Single Review: Sam Hunt, “House Party”

Sam Hunt Montevallo

“House Party”
Sam Hunt

Written by Zach Crowell, Jerry Flowers, and Sam Hunt

I realize that Sam Hunt’s country music career might be little more than a stepping stone to filling one of those spinning chairs on The Voice.

But while this charade is going on, I suppose we need to take the music seriously.

So.  This song is seriously bad.  So bad that  it should’ve been called House Party 3.

The premise makes absolutely no sense.  She doesn’t want to go out.  Fine.  Does he go over there and watch a bit of TV with her or something?

Of course not.  He brings all that loud partying over instead.

Now she has to deal with the noise and drinking in her own home and help clean it all up in the morning.

What a guy!

Grade: F


  1. As someone who proudly admits he hates, hates, hates Bro Country, I have to admit that I really, really like Sam Hunt. And I love this song.

    I know it makes no sense, but I remember being in high school and this song would be such an amazing summer song. I can picture being out on the lake or floating down the river and hearing a song like this on the radio. For that reason, I understand why young people are drinking this up.

    Is it country? Definitely not. Does it belong on country radio? Probably not. Is country radio going to play it frequently? I sure hope so.

  2. I totally got that feeling from “Leave the Night On,” but I’m really not a fan of this one.

    It sounds something the Backstreet Boys left on the cutting room floor 15 years ago.

  3. I think you are overthinking the premise and results of the lyrics. Sure, there will be a mess and she would probably want to watch The Bachelor instead, but that scenario doesn’t make for a song.

    I like it, but this doesn’t belong on country radio.

  4. First off, in regards to the song itself…yeah, it sucks. Regardless of one’s views on the merits of Sam Hunt as a country artist, I can at least argue that his first two singles reflected his talent for crafting catchy hooks. Plus, while I never fully embraced it, I do believe “Take Your Time” may have come from a genuine place, and wasn’t just a creation for radio airplay. “House Party” not only sounds aesthetically awful, but seems like a calculated move to make a “party” song for the summer. As bad as a lot of the stuff on the charts is, this one probably grates on me more than most.

    But, moving on…I find Hunt’s career to be very interesting going forward. I remember reading the comment section of one of the family of country music review websites (I’m thinking maybe it was “Saving Country Music”) where someone wrote a post suggesting that eventually, the “Bro-Country” music scene would fade, and that the next logical conclusion would be that artists in the vein of Sam Hunt would profit from this, because his music represents a poppier sound that might attract more casual radio listeners. I could definitely see this happening…every “fad” eventually burns out, and something else comes to take its place. But, I’m not sure that this possible trade-off is necessarily beneficial to the genre of country music either.

    While Sam Hunt might be a more talented artist than say, Florida Georgia Line, his music doesn’t even pretend to be country, nor does it really resonate with me in a way that the work of other crossover artists (Shania Twain, Taylor Swift) managed to do. It’s possible he may grow into a quality artist, but even if he does, I could very easily see a number of copycat artists (both new and current) trying to mimic his sound in order to be successful. I’m not sure if the product could be any more sanitized and mainstreamed than it is now, but I think the music industry will definitely do whatever is necessary in order to market it to the 16-24 year old girls that the record labels crave. And that might mean taking out even the token banjo and fiddle that you might occasionally hear in a song, in order to make the music more palatable to this target audience.

    Now, I’m not saying that any of what I have written will actually end up happening, nor do I want to make any definitive judgement on the quality of Sam Hunt’s music. But, I guess my point is that, regardless of what ends up occurring, I don’t see country radio getting exponentially better within the next five years…I just think the pendulum has swung over too far to the side of the record labels. Luckily, there’s enough good music that you can find online to help you “cleanse the old palate”, if deemed necessary.

  5. Well, he isn’t bringing a mess of people over, just himself. I don’t care for Hunt or this track, but I don’t see where the lyric is overly disrespectful or anything.

  6. I hated this song with every fiber of my being for awhile. But it’s slowly grown on me to a (very) guilty pleasure. I still recognize it’s not a great song lyrically and it belongs nowhere near country music. But…it’s catchy…and it’s easy to sing along to…

    Ok so it’s definitely a terrible song. But I get why it’s so popular. I just wish it was being promoted in the genre to which it belongs.

  7. I’m with the Sam Hunt apologists. I think caj said it perfectly when he said “Is it country? Definitely not. Does it belong on country radio? Probably not. Is country radio going to play it frequently? I sure hope so.” This is the kind of song that Hunt does best, similar to “Leave The Night On”, it’s got this smooth confidence going for it, and it comes across as a lot more genuine than “Take Your Time” ever did. If country radio is going to start playing pop music, it’s pop radio’s fault for not picking up on this stuff (Sam Hunt, Dan + Shay, Kelsea Ballerini) when they have the chance.

  8. I wish they’d just play Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton or Maddie and Tae instead, haha.

    These guys aren’t getting picked up on pop radio because they aren’t good enough for pop radio (except for maybe Leave the Night On, which I really, really like). They just sound refreshing on country radio because the format is such garbage right now.

  9. Jess,

    I absolutely agree that he hasn’t brought a ton of people like himself over to country music so far, and I don’t personally have any particular issue with the guy, outside of this song just not being all that good. To his credit, Sam Hunt does have his own unique musical style, even if it’s not particularly “country”. All I’m saying is that mainstream country music has kind of become like pop music in following “trends” and “fads”…it’s probably always been that way to a degree, but it seems more pronounced now than it ever was. And, if “bro-country” ever does end up being mercifully put out of its misery…I don’t think we’re going to see a return back to the Randy Travis/Alan Jackson days.

