Top 10: Best Versus of a Few Gateway Songs into Loving Country Music

picture by @michaldolnik

So you think you don’t like country music, huh? I thought the same, too, once… but then I accidentally heard a country song that sang the tune of my heart during a phase of my life when I needed it most. And then I decided to hear another one. And then another one. Until all of a sudden I had a whole playlist on Spotify (called Cowboys and Whiskey), featuring the best of country music, and couldn’t get enough of it!

People are quick to hate on the southern genre, but there’s a reason why a ton of singers who win those TV singing competitions are usually country singers, right? I love pop culture, and I’m not sure why we’re ignoring just how popular country music is in the middle and on some outer parts of the US.

The genre has influences straight out of the Blues, Jazz, Folk and Rock music… And forgive you me, anything with influences from those styles should have a place in your heart if you claim to love music.

Yes, just like design, “music is subjective”. I get it — if you don’t feel it, you just don’t feel it. But music should be judged in their own right… there are some things in life that shouldn’t be compared to others. You don’t fault an apple for not tasting like an orange. You might like one more than the other, but it’s unfair to compare them to each other.

To give you a pop music fan example: NO, Harry Styles and Zayne’s music should not be compared to one another. They are different artists, playing in completely different fields. Both of them are equally talented in their own right and should be judged as such. And so, without further ado, here are a handful of amazing versus that played as my gateway drug into the world of country music (most of which are ballads, because I’m a hopeless romantic):

1. Drunk Last Night — Eli Young Band
I got a little drunk last night
There’s something ‘bout a midnight rain
Staring at the ceiling fan
I couldn’t get you off my brain
I guess I wasn’t thinking straight
I couldn’t tell wrong from right
I went ahead and called you up
I got a little drunk last night..

I brought it all up, got it all out
What is it worth, to both of us now
It’s off my chest, but never off my mind…
Two drinks in, keep that hurt,
You feel bad, and I feel worse
I swear it’s the last time every time
Don’t know why..

2. Take Your Time — Sam Hunt
And I’m sure one of your friends is about to come over here
’Cause she’s supposed to save you from random guys
That talk too much and wanna stay too long
It’s the same old song and dance but I think you know it well…
You could have rolled your eyes
Told me to go to hell
Could have walked away
But you’re still here
And I’m still here..

3. Mercy — Brett Young
Why you gotta show up lookin’ so good just to hurt me
Why you wanna stop this whole damn world from turning
Why you hanging on so tight if this ain’t working
Why you wanna stop this flame if it’s still burning
’Cause it’s still burning
So if you’re gonna break my heart, just break it
And if you’re gonna take your shot, then take it
If you made up your mind, then make it
But make this fast
If you ever loved me
Have mercy

4. Vice — Miranda Lambert
I wear a town like a leather jacket
When the new wears off, I don’t even pack it
If you need me… I’ll be where my reputation don’t proceed me
Maybe I’m addicted to goodbyes

Another vice, another town
Where my past can’t run me down
Another life, another call
Another bed I shouldn’t crawl out of
At 7 AM with shoes in my hand
Said I wouldn’t do it, but I did it again
And I know I’ll be gone tomorrow night
Mm, another vice..

Standing at the sink now, looking in a mirror
Don’t know where I am or how I got here
Well, the only thing that I know how to find
Is another vice.

5. Tin Man — Miranda Lambert
Hey there, Mr. Tin Man
I’m glad we talked this out
You can take mine if you want it
It’s in pieces now
By the way there, Mr. Tin Man
If you don’t mind the scars
You give me your armor
And you can have my heart

6. Sangria — Blake Shelton
Only thing I want to do tonight
Is drink you like a Spanish wine
Let you let this head of mine keep spinning, spinning around
We’re buzzing like that no vacancy sign out front
Your skin is begging to be kissed by a little more than the sun
You take my hand in yours, you lean in and
Your lips taste like sangria

7. Lonely Tonight — Blake Shelton ft. Ashley Monroe
I never thought you’d pick up the phone
It’s Friday night you should be out on the town
Didn’t think you’d be sitting at home all alone like me
Nothing on TV, nothing to do
Nothing to keep my mind off you and me
And the way it was
Are you thinking ‘bout it now because
I could be there in five
One more one last time

8. If I didn’t know better — Nashville (Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen)
There’s a hole in what you’re saying
I can plainly see
You have a lover that’s waiting but baby you’re right
Here with me
Oh, you might as well be the devil
Oh, keeping me out past three
Oh, you’re the one with that apple so baby you can’t Blame me

9. Change Your Mind — Nashville (Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen)
Change your mind
Baby don’t come back this time
Don’t want to have to say goodbye
All over again
So if you think there’s still a chance to make it right
And I’m the only one you want tonight
Change your mind

In the early morning haze
When my kiss is all you crave, let it go
Cause I don’t want to do that dance
The push and pull, the second chance
I already know
Yeah, I know

You’ll just promise me forever
And then you’ll take it back, just like that
Say you can’t live without me
Then you’ll change your mind

10. Running Just In Case — Miranda Lambert
What I lost in Louisiana I found back in Alabama
But nobody ever taught me how to sta..y
It ain’t love that I’m chasin’ but I’m runnin’ just in case.

I carried him around with me, I don’t mind having scars..
Happiness ain’t prison but there’s freedom in a broken heart.

A UXUI Designer, inspired by the world.