Only Martina song I’ve liked in a while.

  33. My best song of the year, too, is Til Summer Comes Around by Keith Urban.
    I liked:
    If I Die Young
    House That Built Me
    Stuck Like Glue
    Need You Know
    Keep On Loving You…I just loved this song.
    Temporary Home…radio plays her songs so much, I tend to get tired of her songs quick.
    A Little More Country Than That
    that Raymond song…liked it.

    Anything Taylor Swift tries to sing…off goes the radio when her songs come on.
    Not a fan of Brad Paisley’s music.
    Bullets in the Gun
    Uncle Krackers songs…yuk
    Work Hard, Play Harder
    This is just a few I can think of right now.

  34. Just listened to “Brown chicken brown cow” by Trace Adkins after reading 1 to 10 Ben’s review. I have to agree with Ben – what an irritating song. If it doesn’t qualify for this year, it could be one of the worst for 2011.

  35. In contrast to what I’ve otherwise said about country radio for much of this year, I actually have a few mainstream favorites of my own:

    THE HOUSE THAT BUILT ME–Miranda Lambert
    IF I DIE YOUNG–The Band Perry

    But I don’t think I can go further than that. Those were the only three I could listen to more than a few times, because they sounded enormously different from what corporate country radio was otherwise willing to play. Much of what they’ve played over the last three or four years has been nothing short of junk–not good country, not even tolerable watered-down, twanged-up faux-arena rock.

  36. Best:
    – “The House That Built Me,” Miranda Lambert
    – “Little White Church,” Little Big Town
    – “Til Summer Comes Around,” Keith Urban
    – “What Do You Want,” Jerrod Niemann
    – “As She’s Walking Away,” Zac Brown Band
    – “Rain Is A Good Thing,” Luke Bryan
    – “If I Die Young,” The Band Perry
    – “American Saturday Night,” Brad Paisley

    – “How I Got To Be This Way,” Justin Moore
    – “The Breath You Take,” George Strait
    – “Our Kind of Love,” Lady Antebellum
    – “Crazy Town,” Jason Aldean

    I’m stilled irked that “Little White Church” didn’t go any further than #6 on Billboard’s country chart. If it had been up to me, it would’ve been a #1 hit for 5+ weeks – I was addicted to that song in the summer.

    This being said, I think there’s been quite a few great singles released to country radio this year, an improvement over 2009. However, there are still the dark spots all over the country radio. Let’s hope that these will clear out in 2011.

  37. I also forgot to add “Stuck Like Glue” to my list of the best ones. Yes, it’s not country in any way, but I really do feel happy listening to it. It’s probably my biggest guilty pleasure song of the year.

  38. Best-Temporary Home by Carrie Underwood…touching!
    Undo It by Carrie Underwood…catchy!
    Stuck Like Glue by Sugarland…I’m stuck to this song!
    The House That Built me by Miranda Lambert… memorable
    The Boys of Fall by Kenny Chesney…football!
    Worst-Mine by Taylor Swift…this is the worst song I’ve ever been heard!
    Our Kind Of Love by Lady Antebellum…hate it

  39. Best-
    The House That Built Me – Miranda Lambert
    Speak Now – Taylor Swift (not technically a single, but a lot more bearable than her other songs.)
    If I Die Young – The Band Perry
    Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You – Kellie Pickler (“BDOYL” was great too, but was last year? Still wanna know why she’s not huge?)
    Little White Church – Little Big Town

    Sugarland- Stuck Like Glue
    Tim McGraw – Felt Good on My Lips
    Reba- Turn on the Radio (don’t wanna talk about it hahaha)

  40. Best:
    Sunny Sweeney, “A Table Away”
    Keith Urban, “I’m In”
    Luke Bryan, “Rain is a Good Thing”
    Miranda Lambert, “White Liar,” most of album
    Kenny Chesney, “Somewhere with You”
    Josh Turner, “Why Don’t We Just Dance” (There, I said it)
    Shelby Lynne, “Loser Dreamer”

    George Strait, “The Breath You Take”
    Toby Keith, “Trailerhood”
    The Band Perry, “If I Die Young”
    Jason Aldean – Period.

  41. Someone mentioned Martina’s “Wrong Baby Wrong” as a favorite of theirs for this year. I can side with that one, too. It’s one where Martina is aiming for something more than the “I’m Little But I’m Loud” vocal melisma that has kept me from really liking her.

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