It’s that time of year again.
Time to take stock of what country music had to offer this past year and celebrate some of the best albums in country music. We’ve never been shy about the artists we like and I think we can both pretty confidently say that we like a little bit of everything. Whether you’re from the old school, or only listen to Top 40 Country Radio, I think you’ll find some really good stuff on here. Hopefully, you find something new to fall in love with as well.
At the end of the day, a great song is a huge accomplishment on its own, but to put together an entire album of great songs is the sign of a truly talented artist. It takes vision, patience, creativity, not to mention sheer will… it’s a vulnerable process that culminates in about 10 or 12 songs which you hand over to the world, invite into your own story, and just hope that it will resonate with listeners. Every year tons and tons of country artists venture into that process, but only some emerge with a truly inspirational piece of art.
Here’s 30 of the artists that did.
Honorable Mention: Luke Combs – This One’s For You Too
Ordinarily, we would never put a deluxe album on a list like this, but the bonus tracks on this one are just too damn good. Luke’s last two singles, “She Got The Best Of Me” and “Beautiful Crazy,” were both exclusively featured on the deluxe edition, so even though the original album came out in 2017, we had to at least give This One’s For You Too a mention.
30. Jason Aldean – Rearview Town
29. Maggie Rose – Change The Whole Thing
28. Morgan Wallen – If I Know Me
27. Michael Ray – Amos
26. Scotty McCreery – Seasons Change
25. Wade Bowen – Solid Ground
24. Heather Morgan – Borrowed Heart
23. Willie Nelson – Last Man Standing
22. Blackberry Smoke – Find A Light
21. William Clark Green – Hebert Island
20. Cole Swindell – All Of It
19. Erik Dylan – Baseball On The Moon
18. Randall King – Randall King
17. Colter Wall – Songs Of The Plains
16. Brent Cobb – Providence Canyon
15. John Prine – The Tree Of Forgiveness
14. Whitey Morgan and the 78’s – Hard Times And White Lines
13. Carrie Underwood – Cry Pretty
12. Kenny Chesney – Songs For The Saints
11. Brandi Carlile – By The Way, I Forgive You
10. Dillon Carmichael – Hell On An Angel
9. Ruston Kelly – Dying Star
8. Cody Jinks – Lifers
7. Pistol Annies – Interstate Gospel
6. Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
5. Brothers Osborne – Port Saint Joe
4. Ashley McBryde – Girl Going Nowhere
3. Caitlyn Smith – Starfire
2. Eric Church – Desperate Man
1. Dierks Bentley – The Mountain