I wrote few years ago that it was a good time to be country music fan. Well, I think now is even better time! Country genre is very popular and selling more than ever but at the same time lot of music that would have been considered pop music before is now under country. I don’t really mind because it let’s me explore new artists and see how they measure against old country crooners! So let’s start listin my picks of the best country albums 2008, I will not count any hit collections here, just new studio albums will be listed.
10. Dolly Parton – Backwoods Barbie
She is 62 years old and sounds terrific. This was her return to the more commercial country and I really like the vibe but this album did not stay on the charts the way I was hoping. There has been two singles released from it, Jesus & Gravity and Better Get To Livin” but they failed to make it to TOP10 in any charts. I personally think that Dolly is one of the best there is and this list would not be complete without her album.
9. Phil Vassar – Prayer of a Common Man
If you love melodies and piano and sof voice Phil Vassar is your man. He plays country his own way and has fans who would not want it any other way. Love Is A Beautiful Thing got plenty airtime and is one of his typical great love songs. If I feel blue I dig out his album and cheer myself up and after all, life is not all that bad, right? So thanks for cheering me up over and over Phil!
8. Keith Anderson – C’Mon!
Keith got my attention when he was singing about Pickin’ Wildflowers on his previous release and I’ve been hooked ever since! He is very talented song writer and this album shows once again how sexy and cute and eatable Keith Anderson can be. I Still Miss You is a perfect love song and did well on the charts for a long time. His second single release Somobody Needs A Hug has not done so well but I can relate to that song! If you are a true country music fan you must respect Keith’s talent and let’s face it, he is pretty easy on the eyes too!
7. George Strait – Troubadour
This guy is like a rock! Decades come and go but he keeps singing great songs and releasing records that are amazing. I’m not surprised this one won the CMA award for best album of the year and many would place him higher in my list. I find his music truly enjoyable but I’m not a die hard fan, maybe I’m still little too young.. Sexy, charismatic, loyal and classy are all words to describe this Troubadour. There has been tree single releases from this album so far, I Saw God Today made it to #1 and Troubadour travelled to TOP10 landing on #7, his newest release River Of Love is currently standing at #33.
6. James Otto – Sunset Man
Hello Newcomer! James Otto came to fame with his #1 hit Just Got Started Lovin’ You this summer. He said on a CMA awards that it was the mos played country song in the radio this year. But this a lbum is great all around, not just one hit wonder. He is getting airtime now with For You currently at #37. I was very impressed after listening this album, James Otto has charming voice and he is another hunk who knows how to get ladies knees to buckle.
5. Blake Shelton – Startin’ Fires
This is a new album and I’m having hard time placing it on the list. I love Blake. Love, Love, LOVE! He has humor, looks and voice. Well, and he has Miranda, darn it! So I settle for his music and this new album is classic Blake, many slow songs and heartaches and powerful performances. She Wouldn’t Be Gone is at #17 now and this album is just lifting it’s head. Did I mention I love this guy!!
4. Taylor Swift – Fearless
She is riding high and everything is going right for Taylor these days. It was a hard task to come out with second album after her first one was so brilliant. Taylor keeps staging her songs and giving us beautiful videos and teen girls (and moms!) are approving. My 5-year-old daughter knows every song by heart from his first album and she is working on the new one. She says this one is good one too so Who am I to argue? Love Story already climbed to #1 and I’ m guessing Taylor will keep burning the charts for quite a while with songs from this album. This is to me almost too pop to be country but if critiques say it is country it must be!
3. Montgomery Gentry – Back When I Knew It All
These guys are rock meets country in a good way. They come up with great songs year after year and have grown as a duo to very confident stage act. If you like to have good time, find some of their music to play. I always love the lyrics and this duo just never gets boring, singles out are What Do Ya Think About That #3, Back When I Knew It All #1 and Roll With Me #3. I was surprised that highest this album was at #3 in Top Country Albums, definetely worth a buy!
2. Alan Jackson – Good Time
This album is so much fun! Alan writes, sings, performs and just Like George Strait it is never a miss when you get an album from him. My husband wanted me to learn to lline dance for Good Time with him, but that is not only #1 hit from this album, first single Small Town Southern Man reached the same position. Country Boy is currently at #14. Alan Jackson came back to traditional good old country after releasing his very romantic Like A Red On A Rose 2006. If you are talking about country music you have to include Alan Jackson, he is the man!
1. Kenny Chesney – Lucky Old Sun
Nobody sings like Kenny! He has a voice so superior that it is almost not fair. This album is more soul searching and less partying but his voice is oh so dominant that I feel every word he sings. First single Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven was a #1 hit and his next release Down The Road climbing at #24. Kenny has done it all and keeps on trucking. I just cannot find anything negative to point out on his music, he is a perfect country artist in my book. Enough said.
There was some artists missing here like Sugarland and Lady Antabellum but those two just did not click with me this time. Trace Adkins just released a new a lbum, it is worth a listen and would have deserved a spot. There is just too many great performers out there so go and figure out your own list!