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There are few things I enjoy more than lists. That's my favorite part about the end of the year non-holiday related. I love countdowns and 'best-ofs' that happen at the end of the year. I guess it's just an opportunity to reflect on the best and worst parts of the year.
Since I'm in country radio (somehow), it's only fitting that I countdown some of the best things in country music this year. I'm going to start with the top albums of the year. I also plan on counting down the best songs & concerts of the year this week.
So, let's get this thing started.... Below is a list of my 5 favorite albums released this year (5 is the 5th best and 1 is the best). If it wasn't RELEASED this year, it's not in the running. For example, Eric Church's 'Chief' got a lot of recognition this year, but was released in 2011, so it will not make my list. Anyway, here we go...
5. 'Red' - Taylor Swift: Did you honestly think I would make a list like this and not include my girl? I'll admit that it's my least favorite Taylor Swift album yet, but it's still Taylor Swift. I wish she wouldn't stray from her country songs, but she did on this one. "Begin Again" is probably my favorite track on the album. Could have been better, but I still love her and plan to marry her one day.
4. 'Home' - Dierks Bentley: This is another one of my favorite artists, but yet again, it was my least favorite album from the artist to date. It still has a few killer songs on it. "The Woods" and all of the slow songs on this album rock. Can't say I'm crazy about all of them, but all together, it's a pretty solid album.
3. 'Night Train' - Jason Aldean: I have to admit that I expected a lot from this album. After Jason came out with 'My Kinda Party', the bar was set high. Although it didn't quite reach the level of 'My Kinda Party' for me, it's still a respectable album with songs like "When She Says Baby" & "I Don't Do Lonely Well".
2. 'Dustin Lynch' - Dustin Lynch: This was the surprise album of the year for me. For some reason, I didn't expect much. I loved "Cowboys & Angels", but I thought that'd be the only good song on it. I was wrong. Although there are a few songs that aren't my style, "Last Lap", "Your Plan" & "Sittin' Pretty" really did it for me.
1. 'Hard 2 Love' - Lee Brice: This was the biggest no-brainer ever. I'd say after I heard this album twice, it had already secured the top spot. One of my favorite albums, not only of this year, but ever. I'm a sucker for slow songs. "I Drive Your Truck", "That's When You Know It's Over" & "That Way Again" (all which made me cry) are 3 of my favorite songs, but there's not a song on the album I don't like. It's a perfect mix of songs about love, tragedy & good times. If you've never listened to this album, you're doing yourself a disservice.
There you have it. My top 5 albums of the year. Any arguments? Let's hear them...