The Three Worst “Country” Singles of 2018

Not good. Not. Good.

We spent a lot of time going through our least favorite singles of 2018 – now I’m exhausted and need a drink at 10 am. In the end, we came to a consensus for a variety of reasons which will be described below.

Here are Whiskey Riff’s Three Worst “Country” Singles of 2018…

3. Florida Georgia Line – “Simple”

On its surface, this song isn’t that bad. It’s catchy. But, why did I initially not mind it? That’s right, because I like The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons’ music from five years ago. As I’ve often said, what makes me truly love an artist is their authenticity. Being authentic matters to me.

We all know everything about this song, and video, isn’t Florida Georgia Line. From the suspenders, to the almost identical intro we hear in Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros’ song “Home,” all of it screams artificial – and for those reasons, I’m out. – Steve

2. Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line – “Meant to Be”

Again, it’s not so much that “Meant To Be” is a horrible song at face value, but more so, it’s Bebe Rexha’s assault on the sanctity of country music that makes it one of the worst songs of the year. This song was never even supposed to be for country radio. It was released to contemporary pop radio on October 24th 2017, but only after it gained a lot of traction in the pop world, did country music find itself with an opportunity to make even more money by releasing it to country radio. The musical travesty went on to spend almost all of 2018 atop the Billboard Hot Country Chart.

The more success she had with the song, the more ignorance and arrogance came spewing out of her mouth.

You are literally insane. Your dog shit song paved nothing.

The song eventually became the most successful radio single in country music history, spending 50 consecutive weeks atop the Billboard Hot Country Chart, catapulting Florida Georgia Line ahead of George Strait for most cumulative weeks spent at #1 in just 6 short years.

Her aggressively mediocre pop song rendered the country music charts useless, made a mockery of country music as a whole and the notion that she has paved the way for anything in country music is downright delusional. For these, and probably a dozen other reasons, “Meant To Be” is unquestionably one of the worst songs of 2018. – Wes

1. AJ McLean – “Back Porch Bottle Service”

Honestly, I couldn’t even tell if this was serious or not.

Look, I know a lot of people hate what artists like Sam Hunt brought to country music, but at the minimum, even those people would likely agree that Sam can sing, and write a good song (whether you consider it “country” or not is a different story).

Not that long ago, 5th Backstreet Boy AJ McLean said he wanted to “disrupt” country music; whatever the fuck that means. News flash guy, it’s already been disrupted (see above). Then, he released a debut “country” single. I think Wes sitting next to me is a better singer, first off. Also, the production sucks. My puppy recently ate three socks, and puked them all out like a malfunctioning robot dog, in succession. The sounds of those socks coming back out are how I would describe this song.

You may hate a Sam Hunt or whoever, but at least the production is there, whether that production is country or not is again, another discussion and debate. AJ is a 40-year-old boy band member that never had the pipes to out-sing Brian or Nick – let’s be real, people. Now, he wants to be “country” and “disrupt” the genre?

Get this shit out of my face. I’m gonna go listen to some soul-cleansing Tyler Childers. – Steve

photo credit: Kathy Hutchins /

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock