2018 Grammys: Best Country Album

The 60th Annual Grammys will be held January 28 and it’s time for you to decide which country artist should take home the top honor. Chris Stapleton, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, and Thomas Rhett are all nominated for Country Album of the Year.

As a huge country music fan, I can say that SOME of these nominees are good (at best) choices. However, I personally think that there were so many more great albums this year in the Country music world. It’s almost as if the selection committee only looked at record sales and / or name recognition for this category. I mean, come on – can anyone name two singles from Kenny Chesney’s album this year?! I can’t – and like I said I listen to country music everyday.

Not to sound negative but the biggest story coming from this category are the snubs. Did the selection committee even listen to these albums? Not sure how it works – but there is a flaw in the system somewhere and I am THIS close to sending a strongly worded email to the committee.

ANYWAY, here are the nominees (and my honest opinion of each) for Country Album of The Year.

From A Room: Volume 1 – Chris Stapleton

^^^^^^^^^Stop what you are doing right now and watch this video^^^^^^^^^^

Chris Stapleton released From A Room: Volume 1 back in May and has since sold 1.8 million albums. According to cmt.com, he was the second-most-listened-to country artist of 2017. This album was Stapleton’s sophomore release featuring his lead single, “Either Way,” and the GRAMMY-nominated track, “Broken Halos.”

I will take nothing away from Chris Stapleton, this man is beyond talented. He WILL WIN this category. If you have never listened to his music, I encourage you to stop what you are doing right now and do so. My problem with this nomination is that Chris Stapleton has become the New England Patriots of Country Music: he just keeps winning!

Cosmic Hallelujah – Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney introduced the world to his sixteenth studio album, Cosmic Hallelujah, in October of 2016. The country superstar has released two singles since the record dropped including “Noise” and “All the Pretty Girls.” Chesney recently revealed to Billboard.com that taking chances with Cosmic Hallelujah earned him this Grammy nomination.

Look, I like Kenny Chesney – really, I do!!! I have seen him in concert five times.  But after sixteen albums it starts to get old. In my opinion there was nothing special about his latest one. It’s the same thing that I’ve heard since I was six years old.

Heart Break– Lady Antebellum

Fans waited three years for Lady Antebellum’s 2017 release of Heart Break. The country trio’s 13-track collection features their lead single and latest summer’s semi-hit (in my opinion), “You Look Good.”

The single “You Look Good” was amazing. I can’t tell you how many times that I lip-sang that song to my girlfriend on my boat at the lake with a beer in my hand. However, the rest of the album… well, my Momma always told me that if I don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all.

The Breaker – Little Big Town

When Little Big Town released their eighth studio album, The Breaker, the fans of the genre all became “Happy People.” Their chart-topping album brings us on an emotional roller coaster to say the least. Especially when listening to The Breaker’s lead single, “Better Man,” written by Taylor Swift. The country group will also perform the night of the GRAMMYs. (source: CMT.com)

This album is AMAZING from start to finish and is exactly what country music is about. When I listen to an album – I want to experience ALL the feels. This album does just that. One minute I’m listening and thinking about the great memories of my childhood then the next song I’m thinking about a struggle that I overcame. Great album! Should they win? Yeah, they should. They won’t though – song of the year, maybe…

Life Changes – Thomas Rhett

Thomas Rhett’s latest project revealed all of his Life Changes this past year and was his first album to debut at No. 1. The track list for the record features a fellow country star, Maren Morris, and his father, Rhett Akins. Rhett’s Life Changes is truly an “Unforgettable” album which includes the lead single, “Craving You.”

I am so glad that this album was nominated. This was my personal favorite of the past year. Will it win? Not a chance. I feel like the Grammy Gods looked at the name and said, “Who”? This album is very versatile – bringing together genres from rock to R&B to country to pop to even EDM. Needless to say, this album has something for everyone, no matter what genre they prefer. I can’t get enough of this album and if you have read my posts in the past you know how much I love Kendrick Lamar, so that’s saying something. I love this album! It should win, but I highly doubt it will.

Final Thoughts

Country was shut out from the all-genre Big Four (Record, Song, Album and Best New Artist), which is a huge disappointment. The Grammys tend to be a great equalizer — a place where marketing, fan base and levels of extroversion kindly step aside to let the true artists be honored. But this year (at least in this category) I have to disagree. Country music was treated like the red-headed stepchild. Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” was country music’s biggest song of 2017. Miranda Lambert’s three previous albums all earned some Grammy attention, but her newest release was overlooked for in favor of projects by Kenny Chesney and Lady Antebellum that have less artistic merit. That’s puzzling to me. The Best Country Album category as a whole was deserving of more attention in 2018.

There is always next year I guess.

Which album gets your vote? Tell us in the comments below!

 

Danny Writer
Daniel Lutje is a Digital Marketing Specialist for Creative Allies.
Employee and Guest Blogs are the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Creative Allies Inc. or its affiliates.

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