    I’m not saying Sam Hunt is going to necessarily become the next huge thing in music…but, he’s been very successful with his debut album. If he does grow to become more successful, I could absolutely see other artists making an attempt to copy his sound/image. It’s kind of similar to how a lot of the bro-country artists try to copy Luke Bryan’s image nowadays (Chase Reed, Cole Swindell, Canaan Smith, etc). I don’t have any issues with Luke Bryan because of this, and I don’t think I would bare any ill will to Sam Hunt if he dealt with the same thing, particularly if he was making interesting music. But, most of the stuff currently being played on radio has a tangential relationship with country music at best. I could easily see even this little connection disappearing in the next five years, and while I’m not blaming Sam Hunt for this…I do think his success in country music could be a harbinger of things to come.

  10. O, boy! We’re in trouble/there’s no hope for mainstream country music to be good again when people hope a song like this that they admit doesn’t sound country at all is played a ton on country radio and when people think that it’s refreshing to hear this on country radio.

  11. I think the main problem with country radio today is this – back in the late 70s and early 80s when ‘crossover country’ was popular, radio still played traditional country as well. For every Eddie Rabbitt, Kenny Rogers, or Anne Murray song, they were also playing Conway Twitty, Ricky Scaggs, and Don Williams songs as well.

    But today, it’s hard for even George Strait or Alan Jackson to get played on country radio. Even Reba had to go more pop sounding to get any airplay. Radio needs to be more balanced if it’s going to include the more pop or bro country songs.

  12. Well, it’s no “Elvira”…. or “Achy Breaky Heart”…or “The Way You Love Me”…or “Love Story”…lol.

    Alright, LeAnn…you raise a good point. I’ll step back from the ledge a little bit….lol. Country music has had a lot of crossover hits that have sounded pop, some good and some bad…and I’m sure some of what I’ve written has probably been said about Dolly Parton, Alabama, Garth Brooks, and Shania Twain, all of whom have brought their own signature sound to country music. I do think that mainstream music is worse in this era than it was in any of their’s, but that’s probably because it’s not really supposed to be marketed to me. And the good thing is…there’s enough outlets via the internet that I can find access to the stuff that I want to listen to. This is something that wasn’t as readily available 20 years ago, when mainstream country was pretty good….so it’s not as important to rely on radio.

    And I do want to clear up…I don’t hate Sam Hunt, nor do I want to see him fail. I think there’s a lot of potential in the singles he’s released thus far (“House Party” notwithstanding). I also think he could make some very interesting music at some point, whether it’s classified as country, pop, etc. And, again…regardless of how his music is categorized, I do agree that he is very skilled at crafting catchy earworms, which isn’t an easy thing to do.

    I think my earlier posts may have portrayed his success as the future “death knell” for mainstream country music, and that wasn’t what I was trying to say. I think he’s just another cog to the record labels/radio conglomerates, who already run a well-oiled machine that’s producing weak music….and I could very easily see the music industry attempting to copycat a successful artist, regardless of who it is. It wouldn’t be Sam Hunt’s fault if that happened, just as it isn’t Luke Bryan’s or Jason Aldean’s now. It’s just the way the system is set up. Mainstream country music is in a rough place right now, but I’m probably wrong to completely give up on it…and I definitely don’t want to put the blame on Sam Hunt, or any one artist for it’s struggles.

  13. Caj…I couldn’t agree more with what you just posted. And, just to add to that…the crossover stuff in that era from artists like Charlie Rich, Ronnie Milsap, and Crystal Gayle at least came off as being directed towards an adult audience (The Oak Ridge Boys’ cover of “Elvira” being an exception…lol).

    I don’t think that’s really the case, for the most part, with the pop/bro-country party stuff that’s successful right now. It’s not just a lack of traditionalism…it’s that the material is being written for teenagers.

  14. Yup, you sure called this one.

    Absolutely no redeeming value here (or really to “Montevallo” as a whole outside of “Cop Car”).

    Generally I go into detail explaining why a single speaks or doesn’t speak to me, but I feel that would be dignifying this with too much of a response. I’d like to think Sam Hunt will mature with the follow-up to “Montevallo” and won’t rule out that possibility. But in the meantime, the soone rwe move on from “Montevallo”, the better.

  15. I concur with what PSU Guy and caj are saying in that the past generations of country music were basically aimed at adult audiences age 25 and up, not at the 16-24 (or perhaps 16-32 crowd. Yes, you saw younger folks in the audiences of Sonny James, Johnny Cash or Buck Owens, but the demographic spread was much greater than with current artists.

    I went to a recent show of some top younger artists (I won the tickets and the show was almost worth the price of admission). I noticed that the crowd was about 85% under 30 and almost all of the “seniors” were under 50. At 63 I may have been the oldest person in the crowd. While I enjoyed some of the music by the end of the show I needed some “palate cleansers”. I am most grateful for XM radio !

  16. I like some songs by Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, FGL and the list goes on, but there is nothing I like about Sam Hunt. His performance on stage with Dwight Yoakam was a huge turnoff and his CMT performance was weird. Especially when he came out looking like he had borrowed an outfit from Kanye West or some other hip hopper. Also when he went into the audience hugging on the young girls in the audience. I turn the radio off when he comes on.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Sony Nashville Gets New CEO; The Rise and Fall of Toby Keith; Luke Bryan and Karen Fairchild Duet | Country California

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.