Top Songs of 2014 (So Far)
The soundtrack for 2014 took a dramatic turn in April, when the man with the top song on this list of country hits walked onto the ACM Awards stage in Las Vegas. His duet — among the finest of his career — checks in at No. 1, while songs from legends like George Strait and Kenny Chesney trail close behind.
Halfway through the year, the top country songs reflect a return to traditional country values, although Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line are still holding strong in the Top 10. Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood are both rumored to be releasing new music this year, and either is capable of displacing every song on this Top Songs of 2014 collection. Check back often to see if your favorite songs make the cut come Christmas!
The Taste of Country Top Songs of 2014 list is determined using sales and radio airplay data, reader feedback and staff opinion. The final 10 songs will be published in December. Any song that spent the majority of its chart life in 2014 is eligible.
'This Is How We Roll'
'This Is How We Roll' is Florida Georgia Line's catchiest song since 'Cruise,' and that's even before Luke Bryan offers his rap breakdown. The song pushes the boundaries of hip-hop and country music further than any song ever has ... and it could end up being a radio flop for this reason, but that doesn't mean it's not worth the three-plus minutes needed to appreciate each clever lyric and rhyme.
'I Don't Dance'
The title track of Lee Brice's 2014 release reintroduced fans to his vulnerable side. The South Carolina native has always been willing to go there, but 'I Don't Dance' makes the Top Songs of 2014 list for its personal touches. This was Brice's wedding song, a ballad he wrote for the occasion to tell his bride how truly special she is. Instantly, 'I Don't Dance' became one of the top weddings songs of all time.
'Kiss You Tonight'
David Nail's follow-up to the chart-topping 'Whatever She's Got' is his best effort yet. The song cruises along in a melancholy groove as the Missouri-born singer waxes about the one that got away. It's an easy-to-appreciate country cut that's difficult to criticize.
'Give Me Back My Hometown'
Church's mysterious introduction to his new album included this easy-to-appreciate single. 'Give Me Back My Hometown' is a reminder of 'Springsteen,' but far from a trip back to a well that turned out Platinum once. The North Carolina native sings with rare urgency during this song, as he does on all of his best singles.
'Play It Again'
How many singers can go four singles deep on an album and still put a track on the Top Songs of the Year list? Luke Bryan’s latest collection is truly special, and ‘Play It Again’ is a wonderful surprise for those who have only followed him on the radio. Bryan’s storytelling shines on this mid-tempo love song. It’s “classic” Luke Bryan, meaning it’s a traditional country vibe with a very modern twist. Lyrically, the message is familiar, but the singer’s charismatic delivery makes it pop.
'Doin' What She Likes'
'Doin' What She Likes' is one of the highlights from Shelton's award-winning 'Based on a True Story' album. For all his jokes and tough guy bravado, simple love songs are what this Oklahoman does best, and few are finer than this ballad. Descriptive details fill the spaces between the words of this song. You can almost smell those candles burnin'.
'How Could I Want More'
Jamie Lynn Spears' debut country single gathered less airplay than any other song on this list of the top songs of 2014, but it left a big impact where it was played. Her personal, acoustic-driven ballad is heartbreaking in the best way possible. Sharp songwriting paired with an even-handed producer and a vocal performance that's as passionate as any ... that's how you make great country music!
Kenny is back! After a year spent recording, scrapping, re-writing and re-recording his new album Chesney returns with the funky 'American Kids.' The uptempo track recalls everything fans loved about the singer without sounding tired. It's a new twist on his style, and it couldn't have come at a better time.
'I Got a Car'
Strait's 'I Got a Car' was released in October 2012, but didn't begin to catch on until spring 2014. For awhile, it looked like radio would ignore this beautifully crafted song. The story is one of the King's finest -- simple, detailed and romantic. A third verse from George Strait is like holy water from the Pope. You just appreciate you're fortunate enough to fall under his spell, if only for a few moments.
'Meanwhile Back at Mama's'
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have been intentional about when and how often they sing together. 'Meanwhile Back at Mama's' is their latest collaboration, and it's as soul-satisfying as anything else they've recorded. The track -- a longing look over the shoulder at the simpler joys in life -- does what dozens, if not hundreds of others have attempted to do. It's nostalgic without feeling the slightest bit dusty. 'Meanwhile Back at Mama's' is a perfect country song.