We combed the Top 40 to bring you the bad, the badder, and the baddest of country music's biggest hits of 2010.
You don't listen to country? Here's what you've been missing out on. (Quietly, though, I'm hoping this won't turn you off of nu-country; I kinda like some of this stuff. Shhhhh... it'll be our little secret).[jump]
"Pray for You" - Jaron and the Long Road to Love
Oh thank the lord I caught you just in time! It'd be a goldarn shame for you to have passed the entire year without hearing this terrible little ditty. The song, which peaked at Thirteen on the Country Charts, details all the ways in which Jaron Lowenstein (yes, half of early aughts identical twin pop duo Evan and Jaron) will pray for you - TO DIE. And get bad tattoos and stuff. Jaron, now with his Long Road to Love, got smart in the last year and realized the money's in country, not in singing romantic pop melodies with your identical twin. Shudder. The song is only slightly less creepy when accompanied by the video, featuring a homicidal, monster-truck-driving Jaime Pressly.
"Crazy Town" - Jason Aldean
AckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkNicklebackforgotthey'refromCanadaandmovedtoNashville!!! Okay, not really. They're still in Canada. Chill! Jason Aldean, whose song "Crazy Town" peaked at Number Two, doesn't have a bad blonde perm, though he does have somewhat questionable facial hair. But trust me - this is not Nickelback. And in his song, he tells us what's what when it comes to makin' it in Manitoba, er, I mean Nashville; notably, that in order to be a star, you gotta bang bang bang. Bang? Bang...whom? Huh.
"Hillbilly Bone" - Blake Shelton with Trace Adkins
I mentioned earlier - quietly - that I kinda loved some of this stuff. Wait, I just said "liked?" No, LOVE. I kinda LOVE some of this stuff. No, I WHOLEHEARTEDLY LOVE SOME OF THIS STUFF. This song in particular. I love it! I dare you to love it, too. Doubledog, even. YouTube commenter mightyoakfallen backs me up here. "I used to hate country music with a passion. I heard this song and I guess its (sic) true, i now have a hillbilly bone!" See? You ain't gotta be born out in the sticks with a F-150 and a 30-aught-six. You don't even need to have a Bubba in the family tree, to get down with me! All you need is your hillbilly bone ba-bone ba-bone bone. And you know you have it. Truer lyrics were never sung. This li'l puppy peaked at Number One on the charts.
"Rain is a Good Thing" - Luke Bryan
A lesson: Rain makes corn. Corn makes whiskey. Whiskey makes my baby feel a little frisky. Thusly, Rain is a good thing. This feel-good summer hit of '10 hit Number One on the charts.
"Water" - Brad Paisley
Luke Bryan knows what's up! And Brad Paisley does, too! RAIN! WATER! AWESOME! This song is indicative of Paisley's signature uber-literal lyrics, which in and of themselves are really something to take in, but in this case is accompanied by a video that would give even the best AFV crotch-hits a run for their money. America loves water, too, and took this song to Number One.
"Only Prettier" - Miranda Lambert
It's important I disclaim while including Miranda Lambert on a "Most Ridiculous" list that she is the savior of nu-country. She's brilliant, she writes her own music (shocking!), and she shoots guns. I won't say what she does with Blake Shelton's hillbilly bone. Anyway, I love this silly little ditty. Lambert introduced it at her late '09 Mystic performance by apologetically confessing she had been a cheerleader, and that she'd written this song in honor of her old pals on the squad. See, it's so good because she's all, "You may be skinny, but I know how to drink and 'sides, I'm way pertier'n you!" A better sentiment could not be felt and then expressed by a woman, in my opinion. This song peaked at a meager Twelve, which really, you know, only confirms how awesome Miranda is. Seeing as how, you know, she's not as popular as Carrie Underwood. Yeah - indie rock reasoning! I still got it!
"Smile" - Uncle Kracker
"Embedding disabled by request." So this is what you get. Chubby crabby babies? Sure. Enjoy! Peaking at Number Six, this song isn't necessarily "ridiculous," but I didn't make a list of 2010 songs that make me want to puncture my poor li'l eardrums with long pointy things, so it found its way here. GO BACK TO THE RAP ROCK ROOTS YA CAME FROM, PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE! AND PLEASE DO NOT BE THE FIRST OF MANY RAP ROCK/COUNTRY CROSSOVERS! Oh, wait. (Seriously, wait for it...)
"Country Boy" - Aaron Lewis
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! (This single has not charted yet - it is part of an EP to be released in 2011.) Okay, one more time for good measure: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO STOPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!! I am dying.
"Stuck Like Glue" - Sugarland
I heard an interview a while back in which Sugarland explained that some of their fans are a little confused about the reggae infusion on their Number Two hit, "Stuck Like Glue." Yeah, I was too - at first - but goddamn if this isn't a catchy song. Maybe you have to listen to it like 30 times in a row before you come to the conclusion that it is, indeed, "catchy." But hey, singer Jennifer Nettles is cute as hell as the stalker character in the video. I'm guessing she's a Gwen Stefani fan. Who should have, by the way, done a crossover before Gwyneth Paltrow ever did. Peaking at Number Two, this song found a whole new audience of reggae fans in WalMart shoppers.
"A Little More Country Than That" - Easton Corbin
So what makes this song ridiculous? Well, it's ridiculous how wobbly my heart feels when I hear songs about being country sung by handsome young men in perfectly worn baseball caps they likely bought at JCPenney. And now you've seen through to my very soul. Number One.
Oh, and I had to watch the spot at :40 about five times because I thought it was a muskrat, not a puny little dog. Puny little dogs? See, I'm a little more country than that.